Publication Date: February 15, 2013
Book Links: Amazon
Synopsis: Lara Joyner has seen the signs in the direction the leaves blow, in the patterns made by the clouds at dawn, in her readings of the Tarot, and in the answers to her prayers. Her son Dale is the second coming of Christ. While that makes her responsibilities overwhelming, she can fail neither her son nor humanity. But to sit on the throne next to the Almighty will be her reward. Once Dale's true identity is revealed, Lara will forever be known as the mother of God. Dale is not quite certain what it might mean to be Jesus, but he knows that if he at least goes through the motions, he can keep his mother from hearing the voices, and, perhaps, protect himself and his younger brother Louis from danger. Incarnate follows Lara and her sons as she attempts to have him perform miracles. If he could only realize his power, she knows his destiny and hers. Their world turned upside down by their mother's hallucinations, Dale and Louis try to make sense of what is happening and survive a life of mysterious dangers. Meanwhile, their father and older sister frantically search for the two boys to bring them to safety. A psychological study, Incarnate is a story of how delusion overpowers reason and how the resilience of youth can persevere.
Interview: Q. How did writing this book affect you?
Lawrence Weill: I have been writing since I was young and this is actually the fourth novel I have written, so in that regard, this is a book that is a natural progression in my writing life. That said, this particular novel is very close to me since it is a fictionalized account of events that occurred to me and my brother when we were children. Telling this story allowed me to look at these events and have a better understanding of them. More importantly, it allowed me to share these events with readers, who have responded well to the tale.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Lawrence Weill: Writing is so multifaceted, it can be daunting: writing, revising, editing, revising again, proofreading, revising, and so on. And then the hard part (for me) begins: the business end of writing. Finding the right publisher and getting a reading from them are huge tasks and even after that is done, there are the practical aspects of marketing the book. Setting up signings, book fairs, readings, book clubs, discussion groups – all of these take time to research and set up. I like the book tours, but putting it all together can be very time consuming.
Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?
Lawrence Weill: I am working now on two different books. One is creative non-fiction called Dad's Table. It involves growing up in a small town being raised by a single father who was quite the character. Each chapter ends with recipes my father passed along to me. He was a fantastic cook. The other is a novel tentatively titled Invisibility. It is a farcical look at one man's dialectic into obscurity.
Q. What are you currently reading?
Lawrence Weill: Evil is Always Human by Eddie Whitlock. It is a compelling story of a poor sharecropper family attending a public hanging. Very southern gothic.
Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).
Lawrence Weill: We are having our fourth grandchild in October!
Q. Please tell us a fun-fact about yourself!
Lawrence Weill: If I have a threatening dream, I will try to frighten away whoever or whatever is the threat, to the point that I will sometimes yell at the offender in the middle of the night, very loudly. Pretty scary for my wife when I do that.
Q. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Lawrence Weill: I would love to learn to blow glass. I am also an artist, working in pencils, charcoal, and oils in two-dimensional art, and wood and copper (primarily) in sculpture, but I have always been fascinated with the fluidity of glass. I would enjoy glass blowing, I think.
Q. What gives you the most joy in life?
Lawrence Weill: My everyday life is very fulfilling. I have a very joyful life.
Q. Which of your characters would you want to be and why?
Lawrence Weill: I am Louis in Incarnate, so I have a ready answer for that. But all my characters carry a little bit of me, so I certainly have empathy for all of them, but Louis is me.
Q. How do you like to spend your spare time?
Lawrence Weill: I read a lot. I love to garden, although my space is fairly shaded, so that is a challenge. I draw, paint, sculpt, photograph all manner of things. I enjoy fishing and generally being outdoors. I like to play music (guitar and harmonica) and listen to music (from old rock to jazz to opera – I like it all!)
Q. How did you come up with the title?
Lawrence Weill: Originally, I titled the book After the Songs of Apollo, which is the final line in Shakespeare's Love's Labour Lost. It is a reference to the counterbalancing between happiness and mirth and sorrow and despair. I decided to use Incarnate because I thought the reference was perhaps too obscure, but I kept the line as the frontispiece for the novel. Incarnate carries with it the double entendre of the incarnation of Christ, which is what the protagonist believes about her son, and the protagonist herself.
Q. When did you know you would be a writer?
Lawrence Weill: I think I knew I wanted to be a writer very young, when I spent days writing a short story for my seventh-grade English class. When the student teacher who read it returned it, telling me it was the best short story she had ever read, I was hooked. I doubt it was all that good, but her encouragement started me off!
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