Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Barbara Bamberger Scott is talking with Stuart Rawlings, author of The God Child.
FQ: Do you have a favorite historical character among the ones you depict in The God Child?
RAWLINGS: I would have to say that Jesus, Thomas Jefferson and Eleanor Roosevelt would be my favorites. There are all on the cover for a reason.
FQ: Did writing about oppressive leaders and the ways they might be reformed give you a sense of satisfaction, or a sense of much work to be done by us moderns?
RAWLINGS: Yes, writing about Trump’s metamorphosis pleased me, although I know it's not going to change the basic problem the country and our world is facing.
FQ: Much of your book focuses on Donald Trump – do you want your readers to think of him, as you seem to suggest, as open to positive changes in style and policy?
RAWLINGS: No, I think readers already understand that Trump is a lost soul, or as Maxine Waters would put it, “a miserable excuse for human being.”
FQ: You have created a scenario of behind-the-scenes scheming by Trump’s cabinet; is this something you believe might be going on now?
RAWLINGS: No, I think that everyone around Trump is too scared and too morally bankrupt to give him the slightest criticism.
FQ: You have a strong grasp of current events; is this based on your personal perspective alone or on research beyond the usual news sources?
RAWLINGS: My “strong grasp of current events” is based on an intense following of the news from many sources, as well as from 77 years of an active life—including working in 80 countries, speaking seven languages, earning four advanced degrees, and having a very curious, critical-thinking mind.
FQ: You have paired Hitler with Joan of Arc – does that suggest the possibility of redemption for Der Fuhrer?
RAWLINGS: No, Der Fuehrer is a comical figure in this book. In real life, he was pure evil, responsible for tens of millions of unnecessary deaths, which was no laughing matter. I tried to lighten him up here, like Charlie Chaplin’s character in The Great Dictator. Joan of Arc seemed like a good match for him, since she was a young, white, militant, naive, passionate girl.
FQ: What do you think the reader should take away from the encounters among Jesus, Moses and Mohammed, both in light of religious tradition and of worldly events?
RAWLINGS: My storylines with Jesus, Moses, Mohammed and Buddha reflected my own thinking about what is right and wrong with these religions. For example, I liked Mohammed, but i think he would be furious to find the Sunnis and Shiites in an endless war, the terrible mistreatment of women in many Islamic countries, and the refusal to allow the 80% of non-Arabic Muslims to have the Qu’rantranslated into their first language.
FQ: The ending of this volume could be seen as preparation for a sequel, or a way of letting go of the characters and the fantasy for good. What’s your plan for this motley crew?
RAWLINGS: I haven’t decided on whether or how to write a sequel. Much will depend on the success or lack thereof of this book.
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