Wednesday, October 25, 2023

#AuthorInterview with Lin Wilder, author of Plausible Liars

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Diane Lunsford is talking with Lin Wilder, author of Plausible Liars: A Dr. Lindsey McCall Medical Mystery.

FQ: Thank you for the opportunity to chat with you today. I want to congratulate you on the many awards you have received for your bodies of work. Let’s start with the moving quote at the beginning of your book: "The spirit distinctly says that in later times some will turn away from the faith and will heed deceitful spirits taught by demons through plausible liars – St. Paul, 1 Timothy." Of the endless (and profound) passages in the Bible, why were you drawn to this one in particular?

WILDER: In the early months then years of wrestling with this story, I had three maybe four titles. None of them was right. Then one morning, I was praying the office readings for the Liturgy of the Hours and St. Paul (who became a friend when I wrote My Name is Saul) showed up with this passage in Timothy. Voila! Perfect!

FQ: Early on, when you are developing Zoey/Joey’s character, I was moved by the exchange in English class between him and his teacher Ms. O’Brien when he corrects her about the number of years Thoreau lived on Walden Pond. Are you a fan of Thoreau? Do you have a favorite of his work?

WILDER: It’s difficult not to be a fan of Thoreau if you’re young, idealistic and a loner. When I was Joey’s age, there were many passages from On Walden Pond that I’d memorized. As I considered this young, impossibly confused youngster, Thoreau and his musings fit. They’re timeless, really.

FQ: I enjoyed the siblings LJ and Morgan and their two dogs, Max and Gus. There is softness and understanding that you anchor at the onset, and we learn early on that Morgan is autistic. I emphatically believe there is a healing that takes place between the connection man has with animals and I wonder if this was intentional for you to keep this notion alive throughout the story. The scene where LJ is looking for Morgan and doesn’t get an initial response triggers the dogs and Morgan tries to calm them: "...Max, baby, shhh, it’s OK," she whispered, "Nothing to get upset about. It’s just LJ’s drama queen act. Gus be still, boy. Everything is fine, just fine..." (pg. 4). Have you ever worked with service animals or been around them?

WILDER: No I haven’t. But I sure admire people who do. For my book, Do You Solemnly Swear? I read extensively about war dogs, their handlers and was left with the conviction that we know next to nothing about these 4-legged creatures who choose us. No matter how badly dogs are treated, they continue to prefer our company. It’s miraculous.

FQ: I found myself holding my breath often when reading Joey’s entries in his journal. He seems so conflicted (and afraid). It’s difficult not to go off on a full-blown tangent, but if you had to encapsulate in a sentence or two, what is your opinion on the trajectory and forced awareness and acceptance of the transgender movement in today’s society?

Author Lin Wilder

WILDER: After pondering this question for a while, I realize I cannot encapsulate it in a couple of sentences: it’s far too important a question to do that. Instead, Father John’s reply to Kate when she asked him “how we got here?” is the only possible answer. Read Genesis to hear “the Great Heart beating behind those words.” Kate’s “Corrupting America’s Children: Creating Chemical Eunuchs,” details some of the ‘modernist’ philosophical trails that led us here.

FQ: In line with my previous question, I appreciate your embellishment at the end of your book in offering up certain sources you used in penning Plausible Liars. However, I find it very difficult to remain calm and clear-headed when I hear of toddlers and elementary-aged children being subjected to choosing their gender. In your opinion, when do you suppose it became the mission and guideline to disallow children to develop in their own time and pace (and the parent must take a back seat as well)?

WILDER: This story is based on a real event that happened in California. How frequently is this happening with toddlers nationwide, I don’t know. But it is true that California passed legislation mandating teachers to ‘teach’ gender identity in the elementary schools. In this mindset, parents lose their authority. My character, Dr. Heathcock is loosely based on an LBGT educational activist named Sears who began writing guidelines for sexual classroom education back in the late eighties.

FQ: Let’s address the elephant in the room. Personally, I’ve noticed an acceleration in the past handful of years to eradicate religion. In your opinion, do you think it is as simple as people are reticent to seek and learn about spirituality, or do you think there is something far more evil at play in our world today?

WILDER: Yes. I think people are reticent for many reasons. But it isn’t spirituality that’s the problem, it’s Jesus. In the current worldview, spirituality is fine and no threat to those in power. But those Jews and Christians are getting in a lot of trouble here and in the world when they strive to follow God’s law. But we’re told by Jesus that we will be persecuted - just as he was. There are something like 2 million Americans who claim to be Satanists. Most of them think I’d guess that it’s a tattoo, have no clue what they’re inviting into themselves. Yes, I am convinced demons like Morgan saw riding Joey exist in the world and are eager to do the bidding of their boss and destroy humanity.

FQ: Character Morgan has a unique ability toward clairvoyance. Is there a connection between clairvoyance and autism, and have you done any research on this?

WILDER: Morgan’s an empath and yes is clairvoyant. As far as I know, autism and clairvoyance are not correlated, but no I’ve not researched this question,

FQ: There seems to be a redefinition of words and procedures in our world today. One glaring example is when Justice Ketanji Brown was being considered for the Supreme Court and when asked to "...define a woman..." her answer was disturbing in that she would not commit to her understanding of the definition. Similar to this, "...It’s not called a mastectomy. It’s called a ‘top job,’..." (pg. 27) Is this definition limited to gender reassignment surgeries, or do women who have to have a breast removed due to breast cancer have to call it this now?

WILDER: Yes, euphemisms can be effective in many areas. But I believe “top job” is limited to girls who’ve decided to be boys. The phrase sounds more innocuous than does double mastectomy, kind of like abortion as healthcare.

FQ: Last question, and I ask this with the deepest and most heartfelt intention. I believe God is the answer and can heal humanity. Someone very dear to me once said: When you ‘let go,’ you ‘let God.’ Do you think humanity will wake up before it’s too late?

WILDER: I spent much of my life as an atheist. I walked away from God because I didn’t want to “waste my life” like my mother had. I rewrote Kate’s answer to Lindsey’s question to Kate about the timing of her conversion three times and was finally satisfied with her answer that “I realized the darkness began with me...” This entire woke movement is about humanity’s waking up isn’t it? But waking up without God doesn’t lead to light but darkness.

FQ: Thank you for the honor of this interview today. Plausible Liars is one of the most disturbing (and enlightening) books I’ve read in a while. What’s next, and are you able to share a nugget or two?

WILDER: I’d intended this to be my last book. But no, it isn’t. After I take a break, I’ll start on One Smooth Stone, returning to the ancient novel series with the early life of David. His twenty-eight years as the son Jesse and his brothers ignored. Until the prophet Samuel was told to anoint him, the shepherd boy.

Thank you for these questions, I enjoyed thinking and replying to them . Thank you too for your thoughtful, gracious review.

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