Anatomy of a novel

I wrote my latest novel, A Majority of One, to explore the influence of religion in our society, a Imageconstitutional democracy. To do this, I set up a clash between church and state, a clash of the kind that shows up in news headlines again and again, year after year, propelled nearly always  by misguided albeit sincere religious fervor. Oddly, we easily recognize religious zealotry in other parts of the world, like the Middle East, but are blind to its influence in our own culture. The idea for this story came to me years ago when I was the editor/publisher of a weekly newspaper and lived for five years in a small Southern town. At a party one night, the hostess, thirtyish wife of a popular local businessman, cornered me in her kitchen to tell me of her religious fervor. After exclaiming at length how much she loved Jesus, she segued into her fear of Satan, which struck me as much stronger than her love of Christ. The devil was after her soImageul night and day, she said, and she lived in perpetual fear that he would somehow capture it and take it off to Hell. I believed then and I believe now that the woman, who appeared completely normal, was actually under a self-induced spell smacking of lunacy. I also knew, while cornered in that kitchen years ago, that one day I would write a novel about that kind of religious zeal. A Majority of One is that novel.

Just in time for Christmas!

With seven other Carolina writers, I will participate in a Holiday Book Signing and Reception on Dec. 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the South Caroliniana Library, located on the Horseshoe of the University of South Carolina campus, in Columbia.

Billed as a “special literary  evening celebrating South Carolina authors and their recent publications,” the event is presented by the University South Caroliniana Society and the South Carolina Library.

Other authors participating include Walter Edgar,  South Carolina in the Modern Age; John L. Frierson, Memories of A Carolina Bird  Hunter; Philip Grose, Looking for Utopia: The Life and Times of John C. West; Stephen Hoffius and Susan Williams, Upheaval in Charleston: Earthquake and Murder on the Eve of Jim Crow; Patricia Moore-Pastides, Greek Revival Cooking for Life; and Robert M. Weir, Captured at King’s Mountain: The Journal of Uzal Johnson, a Loyalist Surgeon. 

My recently published books are A Majority of One, my third novel, and Six of One, Half Dozen of Another (Stories & Poems +1) . I think mine is the only fiction included in the event.