Inspiration Behind Illusion
New York Times best selling author Frank Peretti talks about the inspiration for his new novel "Illusion."
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Gayle: Yes, absolutely. The main protagonist in your book is Mandy, the wife. How are you able to get inside the mind of a woman?
Frank: Man, I don’t know. Being married to one sure helps. A woman is — just speaking from experience, being married to Barb — women are sure marvelous creatures. They are so delicate and insightful, and they’re just fun. There’s a certain word — I don’t want to use the word “mystique” because there’s a book, The Feminine Mystique, and that’s not at all what I’m talking about. Women are just intriguing and kind of mysterious to me. I don’t know, it’s just part of their charm, I guess. The Lord made them that way. Guys tend to be the logical, macho, warrior caveman — even when we’re sophisticated and wearing a suit, we’re still going out there and clubbing a bear and dragging it back to the cave. But the woman is the nurturer, the creator. You know what’s even interesting about that is how — this is a sidebar, but — women magicians, as opposed to man magicians, it’s interesting how man magicians are: sawing women in half and blowing things up and you have big saw blades cutting people in half. When you have a woman magician, she produces flowers, she weaves things together, and she uses scarves and produces these fun, creative things. The woman is the nurturer; she’s the creator; she’s the one who brings things to life and all that stuff weaves in. I just gave my wife a kiss; she’s going off on a plane. Now getting back to how did I get inside a woman’s mind, I don’t know. You just have to be real sensitive and just live with a dear wife like mine for all those years and for me, in terms of my own personal experience, you just have to maintain a sense of fascination. I think Mandy is fascinating.
Gayle: I agree.
Frank: Even as I’m writing this story I’m just kind of caught up and really intrigued with the character because she’s just so interesting. And that’s the way Barb is; she’s just so interesting. I never have quite figured her out.
Gayle: Are the trials of Mandy and Dane similar to the trials many Christians face during the Lenten season, and if so, how?
Frank: I’m not very familiar with the Lenten season, maybe you can describe that and build your question a little bit and then I can answer.
Gayle: Sure. The season of Lent is basically a representation of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted before Easter and the thinking about that time that he spent in the desert — in the wilderness — is he was being prepared for the major trials that he would face in going through the events leading up to his crucifixion and ultimately his resurrection. And it seems to me that in reading your book, Dane and Mandy go through unbelievable trials that are hard to comprehend for them, for the reader. And did that in some sense prepare them for the final victory of their life together?