In 2015 I had the privilege of working with Laura Lanni on an early draft of her second novel, Infinity Line. Although I’d worked with Laura on her first novel, this one was unlike anything I’d ever read.
Fast forward several years, and the final version of Infinity Line, a dystopian novel written in anger and published in hope, is now available. I asked Laura to share some thoughts about this unique novel and what prompted her to write it.
My second novel began in a furious rage.
Anger is a dark place. It is unsafe, unstable, un-everything-good. During the decades while I raised my daughters, sent them to college, cried at their weddings, and played with new grandchildren, while my hair grew gray and my skin thinned, I have felt paralyzing fear for the ones I love. Fear makes me angry.
Before I felt fear, I may have just been naïve. Too young and busy becoming me to notice the problems of the world. But I think my transformation is more than a personal journey. I read on the news and social media about the struggles of everyone. The world has become more dangerous. That makes me angry.
Every American is a degree or two away from losing someone to violence. If it hasn’t happened yet, it will. Almost certainly. That makes me furious.
My personal catalyst came on December 9, 2011. Virginia Tech was on lockdown, again. A police officer was killed. I was stuck five hours away on another college campus, calling and calling and worrying and waiting to know. My daughter hid in the architecture studio on the VT campus. I did not breathe for hours.
When the lockdown ended late in the day and I knew she was safe (relatively—she still had to walk home alone to her apartment), I let loose my hold on myself. That night I played the “what if” game, cried out my rage, drank very much whiskey, and INFINITY LINE was born.
Seven years later I’m finally ready to share this story. Since 2011, so many more mass shootings have occurred—in schools and churches and theaters and on streets and nightclubs and everywhere. No one has a plan to stop the hate. America is not a safe place, and we have no leadership. The problems with society and government and the whole world make me more angry than afraid.Anger makes us feel hopeless and helpless, but it can fuel determination. @lauralanni's determination led to INFINITY LINE. #NewRelease Click To Tweet
So if you read INFINITY LINE, please keep some things in mind:
- it is intentionally offensive (use your brain and think)
- it was written in anger (use your heart and think)
- individually, humans are lovely (use your arms and hug)
- it is fiction (use your mind to change your mind)
- it was written by an introverted scientist (a terrified grandmother)
Based on a lifetime of observation, here is a conclusion.
You may call it a hypothesis or a theory, but stack up the evidence and this statement stands strong: Solutions to the world’s problems will NOT come from government. Or prayer. Or money.
Humanity is on a collision course–we are destroying our planet, killing each other for limited resources, and we are blind to our own self-extinction. My students, energetic and intelligent 20-year-olds, may be our last hope. We’ve left them an embarrassing and frustrating mess. Humanity must consider solutions as cohabitants of Earth rather than blind isolationists in human constructs called countries driven by the human construct called money.Science has answers. The goodness in people, the strength of families, and connections like love are the tools. #NewRelease Click To Tweet
I’m sorry if my story offends you. I’m happy if my story offends you. Be offended and then start to think.
About Infinity Line
In 2072, in a once vibrant metropolis on the eastern coast of what used to be America, biochemist Dr. Lorelei Fletcher hunts men. In a world gone insane with hatred, somebody has to do it. Lorelei stalks them until they catch her. She doses them with a molecular cocktail (silently, painlessly, with a needle, to the neck) to tame them. Part of an improbable plan for peace, Lorelei works to drive humanity toward a future that’s female. Exclusively female. When the violence burns down, surviving women use Lorelei’s drugs to take control. Changes are made. Baby boys are taken from their mothers, and selected women raise only daughters. For every boy allowed to live, three baby girls are born. Men and women live apart, neither concerned nor interested in each other until forced together. In exchange for fragile peace, the idea called family is forgotten—until a small girl named Aida gets into Boys’ School and meets a boy named Alex. Aida grows up with a unique perspective: she is the only girl in the world who lives with her father and knows boys. Alex is an Infinity Boy born on a Life Ticket that guarantees 80 years but provides no more rights than every other dosed and confined male. A girl. A boy. A unique bond. These fragile beginnings may be the only hope for humanity to finally reach a perfect equilibrium.
A native New Yorker, Laura Lanni lived in the snowy Midwest before settling in the sunny Southeast, where her blood instantly became so thin she can no longer fathom a winter with snow. She dons a sweater whenever the temperature dips below 80. Her heart has been blessed by numerous southern ladies, and she’s been ma’amed into submission by thousands of southern students, and after more than twenty years, the South has become her home. Laura crochets and drives the ski boat, bakes and diets, laughs and cries, writes and reads, obsesses over chemistry and whether to use an adverb, and tries to live every day of her life. Learn more at http://lauralanni.wordpress.com.
INFINITY LINE is her second novel.
Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, and writing coach for fiction and nonfiction. She works with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. Learn more at her website https://changeitupediting.com, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.