I hate to admit, I haven’t really done anything to promote SOUL AFFLICTED in the past year, although for good reason. I’ve been focusing my time on raising a family and working for a nonprofit that helps veterans and military families in need. So it was an unexpected New Year’s pleasure when writer and director Bijan Tehrani discovered the novel and asked to interview me for Cinema Without Borders, where he is editor-in-chief.
As a filmmaker and storyteller himself, Bijan was interested in how Ariel’s story was influenced by my career experiences and the many places I’ve lived. The physical, literal journeys of my life certainly provided a framework for Ariel’s odyssey, I suppose in the same way that Stephen King based so many of his books in his home state of Maine, or the same way that John Grisham’s books feature lawyers. As a writer, you use your life-knowledge as your canvas, and let your creativity flow from there.
But the evolution of faith is really what I wanted to convey in SOUL AFFLICTED. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in the power of prayer, déjà vu, destiny, free will, karma or the randomness of it all. SOUL AFFLICTED both rejects and accepts it all, and challenges you to question your own beliefs. Not to defeat those beliefs, but to clarify them. See, I don’t believe that God cares whether or not you believe in him, nor if, how, or when you worship him. But I do believe that we reap what we sow. And, we all have a moral compass that guides our free will, and those impulses, those urges to do right or wrong, have to come from somewhere…right?
PS: Cinema Without Borders is a great website, full of content from inside and outside the mainstream film/arts worlds. Check it out!