The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power. -- Toni Morrison
With women’s movements around the world on the rise, one must ask a fundamental question: What’s missing from our political, economic, social and educational systems that needs fixing? As the author of the blog, Powerful Women Changing the World, I have interviewed many women, prominent in their fields — Marie C. Wilson of The White House Project, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau of eTalk, Almas Jiwani of UN Women Canada, and Madeline Di Nonno of the Geena Davis Institute, among them — who have all expressed the obvious. The lack of women in leadership roles means a waste of talent, skill, and insight.
I would like to deepen this perspective a bit further. Feminine power has been disregarded and that negligence has led to the imbalance we’re collectively experiencing. We see it everywhere — in religious institutions, government policies, business sectors and peace initiatives. Somewhere along the line we have gotten confused, believing that a masculine approach is stronger and will guarantee the attainment of our goals. But experience informs us otherwise. Many so-called “victories” have been short-lived and we find ourselves in fruitless cycles, using some form of aggression or dominance to resolve our difficulties. Without properly regarding the feminine we ultimately lose, no matter how often or how hard we fight. It’s only when the masculine and the feminine work together that we can reach any sane or lasting solutions. That’s why it’s so important for men, as well as women, to accept, respect and confirm that which is feminine in themselves so the issue of feminine power doesn’t become a women vs. men type of thing, but rather a blending that is beneficial to both. With that perspective, the uplifting of women around the globe is not a threatening issue, but one that is empowering to all.
In my novel, PURE VISION, feminine power is revealed as the driving force necessary to change the world and balance out the more masculine energies we’ve been predominantly working with. The book has a unique storyline, weaving myth, history, and political intrigue. It also introduces a strong and powerful female character, Maggie Seline, who is persecuted for of her beliefs. My husband, Lawrence, and I began writing the book ten years ago, and it metamorphosized dramatically along the way. There’s plenty of unexpected twists to the plot, so it’s entertaining, and yet at the same time, it really inspires you to think and envision something greater. PURE VISION sets you on an adventure — women from all over the world march toward creating an international peace zone — so plenty of action against a backdrop of current and historical events.
I’ve also been asked what inspired me to write this particular story. So much of the conflict we’re seeing around the world makes you stop and think about how we can all make a difference. When I hear about and see people hurt by the ravages of war, there’s a part of me that knows I can’t just bury my head in the sand. In my own case, I know I can communicate a story in an entertaining way and be able to reach a wide audience. So that’s how it started. I felt the need to express powerful ideals in a way that gave everyone room to think. When I actually began writing, I was inspired by the stories of great leaders — men and women such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Aung San Suu Kyi, and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia — who stood against all odds because they had a vision of peace and decency.
There’s also a real need in the world for strong women characters, both in everyday life and in fiction. I believe PURE VISION fulfills that need by providing an intelligent, resourceful, larger-than-life female protagonist who is a force to be reckoned with. On a grander scale, I believe the novel recognizes that feminine energy must to be embraced — whether we’re male or female — in order to create a more balanced world. The story also creates a space where we can look at our problems in a new light. Instead of using old, worn-out methods like political divides and military force to attain resolution, we need to include spiritual or higher-minded means in our efforts.
Art is such a powerful tool and artists are always using it to create change. My hope is that PURE VISION makes its mark and transforms readers, inspiring them to support an ideal beyond division and blame — a vision of peace.
If you thrive on unraveling mysteries and discovering threatening secrets like those found in Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code, then Pure Vision is a must read. The novel’s additional ingredient of social conscience and an ending that stimulates readers to create a new paradigm makes it all the more powerful and explosive — a contemporary statement meant to move you out of your mind and onto the street.
Author’s Website: www.purevision.us
Genre: Fiction, Action/Adventure, Thriller
“A thrill ride in the vein of The Da Vinci Code but with a much larger vision for all of us. The alchemy is part historic fiction, part spiritual adventure, and a variety of interfaith metaphysics that metamorphosize into a golden vision of world peace . . . a page turner.” – Paul Hertel, Whole Living
“Presents a fascinating story full of intrigue and history. Birney’s fiction seamlessly blends science and religion into a tale worthy of Indiana Jones . . . The book left this reader confident that idealism is not dead and that, sometimes, it can be the road map by which we might save ourselves. – Cynthia Warren, Daily Freeman
“Birney infuses this epic novel with feminine echoes of The Da Vinci Code and The Red Tent, with her eyes on the prize of world peace. Reporter Maggie Seline courts controversy by championing an international Jerusalem . . . when she disappears women around the globe march for peace . . . powerful men vie for two ancient artifacts.” – Chronogram
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