Toward Love and Acceptance

Betsy L. Ross Author Interview

The Bones of the World shares the stories of three people and their suffering who want nothing more than to be accepted for who they are. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

I didn’t begin the novel with the idea of a literary triptych. I began simply wanting to understand suffering. It was in exploring the breadth and depth of suffering, trying to peer into its most hidden corners, that I was taken with the concept of ancestral suffering, particularly in light of my own Jewish heritage, and wondered how it contributes to our experiences of suffering today, and how it contributes to who we are as individuals. Thus were Rachel, Sariah, and Jakob born.

What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?

I don’t believe I write with a lesson (or moral) in mind. I write to create a space for possibilities…to enlarge the world in which I, personally, live, and I suppose in doing so I hope I am able to enlarge the world in which you and others live. And by enlarge, I mean to loosen our calcified ideas, to see possibilities where previously we saw only fetters, and to lean in all things toward love and acceptance.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Ah, you have discovered my weakness! I am too often wrapped up in themes (read “in my head”) rather than sinking into my heart, though I’m working on it. LOL! But, because you asked, here’s a list: The relationship between present and past; what we can learn in isolation vs. within community; the role of fear in our creation of otherness; the importance of being true to who we are; suffering–its thorns and its balm; the role of story in the world.

What is the next novel you are working on, and when will that be available?

I am working on two right now, though I know I’ll have to let one go at least for the time being. The “winner,” for the present, is the story of a mother, who invites her grown daughter, in an attempt to heal the frayed fabric of their relationship, to accompany her on a scientific expedition to an island off the coast of Finland, where they join others to unearth the mystery of the presence of polar bears. It would be available sooner if I could find someone to take care of the puppy I just adopted!

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Suffering guards its mysteries, but when an upswell of antisemitism forces Rachel into hiding from the Righteous, she begins her journey to its center.

The journey will take her back in history, to Sariah, a young woman whose status during the Inquisition is doubly-marred as a Jew and as a lesbian; and to Jakob, a teenage boy who spends the Holocaust hidden in a farmhouse where he plans his revenge in the only way he can. Back in the present, in the cemetery, the Jewish children murdered by the Righteous wait for their stories to be told.

Written with a trenchant humor, The Bones of the World asks who we become as a result of suffering. Like Jakob, desiring revenge? Like Sariah, seeking the salve of a community that accepts her? Or like Rachel, opening to the ancestral suffering that is her life’s clay, and her role in the swell of its story? A deeply spiritual book, The Bones of the World seeks to locate the place of suffering in a holy world and explores why we must tell these stories that are so often hard to hear.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 25, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: