By Kristen Miller
DARWIN, DASSEL, MN Wishing there were more truth in the world, Laury Collins, Darwin, set out to write a book a “what if,” as she describes it of a phenomenon that would divulge the truth of every individual.
“Gleau,” by LA Collins (she thought LA would be more marketable than Laury), gets its name from that particular phenomenon on which the book is based and is a combination of the words “beautiful” and “glow,” she explained.
The gleau is “a gift given that makes it possible to see the truth of an individual,” Collins said, who came up with the idea after being “tired of people telling lies.”
The book centers around Lee Winslow, a 55-year-old woman who is reunited with her brother, Jase, who was taken from the backyard as a toddler when she was a child.
Jase gives his sister the gift of the gleau, which Collins said is a positive thing.
“It gives everyone a more accurate insight into who is good and who could potentially be evil,” Collins explained. “It is both a warning and a source of comfort and delight.”
The gleau is a “visual manifestation of that little voice we hear sometimes warning us against unsavory characters. It also displays how many good people there are in the world,” she described.
She describes the gleau in the book as “the light of the soul.”
“When you get a broader perspective, you’ll be able to tell by intensity, subtle changes, and color exactly what it tells you about a person,” Jase told his sister.
“. . . It doesn’t reflect, it can’t be photographed, and the only thing it illuminates is the character of the individual emitting it,” the book explains.
As far as how this affects the main character, Collins explained that Lee is an optimistic person who prefers to think of all people as good, but she knows they are not and would rather avoid them entirely.
“The gleau confirms her instincts about a few she never held in high esteem, and it also corrects some mistakes in judgment.
“She discovers, unfortunately, that some are so good at deceit that they can hide their true intentions until it is too late. It makes her world of good much richer and brings to light the evil that sometimes exists,” Collins explained.
As far as Collins’ writing styles, she would compare it to a Dean Koontz novel, an American author whose novels are described as suspense thrillers, but also incorporate horror, science fiction, mystery, and satire.
Collins said her novel doesn’t really fit into any particular genre of fiction, but describes “Gleau” as a mystery in which “good is always going to triumph.”
When asked what the book is about, Collins struggles to find an explanation, she said, but has given the following description.
“It’s a fictional adventure that pits the long ago wish of an ordinary down-to-earth woman, Lee Winslow, against present evil in the world,” Collins described. Lee’s childhood wish was to have the ability to look at people and tell if they were going to be mean or not, Collins noted, adding, “I guess she wanted bully radar.”
Originally set on a farm in rural Minnesota, “it expands to involve humanity worldwide.”
Collins also uses the Mall of America as a setting in which to expand the power of the gleau.
“The ‘what if’ that manifests is accompanied by an interesting cast of characters. The blurred lines between science and technology are erased as an unexplained phenomenon allows every human to recognize the good and evil in others,” Collins described.
“Given the circumstances due to the phenomena, the gleau, I would invite readers into my world and offer a new perspective,” Collins said.
“In this age of instant communication, have we gotten any better at spotting the wolf in sheep’s clothing? Do we believe everything we hear, just because it comes from a particular source?” she asks. “It’s my opinion that everyone is tired of the lies, large and small. The lies have crept into every aspect of our society and it is to our detriment that we ignore them.
“In this story, the truth of the lie is revealed and this is an illustration of how such a gift might affect us all.”
Signed copies of “Gleau” are now available at Latté Da Coffee Shop in Dassel for $29.99. The book is also available for purchase online at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.