In the 1990s, J R (Jamilla Rhines) Lankford, quit her former job which involved jetting around the world to oversee the development of world standards for electrical products to pursue a childhood dream of writing novels. She has since published four novels, including the Jesus Thief series and Murder Without Motive. She also founded the online novel workshop NovelPro, and is a literary agent.
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An Interview with J.R. Lankford
How did you come up with the idea for your latest novel, The Jesus
My husband and I were watching a documentary on the Shroud of Turin in October 1999. It said a scientist claimed to have found Type AB male blood on the Shroud. I thought of the idea for the novel at once: What if the DNA were intact? What if someone extracted it and tried to clone Jesus? I'd been following developments in mammalian cloning since Dolly, the sheep, was cloned in 1999. I started the writing and research the next day.
With human cloning in the news, do you believe someone might actually try to clone DNA from the Shroud?
They'd fail if they did. Reportedly, only traces of blood were found on it and the DNA was badly degraded. But the DNA of many other historical figures has surely survived. Should we permit the cloning of Einstein? What about Mother Theresa? Stalin? Criminals executed by the State? Should we clone the Son of God if we could? Society must answer these questions because if the first human clone doesn't already exist, it soon will. The equipment and fundamental expertise to clone human beings is in every microbiology lab and fertility clinic.
This was why you wrote The ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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