Like the characters he creates, Clement Binnings, Jr. is multifaceted.
As a physician, he saved lives, and as an author, he creates them. He describes his genre of writing as metaphysical/visionary fiction.
Binnings, who wrote his first book, “Angel Through the Storms,” in 2011, is set to release its sequel, “The Bubble Rule,” on Oct. 26
Although he originally graduated with a degree in English literature from Louisiana State University in Shreveport in 1977, he wasn’t satisfied with his teaching career that followed.
He was persuaded by his sister to become a doctor, which was a dream he had long forgotten. He received his MD from LSUS in 1984, and moved to Salem to complete his residency. He practiced medicine in the area until his retirement in June of this year.
“The idea for ‘The Bubble Rule’ came to me when I was 23 years old,” Binnings said. “Now, I have 40 years of life experience.”
He is a fan of philosophy and poetry, but has never been a lover of fiction. However, that didn’t stop him from trying his hand at it.
He said was inspired by the hardships he witnessed certain patients face, as well as his time growing up in New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, Binnings, who still had family in the area, was saddened by his perceived lack of response by the government.
“I was riveted, because those people sat in squalor,” Binnings said. “I wanted to reach out. I wanted to create an angel.”
His novel was a response to the sadness he saw in the world, and a way to cope with it. The book focuses on the character of “Lola,” and follows her journey of escapism and dissociation from the physical and sexual abuse she faces in her Louisiana home.
“Angel Through the Storms,” the initial book in the “Grover Series,” was deemed a success by critics, and was a visionary finalist in both the Indie Excellence and USA Best Books contests. It received the Readers’ Favorite Award in the category of Southern Fiction.
Similarly, Binnings said the events of Sept. 11, 2001, influenced the second book in the series. “The Bubble Rule” will pick up where book one left off, but unlike the first book, which was told through the omniscient point of view, it will be told through the eyes of the character of “Grover.” He is Lola’s son, and has an enlightened, pure perspective on the world. The concept of “The Bubble Rule,” is about what it means to be trapped in a physical universe.
Binnings said he is spiritual, but not religious. He respects many of the common themes throughout the major world religions, and his books are a reflection of their most valuable teachings. Mainly, he said, the series is about love.
“It’s a spiritual work, and emphasizes universal love,” Binnings said. “It is about higher love.”
He hopes to continue the series with a third book, but said he won’t begin working on it for at least another six months.
Binning’s fan base began out of his Salem doctor’s office, where he kept his books on display. Through word of mouth, the book’s popularity grew through the Roanoke and New River Valleys.
Both novels can be purchased online through amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or through his website at www.clementbinnings.com.
Binnings will soon be embarking on a book tour at local libraries. The dates and locations are as follow:
Oct. 28: book introduction / reading / signing – Salem Regional Library
Nov.3: book introduction / reading / signing – Roanoke County Library (Merriman Rd)
Nov. 5: book introduction / reading / signing – MFRL, Christiansburg
Nov. 10: local author reception – The Porter Library, Stafford
Dec. 10: book introduction / reading / signing – Roanoke County Library (Merriman Rd)
Dec. 16: book introduction / reading / signing – Salem Regional Library