Distant Thunder – Author Interview – Jimmy Root Jr.

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Distant ThunderPaperback Writer welcomes author Jimmy Root Jr., author of the prophetic fiction novel, Distant Thunder (American Book Publishers, Aug. ’09). This is his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

About the Book: The unthinkable has happened. Iranian terrorists are poised to strike the United States and Israel with tactical nuclear weapons. How will the world respond? More importantly, how will a sleepy suburban Church in America respond?

Ty Dempsey is a young American pastor who finds himself in a trial of grief after the loss of his younger brother to the war in Iraq. During his darkest hours, God brings to life a series of passages in the Bible that Ty had always considered allegorical in nature. They aren’t. With a strong sense of urgency that the message must be preached to his congregation, Ty dares to go beyond anything he has ever done before. Most of his people are intrigued, but others begin to stir trouble. The result is a church conflict that threatens to destroy his ministry. His only reprieve is found in a budding romance with talented and beautiful singer, Blake Sieler.

Meanwhile, Moshe Eldan is an Israeli F-16 “Lightning” pilot who is faithfully doing his duty to protect his increasingly beleaguered nation. But things have gotten more complicated than normal. Beyond the fact that Hizbollah fighters are administering their cyclical rocket attacks across the border of Lebanon, neighbor nations are beginning to act provocatively, even after a Palestinian State has been formed. Worse, his wife confronts him with a startling prophecy from the Bible that seems to be coming true ten thousand feet beneath his wings. Never one to be anything other than a secular Jew, Moshe is forced into a journey toward faith. Then, his Lightning jet is shot down by a Russian Mig 29, and things get suddenly complicated.

Strangely, these two men, from totally different backgrounds and cultures are connected in ways that can only be orchestrated by God. This fast plausible, paced thriller never stops moving, and the end will be shocking.

Hi Jimmy Root Jr,

Welcome to Paperback Writer

PBW: Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?

One of the things I have always loved to study is Bible prophecy. It is uncanny and unmatched in its predictions. In fact, the Bible is 100% accurate. Many don’t realize that much of the 2,500 Biblical prophecies deal with the re-birth of the nation of Israel and how the world would react to its existence. Much of the headline news of our times touches that every topic. Since the current events of our world also hold my attention, it was a natural choice for me to combine the two and turn out a story that would be both frightening and realistic.

PBW: Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?

I find my comfort zone in writing by combining the two forms. When I began Distant Thunder I had a very specific idea as to where I wanted to go. I knew what spectacular ending I wanted to describe. The question then became “how do I get there.” The journey I chose to take was one of allowing the story and characters to form themselves. They were on the road I wanted them to travel, but they chose the speed. Many times I found myself surprised and shocked at what the characters did or how they reacted to specific circumstances. I have to say it was a real blast.

PBW: Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?

Yes, in general terms. As Distant Thunder is just the first book of the Lightning Chronicles trilogy, I had to allow the story to come to a segmental conclusion, all while keeping the series end game in mind.

PBW: Do you have a process for developing your characters?
I tried to develop characters that revealed the ordinary. Many of the thrillers I have read featured fantastic and heroic characters. To me, they were extraordinary. I wanted to demonstrate how ordinary individuals sometimes find themselves in extraordinary circumstances, and then show how those same, normal people can achieve the heroic. They do this by staying true to their core values and seeing their lives as a part of something bigger than themselves.

PBW: It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?

I am quite certain that my main characters have a bit of myself folded into them. Much of what I have written was birthed in my experience with people over a period of thirty years in the ministry. One cannot help but allow some of the tidbits of life to creep into character sketches. Also, I confess that there is much in my characters that I have dreamed of developing in my own life. But one thing is certain; my characters have the same flaws and inconsistencies that normal human beings possess.

PBW: What is your most favorite part about this book?
My favorite parts of the book revolve around the aerial combat sequences. As I young man, I dreamed of being a fighter pilot. My life didn’t turn out that way, but it was fun placing myself into the cockpit of an F-16 and letting it fly. At one point, my main character Moshe is shot down and has to elude capture. In the process he discovers a sinister plot to destroy and Israeli city and must somehow get back to friendly lines in order to sound the alarm. I found myself captivated by that particular section of the story.

PBW: When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?
As this was my first foray into writing a novel, I had no understanding as to when I should begin the hunt. I ended up beginning my search after I had completed my manuscript and had done at least two re-writes. From that point it was a matter of learning how to query the publishing world.

PBW: What struggles have you had on the road to being published?
The greatest struggle has been in marketing the product. I have found that publishers generally don’t do a lot in getting a book marketed. It is expected that the author do the lion’s share of the work. In a positive sense, I would have worked my tail off even if I knew the publisher was working hard to put out a winner. With that in mind, I am doing everything I can to bring awareness to what I believe is a thriller with a message.

PBW: What has been the best part about being published?
The best part of being published is the opportunity to learn something new. My editor has worked diligently in helping me hone my talent. She has taught me the horror of dangling participles and the power of short, compact sentences. I have also had the wonderful opportunity of meeting some incredible people at book signings, radio interviews, and many unexpected places.

PBW: What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?
Each reader carries away something unique to themselves. For some it has been an awareness of the connection between current events and Bible prophecy. Others have taken aspects of the story and turned them into a personal challenge. We need to be aware of the world in which we live and the dangers we face as a nation. One particular reviewer said the book caused him to pick up a Bible, something he hadn’t done for years. These are the things Distant Thunder was designed to do. Almost everyone has asked when the second book will be released. Well, it’s coming soon.

PBW: Do you have plans to write another book?
The second installment of the Lightning Chronicles, A Gathering Storm, is nearing its final edit and should be out in a few months. I am currently writing the final volume called Then comes Lightning. I am also in the beginning stages of a new series based on ancient Babylon and the Old Testament prophet, Daniel.

PBW: Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?

Dorothy Thompson has been amazing. I am so pleased with the tour that I am giddy. Many of my friends are following the tour faithfully and are expanding their own repertoire of reading materials by the other tour authors they find. That is what it is all about.

PBW: Where can readers find a copy of your book?

I would encourage readers to go to amazon.com and purchase the book, and if they like it, please post a comment.

PBW: Do you have a website for readers to go to?

Readers can go to my website, www.lightningchronicles.com and order a signed copy of the book. Much of the background from which the story was built can be found right there. I also maintain a blog dealing with current events and how they align with Bible prophecy at www.prophecyalert.blogspot.com. It is both interesting and informative.

Thank you, Jimmy for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour.

Thanks so much for allowing me the opportunity to share my passion.

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