Jimmy Root Jr., author of Distant Thunder: Book One of the Lightning Chronicles is a life-long student of Bible prophecy and has connected ancient prophecies with world events in a fast-paced fiction thriller. Jimmy has been an ordained Pastor since 1982 and has served churches in Nebraska and Missouri. He and his family also served for five years in Colombia, South America as a church planter and educator. He is an alumnus of Central Bible College of Springfield, Missouri, and Southeastern University of Lakeland, Florida majoring in Theology and Cultural Studies. Raised in the Mid-West, Jimmy is an outdoorsman and sports enthusiast. He is an aficionado of the military thriller genre and is an avid blogger as well as an author. More can be discovered about Distant Thunder and the Lightning Chronicles series by visiting his website at: http://www.lightningchronicles.com. He also hosts a blog dealing with current world events and their relationship to Bible prophecy at: www.prophecyaler.blogspot.com, as well as a writer’s blog at: www.lightningchronicles.blogspot.com.
Q: Thank you for this interview, Jimmy. Can you tell us what your latest book, Distant Thunder, is all about?
A: You are Welcome. Distant Thunder is the first book of a Prophetic Fiction trilogy called The Lightning Chronicles. The story poses a question that I believe needs to be asked: What would happen if radical terrorists somehow got their hands on tactical nuclear weapons, and then used them against both America and Israel? It is a frightening scenario that is becoming more and more plausible in light of current world events. But in the midst of unimaginable terror and tragedy, two unsung heroes rise to extraordinary heights as they begin to understand that everything has been prophesied.
Two main characters form the storylines of Distant Thunder. Moshe Eldan is an Israeli F-16 “Lightning” fighter pilot who is doing his best to defend his country against the latest cycle of attacks. Unbeknownst to him, the greatest horror imaginable is waiting in the form of a nuclear tipped missile. Moshe finds himself in an unlooked for journey toward faith as he attempts to save his people.
The other character is a man named Ty Dempsey. His story is a bit closer to home. He is a suburban Kansas City pastor who, in working through the grief of losing his younger brother to the war in Iraq, has begun to discover the ancient prophecies of Ezekiel. So enthralled is he by the information that he preaches the prophecies to his congregation. Some of his people listen and are interested. Others, however, do not want the status quo of their comfortable lives challenged by something they consider allegorical in nature. A good old fashioned church conflict ensues. Ty decides to stay the course in face of tremendous opposition and is ultimately vindicated when nearby Kansas City is the target of a terrorist attack. Moshe and Ty become connected throughout the story in strange, spiritual ways that will only increase as the series progresses.
Q: Is this your first novel? If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?
A: Yes, Distant Thunder is my first novel, and what a blast it was to write it and see it published.
Q: How difficult was it writing your book? Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?
A: It was not difficult at all, at least not until the editor got hold of it. Then the writing got serious. It was truly an exhilarating experience. I never experienced writer’s block during the process. I think that is because a large part of writing involves research. I might get hung up in the story simply because I need to delve a little deeper into what is between the lines of the story, but it all flows as the details fall into place.
Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel? Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?
A: Very much so. With a first novel, one never knows how it is going to be received. But so far, I have had nothing but positive and exciting feedback. The funniest came from a US Air Force fighter pilot who also served as a combat instructor. Much of Distant Thunder revolves around an Israeli F-16 fighter pilot complete with several segments of air-to-air combat. This particular pilot picked up the book with skepticism written all over his face. You see, I have never even touched a fighter plane, let along fly one. I’m not a pilot. All I have is a computer flight simulator. But not three weeks went by before this guy emailed me with a one liner. “I can’t believe you nailed it.” The next time I saw him he just shook his head. Since then, other pilots have commented that the aerial sequences are accurate and thrilling.
Q: What is your daily writing routine?
A: There’s no doubt that writing takes discipline. However, I am also a full-time Pastor of a vibrant congregation. That takes up the bulk of my days and weeks. Therefore, I have been forced to carve out my noon hour specifically for writing on my novels, and my evening or early morning times for working on my blogs.
Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?
A: Oddly, writing for me is relaxing. But I also have a few hobbies. I love to fish and hunt. Gardening is a great source of peace and quiet, and I am a passionate football fan.
Q: What book changed your life?
A: As with most students I had to read many of the classics during my high school years. But when I was 17 years old, my dad gave me a set of books called The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings. I was hooked. That was thirty-three years ago, and since then, I have read Tolkien’s masterpiece nineteen or twenty times. What a work of art!
Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?
A: That’s a great question, and difficult to answer, mainly because I’m not that introspective. So, as with any wise man, I consulted my wife. Here is her response concerning the title of my life. “Saddle-up Your Horse: We’ve Got a Trail to Blaze.” I suppose that fits. I am a self-starter, am self-motivated, and love to create.
Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”
A: “…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I believe and live that verse. It is my driving force.
Thank you for this interview Jimmy. I wish you much success on your latest release, Distant Thunder!