Inspiration is an interesting word with Biblical roots. It literally means that something is breathed out by God. I would not put the fictional story of Distant Thunder in that category, but its foundation of Biblical prophecy certainly qualifies. Being a life-long student of Bible Prophecy, I found it a natural transition from teaching those prophecies to creating a story with prophecy as its basis.
One of the stunning aspects of ancient Old Testament scripture is how what was predicted over twenty-five hundred years ago has, and is coming true today. Ezekiel the prophet witnessed a vision that described the re-birth of the nation of Israel. He also related how a coalition of nations, soon after that re-birth, would gather to destroy the Jewish nation. I use the word stunning because Ezekiel listed the exact nations that are headlining today’s news as being mortal enemies of Israel. Is that a coincidence? I think not and therein the idea to write a fictional story based on current events was born.
Now, in the creation of Distant Thunder and The Lightning Chronicles, inspiration comes into play. I took two passions from my personal life, Bible prophecy and the military thriller genre, and blended them into what I am calling a prophetic fiction thriller. Using what is most familiar to my own purpose I began by creating a character based on the life of a Pastor. As with my wife, many have asked if Pastor Ty Dempsey, one of the two main characters in the book, happened to be my alter ego. The answer is a resounding no. Aspects of my daily life show up simply because that is what is familiar to me. But Ty is his own man. He is an ordinary individual that is confronted with an extraordinary and frightening circumstance. He portrays how heroism is alive and well, even though that heroism might go unnoticed.
The real work came with the second main character, something that was totally apart from my personal experience. Moshe Eldan is an Israeli F-16 fighter pilot. Although the thought of flying something so powerful and dangerous as a fighter jet has always been a dream, I have never been within a hundred yards of an F-16. So, I began with a series of questions that led me deep into the research of my character’s surroundings. That included studying the advanced military weaponry and tactics used by the Israelis and other national air forces. It meant buying an F-16 flight simulator and spending hours trying to figure out how the thing worked. I confess I had a blast, plus, the aerial dogfight sequences in which fighter jets are shot from the sky became quite realistic. Thankfully, the military aspects of Distant Thunder passed muster as a 9th Air Force Combat Instructor reviewed the material and called it “spot on.” From that point, the rest of the story was easy and just exciting in the writing as it will be for the reader.
I have read of authors spending weeks outlining a storyline in order to make their book come alive. But for me, the story seemed to flow from the very start. I found myself surprised and perplexed at the actions of my characters, and that is how it should be. They were as unpredictable and conflict-driven as any normal human being. That, to me, is the greatest inspiration of all.
Jimmy Root Jr., has served as an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God since 1982, including service in Nebraska, Missouri, and a seven year term as a missionary in Colombia, South America. Jimmy is the lead Pastor of Family Worship Center of Smithville, a growing suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. Married to his wife Jean for twenty-nine years, the Roots have three grown children.
Root is a 1981 alumnus of Central Bible College of Springfield, Missouri where he majored in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Theology. He is also an alumnus of Southeastern University, Lakeland Florida, where he majored in Intercultural Studies.
A lifetime student of Biblical prophecy, Jimmy is also the Professor of Eschatology, The Study of End Times, for Berean University through the Northern Missouri District School of Ministry. He is a featured speaker at Churches and other venues, and is the host of “The Bible Uncensored” radio broadcast heard on radio stations around the country.
His writings, both in book form as well as his blog, are purposed to be a wake-up call to a sleepy American church that seems to be losing a truly Christian World View. Distant Thunder and its sequels, A Gathering Storm and Then Comes Lightning, will reveal to the adventure/thriller aficionado the reality of the coming fulfillment of Biblically prophesied events. You can visit his website at www.lightningchronicles.com or his blog at www.prophecyalert.blogspot.com. Connect with him on twitter at www.twitter.com/JimmyRootJr and Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimmyrootjr.