Hope the universe is treating you well.
I confess I am way overdue my timeline. There’s just been so many things on my plate that I just couldn’t get back to blogging. I hope that in the coming days, things will get better (fingers crosssed).
Today, I have got for you an interview with David Lantz on the “behind the scenes” writing of “The Brotherhood of the Scroll”. Before we proceed, here’s a bit about the book—
TITLE: The Brotherhood of the Scroll
RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2016
AUTHOR: David L. Lantz
PAGE COUNT: 326
IMPRINT: Black Hawk
SYNOPSIS: The Brotherhood of the Scroll is a fast-paced story of international intrigue and war set during the turbulent sixth century BC. The story begins in 605 BC, when Jeremiah delivered a prophesy that Jerusalem would be carried into Babylonian captivity for 70 years. In that same year, Babylon defeated Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish, Nebuchadnezzar became King of Babylon, and within a year, carried the first of three groups of Jews into exile. Jeremiah, seeing his beloved Israel caught between these two superpowers, forms an inner circle of faithful zealots, including two future prophets of Israel, a teenager named Daniel and his friend, Ezekiel. Weaving the testimony of the Bible into the historical drama of this period, The Brotherhood of the Scroll will captivate the attention of those who enjoy an international spy thriller, as well as anyone interested in how spiritual and political issues intertwine.
Q: So David, what caused you to write a novel set in 600 B.C. based on the Book of Jeremiah?
David: One day in 1997, I was driving to work listening to my favorite Christian radio program, Insight for Living. Pastor Chuck Swindoll was doing a survey of the Old Testament. He got to the book of Jeremiah and talked about how the prophet would have been in his mid 40s, and the prophets Daniel and Ezekiel in their teens, at the time Babylon began to threaten the destruction of Jerusalem around 600 B.C. Many scholars believe that while the Jews were in Exile in Babylon, they preserved and developed many of the scriptures we refer to the Old Testament. It dawned on me: Maybe these three prophets worked together to make that happen.
Q: The story reads like an international geopolitical battle that, except for the technology, might be the sort of thing one could read about in modern times. What was your thinking process on this?
David: At the time I wrote the novel, I was reading lots of Tom Clancy novels. I liked how he would have stories that wove different plot threads together as characters in different parts of the world conspired to worked in seeming isolation from one another. I pictured the superpowers of Egypt and Babylon competing with each other, building alliances and sending spies to infiltrate each other’s governments. I thought about the need for some sort of international project that would give one side both an economic and military advantage – and give the other side a reason to stop it. Therefore, having some sort of international project to be the point of contention between the two empires made sense.
Knowing that the modern Suez Canal has allowed merchants to go directly from the Mediterranean Sea to navigate past the Arabian peninsula on to India and China, I decided that having ancient Egypt build a similar canal would be the “triggering event” I needed. To my delight and surprise, I discovered that Pharaoh Necho actually worked to build such a canal, and that Babylon attacked Egypt at the location where it was being built in 601 B.C.!
Q: What can you tell us about some of the characters (without giving away too much!)
David: I knew I couldn’t make the novel revolve around just the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel. And so, I imagined two warriors who would become adversaries, fighting over the love of the same woman and who, at the end of the novel, would meet in single combat. Because Egypt employed Egyptian mercenaries in this time period, I chose to make the Egyptian champion a Greek by the name of Troas. His nemesis would be the Babylonian Captain of the Guard. Both the books of Daniel and Jeremiah portray this individual as knowing both these prophets, and so I created the character Naaman to fill this role.
Q: David, last question. How is the novel written – can you share any insights on how you developed the story line?
David: I chose to make the novel a series of four different stories that merged at the end of the novel. As I wrote the novel, I used a writing technique called “point of view,” where I chose to make everything happen in a given scene be seen through the eyes of one character. In some cases, the same scene would be retold through the eyes of a different character. In this way, the reader gets to see what the characters are thinking, and it allows me to tell the reader things that are “secrets” to the other characters. As I wrote the draft outline, I color coded each scene so I could keep track of whose point of view the story was being told from.
What emerges is a fast paced international spy novel set in bible times, as warring kingdoms vie for world domination without realizing that the final outcome has been foretold by the Word of God!
About the author
David Lantz was the State Director of the Indiana Christian Coalition from 1992 to 1995, and has served as a political consultant to several political campaigns for statewide office. From 1989 to 1993, he wrote and published a statewide public policy newsletter, Indiana Issues. Since that time, he has worked in the telecommunications industry.
In addition to The Brotherhood of the Scroll, he has self-published three other books; “Indiana Issues: 1990 and Beyond,”, “Bill Clinton: You’re No John F. Kennedy”, and “Buying Technology: Understanding What You Need and Why You Need It. A telecommunications sales executive, he sold various PBX, network services and web hosting services from 1994 to 2005. He has also appeared as a speaker in a number of forums, both to promote his books and to speak on various public policy issues.
Lantz is an Adjunct Professor of Business Management for the University of Phoenix and the Indiana Institute of Technology. He is the author of Think Like Jesus, Lead Like Moses: Leadership Lessons from the Wilderness Crucible, and his second novel, The Sword of the Scroll.
An adult Sunday school teacher at his church for the last twenty years, he has had several articles published in Christian magazines such as The Lookout and Sunday Digest. While with the Christian Coalition, he gave numerous speeches on the subject of Christian involvement in politics.
Lantz holds a B.A. degree in History and Political Science from Butler University (1979). He holds a Masters Degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University (1981). He is married to his wife of 33 years, Sally, and has three children.