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. He is also the lead Pastor of Family Worship Center of Smithville, a growing suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. 

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

Thank you for this interview, Jimmy.  Can we begin by asking you how you came up with the idea to write Distant Thunder?

Jimmy:  The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel is the inspiration behind the book. Twenty-five hundred years ago, immediately after the Babylonian Empire destroyed Jerusalem, Ezekiel received an uncanny prophecy concerning a particular time in the future. That time would be highlighted first by the re-birth of the nation of Israel. He then named a coalition of nations that would rise up in an attempt to destroy the Jews once and for all. If you read the prophecy of chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine, you will see a Hitler-styled rabidity directed against the nation of Israel. No other nation will come to Israel’s rescue, so God will have to intervene.    

The stunning aspect of the prophecy is that Ezekiel named names. Prominent among the people groups mentioned are Iran, Russia, and Turkey. Amazingly, in the last year we have seen the beginning stages of the formation of Ezekiel’s coalition. Not only that, we are witnessing the breakdown of the American-Israeli relationship that has existed since May 14, 1948.

Seeing the words of prophecy come to life gave me all the material I needed to create a fictional scenario that will lead the characters of Distant Thunder to the doorstep of Ezekiel’s prophetic fulfillment.

How did you come up with such an intriguing title?

Jimmy:  The title didn’t really come to the surface until I realized I had way too much story for just one book. It ended up being a trilogy. So, I decided to use the analogy of an approaching thunderstorm to create the titles.  Distant Thunder is the first. It gives the idea of something on the horizon that might turn out to be dangerous, but all you hear is the thunder. The second book is titled A Gathering Storm. It depicts how one can see the clouds gathering into one massive, turbulent storm. Lastly, you know you are in for trouble when lightning begins popping all around you. Thus, Then Comes Lighting illustrates that the storm has arrived and life is threatened.  The last thing to do was to give the trilogy a title. The Lightning Chronicles seemed to fit perfectly.

Why did you choose to write a prophetic thriller? 

Jimmy:  Mainly because I am an aficionado of the military thriller genre. Tom Clancy was the first author that really grabbed my attention. I loved the action and the detail, but not quite to Clancy’s intricate descriptions. Other favorite authors of the genre are Dale Brown and David Hagburg. It seemed fitting to go that route. Plus, I wanted to create a fast-paced thriller that was devoid of the use of foul language and inappropriate adult material. I believe I have created a fiction scenario that supplies everything the reader needs for a good thrill ride without unneeded and distasteful baggage.      

As I am passionate about the study of Bible prophecy, it was only natural to combine my personal taste in literature with my passion. Thus, the prophetic fiction thriller.

Jimmy, the research for Distant Thunder took two very different tracks – one involving the study of Biblical prophecy and how it relates to current events and the other was researching the military aspects of the book.  Would you like to go into more detail?

Jimmy:  The research into Biblical prophecy was the easy part. I have a lifetime of study behind every aspect of prophecy I use. These are things I preach in my ministry. The real thrill came with researching the aerial combat sequences.  Though I always dreamed of being a fighter pilot, my life took a different direction. I have never flown an airplane. Therefore, I had to do an incredible amount of digging. I also spent hours on an F-16 flight simulator in order to really get the feel of flying. I crashed most ever time I flew, so the sequences that included being shot down were much easier to write. The greatest compliments so far have come from a US Air Force Combat instructor and a commercial airline pilot. Both affirmed that the aerial sequences were not only accurate, but dead on. It is satisfying to know I got it right.

In a recent interview you said that you sent out almost two hundred fifty queries before Distant Thunder found a traditional publisher.  What kept you going and who ended up accepting your manuscript?

Jimmy:  I stayed with the program because I really believed I had a good, plausible story with a message. I wanted to get that story out. That pretty much prevented me from terminating the search. I do not discourage easily, and if I could say anything to the budding author I would encourage them to persevere. Something good will eventually happen if you have an exciting, well-written story.  In the query process three different publishers responded in the positive and offered contracts. I chose the one that seemed to fit my needs in the best manner. Distant Thunder and its sequel, A Gathering Storm, are being published by American Book Publishers out of Salt Lake City, Utah.

What has your congregation said about your book?  How do they feel about knowing a pastor who writes books, too?

Jimmy:  I have a congregation full of wonderful people. Once they discovered I had written a prophetic fiction thriller they began to line up to buy the book. My first book signing was at my church. I sold 150 books in one hour.  They know me and love me for who I am, flaws and all. But I have to admit it is fun seeing the stars in their eyes whenever they talk about their pastor being a published author. They have designated me as famous when actually, I’m just me.

What do you find about the book publishing industry that is so frustrating?

Jimmy:  I find it frustrating that it is nearly impossible for a new, unknown author to get a glance from a reputable publishing firm. To them, it seems to be about nothing more than money. It takes a huge amount of perseverance to find a publisher, as well as an ability to handle rejection. Fortunately, I have both.

What is the biggest reward?

Jimmy:  The biggest reward is seeing your dream come to life. Hard work has paid off, and that is gratifying. I do not write to make boat loads of money. I write to put out a message. To see that message in story form connect with readers is exciting.

Finally, would you like to tell everyone how we can find out more about you on the web?

Jimmy:  Readers can learn more about me and my books by going to my website at www.lightningchronicles.com. I also have a blog for prophecy buffs at www.prophecyalert.blogspot.com, and a blog to encourage budding authors at www.lightingchronicles.blogspot.com.  My Facebook url is http://profile.to/jimmyrootjr/

Thank you so much for this interview, Jimmy.  We wish you much success!

Be Sociable, Share!