What do you think makes a great lead character? Who are the lead characters you love in literature or movies?
Believability, credibility, and the potential for heroism to give the character room to arc. I’m a fan of leads as disparate as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, Frank Galvin (Paul Newman’s character) in The Verdict, Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs, Dorothy Gale in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.
For this book, you’re working with Dr. Craig Evans as a biblical consultant. How did you come to work with him on this project?
Craig was also suggested by the publisher, and with one look at his curriculum vitae I approved. He’s been a delight to work with, one of those rare double-doctorate guys able to keep the cookies on the lower shelf where I can reach them. He retains a layman’s passion for archaeology and history.
What’s that working relationship like? Does he work with you on plot details or is the book written before he sees it?
The latter, but he was only a phone call or email away while I was writing and always seemed to respond immediately. I am neither theologian nor scholar and certainly not an archaeologist, so he’s indispensable to the project.
What are the spiritual themes in Dead Sea Rising?
My main character is a Messianic Jew, which makes for an intriguing dynamic, given her work in a conflict-ridden Middle East. Her gender alone is an obstacle there, only exacerbated by her faith.
Believe it or not, at one point Jerry almost turned his back on being an author! Discover why on the next page…