Andy DeWitt is a former oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who now works as a full-time writing empowerment coach and ghostwriter to help aspiring Christian writers convert their content into highly engaging books. He lives in Iowa with his wife and three grown children.
In this interview, Andy talks about his latest novel, Gates of Hell.
FF: What inspired the story in your book?
On a trip to Israel, I was intrigued by the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi. During Jesus’ time, the city had a prominent pagan temple called The Gates of Hell. Jesus stood outside this temple when he taught his disciples and declared, “I will build my church and The Gates of Hell will not overcome it.” The Gates of Hell is a place, not a concept. This changed how I read the Bible. Having a deeper understanding of the culture, history, language, and geography of the region completely alters how we understand and apply Biblical teaching. With that in mind, I used Caesarea Philippi and The Gates of Hell as a center point for the novel.
FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
The main characters are based on my kids. Of course, the nature of a story requires the characters to have flaws and none of my kids have any flaws! So, I give them plenty of flaws to overcome.
FF: Which character surprised you the most?
Manny is a wonderful family man, also an engineer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. When he has to make a critical decision to help his family, it’s amazing how his morals shifted when he was desperate.
FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
I heard the story of Jesus teaching about the Gates of Hell at Caesarea Philippi countless times. But it wasn’t until I put all the pieces together in a story that it really hit home for me. A good story makes all the difference.
FF: What can you tell us about your next book?
The Bronze Serpent—Summary: A young archeologist Makenzie stumbles onto a piece of Moses’ bronze snake. Broken and hidden for almost three millennia, the Biblical relic holds documented healing power, which will return when all the pieces are found and reassembled. Makenzie finds herself in the middle of an international archeological whirlwind of secret societies with a lust for power. Meanwhile, her mentor fights for her life with a progressive debilitating disease, healing is the only answer. When the Israeli Defense Force gets involved, life and death are held in the balance as they discover the final pieces.
FF: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Visiting Israel is the best research for anything having to do with a story set there. I also worked with a wonderful Jewish editor who lives in Jerusalem. She guided me to all kinds of nuisances only the locals fully understand.
FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
When people put the book down, I’d love for them to say, “What other gems are available in Jesus’ teaching?” If they simply enjoy a good adventure story, that’s great too.
FF: What are the biggest challenges for you as an author writing in your specific genre?
As a guy who is easily distracted, if I’m going to write a story it has to grip me all the way through. While many books tend to lag in the middle, I love to jump from one action scene to the next all the way through.
FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
I enjoy a wide variety of authors. Here are a few: Rick Joyner, Ted Dekker, Terri Blackstock, Lee Child, Clive Cussler, David Baldacci…
FF: How has your faith or world view impacted the way you tell stories?
I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ. I can’t tell a story without Jesus at the center. Even if the story is a kidnapping involving an ancient pagan cult, the background behind it is Jesus’ statement about the Gates of Hell at Caesarea Philippi.
Gates of Hell
Elk Lake Publishing
Genres: Suspense/Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 9, 2022
One Moment She Gets Engaged, the Next, She Disappears from The Face of the Earth
On top of a stunning mountain in Israel, award-winning inventor Chase Johnson proposes to his girlfriend, Abby. She cries, “Yes,” and they celebrate as their mutual friend, Tiffany, takes photos.
Chase runs to get his buddy Billy, so the four of them can celebrate together. When the men return, all they find are shattered cell phones and a broken camera. The girls have vanished.
Chase reports the disappearance to the local police, embassy, and social media, but they offer little help. Desperate to find her, the men use their own innovative technology to follow leads from one end of Israel to the other.
When all hope seems lost, Chase discovers Abby and Tiffany’s abductors, an ancient pagan cult still alive and well. And unless Chase can win a race against time, the cult is ready to make Abby a human sacrifice at their temple called The Gates of Hell.
Get ready for a thriller that will set your heart pounding and your mind racing long into the night.
Buy Gates of Hell from Amazon HERE!