Monday, October 3, 2016

David Lantz ~ 2nd interview and his novel The Brotherhood of the Scroll

David L. Lantz

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. Mr. Lantz is an Adjunct Professor of Economics and Statistics for the University of Phoenix, Indiana Wesleyan and Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.  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.
Mr. 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 36 years, Sally, and has three children.


Q: Bedtime, relaxing so you can sleep sounds. Is your preference, white noise, TV, soft music, ocean waves, forest or meadow sounds, babbling brook, or something else?
A:  I definitely like ocean waves.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have an all time favorite song?
A:  My favorite singer is John Denver.  I suppose Rocky Mountain High and The Eagle and the Hawk.

Q: If your life were a movie would it be considered an action film, comedy, drama, romance, fantasy or a combination?
A: Searching for Bobby Fisher, whatever genre that is.  I was the captain of my H.S. and college chess teams. 

Q: Did you like school when you were a child?
A:  Loved it so much I now teach college courses!

Q: Dress up or dress down?
A: I’m not into dressing up.  If I don’t have to, I don’t

Q: Coffee or Tea?
A: I am an avid coffee drinker.

Q: How do you feel about exercise?
A: I’ve always been into physical fitness.  I used to run and finished the Indianapolis Mini Marathon twice in under 1 hour 3o minutes, finishing in the “top 500” (goes with the Indianapolis 500 theme). I have brown belts in two karate styles.  I learned to play soccer in England while a college student there, and taught all three of my children (one,  Jason, played at the college level).  I now coach my grandson Isaac’s soccer team.  

Q: Texting, love it or hate it?
A: I do it sparingly.  I still prefer to talk on the phone.


Q: Your favorite title?
A: The Lincoln Myth is an excellent book by Berry, as is the Jefferson Key

Q: Which of your own releases was your particular favorite?
A: My second novel,  The Sword of the Scroll, is my favorite.  In that novel, I weave astronomy together with bible passages in a way that, I hope, brings the story alive.  Here is the link to a video I created on that:

Q: How do you handle a writer's block?
A: Because I work off of an outline, I already have the ideas that I want to write about mapped out.  I try to go someplace that is not my usual work area when I write.  That way, I’m not distracted by other things that might entice my attention away from what I need to do.

Q: Do you write long hand first, or does it go straight into the computer?
A: I prefer to write longhand first.  I guess that’s a function of my age!
Q: When crafting the story do you go from beginning to end, or do you jump around writing the scenes that are pushing themselves forward in your brain?
A: As I write my outline, I try to write sequentially.  However, I also like to create the “big picture moments” that occur at the end, in the middle, etc., that then provide destinations that I need to reach in the writing project.

Q: Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?
A: I do try to write with the ending in mind.  The details may change, but not the overall structure.

Q: Have your characters ever taken the story in a different direction than you had originally planned? Do you have a for instance, for us?
A: This does happen.  When writing The Brotherhood of the Scroll, which incorporates the biblical prophets Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel, I came to the story in Daniel 3 about the fiery furnace.  Daniel’s 3 friends would not bow to the idol, but there is no mention of Daniel. Now, I thought there was no way that Daniel would choose to bow to the idol, so I had to wonder about why he wasn’t “there” in the biblical story.  And so, when I got that part of the novel, I had to invent a reason for Daniel not being there.  The answer:  A woman by the name of Timnah realized that the Chief Priest, Hamon, had planned all of this to entrap Daniel.  To protect him, she encouraged Daniel to seek Nebuchadnezzar’s leave to go into the Zargos mountains to pray for him. 

Q: What geographical locations are your favorite and why?
A: The Fairy Chimneys in central Turkey (Cappadocia).

Q: How long does it take you to create a novel?
A: Since I have to make a living doing other things, it takes 2 – 3 years to write my novels from beginning to end.  Perhaps when I retire, I will write more!

Q: Do you like to read the genre that you write?
A: I try not to, simply because I don’t want to be guilty of taking the ideas of others.

Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: In the last few years, I’ve taken to creating online, on demand courses.  Several years ago, I created a middle school/high school age targeted curriculum titled “Clash of the Superpowers”.  It uses my novel, The Brotherhood of the Scroll, and creates a comparative history course to contrast the 6th century BC superpower clash between Egypt and Babylon with the 20th century superpower clash between the USA and the USSR.  I am now creating a video based lecture series for the course that I hope to launch in the 4th quarter, 2016.

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A: Not at this time.  However, I have two future novels I hope to write to complete the series.  The third book will be The Judgement of the Scroll, which will start with the apocryphal writings of Jeremiah hiding the Ark of the Covenant, and end with the release of the Jews to return to Jerusalem.  The fourth and final novel will be set in the present period, when a lost record authored by Daniel is found with clues as to the current whereabouts of the Ark.

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?


“So, you are the great Jeremiah!” Naaman said. “Come, prophet, King Nebuchadnezzar would see you.”

Jeremiah lowered his eyes and followed Naaman into the inner recesses of the tent. He did not know what to expect, but was relieved to learn that he would not be made to wait and guess. Within the inner chamber of the tent, Nebuchadnezzar and several of his generals waited for them. Even the king’s parrots, housed in a bird cage in a corner of the tent, fell silent as the man of God entered the room.

“Greetings, prophet of the God of Daniel,” Nebuchadnezzar said. “We have heard much about you, and have found your words to be most useful.” Nebuchadnezzar handed Jeremiah the scroll which he and Baruch had worked so hard to reconstruct. Jeremiah gazed into the young king’s eyes who, unlike his generals here in the tent, was not dressed in the garb of a warrior. Instead, Nebuchadnezzar wore a sandlewood-colored robe, with a plain circlet of gold around his neck. “I am told you had no love for your now dead king, that you want his half-brother Zedekiah placed on the throne of Jerusalem in his place. But I have half a mind to destroy this city instead. Why should I not?”

Jeremiah, who had been bent over, looking down at the ground in obeisance to the Babylonian king, now stood to his full height - a good three inches taller than the Babylonian monarch. In a hoarse but steady voice, Jeremiah responded: “Ten years ago, as Pharaoh Necho led his army to meet that of your father’s, King Josiah of Judah rode out to challenge the Egyptians at Megiddo. There, Pharaoh slew Josiah, and placed Jehoiakim on the throne. From the beginning, Jehoiakim was a pawn of Egypt, sinning against God and man.”

“But the King of Judah does not represent the Lord or His Temple,” Jeremiah continued. “You are right, I do wish to see Zedekiah placed on the throne. You took him into captivity in Babylon, and there God has safely kept him for such a time as this. The Lord our God has given you His holy city, Jerusalem. You have not conquered it of your own might. Its gates have been opened to you. You may violate her and her sacred Temple, but know this: A time will come that must inevitably follow - Babylon will be scattered and cast aside in favor of another who will do the Holy One of Israel’s will. Violate her not, and you will prosper.” Jeremiah stood still, staring at the young king before him, oblivious to the tension in the room. From behind the prophet, one of the guards placed his hand on his sword hilt, waiting for Nebuchadnezzar’s order to chop down this insolent, dirty Bedouin.

Suddenly, from the bird cage in the corner of the tent, the two parrots began to chatter. “King of Babylon ... King of Babylon ... King of Babylon,” the two screeched in chorus. They wailed and squawked, and then in unison said, “Listen!” and were quiet.

Jeremiah, who in the confusion had never taken his eyes off of Nebuchadnezzar, said, “Place Zedekiah on the throne to rule as your vassal, and the Lord will bless you.”

Nebuchadnezzar struggled visibly to control himself. In the years since his ascendancy to his father’s throne, he had grown increasingly intolerant of those who would stand in his way. When this prophet’s scroll had come into his possession, he had used it as the propaganda tool he had seen it to be. Nebuchadnezzar had not expected Jeremiah to defy him in this way.

Yet Nebuchadnezzar was a religious man. He saw Marduk as providing him with divine guidance. While Daniel and this Jeremiah might claim that it was their God which directed his footsteps, he was convinced it was Marduk. The parrots had spoken at the behest of Marduk - and Nebuchadnezzar would listen.

But only up to a point.

“Very well,” Nebuchadnezzar said. “I will place Zedekiah on the throne of Judah. But know this: I will not allow her to go unpunished. I will take as tribute the gold from your temple. I will also take with me several thousand Hebrews into exile back to Babylon. Neither you nor anyone else shall deny me of my destiny. I will grant you three days to convince Coniah, son of Jehoiakim, to surrender totally. Then, I will take the vessels of your temple, and leave Naaman behind as regent until Zedekiah arrives and is installed as your new king. This audience is at an end.”

I’m happy you could join me on Books and Banter.  I hope you had fun with the Q & A’s

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