With 195 books and over 70 million copies sold (including the blockbuster Left Behind series), Jerry B. Jenkins is no stranger to the publishing industry - or to readers.
Twenty-one of his titles have reached the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists. Jenkins has been featured on the cover of Newsweek and his writing has appeared in Time, Reader’s Digest, Guideposts, and dozens of other periodicals. He and his wife, Dianna, have three grown sons and live in Colorado. He also owns the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild which coaches thousands of aspiring writers in both fiction and nonfiction.
His new series - The Dead Sea Chronicles - promises to be a ‘heart-stopping adventure of historical proportions’. The first book - Dead Sea Rising - releases November 13th from Worthy Publishing, and we at Hope By The Book are excited to have the opportunity to chat with Jerry today.
About the Book
Nicole Berman is an archaeologist on the brink of a world-changing discovery. During her first dig in Jordan, she believes she has found concrete evidence of a biblical patriarch that could change history books forever. But someone doesn’t want the truth revealed. While urgently trying to connect pieces of an ancient puzzle, a dangerous enemy is out to stop her.
“Jerry Jenkins’ dialogue is equal to the best of Nelson DeMille, his storylines equal to the best of John Grisham. And now Dead Sea Rising . . . this book may be Jerry’s best.”
—ANDY ANDREWS, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE TRAVELER’S GIFT AND THE NOTICER
“Jumping back and forth in time at a breakneck pace, Dead Sea Rising is a thriller as only Jerry B. Jenkins can tell it. Biblical history combines with gripping contemporary mystery. Just be aware—you’ll be hooked.”
—JAMES SCOTT BELL, INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS AWARD WINNER
Q: Just for fun: If you were an archaeologist, which city or artifact would you most love to find?
Jerry: I’ve long been fascinated by the time of Jesus, First Century Bethlehem and Jerusalem, and great strides have been made between our first and most recent trips to the Holy Land (about 30 years apart). We’re seeing more and more of the archaeological level where Jesus actually walked. A dream dig would uncover artifacts directly tied to Him.
Q: You are a prolific writer, with 195 books to your name, including 21 New York Times bestsellers (seven of those debuting at #1). What is the best advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Jerry: Two things: First, don’t start your career with a book. That would be like 5-year-olds beginning their education in graduate school. Write and sell shorter stuff as you learn the craft—getting a quarter million clichés out of your system, collaborating with editors, polishing your prose. And second, never set out to write a bestseller. Write from your passion and give yourself to the things you can control: your work ethic, thinking reader-first, and hitting your deadline. Leave sales and reviews to the marketplace.
Q: What can readers expect from your book, Dead Sea Rising? What is your favorite aspect of the book?
Jerry: I worked hard to infuse the novel with lots of setups and payoffs designed to keep readers turning the pages. My favorite aspect is the alternating chapters that weave a contemporary story with one from four thousand years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. Archaeologist and biblical consultant, Dr. Craig Evans, keeps me on track in areas not in my wheelhouse. He’s been a joy to work with, as he has the ability to keep the cookies on the lower shelf where I can reach them.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Dead Sea Rising and its heroine, archaeologist Nicole Berman?
Jerry: It was truly a collaborative effort with Worthy Publishers and editors I’ve long worked with. Having families face similar pressures four thousand years apart came to me during the writing process.
Q: Why do you think readers continue to find this type of Biblical history/contemporary thriller so irresistible and compelling?
Jerry: Well, I hope they do! Readers are becoming increasingly discerning, and no author dares just assume their interest and, in essence, mail it in. The more I write, the more I want each book to be better than the last, so I give it my all and hope readers like it.
Q: Which books have helped you find hope lately?
Jerry: I’m reading Jim Watkins’s modernization of Thomas à Kempis’s The Imitation of Christ. And while this may seem dichotomous, I’m also reading the multi-volume biography of Winston Churchill. Strangely, though he lived through some of the most tumultuous times in world history, I find hope between the lines.
Jerry, thank you so much for chatting with us today! It’s such an honor to have you at Hope By The Book!