Jimmy Root Jr., author of Distant Thunder: Book One of the Lightning Chronicles is a life-long student of Bible prophecy and has connected ancient prophecies with world events in a fast-paced fiction thriller. Jimmy has been an ordained Pastor since 1982 and has served churches in Nebraska and Missouri. He and his family also served for five years in Colombia, South America as a church planter and educator. He is an alumnus of Central Bible College of Springfield, Missouri, and Southeastern University of Lakeland, Florida majoring in Theology and Cultural Studies. Raised in the Mid-West, Jimmy is an outdoorsman and sports enthusiast. He is an aficionado of the military thriller genre and is an avid blogger as well as an author. More can be discovered about Distant Thunder and the Lightning Chronicles series by visiting his website at: www.lightningchronicles.com. He also hosts a blog dealing with current world events and their relationship to Bible prophecy at: www.prophecyalert.blogspot.com, as well as a writer’s blog at: www.lightningchronicles.blogspot.com.
Jimmy Root Jr., will be on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours in August and September and is here with us today to give his impression of virtual book tours and online book marketing.
Thank you for this interview, Jimmy. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
Distant Thunder is the first book of a Prophetic Fiction trilogy called The Lightning Chronicles. The story poses a question: What would happen if radical terrorists somehow got their hands on tactical nuclear weapons, and then used them against both America and Israel? It is a frightening scenario that is becoming more and more plausible in light of current world events. But in the midst of unimaginable terror and tragedy, two unsung heroes rise to extraordinary heights as they begin to understand that everything has been prophesied.
Two main characters form the storylines of Distant Thunder. Moshe Eldan is an Israeli F-16 “Lightning” fighter pilot who is doing his best to defend his country against the latest cycle of attacks. Unbeknownst to him, the greatest horror imaginable is waiting in the form of a nuclear tipped missile. Moshe finds himself in an unlooked for journey toward faith as he attempts to save his people.
The other character is a man named Ty Dempsey. His story is a bit closer to home. He is a suburban Kansas City pastor who, in working through the grief of losing his younger brother to the war in Iraq, has begun to discover the ancient prophecies of Ezekiel. So enthralled is he by the information that he preaches the prophecies to his congregation. Some of his people listen and are interested. Others, however, do not want the status quo of their comfortable lives challenged by something they consider allegorical in nature. A good old fashioned church conflict ensues. Ty decides to stay the course in face of tremendous opposition and is ultimately vindicated when nearby Kansas City is the target of a terrorist attack. Moshe and Ty become connected throughout the story in strange, spiritual ways that will only increase as the series progresses.
More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours. Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book?
Word of mouth is such an important commodity when it comes to promoting a book, especially for the first time author. It is also difficult to come by. In my researching of ways to publicize Distant Thunder I was confronted over and over again with the fact that the virtual book tour is the best way to create internet buzz. I am finding it to be true.
Is this the first time you have heard of them?
Yes it is. My preconception was that a new author would have to expend himself doing on site book signings if he were ever to get any publicity. Then I came across Pump Up Your Books and have been gratified to see how my efforts have multiplied exponentially, and that without expending myself just waiting for someone to buy a book.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
I believe Distant Thunder has a relevant and need message, even though it is built within the fiction genre. I hope to create awareness about the book and its foundation through virtual touring.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
I have been promoting the book through book signings, speaking engagements, and giving my friends and family the mission of spreading the word. I have created a website that examines the book and the trilogy, as well as going into great detail about the Biblical prophecies that form the basis of the story. With that comes blogging. My blog deals strictly with current events and how they are lining up to those prophecies. My website is www.lightningchronicles.com my blog is www.prophecyaler.blogspot.com.
Do you promote through Twitter and Facebook? What are your links there?
Yes I do. I am new to both, but what great tools they are.
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Which do you prefer – online or offline and can you give us the reasons why?
I have done several, pre-release booksignings and speaking engagements. I enjoy the opportunity to meet people and talk about the issues found in the book. However, the experience is varied. At some signings I will sell many books. At others, few. You spend a large amount of time at the mercy of people’s presence. The more of the virtual touring I do, the more I prefer it. I not only get to promote my book, I am able to form thoughtful responses to questions and be able to hit the backspace whenever I need.
Here’s a fun question. If money was no object, how would you promote your book?
It may sound odd, but I am more concerned with the message of Distant Thunder getting out than I am with making a ton of money. If I had the means, I would buy a hundred thousand copies of Distant Thunder and give it to everyone I could.
Thank you for this interview, Jimmy. Do you have any final words?
Thank you for the opportunity. I would simply like to offer a few words of encouragement to budding authors who might be finding the way a bit more difficult than they had imagined. Stick with your dream and persevere in making it a reality. Your story means something to you. You’ve honed it. Don’t give up. A door will eventually open for you to see it in print.