Thursday, January 13, 2022

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Terry Garner

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Terry Garner

LM: Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your recent release Magi Journey - Assyria. You had an extensive career in finance as well as teaching at the college level. In addition, you’ve written two commentaries. What made you decide to try your hand at fiction and this particular subject? 

Terry: I was General Manager of a manufacturing plant in China in 2013. While studying the Word one evening, God put it on my heart to reach a broader audience with the story of hope and redemption by telling the story through the eyes of the Magi. I had never dreamed of writing a book. It was the strangest thing. God gave me the outline for the Magi Journey series. When I sat down to write, everything fell in place. 

LM: What is your favorite aspect of writing? 

Terry: I’m rather a free-form writer. I begin with a rough outline of the book and then develop a firm outline for the next three chapters. I have no outline for the chapter. I start writing and see where God takes it. Some of the chapters in Magi Journey – Assyria were a complete surprise to me. In the middle of the chapter, I would change direction, which impacted the book outline in some cases. I love that freedom. 

LM: What sort of research did you conduct for the book? 

Terry: In historical fiction, that is the best part. I used “On Ancient Warfare” by Richard Gabriel quite a
bit, two books on Israel’s history and battles, a book on the Parthians, and two books on the Babylonians. The Bible was my primary reference source, but I found an invaluable number of articles on the JSTOR site on the web. I highly recommend JSTOR to anyone doing historical research. I used Wikipedia also, but never as a primary source. 

Naturally, there are always discrepancies between secular texts and Scripture. In those cases, I always used Scripture. For example, Scripture reports 185,000 Assyrians were killed by the Angel of the Lord when Sennacherib sent a portion of his army to Jerusalem, and secular texts blame the deaths on a plague borne by mice. For any number of reasons, Scripture wins, the plague theory is unsupportable, but even if it were reasonably plausible, I would still use the account found in Scripture. 

LM: How do you prepare yourself for writing? (e.g. set up in a particular location, turn on music, etc.) 

Terry: I always write in my office – I am surrounded by my research materials. I begin every writing session with Scripture, usually, on the period I am developing that day, and Scripture leads me to prayer. Then I am ready to write. I cannot write with music or television in the background. I begin writing at 4 AM and get in four solid hours before my wife starts her day. She begins with her quiet time, which gives me another two hours of writing. It works for us. 

LM: You’ve accomplished quite a lot. What is one thing you wish you could do? 

Terry: Travel. I was ill for several years and could not go to Israel before writing this book. I regret that, and I still want to make that trip, hopefully in 2022. 

LM: What is your next project? 
Photo: Pixabay/Jim Black
Terry: Magi Journey – Assyria is the first book in a three-book series. I am 20,000 words into Magi Journey – Babylon, and the final book will be Magi Journey – Persia. The three books tell the story of prophecy – of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, and how that prophecy was fulfilled from 734 BC to 0 AD. It is the story of judgment, hope, and redemption. 

LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 

Terry: My website is

About Magi Journey – Assyria 

About Magi Journey – Assyria
 is a book with two storylines. The first story is the journey of the Magi, who see the Messiah’s star. They begin a trip from Persepolis, Persia, to Bethlehem. In book one of this series, the Magi Family makes it to the ruins of Babylon. This is a story of faith. Matthew 2 tells us the Magi had a single purpose, to worship. These are Gentiles who know the Scriptures. The men and women of the family live their lives based on the Scriptures. During the journey, when they stop at night, the children’s teachers teach the children the history of the family, which dates back to 734 BC. They read from ancient scrolls recorded by their ancestors. The story they read is story 2. 

Two POVs tell story two. One POV is Baildan, a member of the Magi and also an Assyrian warrior. Through his eyes, we experience the Syro/Ephraimite War, the three campaigns of Tiglath-Pilese III from 734-732 BC against the Levant, and finally, the campaign of Sennacherib against Judah in 701 BC. The second POV is Baildan’s brother, Meesha, the ambassador to Judah in 734 BC. Meesha meets Isaiah and begins to read the Scriptures with Isaiah’s disciples. Meesha becomes a believer and begins to copy the Scriptures. He intends to share them with his family when he returns to Nineveh, Assyria. Prophecy and judgment are told through their POV.

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