#Wednesdays are for Writers: 15 Questions Asked to know more about our SOOP Writer – Jay Tyson

Here is our Interview Blog for our dear writer:

Jay Tyson – The writer of the book idea: “‘The Wise Men of the West–The Story of a ^Successful^ Search for the Promised One in the Latter Days’ “

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Let us know more about Jay

and how it all started with

his Book Idea:

“‘The Wise Men of the West–

The Story of a ^Successful^ Search for the

Promised One in the Latter Days’ “. 



Question #1: Where are you from?

Jay’s Answer: Although born in Delaware, I grew up in Michigan (Detroit suburbs).  I returned to the East Coast to attend college at Princeton, studying civil engineering.  My wife is from NJ and we have remained there since we were married in 1976, except for two international adventures: 

4 years in Monrovia, Liberia (West Africa) and 7 years in Haifa, Israel.

Question #2: Tell us a little about your self ‘ie your education Family life etc’.

Jay’s Answer: I have always had an interest in religion.  Growing up in the Presbyterian Church, I enjoyed listening to the stories of Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus.  But I wondered why God spoke to us on a regular basis back in those days, and yet has been silent now for nearly 2000 years.  Eventually, I learned that there was a lot more to the story of God and humankind.

Question #3: Tell us your latest news?

Jay’s Answer: Our first grandchildren arrived last summer.  Alex was born to my younger daughter and her husband in June, and Zayna was born to my older daughter and her husband six weeks later.  One on the East Coast, one on the West Coast—we have grandchildren from A to Z and from coast to coast!

Question #4: When and why did you begin writing?

Jay’s Answer: I suppose it was when my mother first gave me a pencil. 

But if you are referring to writing this novel, I started it about 6 years ago. Sometimes I say, figuratively speaking, that it was when the angel of death came to me.  He asked me if I had learned anything in my life which I felt might be beneficial for future generations. I thought about it a little and said, “Yes, there are a few things at least.”  With a serious expression, he replied, “Then write them down…ere I return for you.”  So I have been writing ever since, and I’d like to continue until he returns.

Question #5: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Jay’s Answer: Hmmm…Maybe at some date in the future?

Question #6: What inspired you to write your first book?

Jay’s Answer: This is my first novel.  It was inspired after a visit to the William Miller Farm in Low Hampton, NY in 2012 and my discussion with the Seventh-Day Adventists there.  Knowing also that parallel religious understandings were dawning in parts of the Middle East at the same time, it occurred to me that one could write a story of a traveler in search of the Promised One, who could connect these two movements which had parallel expectations.

Question #7:  Do you have a specific writing style?

Jay’s Answer: I don’t know if it is any particular style.  I usually pray and meditate before writing.

Question #8: How did you come up with the title?

Jay’s Answer: It is a reflection of the story from the Bible regarding the “wise men of the East” who traveled westward two millennia ago, in search for the Promised One, based on prophecies from their own sacred scriptures.  That Promised One (Jesus) in turn left clues for His followers to find in a later age.  That age has now dawned, and since most of His followers are in the West, the new wise men from the West must now travel eastward in their search.

Question #9: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

Jay’s Answer: This is a story about Christians searching for the return of Christ.  My message suggests that the fulfillment is both different in nature, and far larger in scope, than anything that the Christian world has expected.  God created and loves all the people of the world, and He has spoken to them all.  Most have some sense of anticipation of a future Messenger—a Promised One.  But the notion that the expectations of each of the religions of mankind could be fulfilled in the appearance of a single Person is hard to imagine when we confine our imaginings to literal expectations.

Question #10: How much of the book is realistic? 

Jay’s Answer: 99.5%

Question #11: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Jay’s Answer: Yes, some of the scenes are extrapolations from personal experience.  I have visited all of the  places in the Holy Land that my characters visited.  I have visited Perth Amboy and the William Miller farm in upstate NY, and the route in-between.  Like James, I have suffered from malaria.  And the final scene of Zach’s discussion with William Miller, and Zach’s explanation of his new understanding of religion, is similar in many respects to my own experience.

Question #12: Do you see writing as a career?

Jay’s Answer: Maybe at a “post-career” if the first book works out well.  I’m 65 years old, so if there is a writing career ahead, most of it will be from after retirement from my career in engineering.

Question #13: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Jay’s Answer: After hitchhiking across the country at age 17, in 1971, I wrote a paper for my high school English class about my experience.  The teacher liked it so much that he submitted it to a writing contest sponsored by one of the Detroit area newspapers.  It won first place in the autobiographical category.  So, even though my natural inclination was more toward math and science, I have not shied away from writing when occasions arose.

Question #14: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Jay’s Answer: When writing historical fiction, there is a wealth of material available from history.  But the characters are fictional.  Finding authentic-sounding names for these characters is sometimes challenging.

Question #15:  Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Jay’s Answer: I learned a lot from writing because, in order to do historical fiction correctly, one needs to know a lot of history.  I have a few shelves full of books that I’ve had to read, and several series of college-course lectures that I’ve listened to, in order to understand the times and the places my characters have visited on their trek halfway across the world and back.  Many thanks also to Google Earth and Wikipedia and other online sources that allow me to visit these places from the comfort of my study.  Many thanks to the folks who have scanned thousands of historical books into the computers and made them available to the public through ‘print on demand’ services at very reasonable prices. The amount of information that is now available at our fingertips is truly enormous.


For those of you who have not voted for Jay’s book idea, Click HERE


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