My friend and critique partner, Dave Parks, has recently published a terrific book about Elijah, and is about to publish another. I invited him to tell you about himself and his work, and here is what he said:
What book did you publish?
What’s the Book About?
Twelve-year-old Elijah tries to rescue a slave girl. A few years later he gets beat up trying to save a baby from being burned up by Moloch the rain god. He storms off to the capital city and tells the king: “Neither dew nor rain until I say so.” He doesn’t know where those words came from.
He thinks anger motivates him, so the Lord’s “Hide at the Brook” must mean he’s hearing things. Not until Moloch thugs have him hiding under a thorn bush does he pay attention to the Lord’s voice. The story follows the Biblical outline, ending with a chariot of fire and the mantle falling on Elisha.
How did you get the idea for the book?
In Kings and Chronicles, I became fascinated with Elijah and Elisha, Ahab and Obadiah. Then I remembered “Elijah was a man with passions like ours.” (James 5:17)
Did he have a temper?
Notice the ladies?
Where can I read the first chapter?
Click here to read Chapter 1. Wind and Fire
What do readers say about this book?
It’s like I’m there. Watching.
I loved every part of this book!
The feel and texture of this story drew me into the ancient world of the Bible.
– Gary Endermann
“Grab that goatskin!”
Elijah patted the donkey’s rump. “Excuse me.” As he dove beneath the belly, his knee slid through a pile of fresh droppings. Hmm…. Better than a sharp rock. He poked his head out the other side.
A mother with a baby on her back jumped away and pulled two dirty-faced children with her. Elijah favored them with the smile which had sold dozens of skins of Tishbe wine to camel pullers on the King’s Highway, but the children screamed and grabbed their mother’s knees. As Elijah scooted past, most of the donkey dung fell from his knee.
“He’s getting away.”
A bronze-colored chariot stood in his path. No time to run his hand over the rail or examine the wheels. He leaped the shafts and lunged for the gate of the fort.
A load of melons hanging from both sides of a donkey blocked the opening.
From behind him a shout—“Hey, grab that kid in the goatskin. Stop him!”
Elijah nodded to the donkey’s open-mouthed owner, stood tall, sucked in his belly, and squeezed sideways past the bulging sacks. Sandals slapping planks, he dashed across the bridge then down the grade and into the trees. He ripped off the goatskin, jammed it into his pack, and slipped into his robe.
From the gate—“Find that goatskin. He’s not far.”
Where can I buy the book?
Click here to buy The Boy Who Closed the Sky.
When’s your next book coming out?
If the Lord wills and I live, in the fall of 2022 I hope to publish the story of Obadiah.
Friend of the King.
Enemy of the Queen.
What’s this next book about?
Little Obadiah bloodies the nose of Ahab, his friend.
The two growing boys race stallions and run from Syrian assassins.
As adults, Obadiah and King Ahab stand together and fight invading armies.
Then King Ahab marries a witch.
Queen Jezebel steals children from distant backyards and shoves them into brothels.
She kills her critics.
How can the friend of the king rescue fugitives from the queen?
Here’s an excerpt:
“Do you pray, Uncle Biah?”
Obadiah dangled an empty prickly pear stick from his fingers. “Do I pray? Um, well.” How do I answer this child, Lord? He cleared his throat. “My conversations with the Lord lack the poetry of David or Solomon, but we talk a lot, and he listens in on my thoughts.”
Ruthie hunched her shoulders. “Was that a yes or a no? Do you pray?”
Obadiah sighed at Yeskah. “Little Hammurabi.” He took a long breath. “Yes, Ruthie. I pray.”
Have you been to the Holy Land?
In 1964, Delphine and I toured the Holy Land for three weeks.
Delphine Parks, Dr. DeWayne Coxon, President of Jordan College, and Dave Parks at The Dead Sea.
In 1984-85, we worked at the archaeology dig at Oboth, the Rift Valley oasis where Moses headquartered about 1300 BC (Numbers 21:10). When we weren’t digging, we led busloads of tourists around Israel, introducing them to the Biblical sites. Plus, we made personal jaunts exploring Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan.
I wandered Elijah’s village in Gilead and trudged his paths in the Jezreel valley. Stood in his footprints on Mt. Carmel. In Zerephath, marveled with him at snow-covered Mt. Hermon. The songbirds of the Bible hovered in me with rock badgers, Absalom oaks, and the usual rain shower at 1 pm.
What kind of person are you?
Delphine, my wife of 39 years, died of cancer in 2000, and I miss her every day.
Two years later, I married Vickie. Every day I thank the Lord for Vickie.
I taught English at colleges in Michigan and California.
2002-2010, we taught English at universities in China then retired ten miles from the Alabama Coast.
Vickie and Dave in Sichuan, China, 2006
- Tsinghua University 清华大学 2007-2008
- Chongqing Technology and Business University 重庆工商大学 2004-2007
- Alliant International University 1984-1988
- National University 1984-1988
- Phoenix University (Jordan College) 1976-1980