Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Q & A with Darryl Nyznyk, Author of The First Gospel

About the Book:

Edessa, Turkey 943 A.D.: Eighty thousand Byzantine knights lay siege to a Muslim citadel. Prepared to raze the city, the Byzantine commander offers to spare it if the Muslim emir will hand over a fourteen-foot piece of linen. The stunned emir readily delivers the cloth that holds the greatest mystery the world has ever known.

Arizona 1100 years later: Matthew Carter, a young former lawyer who waits tables and hangs out at the beach, attends his university’s homecoming game. While wandering his old campus after the game, he discovers the brutally murdered remains of his old professor, Samuel Rosen. When Matt returns home, shocked by his favorite professor’s death, he finds a letter from Rosen posted the night of his murder. In it Rosen begs Matt to protect a Carter family heirloom (an eleven-hundred- year old parchment) that Rosen carbon-dated twelve years earlier. Unbeknownst to Matt, the parchment holds the key to the two-thousand- year-old mystery of the Cloth of Edessa, a mystery Rosen was prepared to put to rest until powerful forces ended his life.

Now Matt becomes the unwitting prey of those same forces that will stop at nothing to keep his parchment’s truth hidden. From the magnificent opulence of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome to the breathtaking beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and beaches of Southern California, readers will become part of Matt’s frantic search for a truth that will forever change political, religious, and industrial fortunes around the world … even as Matt fights for his own survival.

Q&A with The First Gospel author, Darryl Nyznyk

1. What was the inspiration behind your new thriller, THE FIRST GOSPEL?

Several things:

First: I love thrillers based upon real archaeological artifacts and the mysteries surrounding their existence and potential impact in the modern day.

Second: When my investigation brought me across a TRUE LIFE artifact that, if proven real, could actually change the course of human history, I was hooked on the concept of researching it deeply and writing about it.

Finally: The Cloth of Edessa, more commonly known as the Shroud of Turin, has intrigued me because of what it purports to be - a fourteen-foot long linen cloth upon which appears the full body image, front and back, of Jesus Christ.

Is it possible that we have a photo-like image of Jesus Christ, a man who lived 2000 years ago, and who is believed by a significant portion of the world to be God? Is this what he really looked like or is it some hoax perpetrated by true believers in the middle ages? And, if it is a real three dimensional image of Jesus Christ imprinted on a cloth at the time of his alleged resurrection, what does that mean for us as humans? Does it prove he was God? These questions filled me with an intense energy to know the truth, particularly in a world so fraught with danger. Perhaps, if we knew the truth, we might learn to live in the peace and harmony we all long for.

2. After doing your research, were you surprised by what you learned? Did it change how you feel about this artifact?

I hesitate to answer this fully because I really want readers to come to their own conclusions. However, I can give you some thoughts about what my research did establish for me.

In our society, the news and information we receive and upon which we base our decisions is mostly from sound-bites, short summaries, and talking heads with an agenda. It is rare that we get the whole picture so that we can make our own informed decisions about the matters affecting our lives. The truth is that we are all “too busy,” or “too tired,” or “simply overwhelmed” and can’t give these important matters enough of our time.

With the Shroud, the sound bites are that “it’s a fake,” or “your faith says you should believe,” or “who cares anyway?” The tragedy is that sound empirical evidence exists within easy reach of each of us to enable us to learn the truth about the Shroud. Who cares? Well, my position is that we should all care. If we determine it’s a fake, we can put to bed the only potential tangible proof of God’s existence and leave the belief in God to those who rely exclusively on faith. If, on the other hand, we determine it’s real, the atheists and non-believers of this world would be hard pressed to continue their position; they would most certainly be compelled to acknowledge that truth or look like sore losers who are simply incapable of acknowledging the truth.

3. Describe the book’s hero, Matt Carter.

Mathew Carter graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona and then moved on to law school and received a JD degree from the University of San Diego. But Mathew is otherwise, and “Everyman.” The law didn’t work for him. Neither did business, as the thought of sitting in an office and pushing paper nauseated him. As for his undergraduate degree in anthropology, the only things counsellors pushed him toward were teaching and research, neither of which even remotely interested him. So, to indulge his favorite pursuits of surfing, beach volleyball, and watching women, he chose a career that gave him the time and space he needed. He became a waiter at an upper mid-scale restaurant in Manhattan Beach, and he lived in a one-bedroom walkup over a garage down an alley one block up from the sand.

Matt Carter is tall, good looking, but with little motivation to do other than hang out and enjoy life until he is forced to grow up. The force in our story comes from an unexpected source that puts his life and the lives of all he holds dear in grave danger.

Matt Carter is you and me, just trying to enjoy life and deal with the constant obstacles that life throws into his path. And like you and me, he has character strengths and values that he can choose to call on or reject when challenges arise. And finally, like us, the choices he makes will dictate the path of his life.

4. Three words to describe the book?

Unconventional Archeological Thriller.

5. The First Gospel could trigger the reader to want to research the Shroud of Turin on their own. Where should he/she start?

There are numerous sources, including sources almost inaccessible to the regular person such as the Vatican archives. But the best two sources I found to get a clear picture of the issues and arguments surrounding the Shroud are the wonderfully and exhaustively researched book titled The Blood and the Shroud by Ian Wilson and Barrie Schwortz’s website, which gathers together all the research and information available on the Shroud and presents it in an easy to use and understand format.

Book Details:

Kindle File Size: 4801 KB
Print Length: 322 pages
Publication Date: March 29, 2017
ASIN: B06XY789N8

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Cross Dove Publishing, LLC 
Publication Date: March 21, 2017
ISBN-10: 0965651304
ISBN-13: 978-0965651301

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