I’m excited and honored to introduce you to David S. Brody and his latest release, Powdered Gold. I’ve written about Brody before, and I read three of his books over Christmas break while recovering from surgery. I’m happy to say Powdered Gold: Templars and the Ark of the Covenant kept me as entertained as his two former books in the series, Cabal of the Westford Knight and Thief on the Cross.
From his website:
“David S. Brody is a Boston Globe bestselling fiction writer. He served as a Director of the New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA) and is an expert on the subject of pre-Columbian exploration of America. A graduate of Tufts University and Georgetown Law School, he resides in Westford, Massachusetts with his wife, potter and novelist Kimberly Scott, and their two daughters. In his spare time he coaches youth sports and Special Olympics, skis, and plays on adult ice hockey and softball teams.”
I exchanged several of emails with David while reading his books, explaining that I was fascinated with his study of the Templars in North America. I learned tons reading his books. He was very patient with my questions and that impressed me a lot.
Description of Powdered Gold from Amazon’s site:
Cameron Thorne and Amanda Spencer continue their investigation of ancient artifacts which reveal the true, secret history of North America.
Cam and Amanda don’t for a second believe the Ark of the Covenant is hidden in a cave in the Arizona desert. But when a militant survivalist leads them to a radioactive replica of the Ark, filled with a mysterious white powder, they begin to wonder if legends of Templar Knights visiting the American Southwest on a secret mission might be true. What is this strange white powder? And is it the key to understanding the true power of both Moses and the sacred Ark of the Covenant?
Now for the interview:
[Disclaimer: David S. Brody writes for the secular market and his books may be offensive to some readers of the Christian or Jewish faith. The thing to remember is that these are works of fiction with fictional characters.]
Your characters believe, in your words, that “ancient Jews” and “Christianized Jews” came to Arizona around 800 AD. Do you believe that as well? Why or why not?
My characters find artifacts in Arizona which leads them to this conclusion. On their face, this is the story the artifacts tell (they contain a narrative, written alternately in Hebrew and Latin, carved into them—the narrative uses various dates circa AD 800). The artifacts have been analyzed by forensic geologist Scott Wolter, who believes they are authentic. So it is certainly possible that some group of peoples who spoke Latin and Hebrew found their way to the American southwest many centuries ago.
Karla’s Note: I could not find free use images of these artifacts, but you can see them on David’s website.
I like including dogs in my stories and I noticed that you do, too. Do you have a dog or cat?
I do have a dog and I grew up with cats. (SPOILER ALERT: If I could have one “do-over” in “Cabal of the Westford Knight,” it would be that I don’t let the villains kill the dog!)
How did you get the idea to use Survivalists in Powdered Gold?
There was nothing in particular that prompted me to include a survivalist character in the story, other than I think the survivalist community is a fascinating and colorful subculture of our country.
Your books deny any supernatural explanation for miracles in the Bible. Is this your worldview? Do you only believe in those things that you can explain, touch, see?
I’m not sure that’s a fair summary of my books. In my books, particularly Thief on the Cross my characters explore and debate the tension and seeming contradictions between “faith” versus “reason.” I do think many of the so-called “miracles” in the Bible can be explained by historical events.
Do you personally believe that Ark of the Covenant is really just a radioactive power source?
The Ark of the Covenant is a fascinating object. In addition to carrying the Ten Commandments, it knocks down walls, fells enemies, emits electric-like charges, causes facial burns and even gives the Philistines, enemies of the Israelites, hemorrhoids after the Philistines capture the Ark in battle (after suffering for a few months, the Philistines returned the Ark to the Israelites—see 1 Samuel 5 and 6.) I believe the Ark contained, or itself was, some kind of power source.
Are you a fan of the TV show, Ancient Aliens?
I’ve never watched it.
Do you believe Moses was a huckster as your characters describe him?
Honestly, I struggled over the use of the word “huckster” in the book since Moses is such a revered figure. But it is the conclusion the characters in the book would have reached based on the evidence in front of them, so I kept it. Somehow Moses was able to convince the Israelites to follow him into the desert for 40 years based solely on his claim that he had been instructed by God to do so. That’s a tough sell, no matter what the circumstances. Then we start to analyze some of Moses’s behavior—he had the golden calf melted down and the gold somehow dissolved and laced into the water, which he forced the Israelites to drink. What strange behavior, unless he somehow knew the dissolved gold would serve to make the Israelites more malleable and willing to follow his instructions, like some kind of drug.
I note that I am not the first to wonder about Moses, as Sigmund Freud in 1937 wrote a book entitled “Moses and Monotheism” in which Freud theorized that Moses may have been an Egyptian pharaoh.
What main message are you trying to convey in this book?
I think the main thing I would like readers to take away from my novels is an understanding that there is a lot of evidence that explorers came to North America before Columbus. If so, what were their motivations, why were they here? I believe that religion, not surprisingly, often was a key motivating factor.
Do you have any questions for Brody? Leave your comments and questions below!