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Goodreads asked David Alan Armstrong:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

David Alan Armstrong Readers have asked why I chose the story of Lachoneus and the Gadiantons for my first novel. That is a great question. In some ways I broke the first rule of writing, which is to write about what you know. I knew very little about the geography, geology, flora, fauna, and culture in which my story would be set. I had to research every aspect of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica and talk to experts who have been in that part of the world to get details for the setting. What I knew for sure, though, was the dramatic and inspiring story of a people who undertook heroic efforts to resist and defeat terrorism.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have read the Book of Mormon many times. I love the doctrinal truths of Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, explained in their plainness and simplicity in the words of ancient New World prophets as translated by Joseph Smith. I love the Book of Mormon as another witness of Jesus Christ, standing next to the Bible as the word of God.

Nevertheless, I have also been fascinated by the stories and the people of the Book of Mormon. This book of scripture is full of dramatic events, sweeping themes, and character development. Young people come of age as they face challenges, seek redemption, and forge heroic conquests. Spies and robbers, captains and generals, prophets and kings take the stage. Men and women risk their lives to protect their families, their liberty, and their religion. It speaks of gigantic battles, decade-long wars, revenge, executions, beheadings, burning at the stake, genocide, holocausts, duels. Spoiler alert: in the end, cultural evil triumphs over good, but individual righteousness overcomes all other wickedness.

The Book of Mormon is fertile soil from which fabulous stories can be cultivated. It is also highly relevant to our current time and situation. Though the book was written more than sixteen centuries ago and published almost two hundred years ago, it was written for our day by prophets who saw our times and the challenges we would face. The themes are fresh, germane, and to the point for people living in the Twenty-First Century.

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