Author Ken Helsley has an insatiable desire to know God and learn about the Genesis of mankind. He is an incredible storehouse of knowledge about the book of Genesis and other mythologies relating to creation and the world before the Noachian destruction. He has intently studied the books of Genesis, Enoch, Jubilees as well as the creation mythologies from every culture around the world for over twenty years and has used his knowledge of Biblical and extra Biblical literature to weave together the story of the beginning and end of mankind's journey through the process of knowing good and evil in a way never before told in a single continuous anthology.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in La Puente, CA; a suburb of Los Angeles. I don’t know that where I grew up has influenced my writing nearly as much as how grew up. I grew up in a family that went to church nearly every Sunday, and so I learned all the basic protestant Sunday school rhetoric filled with images of smiling animals poking their heads out of the windows of large wooden boat, and Jacob’s ladder with Angels ascending and descending from heaven and Jesus being baptized by John in the river Jordon, etc., but for some reason I never really bought into the squeaky clean version of these biblical stories. I always knew that the whole thing was much more raw than the images in the children’s bibles depicted. I used to try and imagine what it was like to be cloistered on the ark with hundreds of animals, all defecating and urinating every day and having to feed and water them. I guess that is what has led me to try and bring the real stories with real people to life in my books. Even when I’m writing in a Non-Christian genre, I always include real life positive Christian characters because that is the real world we live in. We Christians are not the over the top zealots that is usually depicted in books and movies.
But it was my mother who took us to church while Dad stayed home. With five kids in a three bedroom, one bath home, I guess it was his only chance to just have some quiet time. He would drop us off and pick us up every Sunday like clockwork, but he would rarely attend services with us. But my dad was a unique character who probably shaped my understanding of Christianity more than anyone else. He was a highly skilled mechanic and tradesman. Any time there was a project going on at our church that required mechanical or fix it skills, it was my dad they would call. When the church bus need to be fixed, dad would come fix it, and I was always right there besides him. If the church had a small construction project going on, dad was there, hammer in hand and me in tow. He never asked questions, never complained, and never took money other than to cover cost of materials or parts. I learned from him that there are many ways to serve God, and that understanding has greatly influenced how I depict what I call “true Christianity” in most of my writings. The Pastors would always come around on their home visitations and try to get him to come to Sunday services, but they could never break him down, but call and say, “The bus won’t start.” and he’d be there in flash.
What is the inspiration behind your Witness Chronicles series?
I have always been fascinated by two parts of the Bible: the beginning and the end. The beginning tells us how it all began and what went wrong, and the end tells us how it will be put right. I have always recognized that the two were intrinsically connected; part of the same plan. But anytime I’ve read or seen a story from Genesis depicted, it was a superficial representation, and every end times novel or series I have ever read just left me cold and feeling like I had just left a fundamentalist sermon with some preacher prancing back and forth on stage with a Bible in his hand telling me I was going to go to Hell if I didn’t get right with God. And to boot, most of what was depicted in both cases was neither Biblically or historically accurate when you take into account other extra-biblical sources like the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees. I just knew I could do better. I did not want this series to be just another repeat of the same bad theology that every end time series I have ever read was based on. I wanted this series to be different. I decided the entire theological construct had to be based solely on the Books of Genesis and John’s Revelation. But I have also been somewhat of a science fiction fan most of my life and over the last few years have become intrigued by the increase in interest in the theories about Ancient Alien and lost civilizations.
As my Series stands right now, I think I have managed to accomplish what I have set out to do with the Genesis portion, but as I now turn the series to focus on John’s Revelation and the end time scenario; there is a lot of weaving of the two pieces together that still needs to take place. There are three books left to complete in the series, so only time tell how it will all turns out.
Genesis: Facts and Fictions is a series of essays from a popular blog written by Ken Helsley that takes an in-depth look at the first 11 chapters of Genesis and compares what is often taught in the modern church versus what the text actually says.