J. David Sargent with his new Book" The Emperor of Hell

J. David Sargent with his book “The Emperor of Hell.” It is a fictional story about what could happen in the end times.

To be a good writer you have to be a voracious reader, most successful authors will tell you.

Blount County’s J. David Sargent said he definitely fits into that category, always a book in hand. It was his wife, though, who took notice and challenged him to pen his own work of fiction, Sargent said. What resulted is an end-of-days fantasy built around a newly appointed president of the United States who wants to rule the world.

The book is called “Emperor of Hell,” and was first written in 1989. Sargent has made it available on Amazon.com and his website, jdavidsargent.com.

For the fictitious president’s ambitious plan to have any chance at reality, a series of unfortunate events occur, like a lethal gas attack by terrorists on a Washington, D.C. subway, carrying its deadly affects for miles. Several members of Congress have succumbed to the attack.

Meanwhile on the same day, commuters in Los Angeles were killed by an explosive device that had been planted by the terrorists along a stretch of the L.A. overpass. Entire sections of freeway were demolished.

Intrigued? That’s not the half of it. Sargent weaves in a ranger from the Great Smoky Mountains and a nurse from the Midwest, both trying to stop the world dominance plan from becoming reality. They make their way to Idaho for the ultimate showdown.

The main character is Thomas Delaney, a Kansas senator born to an American dad and Syrian mother, who he is told both died in a car accident. Delaney is placed as president by the surviving members of Congress.

“Simultaneous strikes on both coasts of the United States brings the country to its knees,” Sargent explained. “Hundreds die in a Los Angeles freeway bombing while a biological attack by radical terrorists on Washington, D.C. wipe out most of the power structure of the government and took thousands of lives.”

It is during an emergency meeting that the junior senator from Kansas becomes leader of this nation, in the book.

“None knew that he had been groomed all his life by a cabal and their oil-rich allies for just this moment,” this author explained.”Evidence planted by the attackers points to a Christian militia group.”

Sargent said he had no one in mind when creating his main character, although he could be “any one of a thousand ... a million.” That’s because ambition follows power, the author said.

On the cover, Sargent describes what happens in the book this way: Love blooms as the seeds of a new Holocaust are being sown. He said we mostly associate the word Holocaust with what happened to millions of Jews at the hands of Hitler and his army.

“But the dictionary describes it as ‘a great or complete destruction, especially by fire.’ I am not a Bible scholar and this is a work of fiction, but those words ring true concerning the Biblical prophesies.”

He prefers to call his work a cautionary tale, not a doomsday prediction. He uses biblical references and prophesies to show how they could become reality.

Christians and those interested in how the end times could take place will find the book fascinating, Sargent said. Young adults to seniors, men and women will find something to appreciate or ponder, the author said.

Sargent grew up in South Carolina and later moved to Cleveland to work for the Church of God. From there, he moved to Arkansas and worked for a large commercial ad agency, which later folded. He’s been here in East Tennessee for 22 years. He and his wife have three grown children.

This veteran of the Vietnam War spent four years in the Navy and traveled extensively, something he and his wife are contemplating doing in retirement.

This isn’t Sargent’s only book. He has also written a romance, called “Carolina Wind.”

He said there is no one message he hopes to get across with “The Emperor of Hell.”

“We all begin to lose our humanity when we deny it to others,” he said.

Melanie joined The Daily Times in the early 90s and has served as the Life section editor since 1993. A William Blount and UT alum, Melanie is generally the early arriver who turns on the lights in the newsroom.

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