shedding new light on stories of old

News and Reviews - Volume One

Although perfectly positioned in an emerging market, Lost Stories might get lost again in the clutter of similar-looking titles

A Trilogy of Ancient Tales

An Unprecedented Window into the Past

In 1999, after twenty years of research and writing, W. Kent Smith published his first book, Lost Stories for All Ages: Apocryphal Literature for the 21st Century, amidst a flurry of other fictionalized accounts of apocryphal texts. Now, he is facing the fact that he may have a bittersweet pill to swallow, at least temporarily.

According to Rodolpho Carrasco, of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune:

“The representation of ancient texts is important enough for people and organizations to invest millions of dollars and countless hours. The reason is simple: At the dawn of the Third Millennium A.D., in a frenetically digital and mass migratory world, there is an ever-growing hunger for truth and meaning.” (Old Texts Come to Life in Modern World, March 6, 1999)

This demand has led to a rapidly developing genre, which has not only produced a frenzy amongst authors, publishers, and booksellers, but it has also brought apocryphal literature into renewed acceptance.

“But,” says Smith, “there are hazards in this feeding frenzy. A novel—like all fiction, for that matter—must create characters to tell an engaging story. Unfortunately, character development in ancient texts usually falls flat, so the author, in writing his fiction, is forced to fill in the missing pieces, making stuff up as he goes along. They call it ‘dramatic license.’ The result is a fictionalized novel where characters are, at least partially, based on conjecture, which tends to lead readers away from the real truths and meanings that are buried in these texts.”

With a love for the cinema, which began in his youth, Smith came to believe that the stories in apocryphal literature were “movies just waiting to happen. But non-fiction and the cinema seemed incompatible, especially biblical non-fiction.”

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To hear Kent talk about the little-known biblical prophecy, which speaks of the 5,500-year chronology from Adam to Christ, with Zen Garcia, the host of the Internet talk show Secrets Revealed, CLICK BELOW.
Story Continues From Above

Still, Kent’s desire to tap the power of the cinema haunted him. Eventually, he felt that he discovered a way to reconcile the two forms of communication. “Believing I had discovered certain things about our historical record, I was driven to write non-fiction stories within a cinematic narrative. Political dramas set in a vivid, historical context particularly intrigued me.

“A lot of my inspiration comes from James A. Michener, Gore Vidal, and Arthur C. Clarke. Their unique, dramatic presentations of history inspired me in a big way.

“A screenplay hinges on symmetry and balance,” says Kent. “The beauty of the cinema is that it can tell a simple, yet powerful, story. I didn’t try to write a novel per se, so I never had to stoop to making up a bunch of stuff about the characters. One thing I never wanted to do was embellish the facts. I wrote Lost Stories for All Ages, envisioning it all as a movie, with action and dialog. That’s one of the reasons why, I believe, it’s so special. It’s something everyone can relate to. I mean, what’s the point of all your scholarship when only 100 people will ever read it, let alone understand it?”

Lost Stories for All Ages contains three interconnected short stories, adapted from a series of biblical manuscripts, which began to be rediscovered by the Western world, starting in 1768. In them, Smith brings to life some of the best known apocryphal Bible stories.

After spending years researching, adapting, and writing these stories, Smith has self-published the book. “I had to remain true to the original texts,” he adds. “These stories are woven together in a very subtle and unique way. For a long time, no one could really appreciate how important it was to present them as a trilogy. Self-publishing was my only way to insure that would happen.”

Now Lost Stories for All Ages is perfectly positioned in an emerging market, with an accurate, easy-to-read adaptation of these texts. Yet Smith’s dilemma is still a tough one. “I’m thrilled to see that in this new millennium we’re finally bringing these ancient texts into the spotlight. It’s exciting to see that people are ready for this kind of material. But I’m also frustrated, because Lost Stories might be overlooked and underappreciated simply because of its simple, straight-forward presentation. If I’m not careful, it could get lost again in all the clutter of similar-looking titles.”

And that, incidentally, leads us to the reason for the creation of a supplemental publication to the book, called The Lost Stories Journal. “Yes, that’s right. I’m constantly having to remind everyone about the reasons why things like these books keep getting lost! It’s not something new, you know.”

So that’s what The Journal is all about, then? “Yeah, that’s a good way of putting it, I guess. It’s a place to rediscover the things that keep getting lost!”

But aren’t you still worried Lost Stories for All Ages could get lost again no matter what you do? “Of course, but then they’ll just have to get rediscovered one more time by some other unsuspecting soul. Truth always seems to have a way of doing that!”

After several more years of research and writing, Kent has completed a second edition of Lost Stories for All Ages, a book that contains the stories just discussed here, but in a greatly expanded form, as well as an extensive examination of the historical and theological background to the stories themselves. This brand-new book, presented under the title Tales of Forever: The Unfolding Drama of God’s Hidden Hand in History, is available in both paperback and eBook formats, on this website as well as Amazon Books, and Barnes and Noble, and Sacred Words Publishing. It is available as a complete book, which contains the whole story, or in smaller versions that break down the larger book into four seperate books.

So ends this Chapter of NEWS AND REVIEWS. To read more, please click on one of the following links:

Read News and Reviews, Volume Two to find out what new message might usher in the next reformation for a Church known for its bitter divisiveness.

Read the book The Joy of Cynicism and the Death of Beauty to learn how to defend yourself against the most destructive force in God’s creation, yet one that can be conquered by even a child.

Read the book On Earth as It is On Heaven to learn the truth about God’s Kingdom manifesting on Earth and the role America is playing in this unfolding drama of the ages.

Read the book Fish Tales (From the Belly of the Whale) to arm yourself against the forces that turn God’s greatest gift to humanity—The Bible—into our worst nightmare.

Read the book Tales of Forever to embark upon a fantastic journey of discovery that will transform your understanding of God’s control and faithfulness.

Read The Lost Stories Journal, Volume One to learn how by harmonizing a multiplicity of perspectives our results can then be trusted.

Read The Lost Stories Journal, Volume Two to find out how the most important thing is to avoid overemphasizing one discipline at the expense of the rest.

Read the trilogy A Strange World to discover tales that speak of an elusive truth, yet truth that genuinely and mysteriously pervades our Universe.

Read about the soon-to-be-released book Flight of the Fowler to read a tale so intriguing and entertaining you will forget you are reliving a lost chapter of history.

Read a Preview of the book Made in Heaven to see how Cecile B. DeMille needed just two pages from The Bible, and he’d give us a motion picture.

Selected Biographies

James A. Michener (1907 - 1999 A.D.) American Author Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for Tales of the South Pacific (1947). Also wrote The Bridges at Toko-Ri, Hawaii, The Source. Awarded U.S. Medal of Freedom (1977).

Gore Vidal (1925 A.D. - ) American Author, Playwright, Politician, Historian, and Social Critic Wrote Lincoln and Burr.

Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008 A.D.) English Author of Science Fiction and Fact Wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey and Childhood’s End. His ideas led to the development of satellite broadcasting.

Selected Glossary

Apocryphal: secret or hidden, as in crypt or cryptic.

Cinema: the technical, aesthetic qualities of motion picture art, including episodic and pictorial composition, movement, suspense, and drama.

History: a narrative devoted to the interdependence of unfolding events, which includes a philosophic explanation for the cause of such events.