Donna Williams asked me to describe the long collaboration process with Janice Miller, my editor, and the hurdles we had to overcome. To me this opens a whole window into the world of creativity and how it works.
First of all I must tell you that I finished the book many years ago. I gave it to several people to critique. All of them were taken with my ideas and theory, but they also said that the work was simply too dense to be readable by the general public. I suppose you might say I created a monster that was too hard to handle. It was obvious I needed help.
Through a series of strokes of luck I was introduced to Janice Miller, an editor and publisher. She plowed through the manuscript and was taken with it. When she agreed to work with me, I’m sure neither of us dreamed it would be another ten years before the final product saw the light of day. But it did.
What took the time was for us to literally go through each sentence in what turned out to be a 514 page work, to make sure it was crystal clear. That’s where the creativity came in. It was necessary for her to write the terrifying words “not clear” opposite a paragraph, and for me to craft a readable result but still keeping to the sometimes very complicated point I was trying to make. There were many times the solution would come to me out of a sound sleep at 3:00 in the morning.
As to hurdles, I can honestly say in all those years we never had a disagreement. Her suggestions for clarity were sheer genius. Any
discussions we had evolved from my having to explain a point with which she might not, at first, have been familiar. They were few and far between.
I think the result of this collaboration is a book, Talking With God, that can be read and understood by anyone with an interest things biblical. I hope readers will agree.
Question: In the book you mention that your father, a hematologist and researcher, launched your study. From the discussions with your father to the publishing of your book, how many years did the journey take? How did your father’s ideas evolve, and how did you fine tune them?
RDI: In the early 1950’s my father was deeply involved with his hematological research at a leading Chicago medical center, as well as his practice. At the same time my late partner and I were rapidly expanding our young public relations company, and my wife and I were building a family. It was during this period that my father, a true scientist and biblical scholar, and I began to have conversations about a thought he had concerning the possibility that the Ark of the Testimony (also called the Ark of the Covenant) could have been an electrical apparatus that was used to communicate with God. Then, in spite of our heavy schedules, we began to plumb the Bible for any evidence to substantiate this thought.
The first result was an unpublished article on the topic in the mid 1950’s. Then we wrote a 24 page monograph published by Bloch Publishing Company in 1965. It was titled Puzzling Biblical Laws Interpreted in Terms of ModernPhysics. In that same year my father died.
After a time I began thinking of the theory behind the monograph, and realized that there were more possibilities to be considered. My thought was to work in my spare time for a year or so and get them on paper. It turned out it would take more than 40 years until the book was published.
The reason for all those years (other than having the daily work of running a company) was that it had become apparent that, while the general approach we were taking was a start, it left great gaps in what the Bible was trying to convey about the Ark and its “care and feeding.” That’s when I started my research in earnest. The result took me into other paths that we hadn’t followed before, and the final result was different in many ways from our original thinking. So while the seed was planted, the tree (of knowledge?) that grew from it was something I never expected. I’m only sorry that my father didn’t live to see the tree as it looks today.
Excerpted from an interview by Donna Williams of The Celebrity Editor