An interview with Tuvia Pollack:
Q: Are you Jewish or Christian?
Q: Who are you exactly, and what are your religious beliefs?
A: I believe in the faith of my Jewish forefathers, and the books that my people created, which is the entire Bible, the Old and New Testaments. Some would call me an Evangelical Baptist Christian Jew. Some would prefer the term Messianic Jew, as I keep the Jewish biblical holidays rather than the Christian ones and maintain a Jewish identity. To me, however, which label you put on me doesn’t really matter. I was born in Sweden as the grandson of a holocaust refugee from Germany, and I moved to Israel at the age of 13. I am in my 40s, and I live in Jerusalem with my wife, four children, and six pets.
Q: How can you believe in Jesus if you’re Jewish?
A: I am 4th generation of Jews who believe in Jesus. It’s more common than many people think.
Q: But the Jews rejected Jesus.
A: Incorrect. I didn’t reject him. My father, grandfather and great grandmother didn’t. The disciples didn’t. Paul the apostle didn’t. Michael Solomon Alexander, the Jewish Anglican bishop to Jerusalem in 1841 – 1845 didn’t. Benjamin Disraeli, Jewish Christian Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1874 – 1880 didn’t. Felix Mendelssohn didn’t.
Q: But a majority of the Jews rejected Jesus and reject him to this day.
A: True. And a majority of the gentiles also rejected Jesus and continue to reject him to this day.
Q: Why should I want to read your books?
A: Because they’re awesome.
Q: I am an agent/publisher and want to know more.
A: You can snoop through my social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram) and contact me through them, or through the contact form on the website.
Q: I signed up to the $10 Patreon, and read your early drafts. I hate your book. It’s horrible.
A: Great! I love getting constructive criticism. Please let me know where and why you lost interest, and if there’s anything I can do to fix it. No tiptoeing. Be upfront. I can take it.
Q: You’ve never taken a professional writing class, English is your second language, you’re wasting your time pursuing a futile writing dream, and you’re growing a beer belly. Plus, you will never be able to write as well as *insert huge international bestseller here*
A: Well, hello there inner critical voice who tries to push me down, pointing out all my insecurities. You know what? I’m not afraid of you anymore. I’m even going to spell out what you told me on the “about me” page of my website. How’s that? Hah!
Q: You only started writing in your late 30s? What did you do in the earlier part of your life?
A: I am an accountant with a BA in Economy and two professional licenses in accounting and salary accounting in Israel. I spent my 20s and most of my 30s advancing professionally and making babies with my wife. Since the babies are now teenagers and I have fulfilled all my professional aspirations, it’s now time to realize my crazy writer dreams.
Q: Is it true you let people sign up for your early drafts for free back in early 2019?
A: To trick people into becoming free beta readers.
Q: Why did you stop offering that?
A: Turns out that if you ever want to sell a book, you can’t give it away for free online with no limits.
Q: Why are you proceeding so slowly?
A: Because I have a regular full-time job as an accountant, and a wife and four teenage kids that take up most of my time. Plus, I do a lot of extra writing for Kehilanews and other outlets, some under my name and some anonymous.
Q: Is it true you wrote this book in 2015 in a different language and failed finding a publisher?
A: Yes. Turns out that being a debut writer, writing a book of 700-ish pages aimed for Christians in the language of a tiny and very secular nation (Sweden) was an unwise move. Who knew?
Q: I am a Swedish publisher! Can I get the full original Swedish manuscript?
A: No. The rewriting into English is turning out better than ever. I will never publish the original Swedish manuscript. If you wish to publish in Swedish, wait until I have an agent and negotiate about translation rights. You missed your chance. *Makes a dramatic diva-gesture.*
Q: How many languages do you speak?
A: Embarrassingly few. Still only the same three I spoke when I was 18; English, Swedish and Hebrew. I am trying to learn Arabic, though, and I have some basic knowledge in French.
Q: How often will you update new chapter drafts for the $10 Patreons?
A: As soon as I finish the next two chapters. No promises! Sometimes it will be a week between emails and sometimes it will be two months.
Q: Which program do you use for writing?
Q: What is that mountain on the top logo?
A: That is mount Arbel above the lake of Galilee. It’s a beautiful cliff filled with caves that is stretched right above Magdala. And it just might play a vital role in my novel.
Q: You say that “there are mysterious scrolls, supernatural elements, love, betrayal, war and death”. All this sounds awesome, but your book is also presenting Christianity as the truth. Is this just a sneaky way to evangelize us non-Christians?
A: Kinda, but if it doesn’t work, you get an awesome book, anyway. Win-win.
Q: Why are you writing this?
A: Because many Evangelical Christians know very little about the historic roots of their faith. Many just read the New Testament and then “jump” to Martin Luther, with little knowledge of what happened in between. Especially after Dan Brown’s “the Da Vinci Code,” I think it is vital to show the historical accuracy at the basis of our faith, as opposed to the strange sources of the 3rd century that Brown built his book on. I hope for this book to be an exciting story while also being apologetic, giving the reader a strong historic foundation for the validity of the Christian faith. I am also trying to disprove any kind of Christian antisemitism.
Q: Do you have other published authors in your family?
A: Yes! I thought you’d never ask. My grandfather, Heinrich Pollack, who fled from Berlin to Sweden in 1939, published his memoirs in German in 2007, “Deine Treue Ist Gross”. His grandfather, Saweli M. Perlmann, wrote several books on the Jews in China. He wrote in German, English and Hebrew (first ever book in Hebrew about China, published in London in 1911). My grandfather’s aunt, Erna Meyer, came to the British mandate to Palestine as part of the 4th immigration wave in the 1930s, and wrote for Wizo. She wrote the first ever cooking book in Hebrew (with English and German next to it) in 1936, where she encouraged “Zionist cooking”, telling the German Jewish housewives to use local products from kibbutzim rather than importing ingredients from nazi Germany. My great grandmother wrote books on the Hanseatic league in what is today in southern Sweden, and her son, my great uncle, wrote memoirs about living through WW2 on the outskirts of Dresden, published in the 1990s. Do I feel pressure to become a writer? No, not at all…
Q: Which Bible translation are you using in the book?
A: I thought a lot about this, but eventually went with the NIV, because of the easiness of the flow in the English language. My main characters all speak the original languages, and if something comes up where the translation doesn’t align well enough with the original, I will either use NASB or make my own direct translation from the original Hebrew or Greek.
Q: What will you do at the end of this project?
A: Try to find an agent who can pitch this for publishing. If that’s you, hit me up. Should that fail, I will self-publish.
Q: I am an agent/publisher, and I want to publish your book if you stop sending chapter drafts to people.
A: Email me and let’s negotiate.
Q: I have found that someone is re-publishing your book somewhere online!
A: Email me right away. The person who does this will be shut off from the project, publicly shamed, sued in court, and whipped by 39 lashes in the closest synagogue.
Wait… that was only in the 1st century. Darn.
But yes, I will take legal action to get it removed from the internet if this happens, and I will block the person from the project.
Q: I am a journalist and…
A: Yes, the answer is yes, I’d love for you to interview me on the front page and make me world famous.
Q: That’s not what I…
A: Just book me a flight from Tel-Aviv to your glamorous office in London or New York, and I’ll be there. Email me the details.
Q: I just wanted to…
A: See you in London!
Q: Is there a way to donate to you? Paypal or Patreon or something?
A: I thought you’d never ask! Sign up on http://www.patreon.com/tuviapollack and pick a tier. Even as little as $2 a month makes a tremendous difference.
Q: Who wrote all these questions?
A: Me. This entire page is essentially just a weird internal monologue with myself. I might be losing my mind.
Q: You are extremely handsome and talented.
If you have additional questions, leave them in comments below.