Hello San Francisco!

I’d like to welcome Mrs. Lentz’s English class from Alma Heights Christian School in Pacifica, CA! I hear that you have been reading Between Two Kingdoms in your class. Since you have the greatest English teacher in the world, I have agreed to answer any questions you may have about the book here on this blog. So…comment away. Ask me some questions…let me know what you think of the story. I am waiting to hear from you!

Joe Boyd
Author, Between Two Kingdoms

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76 Responses to “Hello San Francisco!”


  1. 1 janelle moore January 22, 2011 at 12:26 am

    hi Joe I love your book it is really really good .I really like how you incorporated the bible into the writing and I would read this book over and over again if I bought it .Love it!!!!!

    Janelle Moore

    • 2 joeboyd77 January 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      Thanks Janelle! I’d be interested in how you see the Bible incorporated into the book…are there any specific ways that struck you?

      • 3 janelle moore January 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm

        Hmmm… thats a very good question Joe. One way I saw it incorperated was when you mentioned the private gardens of the king, that kind of reminded me of the Garden of Eden when the children played in the garden and all that. and then the river to me was like the river in the garden of eden how it brought life to everything in its path.And thats why I think that the children where lulled into a false sense of security when they where close to the river I think that Mary said that it seemed so much like the upper kingdom because everything looked and kind of felt the same.

      • 4 joeboyd77 January 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm

        Janelle,

        Have you finished the book yet? When you do, read Revelation 22:1-5 and let me know if your thoughts about this expand at all…I think you are on the right track by the way :)

  2. 5 Danielle January 22, 2011 at 5:20 am

    hey joe!

    first off, thanks for letting us post on ur site and taking the time to read our questions and statements

    yes we do have the best literature teacher in the world :)

    what character do you think you are most like????

    • 6 joeboyd77 January 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      Hi Danielle! People have asked me this question before (about my favorite character) and it is hard to answer. I have two boys of my own and it is sort of like asking me which of my kids is my favorite. They both are! I will say that all of them remind me of ways I would like to be better. I like Tommy’s honesty and his ability to do hard things even though he may not understand what it will mean. I like the way Mary grows from a frightened girl to a great leader. I like Pops’ wisdom. I even like the Senkrad character. The chapter where he and Tommy meet for the first time his one of my favorite chapters because we can see that “evil” people generally think they are good…it is never as cut and dry as we want to make it.

      I’m more interested in your thoughts…which character is your favorite?

      • 7 Mia January 23, 2011 at 2:11 am

        Hi Joe!
        This book really caught my attention! When i started to read it, i instantly thought about how this book is biblically related!
        Where did you get the inspiration to write this book?

      • 8 joeboyd77 January 23, 2011 at 5:58 am

        Hi Mia,

        The “inspiration” for this book came ten years before it was published! It started as a simple illustration to explain the Kingdom of God to my church at the time. I wrote the first chapter and thought that would be the end of it, but I ended up writing about 8 more chapters that year to share with my church. Then I took some time off and came back to the story about four years ago to finish it. Another inspiration is probably obvious. When I was your age I discovered CS Lewis’ Narnia series and JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the RIngs. I knew that someday I wanted to write a story similar to theirs. If you like my book, read theirs. They are the masters…I’m just rather humbly following behind them.

    • 9 danielle January 25, 2011 at 2:51 am

      i think my favorite character so far is the river. it just reminds me that i have to let the Holy Spirit guide me through my life. it will if i want it to (and i do:) ) kind of like Pops and his relationship with the river. He lets it guide him and he listens for it. :)

      i like the fact that you spell some of the names (such as senkrad) darkness backwards :) also Setah (hate)

      where did you come up for the river to be the Holy Spirit? good analogy :)

      thanks!
      danielle

      • 10 joeboyd77 January 25, 2011 at 3:31 am

        Danielle,

        I am really glad that you see the River as a character! Some people might not think of her that way. Even in the story, it was hard for the children to see the River as a person. There is river symbolism in the Bible and Christians have used river language to represent the Spirit for centuries.

      • 11 danielle January 27, 2011 at 1:25 am

        i was reading last night and something you wrote got my attention. when amanda said that treehouses dont have to be built in trees. i interpert it as a christian planting a church/ mission or telling the word of God in a place where there are no christians. It may be out of a comfort level but she was told by the prince to do it.

        i was wondering what it meant to you. (i think it was in chapter 25)

        thanks!
        danielle

      • 12 joeboyd77 January 27, 2011 at 5:10 am

        I think you are on the right track for sure. I also think that you can have the essence of church without the structure of church (buildings, pastors, etc.) That is part of what that statement means to me.

    • 13 danielle January 25, 2011 at 2:54 am

      do you have any intentions of making a second book?

      i would totally read it :)

  3. 16 ashley [: January 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Hello Joe!

    First off, I love this book! I have never read a story like this that has so many symbols of Christianity hidden inside. It has lots of adventure, and lots of special characters.
    We do have the greatest English teacher! (:

    Where did you come up with the idea for such an interesting book?

    • 17 joeboyd77 January 24, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      Hi Ashley!

      Sorry I missed your post originally…It went to “spam” for some reason.

      The idea for the book came originally from Jesus’ teaching that to enter the Kingdom of God you have to enter it as a child. I wanted to challenge adults to see God through the eyes of a child again. I’m glad you are enjoying it.

      • 18 ashley [: January 25, 2011 at 3:27 am

        That’s so cool!
        Thanks again!

        -Ashley

      • 19 ashley [: January 26, 2011 at 5:15 am

        Joe-
        I went on Google Translate, and I looked up “basiped” in every single language Google Translate had to offer… nothing showed up, nothing was different. But as I went along, I noticed that the word “baptize” could be like “basiped” if the letters were rearranged. ( “bapised?”…)
        Help please? (:

      • 20 joeboyd77 January 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm

        Ok. FInd the name of the Mountain in chapter one – look up the meaning of that word. (It starts with “Basi-” Then google “-ped” to see what the second half of the word means. Put them together and you’ll figure it out.

  4. 21 Barbara January 23, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Dear Mr. Joe,

    Thank you very much for letting us post on your site. Like Danielle said, we do have a wonderful English teacher. When you were writing the book, did you know exactly which stories and symbols from the Bible you were going to incorporate in Between Two Kingdoms? I like how many symbols from the Bible are in the story. By the way, I am really enjoying the book!

    • 22 joeboyd77 January 23, 2011 at 5:53 am

      Barbara,

      Thanks. I’m glad you are liking the book. As to your question, I only had a few “symbols” in mind when I began writing the book. I actually didn’t try to be overly symbolic. I wasn’t trying to write a story full of Christian symbolism, but a story that could start discussions about God and faith. What has been interesting to me is the “symbols” that people have seen that were not intentional on my part at all. That’s the best part – the reader can symbolize whatever he or she wants. That’s what makes stories like this great. I’d be interested if you see anything hidden in the story that means something special to you…

      • 23 Barbara January 25, 2011 at 2:33 am

        Dear Mr. Joe,
        When Pops, Roger, Bobby, Tommy, Luke and Mary were having their last breakfast, to me it symbolized the last supper. Jesus was having his last supper on Earth with the disciples, just like the group was having their last breakfast together in the Lower Kingdom. What was your intention when you created Middleland? Was it supposed to represent the Earth? Once again, thanks for doing this. I’m still loving the book!

      • 24 joeboyd77 January 25, 2011 at 3:37 am

        Hey Barbara,

        Middleland does represent earth as it is now. I believe we are currently living in a time and place where both the Upper and Lower Kingdom reign at the same time. Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven has come and will come. That seemed to be his main teaching. All of my book is a reflection on what Jesus meant by the “Kingdom of Heaven.” I was trying to answer the question, “what does it mean that heaven is available now, yet not fully available yet?”

      • 25 Barbara January 26, 2011 at 6:21 am

        Hey Joe,
        I was wondering, how did you come up with Senkrad’s language? I understand that some words are written backwards to make another word (darknes=Sendrad). That part seems really interesting to me. Also, when you introduced the character Joey, did you name him after yourself, or was that a coincidence? :-)

      • 26 joeboyd77 January 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm

        Hey Barbara,

        I’ve talked with some other students on here about the language, particularly the word “basiped”. Look through the other posts to see those discussions. As for Joey, it wasn’t really meant to be me. To be honest, that character had a different name until the last minute when my editor suggested I change his name. I think his original name was Robbie and they felt it would get confused with Bobby. I named him Joey seeing a little connection with his character and Joseph from the Bible – but it was a last minute thing without as much forethought as the other characters. Good question.

      • 27 Barbara January 28, 2011 at 2:09 am

        Hello Joe!
        What was your intention when you named Senkrad “Adam” when he was trying to deceive Tommy? Does it have anything to do with Adam and Eve? Also, what is your advice for aspiring authors? We are almost done with the book. It is such a great book! Thanks for letting us ask you all these questions.
        Barbara

  5. 28 Hailey January 23, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Hi Mr. Boyd!

    i haven’t finished reading the book, but i abosoulutely LOVE IT!! i love crazy adventure stories! SOOOO much symbolism too! It’s so fun coming up with what everything symbolizes (or doesn’t symbolize)The best part is: it’s your opinion! anyway LOVE it can’t wait to finish it!! Thanks for doing this for us!!

    From Hailey 8D

    • 29 joeboyd77 January 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      Hailey,

      I really am glad that you are enjoying the book so much. I’d be interested on what you think about the ending after you finish it…

      • 30 Hailey January 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm

        i was wondering if you are ever considering making a movie of B2K. That would be a REALLY GOOD movie!!

      • 31 joeboyd77 January 25, 2011 at 1:12 am

        Hailey,

        I’d love to! I am a filmmaker myself, but I think B2K would need to be a big budget movie to work as live action. Pray that somebody with the resources wants to get behind it and I’m in!

      • 32 Hailey January 27, 2011 at 4:23 am

        very true, money is a little harder to get these days… i was wondering, did you intend to put so many characters in the book? All the characters definitely make it interesting!

      • 33 joeboyd77 January 27, 2011 at 5:11 am

        Hailey,

        I did want to tell a story with a lot of characters. I like that as you go the two kingdoms seem to grow in scope…

  6. 34 Taylor January 23, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    hello joe!

    First off this book is crazy intense…You must be like a super genuis to come up with such a great book.The one part of this book that has been eating at me the most is the language that the phantom messangers and Magus a.k.a. simon spoke! My inner harry potter fan is saying that they are speaking snake. One because magus tounge turned into one of a snakes when he began speaking this mysterious language and two satan comes in a form of a snake so they are like senkrad’s demons so they could very well be speaking that way. Am I anywhere close? Oh and that was so creative of you to name him senkrad which is darknes back words! Anyway thank so much for writing this book! And you need to come speak at our graduation!

    I hope your giants fan
    taylor!

    • 35 joeboyd77 January 24, 2011 at 5:19 am

      Taylor,

      Well, I’m a huge Reds fan…but I was pulling for the Giants in the Series. And thanks for calling me a super genius, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the case.

      I have to confess that I only read the first Harry Potter book..so I’m not sure about any similarity there in regard to the language. There certainly is a snake-like quality that emerges as Magus fades away. I’m not sure how conscious I was of that when I wrote it. For fun you may want to google “Simon Magus” and see what you find. There is also some meaning in the term “basiped” – it’s a word derived from a combination of two greek roots. If you can’t figure it out, write me back and I’ll give you a hint :)

      • 36 Ashley Lentz January 25, 2011 at 3:49 am

        Taylor –
        You should do this and share it with the class. It was a lot of fun and very interesting. Let me know if you need help. I think you’ll be able to do it on your own though.

      • 37 Taylor January 27, 2011 at 1:06 am

        Ok so I found what ped is its children and mrs. lentz helped me with the basi its bottom hence bottom children children from hell possibly! And I have to say I love how you brought back amanda she is my new favorite character.

      • 38 joeboyd77 January 27, 2011 at 5:08 am

        Hey Taylor,

        Just to clarify a little…the Upper Kingdom is located on to of Mount Basilea. That’s the ancient Greek word for “kingdom” or “rule.” It is the word used in the gospels when Jesus says the phrase “Kingdom of God” or “Kingdom of Heaven.” As you said, “ped” means child or children so the made up word “basiped” is mean to mean something along the lines of “kingdom child”. The phantoms tend to say that when they see a child of the King…

        Oh and I like Amanda too. It was really fun creating a female warrior character.

  7. 39 noah January 24, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Hey Joe

    first i think this is a great book and second what made you want to finish the book after leaving the book alone for those few years.

    • 40 joeboyd77 January 24, 2011 at 5:21 am

      Hey Noah,

      Good question. I think it just needed to rest from it for while while I grew up some in my faith. I started the book when I was in my mid-twenties and finished it in my mid-thirties. It’s probably hard to believe in eight grade, but most people still feel kinda like a kid in their twenties. I’m glad I waited to finish it though. It gave me a much broader perspective.

  8. 41 Austin January 24, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Well, I had a theory on the deeper meaning of the most important settings in your book. I thought that the Upper Kingdom was, in a way, when a believer is fully within the Lord and trusts in Jesus with his whole heart. The Lower Kingdom, represents a person who has rejected the Lord fully. They have nothing to do with him. The Middleland is when a person is on the edge of really trusting God, perhaps still unsure about some concepts but has heard of God. And the River is the Holy Spirit, or maybe the Bible. The longer you talk to the Holy Spirit, or read the Bible, the closer you are to it when the time arises to use your knowledge.
    Oh and just to say, I think your writing style has a wonderful flow about it, like if you put it down, you feel like you’ve been interrupted in a way in order to return to boring reality. Haha it’s a great book.
    I also have a blog where I post poetry, and if you could look at it I would appreciate it! =D
    Best Regards,
    Austin Day

    blog: dailyhaduken.tumblr.com

    • 42 joeboyd77 January 24, 2011 at 5:26 am

      Thanks Austin,

      I’ll check out your blog. I think you are tracking with the symbolism pretty well. One thing to think about – someone like Mary had always lived in the Upper Kingdom as far as she could remember, but was missing something. She had to go to the Lower Kingdom to find her true meaning. I’d be interested in your thoughts as to why that was the case…

      • 43 Austin January 25, 2011 at 12:13 am

        Well I would guess she needed to use her abilities, so going to a place where the love and glory of the King wasn’t prevalent, she was able to truly understand that she needed to fight the darkness.

      • 44 joeboyd77 January 25, 2011 at 1:11 am

        Yep…but there is even more to it. A major point of the story is that the Upper Kingdom is (at least in part) in the Lower Kingdom. They co-exist. Come back to this idea when you read the last two chapters and see if you feel any differently about Mary’s growth.

  9. 45 Matthew Shasky January 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Hey Joe….This Book is a masterpiece…I really like it and i love how you have really put things that are essencial to christian life in this book, I also love all the symbolism that you used…I am actually thinking to ask my youth pastor if we could do a middle school group reading/discussion on this book. Thanks for doing this for our class it’s really cool

    • 46 joeboyd77 January 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks Matthew. I’m glad you like it so much. Let me know if you read it with your youth group. I’d love to hear how that goes…

      • 47 Matthew Shasky January 25, 2011 at 12:47 am

        I totally will…. I would also like to know one thing, where did you get all the inspiration and what not for some of the symbols for the book. I’m not much of a reader so you should feel good that I like your book, I can’t wait for every chapter, just waiting to see what it holds for me/ my class

      • 48 joeboyd77 January 25, 2011 at 1:07 am

        Inspiration is a tricky thing. It’s a combination of spontaneous bursts of creativity and old fashioned hard work. Some chapters took weeks to write. Some took an hour. I rarely thought about the symbolism before writing each chapter…meaning I didn’t say, “I want to say something about the eucharist (communion)” and wrote the chapter about the cookies in Roger’s treehouse. It more came from thinking about the story and pulling from what I believe about life. I knew in that chapter, for instance, that the kids needed to remember the Upper Kingdom…it came out looking a lot like communion.

        And by the way…I wasn’t much of a reader at your age either. I was about 13 or so when I discovered authors I liked – like JRR Tolkien. Then I began reading more.

      • 49 Matthew Shasky January 25, 2011 at 3:57 am

        Thats good to know, we were talking about what the cookies meant in class and we came across the conclusion of the communion. Another thing is that its good to know that I’m not alone when it comes to reading. I love the transitions of this book…How it went from kids and having fun to adults trying to fulfill a mission. I have just finished Chapter 22 and I was wondering what exactly Campbells apraon represents, I was a little stumped on that.

      • 50 joeboyd77 January 25, 2011 at 4:11 am

        It was her gift from the Prince similar to Tommy’s jacket and Bobby’s ring. Have you read Paul’s lists of spiritual gifts in the epistles? Maybe you can find one that would explain how her apron connected to the dinner and warmth of the their treehouse. If not, let me know and I can tell you the answer.

        One other thing most people don’t notice. Alex and Campbell together represent a church reformer named Alexander Campbell. Google his name to see what he was known for…

      • 51 Matthew Shasky January 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm

        Ok will do.

      • 52 Matthew Shasky January 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm

        Hey Joe thats so cool about Alexander Campbell. The funny thing is that we are learning about the Second Great Awakening in history class right now.

      • 53 joeboyd77 January 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm

        I came to Christ originally through the “Campbellite” movement – churches that normally are just called the “Christian Churches.”

      • 54 Matthew Shasky January 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm

        Sorry I have been asking a lot of stuff but, when you say the epistles what book exactly?

      • 55 joeboyd77 January 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm

        What I am thinking of may not be listed in some of Paul’s lists after all. Check out these scriptures though – (Romans 12:13, 1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:8, 1 Peter 4:9).

      • 56 Matthew Shasky January 26, 2011 at 4:53 am

        Ok Joe, I read the verses but I still don’t fully get what Campbell’s apron is a symbol for. Is it used as a hospitable gift from the Prince. Am i close?

      • 57 joeboyd77 January 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm

        Yep…ask your history teacher the role of hospitality in the growth of the early church and see if you get extra credit :)

      • 58 Matthew Shasky January 26, 2011 at 3:04 pm

        hey joe,

        I read the verses but I still don’t get what Campbell’s apron is used for.

      • 59 Matthew Shasky January 27, 2011 at 5:02 am

        Ok sounds good. After reading this book it has really inspired me to read more. And now that we will be going to high school i better learn to start to develop a thing for reading bc in high school I heard you read a lot. Thank you I guess for inspiring me to read more :D

      • 60 joeboyd77 January 27, 2011 at 5:11 am

        You’re welcome! That’s a huge compliment.

      • 61 Matthew Shasky February 14, 2011 at 3:34 am

        Sorry, I have one more question…..how do you start writing a book?

  10. 62 janelle moore January 25, 2011 at 12:56 am

    ok Joe wil do Mrs.Lentz liked what you put so much she is having the whole class do it. No we are not done with the book yet we are on chatpter 20 at the moment.

  11. 65 Gracie January 25, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Hey Joe!
    Your book is like totally awesome. So, I was wondering, like at any point in the book were you thinking “Ok, this is how the book has to end” when you weren’t even at the end yet? Also, during writing the book, were you just like, “Hmm, I think I’ll make so-and-so a character that has this quality, and then at this one time in the book will act really different, and while we’re at it, let’s give them this and that and send them to this place with these other people and it will all be relative to the Bible..” You know what I’m talking about right? Well, I was just curious, because I’m trying to write a book myself, and I figure it couldn’t hurt to ask a master about how they came up with their wonderful work of art.
    Thanks so much!
    -Gracie

    • 66 joeboyd77 January 25, 2011 at 3:42 am

      Gracie,

      You are asking questions about what writers normally call “the creative process.” It is different for everyone. Since this was my first book I just started to writing with no end in mind. Then I realized I needed structure and I needed to know the end so that I could get the characters where they needed to be. I’m glad you are thinking about writing a book at such a young age! Go for it. Just write and write and you will get better. Let people you trust tell you what they think of your writing so that you can improve.

  12. 67 Daniel January 25, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Hey Joe,

    First off, I just want to say that this is an amazing book! It’s really intense and holds your attention. It made me realize some things about Christianity that I hadn’t noticed before. I think it’s genius how you put so many symbols in that involve or are a part of the Christian walk in life. This is a great book! Thanks a lot for agreeing to do this with our class.

    -Daniel

  13. 69 danielle January 25, 2011 at 2:56 am

    way to go with the hw mr boyed!!! hahahaha just kidding it seems like an interesting project :)

  14. 70 Amanda January 25, 2011 at 3:05 am

    Hi Joe,
    I really enjoy reading your book. I can’t believe how anyone could make such a wonderful book influenced by the Bible. There are so many great meanings to almost everything hidden and visible.

  15. 71 Estuardo January 25, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Hi Joe.
    I wanted to say that your book is really awesome! I love the characters., Sometimes I catch myself reading ahead instead of reading a few chapters. It has a really neat story. Do you think you are ever going to make a sequel?

    • 72 joeboyd77 January 25, 2011 at 3:46 am

      Estuardo,

      Glad you like it! I will probably write a sequel someday, but I’m working on some other projects right now…

  16. 73 kevin January 25, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Hey Joe,
    Love the book and i really like how anyone can relate to it if they are a christain or not, because the strugle between good and evil is apparent in everyones life. Keep up the good work and i hope there will be a sequel.

  17. 75 Matthew Shasky January 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    hey Joe when you say the epistles what book exactly?

  18. 76 danielle January 28, 2011 at 12:51 am

    thats true :)) thanks joe and have a fun vacation! (lucky)


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