Timothy Wilkinson clears his head and gathers his thoughts at Pioneer Memorial Park in Sequim with his canine companion Bolt at his feet. Sequim Gazette photo by Ashley Miller
Timothy Wilkinson leads a double life.
By day, he's a teacher, tutor and mentor at Olympic Peninsula Academy in Sequim. He's a devoted husband and loving "father" to a 1-year-old Yorkshire terrier-cross dog named Bolt.
But when the sun sets, Wilkinson transforms into a biblical researcher, analyzes factual events from medieval times and revives them through fictional characters.
It was in the second grade when Wilkinson started living this split life. He invented the mythical world of Bitosa and wrote a series of stories and histories taking place in the fictional land, complete with maps, designs of the flora and fauna, and sketches of the world's various races.
As Wilkinson matured, his passion for medieval history continued to grow. He started collecting artifacts and replicas and participating in re-enactments.
The author inside Wilkinson also continued to blossom. He finished his first novel in 1988, a fantasy-adventure epic written in longhand over several years. Two years later he wrote his first play, recorded an original music album the next year and a screenplay six years after that.
Then, in 2002, his love of Bible research and ancient legends led him to a discovery - that the stories of the biblical King David of Israel and the legendary Arthur of Britain held a lot of similarities.
"I have no doubt that King David was the original Arthur," Wilkinson said.
"There are so many parallels that I don't think it can be a coincidence."
Developing this theme, Wilkinson finished a first draft of the novel "Samuel," telling the story of the 10th-century prophet in Israel. Unhappy with the results, he scrapped the book and started over, publishing a second version in 2005. Still unsatisfied, he threw out the second version and started yet again.
The third draft, titled "Prophet of Israel," published in late 2007.
While dealing with issues of religious and moral corruption, racism and oppressive political systems, "Prophet of Israel" presents a fictional version of biblical history that provides a link between the King David and Arthur.
Three years later, Wilkinson is excited to announce the release of the second book in The Eternal Throne Chronicles titled "Judge of Israel," set to release July 31.
"Originally, I was going to write it as one book, then three and now eight," Wilkinson said with a youthful chuckle of a child who keeps asking for "just one more piece of candy."
"Judge of Israel" takes place in the year 1138 B.C.E., during the start of the Iron Age in Palestine, and tells the story of events leading up to a war between the Philistines and the Israelites fought under the leadership of Samuel the Prophet at the city of Mizpah. Amid the facts of the past, the text explores the life of the Israelite hero, Samson, before he gained his famous superhuman strength.
Wilkinson describes both books as "stories that don't contradict history but that have a lot of made-up stuff in them."
Though he looked into traditional publishing methods, Wilkinson ultimately went the self-publishing route.
"It's not that I couldn't find a publisher," he explained, "it's that I didn't like the process."
Self-publishing, he insisted, eliminates the "being chosen" process and retains his special signature on each book.
Wilkinson plans to spend July 31 celebrating with friends and family during a private release party. Soon after, he will start up his computer and re-enter the fictional world of The Eternal Throne Chronicles, working on part three of the series.
The Eternal Throne Chronicles: 72 hours and counting!
"Judge of Israel," the second in an eight-part series of historical biblical fiction by Sequim author Timothy Wilkinson, is expected to release nationally and locally on Saturday, July 31. For more information about the series, the current release or the author, visit www.timothywilkinson.net.