Michael J. Webb graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida and obtained his J. D. from the same university. Over the past forty years he has travelled the world in search of adventure.
He is a history buff, both ancient and modern, and is fascinated by the intersection of the scientific, supernatural, and Biblical world views, and has studied and taught from the Bible extensively for more than twenty-five years. He is also intrigued by recent discoveries in quantum physics that are now providing extraordinary insights into the reality of the spirit realm, especially as it relates to the study of Light. He incorporates all of the above into his supernatural thrillers.
Michael and his wife make their home in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Books by Michael: The Master’s Quilt, The Nephilim Parchments (formerly Balaam’s Error), The Song of the Seraphim (Giants in the Earth trilogy), The Oldest Enemy, The Gathering Darkness (agented with Donald Maass at the Maass Agency). He is currently working on The Devil’s Cauldron, the sequel to The Gathering Darkness. He also authored a non-fiction work entitled In the Cleft of the Rock: Insights into the Blood of Jesus, Resurrection Power, and Saving the Soul.
Welcome, Michael. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
A little bit here and there. I often use my life experiences in my stories. Sometimes I exaggerate the events to create an even more intense scenario. Sometimes the experiences are so vivid and exciting they don’t need exaggeration, especially in certain types of spiritual encounters. Overall, I would say that my life experiences, and the way I respond to them, are a foundation upon which I build when I’m developing characters. I try to put a little of the good and the not-so-good in each character, even my antagonists. I rely heavily upon my wife for help in gaining a deeper understanding of the feminine perspective.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I get angry or frustrated, my wife says I look like ET when Drew Barrymore first saw him in her house and they both started screaming and running in opposite directions. (I don’t agree, of course.)
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’m a story-teller at heart. I started writing poetry in high school, then tried short stories in college, but found my calling writing novels when I turned thirty-one. I had a desire to write the “Great American Novel” in my twenties, but that never got off the ground. I read voraciously and ecclecticly, so I suppose, truth-be-told, I have always wanted to write.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
In college I read Melville, Hemingway, Shakespeare, Pynchon, Ayn Rand, Tolkien, Michener, among others. I’ve studied the Bible for nearly thirty years, taught from it for almost as long, and often read non-fiction books related to my biblical studies. I read tons of science fiction until I turned thirty. Now, I primarily read thrillers, but also enjoy certain types of fantasy, mysteries, and suspense stories. In general, I look for interesting stories with fascinating characters and unusual plots that prick and hold my interest. I generally only give a new fiction book 50 pages max to draw me in. If I’m not fully engaged in the plot, or intrigued by the characters by then, I go on to the next one. I read a lot of history—ancient, modern, and Middle Eastern--books about quantum physics, chemistry, biology, physiology, astronomy, forbidden history, archaeology, paleontology, and biochemistry for my research. Yep, I’m all over the charts. Don’t read romance, though. Not my cup of tea. However, there is romance in my thrillers, and my wife tells me I’m a very romantic person. Go figure.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Lots of prayer. After that, my wife is my compass. She keeps me from taking myself too seriously, or getting too down when life throws me major curves, which has happened more than I would like over the past three decades. She is a
woman with numerous gifts, not least of which is the gift of “Joy.” Our pet
parrot also keeps us laughing. He’s very smart and very talented, not to
mention we are convinced that he sees angels. He lets us know when they are in
the house by flapping his wings and staring up into the heights of the ceiling.
He loves to dance to island music with steel drums, and Michael Jackson. He
hasn’t quite mastered the moon walk yet, but we’re getting there. We also have
a 112 gallon salt water reef tank in our living room that is very calming.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes I’ve had a name I’ve wanted to use but needed the right character to fit it. Other times, I see a name in movie credits, or in a book or article, or encounter someone with a unique name and I use it, or a variation of it. In many cases I do quite a bit of research to pick a particular name because of its origins and meaning. I do that for places and inanimate objects in my stories as well. My novels are full of “name” nuggets if anyone cares to dig. Some are obvious, others are more subtle, intended for those who love to “pierce the veil” and go beyond the pale, daring to step through the Looking Glass.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Tough question. I hope this doesn’t come across as religious, but I am at the point in my walk with the Lord that I take very little pride in anything I’ve accomplished. Yes, I work very hard at everything I do (I am a bit of a hybrid between type A and type B personalities), but I am truly cognizant of the fact that everything I achieve is only because of my intimate relationship with Him. Having said that, I get the most pleasure and personal satisfaction out of writing an engaging and entertaining story with a powerful message. I endeavor to one day become someone who is considered a great writer by large numbers of readers, but if that day never comes, I will have given my very best along the way and will have always purposed to achieve excellence in my craft.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’m fascinated by wolves, and would love to be a very big one. They are extremely loyal to one another, very family oriented, fierce hunters, and they roam large amounts of territory. They also frequent parts of the world I love to travel to.
What is your favorite food?
Mexican, and soft, warm chocolate chip cookies.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
When I hit the wall, I pray. Always have, always will. Prayer never fails to jump-start my writing engine when it stalls.
Tell us about the featured book.
The Oldest Enemy was written in ’98-’99. When it was finished, I tried to interest agents and publishers, to no avail, so it sat in my computer until last August. On a whim, I entered a contest sponsored by Risen Books. Much to my surprise, The Oldest Enemy was selected from among 40 contestants as the winner. I got the idea for the story while I was reading two very diverse books—one on exorcism, the other on art and gold stolen from Jews by the Nazi’s during WWII. I wanted to explore several themes, including the nature of true spiritual authority, possession and Biblical deliverance, generational curses, and anti-Semitism. There is also a strong redemption message for both Jew and Gentile. One day, I saw and heard what eventually became the Prologue unfold in my mind, much like a movie (that’s how all my thrillers come to life). I started writing what I saw and heard, and the characters soon took on a life of their own. I just took dictation after that. Interestingly, many of the exciting events portrayed in the plot are now unfolding on the world stage, especially in the
Please give us the first page of the book.
“Your name! Tell me your name!”
Father Michael Lighthouse’s hoarse voice betrayed his exhaustion and his pent-up frustration, a potentially disastrous mistake. He swallowed several times, but his mouth was as dry as the
Sahara and lent nothing to
soothe his raw throat. The bound man lying before him writhed in agony as thin
streams of grey-white mucous leeched from his flared nostrils, and bubbles of
pink saliva dribbled from his contorted mouth.
A thick layer of fear wrapped itself around the young priest as the room grew colder and darker. His breath puffed white before his face. The administrator had cut off the heat in this room two days ago, but this cold wasn’t natural. Father Michael drew his heavy cassock tighter over his lean frame and shivered. Over the cassock, he wore a waist-length white surplice. A narrow purple stole hung loosely from his neck.
He was on the second floor of the city’s largest hospital, located across from Wettiner Station, in the Friedrichstadt. Behind the hospital, in the direction of the river, were the stadiums where he had played soccer in his younger, happier days. Beyond the stadiums, at the edge of the Grosses Ostragehege, a large area of wild, undeveloped land, was the Public Slaughterhouse where the prisoners of war were housed. The SS barracks were located further north and west, in the direction of Heller, on the outskirts of Neustadt. To the immediate west of Wettiner Station was the Hofkirche, where his small office was located, and beyond that was his beloved Opera.
He wished he were there now, listening to Wagner.
How can readers find you on the Internet?My Author Website is www.michaeljwebbfiction.com, my FB Fan Page is http://www.facebook.com/MichaelJWebbBooks, and my Amazon.com Author Page is http://amzn.to/P2CLn1. The Oldest Enemy is available as a Kindle at http://amzn.to/RWyv4c or paperback at http://amzn.to/Rolsf1. There is also a pulse-pounding Video Trailer at http://bit.ly/WkK5dL.
Thank you, Michael, for this interesting interview.
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