Today I'd like to welcome Michael J. Webb. Let me share his bio with you from Risen Books. 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.
MW: There are several, actually. I’m just finishing up my sixth thriller, and much of the final action takes place in Antarctica. I’d really like to visit there. In my fifth novel, one of the exotic settings was in a fascinating place in southern Africa, Gamkaskloof. It’s kind of like the “Lost World’ from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writings. I did all the research on the Internet and would love to see it firsthand. While I’m in Africa, I’d like to do a photographic safari, see Victoria Falls, and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with a copy of Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” in my backpack. (Before I leave I’ll watch Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, and Ava Gardner in the 1952 film version several times to get my adrenalin going.) Finally, I’d love to dive The Great Barrier Reef and The Red Sea, hike New Zealand, climb Mt. Sinai and watch the sunrise, and climb to the Base Camp of Everest. Guess I got carried away with the question. I do have a few more things on my bucket list, but that will have to do for now.
JL: How did you decide to write thrillers? Is it your favorite genre to read?
MW: Yes, my favorites are thrillers. I’ve read everything Daniel Silva has written, enjoy Dan Brown (even though I don’t agree with his worldview), James Rollins, Boyd Morrison, James Byron Huggins, Frank Peretti, and others. Having said that, I read eclectically. I look for a fascinating premise that captures my attention, intriguing and unique characters, and a fast-paced story with lots of action. I especially like thrillers that blend history, emerging technology, and little known facts with the story line. I love to be educated by authors who’ve done lots of research, and I hope I return the favor to my readers.
JL: How did you decide to have a parrot for a pet?
MW: I didn’t, my wife did. When I met her she’d had a Nanday Conure for over 20 years. I almost didn’t marry her because of that darn bird. At the time, birds were definitely not on my list of desired --or approved--pets. I love dogs, horses, cats, and most other animals. However, Carlitos was so special I eventually fell in love with him. He died at the ripe old age of 28. By then there was no question that we were going to have another bird. My wife chose a Sun Conure, and his striking, bright colors exemplify his breed. He’s extremely smart, very talented (my wife taught him to poop on command, which is very helpful!), and we’re convinced he can see angels, especially when they show up during praise and worship in our home. It’s a good thing I learned to love small parrots, because our current “child” will live 35-40 years!
JL: Tell us a little about your story. How did you come up with this idea?
MW: I wrote The Oldest Enemy in ’98-99 and tried to find an agent/publisher to no avail, so it went into the drawer (figuratively). It stayed there until, on a whim, I submitted it to a contest sponsored by Risen Books last August. I’m still stunned that it won! Interestingly, many of the exciting events portrayed in the story are now actually unfolding on the world stage, especially in the Middle East. Talk about art imitating life and the prophetic timing of God, not to mention the publisher’s name!
I got the idea while reading two divergent books--one about exorcism and the other about art and gold stolen from the Jews by the Nazis. My protagonist, David Lighthouse, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter turned assistant pastor, gets caught up in solving the gruesome murder of one of the new members of his church. He becomes entangled in a demonic plot by a reclusive German billionaire to overthrow America and destroy Israel. Eric Reinhardt develops an intricate plot to attack Israel with biological weapons of mass destruction, take control of Russian oil fields in the Caspian, and assassinate both the Venezuelan and American presidents along with the Saudi Oil minister. Add more than a dash of sinister supernatural forces, a few unexpected twists and turns, and a fascinating ex-Mossad agent who survived Auschwitz as a boy and you have the kind of thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night. Just make certain all the lights in your house are on while you’re reading it!
JL: I think I'll also make sure I'm not home alone. Thanks so much for sharing with us today!