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 North Carolina.
Books by Michael:
The Master’s Quilt, The Nephilim Parchments, The Song of the Seraphim (Giants in the Earth trilogy), The Oldest Enemy, Infernal Gates. He is currently working on Devil’s Cauldron, the sequel to Infernal Gates. 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.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START WRITING?
I began brainstorming about becoming an author in my mother’s womb. As a child, I loved to make up and tell fanciful, exciting stories, or act them out. A couple of the kids I grew up with formed a neighborhood drama company and we put on plays. The first one was about kings and queens and dragons and mythical characters, inspired by the ‘60’s Sinbad movies. I wrote the stories. Later, I switched to poetry in high school and the first couple of years of college, hoping to catch the ear of a fair maiden, then tried my hand at short stories.
I soon realized that the stories I wanted to tell wouldn’t fit into either of those molds.
I started thinking about writing novels as a career in my late twenties, but didn’t begin working at the craft regularly until 1984. I spent the next six years researching and writing a novel that was longer than Moby Dick, War and Peace, or Atlas Shrugged. When I finished it, I proudly sent it off to an agent and received an eight page, single-spaced, typed rejection letter. I had to pay this NY Agent a fee to read the darn thing, so the rejection letter cost me a little less than $100/page. Anyway, that attempt at “The Great American Novel” eventually became a trilogy. The first two books were published as paperbacks in the early ‘90’s. Then, my editor left the publishing house, and the new editor wasn’t a fan of trilogies, or my work. So, I got one of those “don’t call us, we’ll call you letters,” and my novel went into the writers “black hole” for twenty years.
I kept writing--and kept getting more rejection letters.
Then, in August 2011 I entered a contest sponsored by Risen Books and submitted a novel I'd written in 1998-1999. Much to my surprise, it won and The Oldest Enemy was published in October 2012! I’d worked hard for a couple of years trying to get agents and publishers interested in the fast-paced supernatural thriller, to no avail. It had been hidden away in a drawer, gathering dust, until the contest. Interestingly, many of the exciting events portrayed in are now unfolding on the world stage, especially in the Middle East.
Suddenly, I’d found a way out of the black hole! I’ve just released Infernal Gates and intend to release a new suspense thriller each year.
I’ve never gave up the dream of seeing the three novels I’d written way back in the 1980’s published in their entirety. I’m very happy to report that I released the complete Giants in the Earth trilogy as E-books on Amazon.com in April of this year.
Just goes to show that timing is everything!
Oh, by the way, I still have the rejection letter, and no, I didn’t frame it.
Too long—just like my first attempt at a novel!
WHAT AUTHORS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE?
Hemingway, Michael Crichton, Dan Brown, James Rollins, Daniel Silva, Frank Peretti, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Phillip K. Dick, James Byron Huggins, and J.R.R. Tolkien, not in any particular order.
WHAT DOES YOUR WRITING SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?
I write when I can, mostly at night and on the weekends. I have to set aside blocks of time, because when I go into my office and start writing I get “lost” in the process. Hours pass and seem like only minutes. I see all my books as movies, and I simply transcribe what my characters say and do. It’s really quite interesting and a heck of a lot of fun—most of the time. I do suffer occasionally from “writer’s block,” but I have a proven strategy to overcome it rapidly. I lay down, close my eyes, and pray. Usually, within a short period of time, scenes and dialogue start scrolling through my head once again. Rarely, I have to walk away for a day or two and come back to the story. I spend a lot of time in my day job travelling by car to appointments, and I occasionally use some of the time to develop scenes in my head. Scenes also come to me at the gym, while I’m shaving, watching a movie—well, you get the idea.
I write by the seat-of-my-pants. I typically start a novel with a vivid opening, an idea of two or three key scenes I want included, and a very rough idea of where I want to end up. After that, I just start writing and God does the rest.
WHY DO YOU WRITE THE KIND OF STORIES YOU DO?
Someone once said, "Inside every fat book is a thin book trying to get out . . ." I can't help myself--I write "fat" books! I've tried to write books under one hundred thousand words, but no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to lose the weight.
My very first novel started out at over two hundred thousand words--and became a trilogy. I've tried writing short stories and they turn into novellas. I've tried novellas and they turn into full-blown novels. I'm a hopeless lover of deep characterization and back story, lots of action, and page-turning plots, something nearly impossible for me to do in less than one hundred thousand words.
I'm a storyteller at heart, and I love entertaining readers with pulse-pounding action, flawed--but intriguing--characters, and fascinating plots that have my readers asking, "How did he come up with that?" My tagline is "stories that ignite imaginations and stir souls..." I like to get people thinking about the world they live in from a very different perspective than they are used to, especially as it relates to the realm of the spirit, angels and demons, and the intersection of the biblical, scientific, and historical disciplines.
There is an ancient battle being fought around us on an hourly basis in the realm of the spirit. It regularly manifests in the natural, terrestrial realm, yet few people really understand the true nature of the battle. Hence, many perish for lack of knowledge. Like Toto in the Wizard of Oz, I love pulling back the curtain and exposing "the wizard" for who he is--a short, balding, fat man from Kansas! That’s not to say the wizard doesn’t have power, he does. But with the proper weapons of warfare we may lose a few battles, but we ultimately win the war. I like to think that in some small way my stories have the potential to function like the red pill Nero took in The Matrix—we awaken and discover just how deep the rabbit hole is. Once that happens, like Nero, we are accountable for our knowledge.
Nevertheless, while all of my suspense thrillers, including Infernal Gates, have the purpose of provoking my readers to examine their belief system, at their core I hope they are simply good stories; the kind that keep you turning pages long after the sun goes down and make you wish there was more to read once you've finished. My heart is to figuratively serve up a ten course meal with each new story I tell, and leave my readers hungry for their next serving.
Don't get me wrong, there is definitely a place in this world for short stories, novellas, and novels under a hundred thousand words. I just won't be writing them anytime soon.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM YOUR RESEARCH?
Some Mathematicians, Physicists, Theologians, Paranormal Researchers, Ancient Cultures, Writers, and the deceased Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone, have something in common. They all know there is at least one additional dimension beyond space, time, and matter. They all use different terminology to describe it, but when you strip away the varied lingua francas, they’re all talking about the same thing. I call it the realm of the Spirit, others refer to it as the Fourth Dimension, and still others call it parallel universes.
Whatever the terminology, we risk much if we ignore its impact on our lives, both now and for eternity.
I’ve been studying Light for a very long time as it relates to this additional dimension. Recent research in Quantum Physics is just starting to confirm some very fascinating things about the nature of Light and its relationship to creation and humanity. One of the most astounding things I’ve been studying for over two decades is the incredible idea, first expressed in Book of Genesis, that Adam and Eve were not initially created from “dust,” but from the very foundational building block that God used to create everything—Light. Some of the very first rabbis believed and taught this. There is very compelling linguistic evidence, in more than one place in Scripture, that states this concept clearly when one uses a pure translation and doesn’t impose any kind of religious bias to create a man-centered vs. a God-centered doctrine. Accepting this idea makes a great deal of sense in context with numerous biblical principles and opens the door to understanding the complex nature of the Spirit Realm in ways that science is just beginning to acquire. I discuss this at length in my non-fiction work In the Cleft of the Rock: Insights into the Blood of Jesus, Resurrection Power, and Saving the Soul.
One of the passages I quote most often in my teachings is from the Book of Hosea, where God speaks through the prophet and says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge . . .” There is much we have yet to learn about the realm of the Spirit, and I’m convinced that in the next few years the lines between Biblical, scientific, and mathematical truths will become so blurred that we will wonder how we ever missed the obvious Truth.
HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU'RE NOT WRITING?
My wife and I love to travel, both for ministry and fun. We have numerous places on our bucket list to visit: Iceland, Australia/New Zealand, Chile. I want to visit Antarctica, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and to the Base Camp on Everest. We love to snorkel, and our favorite place to get away from it all is St. Johns in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We also enjoy hiking, and I love horseback riding, although I don’t get to do it often. We are “foodies” who love to try new and different restaurants and cuisines, and going to movies.
HOW CAN READERS CONTACT YOU AND/OR LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR WRITING?
Visit Michael at http://www.michaeljwebbfiction.com/
Purchase INFERNAL GATES at http://amzn.to/18HrDjY
Michael’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/michaeljwebbfiction
Contact Michael at email@example.com
BACK COVER BLURB FOR INFERNAL GATES:
Ethan Freeman, ex-Special Forces Ranger, wakes up to discover he is the sole survivor of a fiery commercial airline crash that killed his entire family. His nightmare is only beginning when he becomes the FBI’s prime suspect. Only Ethan knows he’s not a cold-hearted murderer, but he has no idea what happened to him--and why he alone survived.
He finds an unlikely ally in Sam Weaver, the NTSB Chief Investigator. An ex-military pilot, Sam senses Ethan is innocent. She tries to remain dispassionate in her investigation of the crash even as she finds herself attracted to the man who may be America=s worst homegrown mass-murderer.
Neither Ethan nor Sam realize that shadowy spiritual forces are at work which will alter their lives forever.
A monstrous evil, imprisoned since the time of the Pharaohs, has been released by The Nine, a sinister group of powerful men and women who believe they are the direct descendants of the Anunnaki, ancient Sumerian gods. The demon they have unleashed intends to free The Destroyer from The Abyss, the angelic prison referred to in the Book of Revelation, and unleash a worldwide reign of terror and annihilation.
Facing impossible odds, time is running out for Ethan and all of humanity as he is drawn into an ever-deeper conspiracy--millennia in the making--and learns that he is the key to stopping The Nine. Will he overcome his deepest fears and find reserves of strength he never knew he had as he confronts pure evil in order to save himself and an unsuspecting world?