|Michael J. Webb|
|The Oldest Enemy|
Today is a special day for my friend Michael J. Webb. Today this long time author will unveil a new website and release his latest thriller The Oldest Enemy. Okay---it won't be released today, but the pre-publicity sales start today. I checked amazon and it is available for download at this moment. If you are a fan of thrillers, you will want to download this book. If you are a hold-book-in-hand reader, you will look forward to Oct. 15 for the paper version.
Tell us about yourself. Where do you live and what do you like to write? What are your hobbies (especially as it may relate to your books)? Tell us about your family. Help the readers get to know you.
My wife and I live in Charlotte, NC and we love to travel. Our favorite “get-away-from-it-all” destination is St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We are both big movie buffs, and we enjoy hiking and snorkeling. We have a 112 gallon salt water reef tank, which is like having a living underwater garden in our living room. I’ve been to Israel 15 times, taking groups on educational and service tours a dozen times. We’ve been in the Ukraine and Honduras on ministry trips, and we try to get out to Denver, CO whenever we can (we both love the snow-capped Rockies).
Antarctica is on my wish list (I’m working on a novel where much of the action takes place there) and we both would like to do an African photographic safari. I would like to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro while we’re there, with a copy of Hemingway’s short story, The Snows of Kiliminjaro, in my backpack. When I was younger I did a lot of mountaineering in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. One of my dreams is to hike to the base camp of Mt. Everest. The other is to spend a couple of weeks hiking New Zealand staying at bed and breakfasts along the way and tour Australia by car, including a snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
When did you decide to be a writer and why?
In my mother’s womb. Just kidding. I wrote poetry through high school and the first couple of years of college 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 nineteen eighty-four. I spent the next six years researching and writing a novel that was longer than Mo by 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 in the early nineties. The third book has yet to see the light of day. I’m in the process of issuing the entire trilogy as E-books, but that’s a story for another day, best told on a cold winter’s morning over a cup of hot Honduran coffee or Black tea from the Ukraine.
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 made you believe you were called by God to write?
God gives us the Godly desires of our heart, because He put them there in the first place. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. When we are passionate about taking care of the things that are important to Him, He is passionate about taking care of the things that are important to us. He is a loving Father who desires His highest and best purposes for all of His creation. Before I accepted His free gift of eternal salvation, He did not love me any less or any more than He does today, almost thirty years later, and it is important for people to know that about Him. I have had a desire to write for most of my adult life, but it wasn’t until I turned from what I thought was important (as Moses did when he encountered the Burning Bush) and focused on Him that I realized a significant part of my destiny in Him is reaching people through writing with His message of Love, Redemption, and Restoration.
What is your message? What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?
I am, at heart, a teacher, and I desire to share many of the exciting things I have learned from sitting at the feet of my Master for almost three decades. I also want to engage people who in any way, shape, or form put God in a box. He constantly amazes me every day with His “newness” and challenges me to test my own personal doctrinal beliefs against His Word and the Holy Spirit--and to measure my effectiveness at sharing the Good News by the only standard that matters to Him: the Fruit of the Spirit.
I don’t view myself as a “Christian” author, but as a writer who pens stories from a Christian worldview. There is a major difference in those perspectives--and not simply one which is a matter of parsing words.
At the core of my writing are two sentiments expressed by the Ancient of Days--one in the Old Testament, and the other the New. The Prophet Hosea wrote: “My people perish for lack of knowledge . . .” and the Apostle John tells us that if we love God and keep His Commandments Jesus will manifest—openly display—Himself to us.
Both of those staggering ideas are woven into the fabric of everything I write.
We are living in “perilous times,” as prophesied in the Bible, and there are an awful lot of misconceptions about God and His Word and the nature of the spirit realm among Believers and Unbelievers alike. It is more imperative than ever before that anyone who sincerely seeks God’s face, as Moses did, must not focus on their individual “religious” or “doctrinal” beliefs, but on developing an intimate relationship with God and His Son through the Holy Spirit using His written Word as their infallible and unfathomable guide.
If we do that, the rest takes care of itself.
Who is your main audience and why?
Anyone who loves to read thrillers, mysteries, suspense, or wants to venture into a new genre. I want my readers to feel like they have figuratively eaten a ten-course meal when they finish one of my thrillers. I also have a passion to reach those who are not yet Believers, people who read secular thriller writers, especially men (in general women tend to read fiction more than men). My goal is to become a significant alternative voice in the secular fiction realm and develop a recognizable and accepted platform to express a God-centered worldview instead of a humanistic one. In the process, I hope to have the support and encouragement of my Brethren.
What is the greatest challenge you face as a Christian author? Why is it your greatest challenge and how do you intend to overcome it?
Whew, that’s a deep question, and it ties in to both the one above about my “message,” and why I write. It is very hard today to write almost anything without offending large groups of people on either side of whatever coin is being tossed, whether in the religious or political arenas. I’ve discovered over the years that I push the envelope of the sensitivities of both secular and Christian readers with both my fiction and non-fiction works.
|The Master's Quilt|
Interestingly, the once seemingly divergent, but actually parallel, thematic aspects of both Christian and secular fiction are now catching up with one another--and converging. What used to be taboo in Christian fiction is now routinely written about-and either tolerated or accepted--and what used to be offensive to secular readers who felt they were being proselytized under the guise of engaging fiction is now more accepted than ever before-- if it is done wisely. To paraphrase Dickens, “It is the best of times, and the worst of times . . .”
The short answer to your question is this: My greatest challenge today as an author is striking a balance between the sacred and the profane in such a way that I engage the maximum number of readers and have the greatest amount of impact--in both camps--without sacrificing what the Lord puts in my heart to write.
Please provide a brief listing/description of all the books you want to promote.
My current supernatural thriller, The Oldest Enemy, which won a contest last fall sponsored by Risen Books (www.dndbooks.com), releases as an E-book September 28th, 2012 and as a paperback October 15th. My first non-fiction book, In the Cleft of the Rock: Insights into the Blood of Jesus, Resurrection Power and Saving the Soul came out in 2007. The Master’s Quilt and Balaam’s Error (new title The Nephilim Parchments) came out in the early 90’s as part of a trilogy. The third book, Song of the Seraphim, was never published. I’m in the process of publishing the entire Giants in the Earth trilogy as E-books later this fall. My first two supernatural thrillers and In the Cleft of the Rock can be purchased on Amazon.com @ http://www.amazon.com/Michael-J.-Webb/e/B000APGU40/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1348097179&sr=1-1
|In The Cleft of the Rock|
Your readers can follow me on my FB Fan page at http://www.facebook.com/MichaelJWebbBooks, or my website www.michaeljwebbfiction.com. I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.