Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Author Interview #172: The Oldest Enemy by Michael J. Webb – A Supernatural Thriller

Our interview today is with author Michael J. Webb author of The Oldest Enemy (supernatural thriller, 4.7 stars, 26 reviews) Before we get to the interview, a brief description of the novel: David Lighthouse was once a hard-hitting investigative reporter for the Denver Post—back before he was accused of the brutal murder of his fiancée and his life unraveled. Now, six years later, he is the assistant pastor of a small church in Florida. Armed with faith, sobriety, and a resurrected sense of purpose, he’s putting together a new life. But when one of his young parishioners is murdered, David’s old instincts reemerge. Once again the prime suspect, he fights to clear his name even as disturbing clues at the crime scene reveal a haunting connection not only to his fiancée’s unsolved murder but to his estranged father’s secret past.
David suddenly finds himself the target of sinister, supernatural forces as he tracks down a conspiracy to release an ancient evil upon an unsuspecting world. Along with his father, the murdered girl’s sister, and a fierce Auschwitz survivor, David faces hell itself to prove his innocence and stop a reclusive German billionaire from unleashing a worldwide holocaust.
Michael J. Webb combines fast-paced action with historical and supernatural elements in his newest thriller, The Oldest Enemy, resulting in a novel that caused one reviewer to write “If you read this at night, you’ll leave the light burning after you put the book down. That is, if you can put it down. And don’t count on sweet dreams.”
Drawing rave reviews for its unusual plot and surprise ending, unique perspective, character development, and described as a story with “enough intrigue to draw me in from the first chapter, enough action and suspense to keep me there until the end, and one that left me hungering for more of this author’s tales,” The Oldest Enemy is available in print and e-book through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other major online stores.
1.When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In my mother’s womb. Just kidding. J 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 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 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 next month 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!
2.What inspired you to write The Oldest Enemy?
I was reading two very different books, one about the theft of art and gold from the Jews by the Nazis; the other, documented accounts of exorcisms and the long-lasting impact they had on the exorcists. An idea combining the two themes popped into my head as I visualized an opening scene, a scene that ultimately became the Prologue. As I began to do research, the story just came together as the characters took on a life of their own. Interestingly, this novel was written in ’98-’99, then sat on the shelf until last year. Many of the events portrayed in the story are now actually unfolding on the world stage.
Talk about life imitating art!
3. What’s your book about?
Ultimately, it is about personal sacrifice, loss, and redemption. All my main characters are seeking a way to deal with devastating events in their life and come to grips with the choices they have made in response to those watershed moments—choices that have brought them to some sort of crisis. A few choose the path less traveled and pursue justice and righteousness, others succumb to evil. The supernatural element has to do with the unseen war between good and evil–light vs. darkness–that is waged every day all around us. Most of humanity is oblivious to this war, or deny its existence, but everyone is impacted by it, one way or another, whether they realize it or not.
4. Tell us a little about your main character.
David Lighthouse is haunted by the unsolved murder of his former fiancée—a murder he was once charged with—and the supernatural events surrounding the crime. Several years have passed since his fiancées death, and he is living a radically different life, when another person he is close to is murdered in a ritual killing. Old wounds are opened and disturbing questions that have remained unanswered for years compel him to investigate the new crime. He is drawn ever-deeper into a complex international plot to destroy Israel, bring America to its knees, and unleash a horrific power upon the earth. In the process, he discovers strengths he never knew he had as stunning connections to people he never knew before are revealed.
5. What do you enjoy the most about writing?
Getting caught up in the creative process. I see all my stories as movies first and then just write what I see and put on paper what the characters say and do. It’s pretty amazing, when you think about it. Often, my stories take twists and turns I never imagined. I’m never bored! My readers tell me they feel like they’re part of the story as they read, and they often liken my novels to movies they would like to watch over and over again—that’s very gratifying.
6. Tell us about the kinds of books you enjoy reading. What are you currently reading?
I’m and eclectic reader. In fiction, mostly thrillers of just about any kind. I do like the classics, as well, and cut my teeth in my college years on Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Melville, Shakespeare, and others. I read a lot of history in a variety of time periods, and spend a good deal of time doing a variety of reading as part of my research in the areas of quantum physics, forbidden history, biology and biochemistry, astrophysics, cutting edge medicine, etc. I currently have half a dozen books on my nightstand, including my agent, Don Maass’, newest book, Writing 21st Century Fiction.
7. If you could invite a fictional character to dinner who would it be and why?
Judah ben Hur. I’d like to find out what eventually happened to him. My secret dream is to become a good enough writer to write that story, with the permission of Lew Wallace’s estate. The movie–with Charlton Heston in the lead—made a significant impact on me when I was fifteen and is tied for my favorite all-time move with Jeremiah Johnson.
Inviting Ben Hur to dinner would make writing the sequel a heck of a lot easier!
8. Who is your favorite author and why?
I don’t have just one! I love J.R.R. Tolkien, James Michener, Michael Crichton, Daniel Silva, and Vince Flynn to name a few. I suppose if I had to pick just one, I would say Silva. I’m very interested in what’s happening now, and what is about to happen, in the Middle East, and Silva is a master storyteller.
9. What do you like to do when you are not writing? What is your ultimate luxury?
My wife and I love to get away to St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and just chill. Ultimate luxury would be to make enough money to purchase 5 acres in the mountains of Colorado and write full-time from home.
10. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If you enjoy thrillers, are curious about the influence of demons in the world, like a strong dash of history woven into your novels, or just want to read an intriguing story with interesting but flawed characters that will keep you turning pages well into the night, I hope you’ll consider reading The Oldest Enemy. I love to hear from readers, so feel free to drop me a note via any of my social media links.
Thank you, Anthony, for hosting my interview on Digital Book Today. I appreciate this opportunity to connect with your readers.
Social media and buy links:
Connect with Michael J. Webb: Website:, Amazon Author Page:, Facebook
The Oldest Enemy: Book Video Trailer, Kindle, Nook, Paperback

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