đź“šTalking Books with M.B. Lewis Author of The Pilate Scroll #Interview

M.B. Lewis is an Amazon #1 International Bestselling Author, and his books have also been on the Bestseller lists on Barnes and Noble Nook and Kobo platforms. The author of the award-winning Jason Conrad Thriller series has been on numerous author panels at writer’s conferences such as Thrillerfest, The Louisiana Book Festival, The Pensacola Book and Writers Festival, and Killer Nashville.

A 25-year Air Force pilot, he has flown special operations combat missions in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan in the AC-130U Spooky Gunship. Michael is currently a pilot for a major U.S. airline.

A proud Christian active in his community, Michael has mentored college students on leadership development and team-building and is a facilitator for an international leadership training program. He has participated as a buddy for the Tim Tebow Foundation’s “Night to Shine” and in his church’s Military Ministry program. Michael has also teamed with the Air Commando Foundation, which supports Air Commando’s and their families’ unmet needs during critical times.

While his adventures have led to travels all around the world, Michael lives in Florida with his wife Kim.


Website:  www.thepilatescroll.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mblauthor

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/michael-byars-lewis

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3bWiOv2  

Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Sure, and thanks for having me. The idea for The Pilate Scroll came shortly after my wife Kim and I did a tour of Israel back in 2018, with Mike Huckabee’s Blue Diamond Tour group. It was a first-class operation and I highly recommend it. Touring the Holy Land was such an inspirational event, I told Kim, “There’s a story here somewhere, I’ve just got to find it.” Well, I never found it…it found me. And when it did, it flowed fast. It was the fastest first draft I’d ever written. Things just seemed to fall into place, even the research.

Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

We own our publishing company, SATCOM Publishing, which we started when we published my first novel nine years ago. Two of my endorsers for The Pilate Scroll encouraged me to pitch it to an agent, which I did. It seems COVID had backed up things everywhere, from agents to publishing houses. They weren’t interested in the manuscript at the time, which was fine. They did give me some great pointers that made the manuscript better, which I certainly appreciated. The dynamics of the publishing industry has changed so much in recent years, it’s very hard to become traditionally published. At my age, I prefer the indie route, I have more control over my timelines, and it seems much less stressful.

Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

My first book was Surly Bonds, a military/espionage thriller, that I really just wanted to get printed and put on the shelf. It was a book that I’d been working on for almost twenty years off and on. After I had an accident and the doctor told me I was lucky I lived, I started to re-evaluate some things in my life. One of the things was I had this manuscript I’d put so much work into over the years, I wanted to have a hardcopy to put on the shelf one day for the grandkids to see. I found a company called CreateSpace (this was 2012) and realized I could publish my own book and print as few or as many copies as I wanted. So, I had a few friends read the manuscript and the feedback was very positive and they gave me some ideas on what they thought would make the story better. I tweaked the manuscript and went to print. That book ended up winning three different national book awards and led to the Jason Conrad Thriller series, which is now up to five books. It’s kind of a “Top Gun meets the House of Cards” series, focusing more on the characters than the hardware, but let’s face it, fast jets and airplanes in general are a great background for a story. Just last year, I worked with a screenwriter in L.A. to adapt the books into a streaming television series. He did a great job, but it still hasn’t found a home yet.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Absolutely! The old adage, “You can’t judge a book by its’s cover,” is false! We do it, all of us, every day! The cover should be representative of the genre, in design, illustrations, color, and fonts. You should be able to look at it first glance and say, “That’s a thriller, or romance, or horror.” The cover is the first thing we see, whether walking through a bookstore, an airport shop, or online. And the online aspect is key as well. You might have a cover that full-size is very interesting. But when reduced to the thumbnail size you see online, it may lose its effectiveness, or get washed out. So, it’s important to pay attention to that aspect during the design process as well. The cover of The Pilate Scroll immediately tells you this is an adventure, reminiscent of the Indiana Jones films.

How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Do your research ahead of time, but don’t be afraid to continue to research as you write the book. I wrote the first draft of The Pilate Scroll in three months. That’s a record for me. But some of the details of the book that give it depth and breadth, didn’t come until the later drafts. My point is, keep going. Don’t let the details, or lack of them, stop your progress. The Pilate Scroll is my first foray into writing a Christian based adventure/thriller novel. It wasn’t hard for me, because of my background in thriller writing, and I’m a Christian as well. And I wanted to write a book that spread the message of Christ’s salvation, without getting too ‘preachy’ and without shoving it in the reader’s face. I think I managed to do both of those.

What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

I have another book in my Jason Conrad military thriller series heavily outlined, ready to start writing, and I’m also outlining a sequel to The Pilate Scroll. No publishing date set yet for either.

What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

The same thing that surprised me! One of the main characters is Down syndrome. I can’t remember where the idea came from, but once I made the decision to include the character, I reached out to a friend of mine from high school, who has a son who is Down syndrome. He was fully supportive and gave me input from the initial concept to the finished product, every step of the way. I felt it was a very touchy subject, and I wanted the character portrayed in a manner where he was relative to the story, and not a prop. And I think I did it; if I were to remove the character from the story, it’s a totally different book. I reached out to the National Down Syndrome Society and they reviewed the book as well and gave me some great insight and feedback to make the character both more relevant and insightful.

Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

First and foremost, I wanted to write an entertaining story that will appeal to the masses. Based on the feedback I’ve received, I’m pretty sure I’ve done that. I also wanted the book to present a positive message, so that parents could read and share the experience with their children. The overall message is the revelation of the Christian values of forgiveness, redemption, transformation, and healing. And if you’re not a believer, open your heart and truly ask yourself, why? Question the reasons you have been told God doesn’t exist as hard you question the reasons you’ve been that told he does. The Pilate Scroll is a book that is entertaining and informative to believers and non-believers alike. And if you’re sitting on the fence, this book is for you. I don’t think there’s anything else out there like The Pilate Scroll.

Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you for having me, it’s been fun! If you enjoy the book, please tell your friends. And please leave a review. Let me know what you think!

A quest to save the world . . . a secret that could change it. Forever.

Kadie Jenkins is a survivor. Now part of an elite group of scholars and scientists, their mission is to stop an impending global terrorist threat. But when a colleague is murdered in Egypt, Kadie finds herself pitted against a foe more terrifying than the one they were trying to stop. Teaming up with a renegade pilot and her younger brother, they find themselves in a race against time, greed, and certain death. Can they uncover a 2000-year-old legend to save themselves and possibly the rest of the world?

“WARNING: Sleep deprivation likely. This Christian thriller is a page-turner; more like a page burner. Think Indiana Jones meets God’s Not Dead! M.B. Lewis decided to “take a risk” and write a Christian thriller and he has hit a walk-off homerun with The Pilate Scroll. From the opening page, you’re captivated by the action, intensity and intrigue, and especially the emotional connections, good and bad, among the characters. Along the way, the gospel of Jesus Christ is wonderfully-woven into the story, without being preachy but also theologically-sound. The “fictional historical” and the factual references throughout the book are so well presented it’s hard to determine which is which. It’ll have you doing extra research! Mike has written a gem. I can’t wait to see this on the big screen; it is worthy of being made into a movie. “

– David Jeffers is the Amazon Best-Selling Author of Man Up! What the Bible Says About Being A Man, Losing Evangelicals: How Christians Are Leaving Jesusland, and the Eavesdropping on God devotional series. David has appeared on Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, Christian Television Network’s Homekeepers with Arthelene Rippy, and numerous radio interviews.

“If you took The Da Vinci Code and tossed it toward Raiders of the Lost Ark, you’d have this book! The Pilate Scroll is an exciting adventure from the very first page. It has everything—a strong heroine, a sweet younger brother, a true hero, and pesky villains who show up and wreak havoc. But it also has a strong faith thread that brings it all together. Katie, Brian and Duke are forced to search for a possible declaration from Pontius Pilate that could change history. I won’t give away the details, but it sure touched me! I highly recommend this book!”

– Lenora Worth, New York Times Best-Selling Author

“World-altering stakes meet sacrificial love in a story that lifts both the soul and the heart rate. M.B. Lewis handles a tough subject with sensitivity and grace while keeping the pages flying with realism only a been-there-done-that combat veteran can offer.” 

– James R. Hannibal, Award-Winning Author of The Gryphon Heist

“The many years that the author, Michael Lewis, has spent as a military and civilian pilot, flying internationally into fascinating cities and cultures all over the world, properly prepared him to write such an action-packed novel as The Pilate Scroll. If you love drama, mystery, and surprise, you will love this new book.  Amid all of the normal things that you would anticipate from this excellent author who is continuing to grow in popularity, Lewis adds a new spiritual dimension to this book. In sharing the drama of a team on a passionate mission, Lewis weaves into the story a spiritual dimension that is filled with the author’s excellent knowledge of the Bible, his deep understandings of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the virtues of Christianity found in forgiveness, redemption, transformation, and healing. He also exhibits a deep knowledge of the sacred sites so familiar in the life of Jesus, as well as keen insights regarding the teachings of church fathers through the centuries.”   

– Dr. Karl K. Stegall, Pastor Emeritus
First United Methodist Church
Montgomery, Alabama

“Lewis courageously steps away from the mainstream to answer a higher call to deliver this epic Christian thriller. Well done!”

– Gary Westfal, Life Coach and Best-Selling Author, Goal Mind

“The Pilate Scroll is an emotional rollercoaster that includes everything; from good guys with hyper-spiritual awareness and faith to bad guys with questionable ethics or lack thereof… and the perfect combination of action and moments that pull at your heartstrings. Indiana Jonesmeets Ted Dekker in this fun, realistic portrayal of a tale that, if it were true – the world might be better off not knowing it ever happened. But the best part is, the author leaves that for the reader to decide. Without ruining the ending, let me just say there haven’t been many action novels that moved me to tears. This one did. God bless those that read it. And the author that wrote it. A highly recommended novel for believers and nonbelievers alike.”

– Jason E. Fort is the creator and author of Fortress Books 

“M.B. Lewis has created a heart-stopping suspense novel with faith at the heart of its main character, Kadie. The plot is original and genuinely intriguing, and so are the characters, especially Kadie, who is strong yet vulnerable. I like the way Lewis has crafted this character to be flawed and relatable, not a super-Christian without problems. This woman hasn’t felt her faith in a long time, but the events that occur in her life shake her. As you read, you feel for her vulnerable position, and really become invested in the mystery and intrigue crafted by the author. I also like the relationship between Kadie and her special-needs younger brother, Brian. You don’t have to be a Christian to enjoy this story of forgiveness and healing, but it is brimming with biblical themes and knee-deep in history and culture. The Pilate Scroll by M.B. Lewis is a must-read for those craving a top-tier faith-based suspense novel. Fans of Dan Brown will love this book.”

-Tammy Ruggles – Readers’ Favorite

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3qeoaHg

iBooks → https://apple.co/307m29p

B&N → https://bit.ly/307i4Oj

Kobo → https://bit.ly/3bcA4Nu

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interview! I enjoyed talking to you!


Powered by Blogger.