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.
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Thanks for this interview, Michael. Congratulations on your new book! Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing? Can you tell us about your journey?
Hello, and thanks for having me. The Pilate Scroll has been a passion project for me since the concept evolved after a trip to Israel in May 2018. It’s journey to publication hasn’t necessarily been a rocky road, but it’s had a few roadblocks. This is the sixth book I’ve written, but the first in the Christian Thriller genre. I’d made the decision to publish it through our company, SATCOM Publishing, like my military thriller series early on. But after a couple of my endorsers read the book, both of whom are traditionally published, they encouraged me to give traditional publishing one more try. There was only one agent I was interested in working with, so I was able to get the manuscript in front of him. It wasn’t something he was interested in at the time, but he gave me some great tips that I think made the manuscript better. With that done, we proceeded on our original course. Life and schedules then dictate when and how the book is released, so, here we are.
If you were to pen your own autobiography, what might the title be?
What an interesting question—and one I have an answer for. About thirty years ago, I was in the Air Force and I took a vacation out to California to visit a college roommate of mine who was an actor in L.A. I flew into a military base in northern California and drove down the Big Sur most of the way, until I realized the trip was taking longer than I expected. I made a left turn, found the interstate, raced to L.A., hopefully in time to make his movie premier we were going to that evening. When I reached his apartment, he had a note on his car in huge letters: Mike Lewis, NOT TO SCALE. There was a crude map scribbled on the paper below the writing. But I thought the title was appropriate for me. Not to Scale. Nice title.
When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?
My wife and I like to travel a lot. We like to visit friends and relatives. We recently became grandparents, so that’s been quite the blessing. It changes your life, like so many other things do.
What makes your book stand out from the rest?
The Pilate Scroll fills a void that I think exist in the Christian fiction genre. It’s speculative fiction that takes place in the near future, in a type of world that very possibly could exist, especially based on some of the things occurring in society and the world today. It’s an exciting, action-packed adventure that has an uplifting message, without getting too preachy. It’s a story for both believers and non-believers. The Christian values of forgiveness, redemption, transformation, and healing (borrowed from one of my endorsers, but he’s correct) blend seamlessly into the story, without being forced into the readers way. It challenges a lot of mainstream thought and perceptions. It’s not cliché, and there’s nothing else out there like it that I know of.
If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?
Easter. Mainly because it deals with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The historical background of the story is interlaced with the Biblical background. I really am pleased with the final product.
Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?
I would love for this to become a series. I’m currently working on the outline for a sequel. Series are tough, though. Sometimes a book may only lend itself to a sequel or two. An ongoing series needs to have a direction, so that’s the part that needs to be addressed.
When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
No, but I probably should have. I was always creative, and I read books all the time, the same kind of books I still read today: history, action, adventure, espionage, military. I just never had anyone point me in the direction of writing. I was very visual when I was younger. I was an artist in college. I worked at an advertising company doing graphic design after class, and I would do paintings of people’s houses or churches to make extra money on the side. When I was younger, I thought I wanted to make movies. I should have seen the relation to writing back then, but somehow, I missed it.
Did any of your books get rejected by publishers?
Most of them, ha-ha. But that’s okay. At first, it’s very discouraging to get rejected. But as you dive deeper into the process, you realize it may not be about you or your book (but it can be). The industry has changed so much in recent years. It is very hard to get published by a traditional publisher these days. Everyone is looking for the next ‘big’ thing, and a book that will have mass appeal. And that’s not a dig against agents or publishing, it’s just a reality of how the industry is today. Of course, every author thinks that their book is the “next big thing,” so the individual needs to decide on whether to chase the dream of getting an agent and hopefully getting published or go the indie route. I’ve decided, at this point in my life, I enjoy the indie route, because I’d rather spend my time writing books than query letters.
What is your view on co-authoring books; have you done any?
I haven’t done it, but with the right partner, I’d certainly consider it. I have two friends, Jeff Wilson and Brian Andrews. They have an extremely successful military thriller series that they collaborate on. They’re good friends and work well together. And they have different outside interests, which appears to help in the depth and breadth of their stories. I’ve talked to them about how they do it and of course, the biggest thing is the legal portion—contracts, payments, bank accounts, and the rest. That can get touchy, so it needs to be in place up front.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on a sequel to The Pilate Scroll. It’s still in the loose outline stage, but it’s starting to come together. I’ve also got Book Six in the Jason Conrad series heavily outlined and ready to start writing. In the meantime, I’m focusing on the launch for The Pilate Scroll. Thanks for having me, it was fun.
Title: THE PILATE SCROLL
Author: Michael Lewis
Publisher: SATCOM Publishing
Genre: Christian Thriller
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
“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
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