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.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I come from a military background. I was a service brat, growing up in the US Air Force. We moved around a little, only five times, which isn’t much by military standards, but it helped me learn to adapt as I grew up. It also sparked the creative outlet in me as a child. I grew up and joined the Air Force to be a pilot. The creativeness in me never went away, as I started writing early in my Air Force career. Now, I’m a pilot for a major US airline.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Ohio, then moved to Washington DC for a few months, then to Fort Walton Beach, Florida. My father was a pilot assigned to Hurlburt Field as part of the Air Force’s new special operations program and was sent to Vietnam. He was killed in combat in 1965. Mother remarried another Air Force member several years later and we moved to Maxwell AFB, Alabama and then to Hickam AFB, Hawaii. My stepfather retired from there and we moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where I finished High School and attended Louisiana State University. I joined the Air Force a couple of years after graduating college. Ironically, after three years in the Air Force, I also joined Air Force Special Operations and returned to Hurlburt Field in 1995 flying the AC-130U gunship until I retired.
When did you begin writing?
Like I said, I was always creative, Art, photography, storytelling, things like that. Somehow, after I finished pilot training in the Air Force, I got the idea in my head I wanted to write a book about the experience, because it was fascinating that they could take a pedestrian off the street, and in one year, turn them into a supersonic jet-pilot. This was back in 1992. So, I mulled it around in my head and on paper for about a week, then finally realized this was boring, no one would want to read it. But then I said, “What if I wrapped a spy story around this?” and that was how my first novel, Surly Bonds, was written. A very unique tale with a protagonist who is a student pilot.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
In a perfect world, I like to write in the morning, while everyone is sleeping and I’m alone in my thoughts. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, so I learned I needed to learn to write whenever and wherever I could. Fortunately, technology allows authors to do that in a very productive manner these days. I write in a lot of hotel rooms when I’m traveling on the road, on an airplane, in the terminal, on a bus . . . you name it, I’ve probably written there.
What is this book about?
The Pilate Scroll is about a young woman, Kadie Jenkins, who is part of a team of academics and scientists, who are banded together to find a cure for a bioweapon that is planned to be used against the West. She soon learns that the cure is not their true objective. And what they’re actually searching for, can change the course of human history. Along the way, Kadie’s journey includes learning about herself and the Christian virtues of forgiveness, redemption, transformation, and healing. This, of course, is wrapped around an adventure that transports you to exotic locations in the Middle East and Europe in a pulse-pounding non-stop thrill ride. Trust me, there’s nothing else out there like it.
What inspired you to write it?
Back in 2018, my wife Kim and I were on a tour of the Holy Land with Mike Huckabee’s Blue Diamond Travel Group. It was an amazing, life-changing experience, touring the Holy Land and experiencing the Bible in 3-D, to actually visit and walk in the places we’d heard and read about our entire lives. I said to Kim, “There’s a book in here somewhere.” Well, as I like to say, I never found it. It found me. It was the fastest book I’d ever written, and the most passionate. As a Christian, it’s hard sometimes to find that epic story that resonates with a large audience that has a positive message throughout the book. This is that book. It has a mass appeal that will please believers and non-believers alike and doesn’t come across as a ‘preachy’ book.
Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?
No, but I have a small group of trusted agents I bounce ideas and manuscripts off. I don’t write in a vacuum. There is a small group of authors in my community who tried to get together on a monthly basis, but with my schedule, I couldn’t guarantee I’d be there every month, so we struggled to get it off the ground. But we stay in touch on social media. The author community is a very friendly community. We tend to help each other out, because no matter where you are at in that creative process, we’ve all been there.
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
If “then” means when I wrote my first book, I would have gotten an editor early and a proofreader often. It’s the one area new authors tend to skip, mainly because it can cost you a lot of money. But, depending on your objectives, it will be money well spent. Publishing Surly Bonds was almost an accident, so it was an area that I skipped initially. I went back after the book was published and had it edited. Yeah, I did it backwards, I know. But that book still won three different Book contests and climbed to the #1 spot of three different Amazon Bestseller charts.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
The Pilate Scroll is available at all the major online retailers where books are sold. It’s available in hardback, paperback, and e-book format on all the standard platforms.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
My website is www.thepilatescroll.com and also contains retail links for all my books: The Pilate Scroll as well as my military aviation novels in the Jason Conrad Thriller series. There’s also a media page, with different articles and interviews in print, video, and audio.
Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?
I do! It can be found on my website here or on YouTube!
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
You can do this. Anyone can write a book. Just like anything else in the world, some people are better at it than others. And some people get the lucky break that more talented people didn’t. Don’t let that discourage you. Writing a book can be done by anyone. You can write at your own pace, get as much or as little help as you want or need, and you can simply let your imagination wander. But don’t let anyone tell you it’s something you can’t do.
What is up next for you?
I’ve got a draft completed and ready to start writing the next book in the Jason Conrad Thriller series and I’m working on the outline of the sequel to The Pilate Scroll. My writing was momentarily pre-empted last year with a couple of surgeries, and then training for a new airplane at work has occupied all of my time the past few months, but I’m looking forward and getting back behind the keyboard.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you for having me! I hope your readers and followers check out The Pilate Scroll. I’m sure they will love it.
“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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