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Friday, September 28, 2012

Welcome Author Michael J. Webb

Hello Michael. Welcome to The Over 50 Writer. It is a pleasure to have you stop by today. Tell us about your writing journey.

Thanks, Patti! I'd be happy to share with your readers.

I wrote THE OLDEST ENEMY in ’98-’99, tried for a year or so to interest agents and publishers without success, and eventually put it away into a drawer (figuratively).  Last fall, on a whim, I entered the manuscript into a contest sponsored by Risen Books.  Much to my surprise, it won!

I got the idea for the plot while I was reading two divergent books—one about exorcism and the other about the theft of art and gold from Jews by the Nazis.  I see my stories as film, and when the images and dialogue start to scroll across my mind, I start writing.  I wanted to explore issues like demonic possession, curses, deliverance, the concept of true spiritual authority, anti-Semitism, and the redemptive power of God.  I know that sounds like a lot for one novel, but these ideas all work well together in THE OLDEST ENEMY.

I’ve been writing since 1984 and previously published two novels with Crossway Books: The Master’s Quilt in ’91, and Balaam’s Error (now titled The Nephilim Parchments) in ’92 that are part of a supernatural thriller trilogy entitled Giants in the Earth.  The third book The Song of the Seraphim, never got published.  I’m in the process of releasing the entire trilogy later this fall as E-books.  In May ’07 I published my first non-fiction book, In the Cleft of the Rock: Insights into the Blood of Jesus, Resurrection Power, and Saving the Soul.  You can find all three books on my Amazon Author Page .

Three years ago, I met Donald Maass at an ACFW Conference in Denver, and he ultimately became my agent.  My fifth novel, The Gathering Darkness, is agented with him.  I’m just finishing up my sixth thriller, The Devil’s Cauldron, a follow up to The Gathering Darkness and have an outline started for my seventh, tentatively entitled Ghost Hunter.

If you’d like to know more about me, you can visit my new Author Website Michael J. Webb Fiction or my FB Fan Page.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Michael. Below is a blurb about Michael's book, THE OLDEST ENEMY.

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.

Click here to watch the video trailer of THE OLDEST ENEMY.

Click on this link to order Michael's book, THE OLDEST ENEMY.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Writer's Journey Part IV

Please welcome back debut author Peggy Blann Phifer with the fourth installment of the story of her journey to publication. Don't forget to leave a comment after any post in the series to be placed in a drawing to win a copy of Peg's wonderful novel, To See The Sun.

Missed previous posts in the series? Simply click the links below:

Part I
Part II
Part III

In my last post on The Over 50 Writer,  I ended with:

So I (figuratively) packed up my bags and brought Tori to Vegas, changed her name, and worked from a whole different perspective.


We had a salesman in our house several weeks ago. We were looking into buying one of those Jacuzzi Walk-In Tubs, so we set up an appointment to check it out. What do you think he asked midway through his presentation?

"So, do you guys do any gambling?"

Ah, the ever-present "outsider" impression of Las Vegas. And therein lies "the rest of the story," as Paul Harvey used to say.

After figuratively bringing Tori to Vegas, I still struggled with "finding" her. She wasn't talking to me. Again. But her best friend, Maggie, was.  Only she is Magie, now. She told me she was the music teacher, not Tori. She also told me that the name of her young friend was all wrong. It was Erin.

Say what? But then I got to thinking of my heroine as Erin and things started to take shape. We'd brought her husband along, but I needed to off him quickly if I wanted to pull off the romance I had in mind. So that was Erin's first crisis . . . losing her husband . . . shortly after they'd learned she was pregnant with their first child after trying for seven long years. Crisis number two: facing life as a single mom.

Okay, the story took root and I had a bare-bones plot roughed out with sticky notes and several constantly running brainstorming rambles in Notepad and Word. Not an outline, mind you. Just random thoughts scattered all over the place, but that works for me. I'm a "Pantser" (seat-of-the-pants writer) and the mere thought of 
laying out a plot gives me the screaming meemies.

I've mentioned this in a number of other guest blog posts, and even in the acknowledgement page in the back of the book, but I'll say it again here. During my years in Corporate America, I did a lot of telephone work. And every time I'd introduced myself with "This is Peggy from (company name) in Las Vegas," I'd get an immediate response like the Jacuzzi salesman I mentioned above. Or, more often, "Win any money lately?"

As my story progressed, I became determined to keep my characters away from all that. Away from "The Strip." My objective was to show my readers that there was a different side to Las Vegas. A Las Vegas where families live and raise their children. Get up and go to work and school.  Yes, there is life beyond Sin City, and it's not always nice. Not always Happily Ever After. And TO SEE THE SUN has its share of murder and mayhem, without the gambling and casino ever entering the picture.

By the way, we didn't buy the Jacuzzi.

Come back on Thursday, October 18th for more insight about the writing life from Peggy, based on her personal experience.

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email for a chance to win a copy of Peggy's debut novvel, To See The Sun.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Welcome author Lillian Duncan

I am pleased to welcome author Lillian Duncan to The Over 50 Writer. Lillian has an amazing and inspriig story to tell about her writing journey.

Tessa’s life spiraled out of control and she finds herself in a dark alley on a cold wintry night.  After she witnesses a murder, she almost becomes his second victim, but manages to escape—just barely.

Homeless and alone, she knows the authorities won’t believe someone like her, leaving her only one option—to run.


My writing journey has been a long and twisted path—and I made some wrong turns along the way. But God has been with me every step of the way.

I didn’t start writing until I was forty. For the life of me, I can’t figure that one out since I always had stories in my head. Daydreams I called them. But they were very detailed with interesting characters and plots. Sometimes happy endings and sometimes not so happy.

One day I realized—hey, I’m supposed to be writing those stories down, so I did.

It took me a year to finish that first manuscript and it was the best fun I’d had in a long time, so I started another one and another.

Even though I was a Christian since my teens, I wasn’t living a Christian lifestyle at the time. Along with starting my writing journey, I was also beginning my spiritual journey back to my Christian roots.

My first attempts at writing a novel were mystery and suspense and just like the books I read, they were filled with four letter words and gratuitous sex.

When someone called me on the language, I explained that’s how bad guys talk but...I began to wonder about that, and the more I prayed about it, the more uncomfortable I became.

About the same time, I got very tired of reading that same bad language and titillating sex scenes in books that would have been much better without them. But the thing that really bothered me the most with some of the mainstream books I read was the negative portrayal of God, traditional values, and Christians.

That led me to Christian fiction.

It occurred to me that you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. I wanted to be part of the solution. And a Christian fiction writer was born.

I am so thankful that my earlier “raunchy” attempts—oops—I mean mainstream suspense didn’t get published. I’m so glad I didn’t add to the problem.

Now, here’s one more story about God’s part in my writing journey. A few years ago, I was at the end of my rope. I’d been writing for fifteen years and couldn’t get a traditional contract.

I self-published a book and then did two with a print-on-demand company, but had decided I was done with that route. If I was going to devote all the time needed to write novels, I wanted more than a few people to read my stories. I would get a traditional contract or no more books.

Agents/editors were interested but never took that final plunge with my manuscripts. I came to the conclusion that I was wrong about it being God’s Will for me to be a writer.

And as much as I loved writing, I loved God more.

I prayed for him to show me a clear sign that He either wanted me to write or that He didn’t want me to write. And then I waited.

But I didn’t have to wait long.

Out of the blue, two of my high school classmates contacted me on Facebook and told me they’d read one of my books and loved them in the same week. I thanked them, but then it occurred to me that it might be the sign from God I’d prayed for.

Nah—it couldn’t be, could it?

OK, God. If that’s really you giving me a sign, give me one more and make it a big one, please??

A niece of my husband’s called me later that same week. She’d purchased one of my books awhile back to be nice, but she wasn’t much of a reader. I never expected her to read it and she hadn’t up to that point-more than a year. She called to tell me she read the book and really liked it.

Wow! OK, that was big enough not to ignore.

I kept writing. 

Within two months, I’d received two offers for manuscripts from traditional publishing houses. I received a third contract just this week for a novella I wrote.

God is good!

LILLIAN DUNCAN writes stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem. She writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit  her web site. .  She also has a devotional blog.

Her latest book DARK ALLEYS (Lost and Found Books) was released in September. She will also be releasing a novella just in time for Christmas-THE CHRISTMAS STALKING (Harbourlight Books).

About DARK ALLEYS: Being innocent and proving it are two different things, especially when a powerful politician is involved.

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