Ages of Malice Q&A
1. What is A Portion of Malice, Book I of this epic series, all about?
A Portion of Malice is the story of one man’s journey into the apocalypse. Journalist, Emery Merrick, has fallen on hard times and is suicidal. Then, he gets hired by billionaire peacemaker, Thaddeus Drake, to write Drake’s biography. Emery soon discovers Drake is the immortal leader of a secret society that controls everything from world finance, to politics, to government. There’s no outcome they can’t guarantee. No objective too big to attain. As Emery sinks deeper, he discovers the horrifying methods Drake employs and finds himself caught-up in the ultimate battle between good and evil. With humanity in the balance, Emery faces a decision: join these madmen or be destroyed.
2. Is your series a provocative, probing look at the nature of God and man – or just a good old-fashioned story of revenge?
Oh, it’s definitely a provocative look at the nature of God and man’s place in that universe. So often when one seeks revenge, they find something else entirely. That’s the case with Cain. In the final climax, Cain’s confrontation with God doesn’t exactly go as he plans. He finds certain things different than he believed. He also discovers his true purpose, his true nature, which sets the story spinning and sets the tone for the rest of the Ages of Malice series. What intrigues is where Cain finds himself and what he does next. Emery witnesses a final confrontation between good and evil and finds, what he thought was the end of the story, is really just the beginning.
3. Part of your story suggests that a powerful, rich group of people, unelected and operating in secrecy, really run the world. Why do so many books, movies, and conspiracy theorists center around such a premise?
I think that comes from questions to which we never receive answers. The normal person hears of the elite and the things they do. It’s not a stretch to take it to the next level when, say, career politicians can hold office for decades and emerge super wealthy. I served for twenty-six years, yet I’m not wealthy, and if I was, someone would be asking how. But that doesn’t happen in our society, and I think creatives offer suggestions as to why. I think the concept of a deep state tickles our sense of intrigue and provides answers where none are apparent. In any great system, there is corruption. Men design their own fate, yet far too often base it on avarice and self-service.
4. A Portion of Malice takes us across the globe, from London’s underground fight clubs to Vatican City, Dubai, Jerusalem, America, Prague. How do these locations contribute to creating an international thriller?
It’s the sense of our globe as hometown. These immortals don’t view the world as a collection of nations, but as a singular unit. They’ve been everywhere, seen it all, and can select where they want to be. These places play a part in Cain’s long life and have historic value that adds intrigue and suspense. Take the Vatican, for example, the seat of the Catholic church, tied to the Apostles with a line straight to Christ. It made sense John the Apostle would call it home and it also made sense, as its own nation, that he would be safe from intruding eyes and able to question Emery in whatever way he saw fit. In this case, by torturing him.
5. Your book’s story line toggles between the present and back to the times of Jesus. What kind of research went into writing scenes that depict some of the most famous moments in history, for which there were no newspapers, television crews, or podcasters to capture such events?
My first research is anecdotal. That is, everything I was taught in church. Second was a lifetime exploring religion and its concepts. Third, my endless fascination with the power religion has over large groups of people. I also consulted numerous works by experts in their fields, from Christianity, to Islam, to Judaism. I traced lineages for centuries. I consulted major religious texts and was able to develop a specific flavor to my prose. After that, I applied my own thought processes into what my characters were up to and why.
6. Wow! How does it compare to books you see trending in the Religious Thriller and apocalyptic spaces?
This isn’t a Christian book but an exploration of myth, legend, science, religion and prophecy. It’s a simple man’s journey through horrific, yet prophesied, times. I don’t think it compares to apocalyptic titles, because in those there are finite beginning and end points usually centered around a single-event or relic. A Portion of Malice takes human and religious history, then combines them to a thoughtful, yet dark, portrait of what shapes today’s world and what’s prophesied. Certainly, religion is a theme, but not the purpose. A PORTION OF MALICE is an apocalyptic, thriller for thinkers that will make you change the way you think about current headlines and the powers behind them.