How I Made My First Sale – Michael J. Webb @mjwebbooks


How I Made My First Sale

            Sounds like the title of some of the book reports I had to give when I was in elementary school a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, or maybe the title of a movie starring Michael J. Fox (no relation).

Okay, time to get serious.

I spent six years researching and writing what I hoped was going be the next bestseller in Christian Fiction–a novel that was longer than Moby Dick, War and Peace, or Atlas Shrugged.  I loved the stuff Frank Peretti was writing, and I naively thought my work was at least as good as his, even if it was a heck of a lot longer.  When I finished it, I proudly sent it off to an agent and received an eight page, single-spaced, typed rejection letter.  I had to pay this NY Agent a fee to read the darn thing, so the rejection letter cost me a little less than $100/page.

Reality check #1.

I was depressed for a while, put the thing in the closet, and wondered what on earth I’d been thinking.  Then the writing bug not only got the better of me, it came roaring back with a vengeance. So I pulled out my nemesis, dusted it off, and decided to break the monstrosity up into three books.

Light bulb moment #1.

A few months later, I attended a writer’s conference, my first ever.  There I met the woman who became my mentor, Lurlene McDaniel.  I attended her class, and she graciously agreed to read my revised synopsis and the first three chapters overnight.  Turns out, my main female character had the same last name as hers, and Lurlene’s elderly parents just happened  to live in the same small city I lived it.

God moment #1.

She liked the story and the characters.  The writing, on the other hand, needed work. Lots of work.  She took me under her wing, long distance (this was in the 80’s mind you, the computer/Internet dark ages), and slowly but surely–under her wise and experienced guiding hand–the caterpillar became a butterfly.

Once the first book was finished, she graciously invited me to attend a major bookseller conference as her guest.  She was the Bell of the Ball.  I, on the other hand, did my best to bend the ear of any publishing rep who’d give me more than five minutes to pitch my vision.

Amazingly, one man from a well-known publishing house, Crossway Books, was intrigued enough to give me more than five minutes.  Turns out he was the guy who “discovered,” and published, Frank Peretti.

God moment #2.

He asked for the complete manuscript, read it, then three months later sent me a rejection letter. Déjà vu all over again.  Two days later, he called and asked me what I thought about his rejection letter.  Shocked to even be asked such a question, I told him my thoughts.

To make a very long story short enough to fit into this blog, I’ll finish by saying that we ended up talking on the phone over the next three nights for over three hours each night.  Six agonizing months later, he called and said, “Michael, our review committee has decided NOT to reject your book . . .”

Heck of a way to start a publishing relationship, don’t you think?

Infernal Gates

Ethan Freeman, ex-Special Forces Ranger, wakes up to discover he is the sole survivor of a fiery commercial airline crash that killed his entire family. His nightmare is only beginning when he becomes the FBI’s prime suspect. Only Ethan knows he’s not a cold-hearted murderer, but he has no idea what happened to him–and why he alone survived.

He finds an unlikely ally in Sam Weaver, the NTSB Chief Investigator. An ex-military pilot, Sam senses Ethan is innocent. She tries to remain dispassionate in her investigation of the crash even as she finds herself attracted to the man who may be America=s worst homegrown mass-murderer.

Neither Ethan nor Sam realize that shadowy spiritual forces are at work which will alter their lives forever.

A monstrous evil, imprisoned since the time of the Pharaohs, has been released by The Nine, a sinister group of powerful men and women who believe they are the direct descendants of the Anunnaki, ancient Sumerian gods. The demon they have unleashed intends to free The Destroyer from The Abyss, the angelic prison referred to in the Book of Revelation, and unleash a worldwide reign of terror and annihilation.

Facing impossible odds, time is running out for Ethan and all of humanity as he is drawn into an ever-deeper conspiracy–millennia in the making–and learns that he is the key to stopping The Nine. Will he overcome his deepest fears and find reserves of strength he never knew he had as he confronts pure evil in order to save himself and an unsuspecting world?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Christian Thriller, Fantasy, Adventure

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Michael J. Webb on Facebook & G+



The author is giving away the following prizes — mailed directly to the winner’s email address from


5 Kindle copies of Infernal Gates

5 Kindle copies of The Oldest Enemy

5 Kindle copies of The Master’s Quilt


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