Mike Lynch’s first book, Dublin, came out in 2007, followed by When the Sky Fell, American Midnight, The Crystal Portal, After the Cross and Love’s Second Chance. His latest novel, After the Sky Fell, will be released in 2014. He has also written a number of novellas, short stories and writing articles in numerous magazines. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.
After the Cross Book Synopsis
At the newly excavated Medieval library in Istanbul, a discovery is made that is poised to rock Christendom to its foundation—an 800-year-old letter, which purports to reveal the final resting place of Jesus’ Cross.
This explosive news is kept quiet at the behest of Vladimir Zarco, a Ukrainian billionaire whose illegal activities are threatened by the document’s discovery. He hastily convenes a team of experts in an effort to discredit the manuscript’s authenticity, but when their analysis points to it as being genuine, a bomb destroys the research center. Zarco shuts the project down and orders the surviving researchers to leave. Two of the linguists, Drs. Mallory Windom and Colton Foster, have other ideas. Once bitter enemies, they decide to hunt for the cross on their own, even though mysterious forces seem bent on stopping them at all costs.
How did your book come to life?
I saw a documentary a few years back about the life of Helena, the mother of Constantine. She purportedly discovered the Cross of Jesus around 327 A.D. It got me wondering what would happen if the cross was discovered today, and thus the book was born.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
Mallory Windom. She is a very broken person, who does everything with a filter of what’s best for her. Then she meets Colton, who is a good man, and for the first time begins to questions many of the choices she’s made in her life. Of all the characters in the story, she changes the most.
How did you name your characters?
I pick names I feel are appropriate for the characters, something that gives them a mental image of the character. Mallory’s last name is Windom, denoting how wind comes and goes at it pleases. Colton’s last name if Foster, which is suggestive of his fostering character. The main villain is Dimitrius Malotetnev. Mal in Latin languages means bad.
Why do you think your readers are going to enjoy your book?
It’s a fun adventure story akin to Indiana Jones. On a more serious note, the cross possesses deep meaning to millions of Christians all over the world, but there hasn’t been a story that focuses much attention on it. What would people do to find it? If it were ever found, then what? It’s an interesting question to think about. I think my story sparks that.
Are your characters’ experiences taken from someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not really. I tried to picture what it would be like living the life of an archeologist on the verge of making a major discover. Intrigue and exotic locations also helped bring the characters to life.
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected? (What was it?)
The cross is a very powerful symbol that has represented the church for 2,000 years. People have many different views of what the cross means to them. In our story we have one person who sees the cross as the instrument by which the sins of mankind were forgiven so we can have a relationship with God, another sees it as the means of healing his wife who is dying of cancer, another sees it as a threat and wants it destroyed, and another who sees the cross as her ticket to fame and fortune. I think people generally view the cross in roughly the same way. In the end, the story focuses on the simplicity of the cross, and the message it represents—that God came down in the form of a man, lived a sinless life, and through His death and resurrection on the cross, made salvation available to all mankind. It’s not the actual cross that did this, but what Jesus did on it.
How do you start writing a new book? What comes first? The characters? The story?
The story always comes first. Usually it’s the big idea. Once I pick something that sounds interesting to me, then I start figuring out who the characters are, setting, tone, major events, and the ending.
Without giving away details, Can you describe one interesting scene in your book in less than two sentences?
The four major characters are brought together at the end of the story. One wants the cross destroyed, another wants it for fame and glory, another wants it to heal his dying wife, and the last wants it found so the world can re-discover it.
Who inspires you?
I believe God has gifted everyone with different levels of creativity and ability. In my case, I love stories. I also seem to have the ability to write. Put the two together, and I write novels which I hope are honoring to Him.
How do you research your books?
I don’t usually do much research for a book, but one based on history, such as this one, I did my homework. I wanted the story to sound as authentic as possible, which meant I needed to immerse myself in the past–things like historical places, people and events.
Have you written your entire life? Have you always considered yourself a writer?
I’ve written off and on my whole life, though never with the intention of getting them published. It wasn’t until about 2005 that I thought maybe I had what it took to be a published author.
Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do?
As I said in a previous question, I believe God is the one who has gifted me as a writer. As a way of showing my gratitude, I write stories that are honoring to Him.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I recently started a sci-fi story about a future world that looks pretty bleak. Most of Earth’s resources are gone, and people live lives half as long as they do today because of all the pollution. The wealthy and powerful work around this problem with the use of Mind Writers, people who have the ability to transfer a person’s “soul” into a clone, and therefore cheat death.
If you were told your stories were unbelievable and no written very well, would you continue to write? What would your response be?
I have been told things like in the past, sometimes by me. If it’s true, then the story needs to be revised again and again, until it’s ready for publication. No story is perfect, but our goal should always be to make it as perfect as possible.
While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?
I have only re-written a plot one time, for my first novel. Since I had never written a novel before, I didn’t know what I was doing. So I had to keep refining it until the story was publishable. Since then, I always make sure the plot is solid before I commit it to paper.
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