Saturday 7 March 2015

Interview with M. E Brines, Author of The Fist of God

I recently read The Fist of God (Agarthi Conspiracy Book 1) by M. E. Brines. A very interesting perspective of WWII that describes it from a supernatural point of view. From reading this novel and the author bio, I just felt it would be good to find out more about this author. 

Amazon Author Page Bio: 

M.E. Brines spent the Cold War assembling atomic artillery shells and preparing to unleash the Apocalypse (and has a medal to prove it.) But when peace broke out, he turned his fevered, paranoid imagination to other pursuits. He spends his spare time scribbling another steampunk romance occult adventure novel, which despite certain rumors absolutely DOES NOT involve time-traveling Nazi vampires!

A former member of the British Society for Psychical Research, he is a long-time student of the occult and a committed Christian who sees himself as a modern-day Professor Van Helsing equipping Believers for battle against the occult Principalities and Powers that rule a world in darkness. (Ephesians 6:12)

The author of three dozen books, e-books, chapbooks and pamphlets on esoteric subjects such as alien abduction, alien hybrids, astrology, the Bible, biblical prophecy, Christian discipleship, conspiracies, esoteric Nazism, the Falun Gong, Knights Templar, magick, and UFOs, his work has also appeared in Challenge magazine, Weird Tales, The Outer Darkness, Tales of the Talisman, and Empirical magazine.

Michaels says of of his I'm often asked how I square my Christianity and "messing around" with the occult, as if I'm partial to bestial things with a goat under the amber light of the moon or something. Not so. I'm a student, in the same way I used to study Soviet weapons and tactics back when I was a US Army officer. This gives my work a unique perspective no matter what your belief system. I don't judge. I just present the information and let the reader decide.

So now you have read Michael's Bio, and realised he is one very intriguing person, let's see what he has to say about his writing and himself as an author. 

Welcome Michael, thanks for stopping by and allowing yourself to be put under the interview microscope. Let's begin shall we? Just a few questions for you: 

Apart from your Amazon Author Page Bio reproduced above, tell us a little about your personal life (marriage, work, etc)

My day job is a sale rep for a toy company that makes toy soldiers. I sell to hobby and game stores. The miniatures include tanks, chariots, cannons, scale-model buildings and all sorts of things to put on battles on a table top, anywhere from ancient times to World War II.

When you are not writing, what hobbies, activities or occupation are you involved in?

I have a World War II Soviet infantry company and a German panzer reconnaissance platoon I fight World War II battles on a table top with other people at the local hobby store. I'm thinking of picking up a few more pieces and maybe expanding to a Volksgrenadier Company. I've been interested in history, especially World War II since sixth grade. 

Seems like everything you have mentioned so far is military based. You are really living your passion, it reminds me of the saying that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life! 

What are you reading right now?

Coup d'Etat in America by Weberman and Canfield makes a pretty interesting case that the CIA killed JFK. It dovetails nicely as research for my current project “I Killed JFK,” book five in the Agarthi Conspiracy series. 

Checked out this book on Amazon and there are many volumes! Very extensive and comprehensive account on this topic by the looks of it!

Any specific author influenced your writing or your desire to become an author?

David Drake has the most influence although Edgar Rice Burroughs was an early favourite, more for the style and plotting than his actual prose, which is terrible.

I am not familiar with Drake and I confess I have never read any books of Rice Burroughs, and only familiar with Tarzan from TV and the movies, but I am not surprised of the influence Burroughs has had on you! 

What inspired/motivated you to “specialise” in the occult side of the supernatural?

That's what I'm interested in. I've always loved those old Dracula movies. Lovecraft's stories, too. Then I found out a lot of what he wrote about wasn't fiction, but from actual cults and philosophers. Blew my mind. I loved Raiders of the Lost Ark when I was a teen and the more I learned about the Nazis, the more realistic that movie seemed. Hitler did search for the ark, and the grail and he actually possessed the spear as it's mentioned in the book. Himmler's castle and its description in the Fist of God are absolutely accurate.

I always felt there was more to Hitler than what I learnt in school. Your book has reinforced and expounded this for me. 

In your Bio you state, “I'm often asked how I square my Christianity and "messing around" with the occult, as if I'm partial to bestial things with a goat under the amber light of the moon or something. No so. I'm a student, in the same way I used to study Soviet weapons and tactics back when I was a US Army officer. This gives my work a unique perspective no matter what your belief system. I don't judge. I just present the information and let the reader decide.”

That last sentence is what this question is targeted to: Have you received any feedback from anyone that they have accepted Christ from any of your fiction and non-fiction work, or that it has got them thinking that there might be more to the Bible, Christianity and God?

No. And I'd be quite surprised if anyone did. I doubt people change their thinking from reading fiction. If they're already headed in that direction maybe I nudged them along, but if they’re not, they're not going to change their minds. They'll just give it a bad review. I do get those sometimes from people who are anti-Christianity and hate if a story mentions it at all without tearing it down. My books aren't “Christian” fiction. They're not preachy, but they very clearly do accept that there is a God, and a Devil and that they struggle in our mundane world. If you're militantly secular you won't like them. If you're not a Christian but you're willing to accept that such things might exist in fiction you'll have a great time.

What I see here, Michael, is you sowing or watering a seed of faith in those readers. God will do the rest and continue to use you, your writing and your passion for His Kingdom. 

You have written both fiction and non-fiction. I know some authors have written nonfiction first and find the natural progression is to branch out into fiction. Was this the case with you?

Kind of. My first published piece, when I was 16, was a game product, a do-your-own-adventure type book. Later I wrote a few articles for a game magazine. Then I self-published a bunch of short articles on occult or religious topics: astrology, UFOs, demonic-human hybrids, intelligent design. I'd written novels before that, but they didn't get published until later.

Where did the idea come from for your latest novel, The Fist of God (Agarthi Conspiracy Book 1)? I ask this as the book description is very specific about WWII being of a supernatural origin than caused only by mankind.

I've been a church-goer since I was a little kid, heard all the Bible stories about Samson, and David and Goliath and Noah and all that. The Bible clearly teaches a struggle between Satan and God across all of human history. People in the middle ages, even to Victorian times accepted this idea. But since then it's gone out of fashion in our very secular world. I just updated the situation for today. It makes a great horror story when a sceptic discovers the supernatural is real, especially when it's Evil he discovers first.

The Fist of God was the first Christian novel I have ever read that involves WWII. To me, it was well-written well and I felt I was there, the characters well real and relational. From the history that you have included, you have obviously researched this extensively. Was it hard to research? I am just feeling that there would be more than ample resources for this.

I've been interested in the subject for a long time. I've read all sorts of books on it. Played numerous wargames on the subject from all perspectives. I've even designed and published wargames. The research was easy. I already knew the basics. Discovering the specifics was interesting, not like work. In fact, the first two missions Stuart goes on are real historic missions. I just gave him a “code” name to fit his character into the real missions. Many of the characters are real historic personages. I've kept that up through the next three books of the series. When you read the books they're full of real history.

And it is that real history as you state that is a huge attraction for me now, and I am sure for other readers as well. This has increased my interest in Christian based WWII novels where previously I had no interest. I am looking forward to this continuing series from this perspective. 

You obviously have a passion for WWII and the supernatural! I have not read any of your other works, both in fiction and non fiction, but I feel The Fist of God could be seen as a showcase of this passion. Your thoughts?

You should see my library at home. 

You should have sent a photo! 

What motivated you to make Part II: The Spear of Destiny from The Fist of God into a separate novella? It was the former that motivated me to buy The Fist of God as I bought The Spear of Destiny first, then The Fist of God.

I wanted to give people a taste of the book for free. It was an appetiser and obviously worked for you as intended. With my new publisher Desert Breeze, I had to withdraw The Spear of Destiny from print.

Well, looks like that was a successful marketing technique! I am glad you did that, it introduced me to this wonderful series! 

You state at the end of The Fist of God that the next installment in this trilogy, The Unholy Grail, will be released in the Summer of 2015 (June/July, 2015). Are you on track with this? I am looking forward to this immensely!

It's at the publisher being edited. The sequels Roswell Diary and The Realm of the Black Sun are already complete, just waiting to be edited. 

Good to hear, Michael. As I mentioned earlier, looking forward to the rest of this series. 

The satanic ritual scenes that McKenzie witnessed, how much of this was based on actual occultic rituals?

All of it. As the character mentions in the book I suspect the “crypt” in Himmler's castle was used for this purpose rather than as a burial crypt. 

I thought that might be the case, as they read as very convincing. 

The word, "Agarthi", which is what this trilogy is named after, I found curious, so I Googled it. I did not find any reference to the description of the Agarthi that you have included in The Fist of God. Were these spirit beings an example of your imagination/poetic licence? Either way, your description of them fitted in very well into the novel.

No, they're out of Blavatski's The Secret Doctrine. I got them originally from The Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft. They're also mentioned in some of the teachings of esoteric Naziism. I believe Satan's minions have the same struggles for power, influence and control we see among human minions of evil regimes like the way the Nazi underlings intrigued for power. You saw the same thing among the Soviets, with plotting and betrayals. Any time an entity puts themselves first at other's expense you're going to see that. The rivalry between the two supernatural groups in my novels is cinematic but probably authentic. 

I had a feeling they were not just from your imagination, having them come from a real source to me, adds more credibility to this novel.

What message do you want your readers to obtain from Fist of God?

What we see in the mundane world is not all there is. 

Are you working on any future fiction/non fiction work once you have released the Agarthi Conspiracy trilogy?

Certainly. And I've got other books already available. Maitre'd to the Damned is a modern day vampire novel in the same vein. (Ha Ha) And I've got a couple of steampunk books: The Queen's Martian Rifles (that one reviewer likened to Bernard Corwell's Sharpe series on Mars) and A Priestess of Mars. Both are similar in style and theme as the Agarthi Conspiracy series although they don't have Nazis in them. Although the Thule Society does make an appearance.

This has more than piqued my interest in your other work and whetted my appetite for those to come!

Anything else you would like to say in closing?


Where can readers find you?

I'm all over Amazon and Smashwords like a rash, so scratch your itch for adventure.




Amazon: M. E. Brines

Well Michael, I have really enjoyed interviewing you! Thank you for being open about yourself, your writing and sharing your passion for expounding the truth about the occult from a biblical worldview. I am eagerly waiting for the next instalment in The Agarthi Conspiracy and reading your other novels. 

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