Stephen J. Schrader – The First Seal

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

It’s The First Seal, and it’s a ‘Christian/Science Fiction’ work. In the Book of Daniel in the Bible, God tells Daniel to, “…Put a seal on the book and hide these words until the end of days…” What do you think could be so important that it had to be preserved until the end of the world, but of such a nature that mankind had to be shielded from it until he needed it? That’s what this book is about, what might be hidden, and the results of finding it.

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m originally from Oklahoma, after one year of college I decided to enlist in the Army. There, I eventually became a career US Army ‘Counterintelligence (CI) Agent’…A spy. After I left the service I started my civilian life and started writing science fiction.

What inspired you to write this book?

As a CI Agent I was naturally drawn to codes and ciphers, ANY hidden information is a challenge that I can’t resist. And as such, the passage above just screamed out to me.

How did you choose the title?

While there are many ‘Seals’ mentioned in the Bible, this is literally the first one mentioned.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

“This Book”? No problem at all. Ever since my first book the good people at have been ecstatic about publishing everything I’ve sent them, whether it’s this, the ‘Straight’ Science Fiction books I did earlier, or the autobiography I’m currently working with them on.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

Up until the spring of the 7th grade I had real difficulty with reading and with school work in general. Then, one of my teachers saw me squinting to try to read the blackboard. She asked if I’d ever had my eyes checked. The answer was ‘No’. It turns out that, at that time, I had 20/300 vision. That summer I literally ‘Read’ the high school library.

I can still remember the first ‘Real’ book that I read it was Jules Verne’s ‘Mysterious Island’. And, I was hooked. I knew then that I wanted to be a Science Fiction writer when I grew up.

However, I realized that most young writers will have maybe one or two good stories, then nothing. They have no ‘Life Experience’. So, I decided to ‘Go, See, Do’ and have as many adventures as I could before I started writing. Hence the Army career a CI Agent.

Once I was out of the Army I simply dove into the list of story lines and ideas that I’d accumulated over the decades.

Do you have any writing rituals?

In the Army, when I did Intelligence Analysis, I developed a technique of putting myself into a bindu-like trance. Then I would just start typing. I never know what I’ve actually written until I get a chance to read it afterwards.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

Some are just simple names that I pull out of thin air, others are little inside jokes, still others are specifically chosen for a reason. For example, in my first two books, ‘Vector’ and ‘Virus’ I needed an absolutely ruthless, competent, and cruel villain. I looked to history and found, Oliver Cromwell, the man that won the English Civil War. He was also so hated that, three years after he died, the people dug up his body and had it drawn and quartered. This showed two things, how much they hated him, and how much they feared him. That’s why they waited three years to make sure he was really dead.

The result was the villain of the story, “Olivia Cromwell.”

This book being ‘Christian Apocalyptic’ by it’s very nature, the primary villain is naturally the Antichrist. He’s a villain for the whole world, so I simply call him, ‘The Leader’. No one nation/race gets the blame for producing him. Though one particular group does.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

Oh yes! As a CI Agent, one of the interview techniques we use is called ‘Scanning’. It’s the science of looking at the words people use rather than what they’re trying to say. In the civilian world it’s called, ‘Parsing Words’.

When I started researching the book I figured that God being a ‘God’ for everybody, the ‘Seal’ and the ‘Hidden Words’ would HAVE to be available to everybody, in every language.
And, that was the basis for how I ‘Parsed’ the words.

Now, my research indicates that the ‘Seal’ is the simplest of simple. All the key stories in the Bible are told more than once. And, the first telling is always the most appealing, the most poetic. Heck, in the story of the Flood of Noah, they even had a nursery rhyme made from it.

The first telling is always so compelling that most people don’t even realize that there are more than one ‘Telling’ of the stories. What could be simpler, or more universal a ‘Seal’?

Then it came to the ‘Words’ that had been ‘Hidden’.

Actually, it was the use of the word ‘Congealed’ in the story of the parting of the Red Sea that ‘twigged’ me onto what to look for.

Because, while you won’t find the word ‘Congealed’ in every single written language, what you will find, is that every single language has a word that means that exact same thing, in that exact same context.

I call them ‘Universal Key Words’, and once you know what to look for… nothing can be hidden from you.

After I found the ‘Words’ I cross-referenced what they said with what modern science, some of it so new that it hasn’t even made it into textbooks yet, has to say.

And what I found was absolutely astounding!

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

Include the material, including still developing science that I’ve discovered since. But, I had to stop and actually write the book. So, this new stuff will have to wait for the sequel.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

Because of my background and interests it has to be Science Fiction, Adventure, Military, and History.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

It’s my autobiography. The title “Sh*t Magnet” is from the fact that things happen when I’m around. It did lead to an ‘Adventurous’ life, with all the scars and pleasures that entails. It’s currently in first editing. My next book is the sequel to ‘The First Seal’, “B*E*A*S*T”

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Write a book that you like to read, you’ll be reading and re-reading it a lot before you see it in print.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Somebody that wants to see something original, something that will challenge everything they thought they knew about Man, God and the Universe.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

From the book pages at my publisher Go there and look under my name in the author’s list. You’ll find commentary and excerpts from all my books there.