Womack’s “A Cry for a Hero” was the grand prize winner of the 2013
Hollywood Book Festival. The story is a fast-paced action-adventure
novel that centers on a man’s ability to leave his body and become an
energy being with strange powers. During one such out-of-body
experience, our hero discovers the truth behind some terrorist
activities and enmeshes himself in a plot to save the city of Boston
While the story is fascinating,
what’s even more remarkable are Womack’s own out-of-body experiences. He
is a frequent lecturer on the topic and drew on his experiences to
create the novel. Womack answers a few questions below from festival
director Bruce Haring.
BRUCE HARING: Tell us about your
background with comic books and super heroes. You mentioned the Superboy
cartoon during your acceptance speech as being very influential. What
JONATHAN WOMACK: As a kid I would peddle my bike faster than a
speeding bullet to the comic book store each Saturday, buying the latest
Marvel and DC titles; Spiderman, Thor, Aquaman, Hulk, Batman, Wonder
Woman, Sub Mariner, Fantastic Four to name a few. To me, Superman was
king and I enjoyed the varying portrayals of different comic artists,
some of my favorites being Curt Swan, Jack Kirby, Joe Kubert, Kerry
Gammill, Norm Breyfogle, and Alex Ross. Today, not much has changed
except that I drive to the comic book store instead of riding my bike
and I keep my comics bagged, boarded, and catalogued.
BH: Tell me about your personal background with out-of-body
JW: I began leaving my body as a young boy. My mom was religious
and took us kids to church on Sundays. I was perplexed that most people
had no idea of where they came from or where they go when they die. I
had inclinations to speak out during sermons, thoughts of walking up to
the microphone and asking the preacher to step aside while I explain to
the folks that surviving physical death is automatic. There is no
‘saving’ necessary, the body dies while the soul lives on and returns to
the spirit world; a natural process you could not change if you wanted
to. That’s just how it is.
BH: The novel’s hero, Jack (who transforms into the superhero
RAM), is very patriotic. Why did you feel that was integral to the
JW: I feel the founding fathers had the right idea and laid out
the best system of government for human civilization to prosper and
continue on. Since Jack/RAM is based on me you end up with an
individual-liberty minded hero.
BH: The book has a lot of military background in it. What did you
do for research?
JW: Two words: search engines.
BH: Why RAM for the super hero name?
JW: I wanted to dedicate the book to Robert Monroe and name the
hero after Robert’s nickname, Ram. From that I came up with Jack Ramsey
whose friends refer to him by his nickname, Ram. When Jack transforms
into the astral superhero, he chooses Ram as his name.
BH: Did you envision this novel as a series when you began it?
JW: Yes, I left the story open for a sequel. I had several ideas
for plot lines and I had plenty of OBE’s to draw from. At one point I
thought ‘The Dolphinius Effect’ would be the next book in the series
with ‘Ram I Am’ being the third book. I like my stories to be timely and
due to world events ‘Ram I Am’ became the sequel and ‘The Dolphinius
Effect’ will be the third book in the series.
BH: Will we see many of these characters in future editions?
JW: The core characters will be part of each sequel along with
new villains and adversaries.
BH: What is your personal belief about the afterlife?
JW: The ‘afterlife’ is a misnomer. It should be referred to as
the ‘pre-life’, the realm where we are born and where our souls return
to when the body expires. It is ironic that most people think of the
physical world as ‘reality’ when it is more comparable to the Holodeck
on Star Trek. The spirit world is the real world; time/space is the fake
reality created as a school for our souls to learn. The universe is one