18 August, 2012
What was Steve Job's secret project? Who are the Super Seven? What is the connection between scientists like Tesla, Hawking, Einstein, Galileo and Edison?
We were curious and decided to ask Michael Eads, author of
The Last App.
Before we discuss you excellent book, can you please tell our readers a little about yourself and your background.
First of all I would like to say I appreciate this opportunity to convey my message to your readers/listeners. I have a difficult time describing myself. I started my own landscaping business when I was only twenty-three years old. I was young and ambitious but incredibly naïve. After twenty-eight years of hard work, some body parts are getting worn out. I realized when I was young I wanted to work outside with my hands and my brain.
I grew up in Seattle with two very hard-working parents I miss every day. I started working for my father at the Seattle Center when I was fourteen years old. He told me I had to work hard and make a name for myself. I think I was the only kid at my junior high school that had a full-time job all summer and a part-time job during the fall.
I come from a huge family; my grandmother had eighteen kids and forty-nine grandchildren.
I know it sounds crazy but our family picnics took up almost half the campgrounds every year. My mom had six kids and I was the second youngest.
I always remember someone being around when I was a kid. Those family picnics were the best times of my life.
Nowadays, I swim almost every day and I love to compete in almost anything.
I have a lovely wife that keeps me humble. I cannot imagine life without her.
MessageToEagle.com: How did you become a writer?
I went through a divorce a long time ago from my first wife. We were married fourteen years and she said she wanted a divorce. I did not see it coming.
I was devastated and vowed I would never get married again. Then, after ten years I met someone who changed my mind at a dance on the ten-year anniversary of my
separation from my first wife. This was the inspiration for my first book, A Man's Feelings, Finding Closure after Divorce.
I wanted to try to help men and women deal with the stigma and heartache of divorce. I believe I have.
That was almost six years ago so you could say I was a little slow getting my writing career started.
MessageToEagle.com: You have written a number of books. What is your source of inspiration?
After my first book I knew I could do it again. My inspiration comes from my experiences. The greatest inspiration in life is life and the human experience.
I've also lost a lot of friends and relatives over the years because I come from such a huge family. Nothing inspires you more than someone dying,
especially your parents. It defines your mortality and strengthens your soul.
MessageToEagle.com: Your book The The Last App. is very realistic.
You mix science with metaphysics and adventure. How did you come up with the idea to write this particular book?
The Last App started out as a joke.
My wife wanted me to write an article about my uncle George for an online magazine.
Uncle George was a very funny man, a real character. Then I wondered what it would be like to really talk to him. My mind flashed and I realized I was onto
something. Something that was supposed to be a joke turned into a real book. It's strange how a simple quirk of fate can lead to such inspiration.
Michael Eads, author of
The Last App
MessageToEagle.com: In The Last App, you refer to a group called The Super Seven. Who are they and why are they important?
The Super Seven are group of people that Steve Jobs put together when he knew he was going to die.
They are a diverse group of scientist, physicists' mathematicians and a strange mystic.
The task they are given seems unrealistic if not impossible.
Sometimes science needs a boost and the mystic shows the others that some things cannot be explained. And even the things that can be explained are
still indeed mysterious.
You devote a lot time to discuss Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest minds of all time. In what way have Tesla's work and ideas influenced your own book?
Michael Eads:Nikola Tesla is arguably the greatest inventor and forward thinker the world has ever known. The reason why I spent so
much time talking about him is because I did not know very much about him.
I felt embarrassed. I devoured books about the man because I could not get enough.
At one point in this book
I became very emotional because Nikola Tesla spent most of his life alone.
I would have to say the most amazing thing about Nikola Tesla is that he could build things in his mind like his alternating current motor. He would continue
to carry it around (in his mind) the same AC motor and improve it. He would do this with other inventions as well so when it came time to actually build them he
would just put them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Only Tesla's inventions worked exactly the way he intended and often with very little modifications.
The wireless, alternating current, radio and everything that defines the world we know today would not be possible without Nikola Tesla.
One of the reasons this book seems so realistic is because you have done your homework!. Your history research is good and you talk about real
events that have actually happened!
You mention Stephen Hawking, Einstein, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison and other names most of us are familiar with. When reading your book, one gets
the impression there is a message to the reader. It is obvious you want us to think about something... What is it that you want to emphasize?
The reason why I bring up so many different inventors and scientists is because they are the building blocks for other people. Even Tesla gave
credit to Sir Arthur Crookes for his inspiration. Thomas Edison was a relentless tinkerer and worker. With no formal education Edison went about
as far as you can go with hard work and determination. Steve Jobs was a hard worker, but I don't think he actually invented anything.
Most of the great inventions were completed long before people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were even born. Great men need each other but it is very
rare when they can actually work together. Could you imagine Bill Gates and Steve Jobs (back in the day) trying to run the same company together?
The question of who did what first will always be debated. There would be no Stephen Hawking (at least not the way we know him) without Isaac
Newton, Galileo and Einstein. One thing I do mention in the book that I truly believe is that great mathematicians are born and not made.
MessageToEagle.com: You are also the author of many other books. Can you tell us a little about them and are you currently working on a new book?
Michael Eads: I love history and I'm currently working on a book about a kid who discovers the real reason why we fought the Civil War. This will be the most controversial book I will ever write. My goal is to write twenty-seven books so I have about another twenty to go. I better get to work. I like to write about everything. It's funny because
that was never my intention. I enjoy taking on different subjects because it helps open my mind and hopefully will make me a better writer.
MessageToEagle.com: Do you have any favorite books or authors?
Michael Eads: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo scared the living crap out of me because I read it when I was sixteen.
No book describes the atrocities of war like that book. It should be required reading for every high school student.
The best book I've read in recent years was Everyman by Philip Roth. My wife bought it a few years ago and never read it. I found it on the
bookshelf and could not believe what I was reading. He literally changed my style of writing. My favorite science fiction writer is
Arthur C Clarke. 2001, A Space Odyssey is also one of my favorite movies. Can anyone really explain the ending?
Finally: I would like to thank Cherei McCarter for referring me to Kevin Montana, chief editor of MessageToEagle.com.
Cherei is a true Tesla fan and a real sweetheart. I hope everyone enjoys reading The Last App as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you for listening!