Horace G. Feliu is perhaps best known to South Floridians as a former three-term mayor of the City of South Miami, a past Rotary Club president, and for his brief acting appearance in the recent film Hidden Rage. But now he has a new title to add to the list of accomplishments — published author.
Feliu’s new thriller novel, his first, is called The Nativity Conspiracy, and its thriller plot mixing Biblical history with UFOs and conspiracy theories seems certain to outrage leaders and some members of the Catholic Church as well as other Christians.
Although his novel is new, his interest in writing is not.
“I have been writing since I was a teenager,” Feliu said. “Like many teenagers, I was a big fan of comic books and wrote my first comic book story, complete with drawings of a super hero by the name of Eagle-Man. Eagle-Man was an Air Force pilot by day and winged vigilante by night.
“Using his eagle wings, he would swoop down on unsuspecting villains along with his sidekick…get this…don’t laugh…Sparrow Boy! Fortunately, this temporary phase in my budding writing career only lasted a short time.”
Feliu said that the idea for his novel is rooted in his religious upbringing, but that his background in biomedical engineering and medical technology was a factor as well.
“I was born and raised a Catholic where the Immaculate Conception is an important part of the Church’s teachings,” Feliu said. “We have had the technology to duplicate an immaculate conception for several decades now through in vivo or in vitro fertilization so I imagined that advanced beings could have certainly done the same back in Biblical times. I derived the plot of my story from that point realizing it would be an intriguing story, especially to conspiracy and UFO buffs.”
Feliu said that the project began in 2002 with a working title of “LukesGospel.com,” and although it had the basic plot and some of the intrigue, he was not satisfied with several of the characters, so he held back and did not work on it for several years. His family, job and public service also kept him from working on it for about five years. But once resumed, he found the writing process satisfying and exciting.
“I enjoyed creating a unique and no doubt controversial plot while developing characters using personality traits from some of the people that I have known in my life,” Feliu said. “Cardinal Devivio for example is the amalgamation of several shady characters I have met along the way.”
Feliu’s favorite authors are James A. Michener, Charles Dickens, Dean Koontz and Ian Fleming. He said that in The Nativity Conspiracy he identifies with the lead character, a cop turned priest who gets caught up in a dangerous mystery involving corrupt Vatican officials and Italian Mafia bosses, all seeking an ancient scroll with startling revelations
“Father Mat McDougal is a product of Miami, and like the city he has a wild side,” Feliu said.
Feliu, a native of South Florida, is happily married to Seida, his wife of 22 years, and has a daughter, Sarah. Having completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Florida International University, he works primarily in the biomedical field and also is an adjunct professor at a local college.
Given his upbringing, he did find there was a conflict for him in writing about such a controversial topic. “At first I thought, what if I am ex-communicated by the Church, ridiculed and called a blasphemer for even thinking, let alone writing, a story where even the main character, Father Mat McDougal is a sinner,” Feliu said. “My next train of thought was that I am a man who believes in God without the need of a middleman or religious hierarchy created by men, no less and certainly no more than I. I came to the conclusion that only those who either have little faith in their own beliefs or are insecure would take offense to this story.”
And what does he hope that readers will take away from this thought provoking novel?
“To question what you would do if you discovered a scroll with an earth shattering revelation,” he said. Feliu’s novel is available as an eBook on Amazon.com and other sites, and in hardcover and trade paperback editions. For information visit his website at www.thenativityconspiracy.com
Feliu currently is working on a sequel.