Michael Schmicker is an investigative journalist, nationally-known writer on scientific anomalies, and author of the Amazon Top 100 historical fiction novel "The Witch of Napoli." Michael began his writing career as a crime reporter for a suburban Dow-Jones newspaper in Connecticut, and worked as a freelance reporter in Southeast Asia for three years. He has also worked as a stringer for Forbes magazine, and Op-Ed contributor to The Wall Street Journal Asia.
Michael is the co-author of "The Gift, ESP: The Extraordinary Experiences of Ordinary People" (St. Martin's Press (USA)/Penguin Random House (UK). His first book, "Best Evidence," has emerged as a classic in the field of scientific anomalies reporting since its first publication in 2000.
Michael's debut novel, "The Witch of Napoli" (January 2015), is historical fiction with a paranormal twist, set in Italy and England in 1899. On March 6, 2015 it made the Amazon Top 100, ranking #41 in paid books out of 3.3 million books available in the Kindle Bookstore. That same day, it hit #1 in both the Historical Fantasy and Victorian Historical Romance categories in three countries simultaneously - the U.S., Canada and England. It spent 68 consecutive weeks as a Top 20 Best Seller in the "Italian Historical Fiction" category; earned a 2015 BRAG Medallion (Historical Fiction) and a 2015 Chanticleer Award (Supernatural Fiction); a combined 778 five-star reviews from Amazon and Goodreads readers; and high praise from critics: Kirkus Reviews calls it "Impressive...an enchanting and graceful narrative that absorbs readers from the first page." Huffington Post Books calls it haunting: "...science and the supernatural collide in a burst of passion you won't soon forget." The San Diego Book Review praises it as "One of a kind...a deeply moving novel you can't put down," while the Historical Novel Society finds it "Utterly absorbing...Highly recommended." And the Literary Fiction Book Review calls it "Meticulously researched...a riveting tale of 19th century Europe and its obsession with the occult." The Audible audiobook debuted on Amazon on July 12, 2016. In October 2016, Amazon selected "The Witch of Napoli" as one of 25 Historical Romance Bestsellers to be featured by Amazon's new "Prime Reading" program.
Michael has been a featured guest on national broadcast radio talk shows, including twice on Coast to Coast AM (560 stations in North America, with 3 million weekly listeners). He also shares his paranormal investigations and writings through popular webcasts including Skeptiko, hosted by Alex Tsakiris; Speaking of Strange with Joshua Warren; the X-Zone, with Rob McConnell (Canada); and he even spent an hour chatting with controversial, spoon-bending celebrity Uri Geller on his program "Parascience and Beyond" (England). He reviews books for the Journal of Scientific Exploration; is a contributor to EdgeScience magazine; serves on the Boards of Advisers of both the Parapsychology Foundation and the Rhine Research Center; and is a member of the American Society for Psychical Research, as well as England's venerable Society for Psychical Research.
His interest in investigating the paranormal began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand where he first encountered a non-Western culture and people who readily accept the reality of ghosts and spirits, reincarnation, psychics, mediums, divination,and other persistently reported phenomena unexplainable by current Science. Before joining Peace Corps, he studied documentary film production at New York University and the British Film Institute. He spent his first year in Bangkok teaching English to middle school students at the royal Buddhist monastery of Wat Bowonniwet, and the subsequent two years writing and producing with Thai colleagues a Sesame Street-inspired educational television series for the Thai Ministry of Education.
He lives and writes in Honolulu, Hawaii, on a mountaintop overlooking Waikiki and Diamond Head crater. And yes, the sunsets are spectacular. (He posts his Hawaii photos on www.google.com/+MichaelSchmicker).
He's also an active member of the Goodreads online book lovers community.