Personal trainer John T. Prather, accustomed to leading clients toward better health and fitness, now leads readers in a more spellbinding, apocalyptic journey. Prather, a native Memphian and former deadlift champion, has infused the same adrenaline from his workout into his first novel, “The Nephilim Virus.” Its hair-raising plot features an ancient virus threatening the extinction of the human race.
A graduate of the University of Memphis, Prather grew up in the River City with seven siblings. As an adult, he focused on weight training and bodybuilding, while becoming a model, actor, and personal trainer. Prior to being bitten by both the acting and writing bugs, he competed in deadlift competitions, winning his weight-class and best overall in all three competitions. He set a Tennessee state record at 660 pounds. In 2010 he moved to Los Angeles, where he was a personal trainer and pursued his lifelong ambition to write.
There, his modeling career took off. He was featured in People, GQ, Men’s Health, and regularly in Muscle and Fitness. He also landed a sponsorship as athlete/model for MuscleTech. L.A. is also where he met his wife, Mindi.
In his first novel, Prather weaves history, science, and the Bible to create a post-apocalyptic tale both plausible and exciting. The story describes how an ancient virus from biblical times changes people’s blood, turning them into either intelligent super-humans or indestructible animalistic creatures. The virus is traced through history, all the way back to where a Nephilim race is mentioned in Genesis 6 of the Old Testament. All sorts of philosophies and conspiracy theories exist regarding this secretive clan mentioned in scripture. “The Nephilim Virus” finally answers questions our vampire myths and zombie stories have tried to answer for centuries.
One of his first endorsements came from fellow actor Megan Fox: “This book would make a great movie! It’s a cohesive, fun ride through some of my most beloved topics —science, the supernatural, and the apocalypse.”
“I’ve been fascinated with these biblical beings since I was young,” says Prather. “Books have been written about the Nephilim, and there are lots of theories about them, but it’s interesting to me how little we actually know about them. As a novelist, it was fun to be able to use my imagination to fill in some of the blanks and create a story about this obscure race. I really enjoyed reading and researching what we do know about them and then tracing them through history, weaving them into a present-day story.”
“The Nephilim Virus” is published by Deep River Books. Prather is currently working on his second book.