With the government, technology and weapons playing such an important role in Vince’s books, do you have a depth of knowledge in those areas?
Absolutely. I grew up in an FBI family and my father went on to become the legal attaché in London, finally retiring as the director of Interpol in DC. Family friends spanned from CIA to MI6 to special forces, so I had a lot of time to pick up the rhythms of that world.
I’m also a complete science and technology geek, but I’ll be moderating that a bit for the series. Mitch is more of a low-tech Glock guy than a James Bond exploding watch type.
What is your writing process; do you do it every day?
Absolutely. Nine to five weekdays while my wife is at work and the house is quiet.
My process has actually changed a bit to fit Vince’s style. I’m writing the chapters out of order and then going back to edit earlier pages on a strict schedule. The goal is to write one new chapter and revise one older chapter every day.
Who are your writing heroes?
As far as thrillers go, Tom Clancy. In my mind he had it all—a solid prose style, realistic characters, plotting wizardry, and an incredible grasp of technology. I think The Cardinal of the Kremlin may be the best thriller ever written. In fact, my book Sphere of Influence was loosely inspired by it.
Outside my genre, Stephen King. Is there anything that guy can’t do? Also, George Orwell. He had an amazing gift for distilling the darkness in humanity.
Will you be continuing your other novels?
I’m sure I will at some point, but it looks like the next couple years will be devoted to Mitch.
If the Mitch Rapp film is made, what actor would you like to see play him?
A controversial question! I’ve never had a strong sense of a particular actor for Mitch. If we’re talking about the later books (chronologically speaking) I’d probably go with Colin Farrell. He’s got the right look and does intensity really well.
Are you in touch with Vince’s family?
I’ve swapped emails with Vince’s family and friends, and Lysa has made some helpful comments on the first few chapters of The Survivor. Their support has been really wonderful.