I get a lot of questions about how I went about writing The Survivor and thought I’d do a few posts about my process.
You’ve probably already guessed that the first order of business is research. I reread all 6,512 pages of the Rapp books and took almost 150 pages of notes. Every weapon Mitch has ever used? Check. Nash’s kids’ names? Got ’em. Vince’s word choice and how he liked to put together action sequences? Deconstructed and agonized over.
While not as enjoyable as sitting down and reading the books for fun, it was an interesting way to get to know the characters’ and author’s quirks. Did you know that despite being one of the greatest thriller writers of all time, Vince never started books with action scenes? Or that many of his action sequences somehow involve a dog?
Plots were just as important. What themes did Vince find intriguing? Obviously Islamic terrorism, but how did he see that phenomenon specifically? I can tell you he wasn’t a fan of the Saudis, but he was somewhat more sympathetic to Iran. He was also very interested in the financing of terror, with western bankers often playing a part. And then, of course, there was his (and probably everyone’s) frustration with America’s politicians and political process.
Fortunately, The Last Man left a lot of clues as to where The Survivor should go. That made it was a perfect book for me to start with. As the series moves forward, though, I’ll have to think about Vince’s themes and how they relate to an ever-changing world.
Next up: Who Is Mitch Rapp?