This year’s book tour for Code Red was a fantastic wrap-up to my time directing the Rappverse. I visited with some of my favorite interviewers and got a chance to chat face-to-face with readers.
We talked Mitch—where he’s been, where I’ve taken him over my decade-long tenure, and where he might be going in the future. We also spent some time digging into my new project—the resurrection of my character Fade from a book I wrote years ago. It was fun to compare and contrast the two protagonists. They have similar deadly skills but very different personalities and outlooks. It’ll be interesting to switch gears a bit after being so immersed in Mitch’s world.
Come January I won’t be doing monthly updates in Vince’s newsletter, but you can sign up for my e-news on my Home page if you don’t receive it already. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a tour to remember. Now, if you missed the fun, here are some interviews to bring you up to speed on all things Rapp.
Hugh Hewitt Show
“Congratulations, this is superb,” Hugh told me right out of the gate. He said he rarely reads thrillers in one day but this one was an exception. “This is a plausible and very troubling plot. Where did you come up with it?”
I wanted to explore Russia’s use of asymmetrical warfare in this story because it’s becoming such an important part of their offensive capability. The war in Ukraine has proved that their military is third rate, but we’ve seen how effective they can be with more underhanded tactics.
I was interested in expanding on that, and the narcotics trade in Syria was a perfect setting.
This year Don Bentley and I teamed up to chat with fans about Code Red and his latest Clancy novel Weapons Grade. I’m used to traveling solo on tour and it was a fun change of pace to spend some time with my successor while on the road. As always, I enjoyed stopping by Poisoned Pen for an evening, but it was bittersweet knowing that it was my final Rapp tour.
The Thriller Zone Podcast
In a new-to-me podcast this year, I chatted with host David Temple about what I think made Vince’s series so popular from the start. We also talked about why deconstructing successful novels to learn how they’re structured is so important. As we wrapped up, he asked me to share my favorite piece of advice on writing. Tune in to hear it.
John Nantz Podcast
A retired FBI agent, John Nantz is now pursuing his second act in the world of writing and podcasting. We talked about how I never aspired to be an author, but how I managed to overcome some dark early days and turn an experimental novel into a successful career. We also speculated about AI and how it’s set to change the world.
Course of Action Podcast
I met fellow writer Jeff Clark two years ago at Bouchercon, a popular mystery conference. Since then, he’s added podcasting to his creative endeavors, and I was excited to receive an invitation to chat on-air with him.
We talked some about the craft of writing such as outlining, structure, and adapting to Vince’s style. We also went deep into what I’ve learned from Vince over the years and what it’s been like dealing with the expectations of fans.
Author Ecke Podcast
I joined author and podcast host Travis Davis for the first time this year. We talked about researching books—a favorite part of the writing process for both of us—and we wrestled with why the West still holds onto the myth that Russia is a major military power. He also asked a question I don’t think anyone has asked me before: What would I write if I didn’t write thrillers? Listen in and find out.
Comm Majors Podcast
Host Brian Costello has been a Mitch Rapp Ambassador for many years now. His vast knowledge of the series makes for intriguing discussions. He has a way of seeing behind the writing curtain that always produces unique—and sometimes challenging—questions. I talked to Brian and cohost Jim about many things, including how I had to cut the Wagner Group out of Code Red. A huge threat to thriller writers is current events overtaking their story before it’s published. Who could have predicted the Wagner uprising earlier this year?
No Limits: Thriller Podcast Episode 123
Music to my ears…
Hosts Chris and Mike pointed out that I’d added 3,440 pages to the Rappverse, which seemed kind of shocking when said out loud. They also told me that this book took them home because it felt like old-school Vince. The truth is, I sweated blood over this one because it was really important to me that I leave on a high note.
They also asked how it felt writing the last page. I’ll be honest, it felt weird. I spent the last decade with Mitch. It’s like losing the friend I hang out with all the time.
Our lively conversation was full of spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book yet, come back to this interview once you’re done. And the farewell limerick and chat at the end with a few superfans will always be a favorite moment of mine.
Red Carpet Crash
I always enjoy this conversation, and it’s become a regular on my media tours. We discussed the plot of Code Red, of course, and how happy I am that Don Bentley is the author Vince’s estate has chosen to take over the series. We also talked about Scott Coleman, Mitch’s favorite teammate, as well as my character Fade and how long he’s been trapped in the back of my mind, fighting to get out.
Bumper to Bumper with Dan Barreiro
Dan’s drive-time show is a long-standing tradition and a favorite stop on the tour trail. This year was even more fun because Don Bentley joined us for our annual chat. We talked about my transition from Rapp to my upcoming series and how Don landed the job. Find the interview at the 23:45 mark.
Story Craft Cafe
I’ve been talking to host Hank Garner since he started his original podcast—Author Stories—a decade ago. We kicked off this year’s interview with a look at asymmetrical warfare and how Captagon, the drug at the center of Code Red, proved to be the perfect threat to lure Rapp back to the Middle East. We also talked about how a guy like Mitch could realistically get mixed up in the underworld of drugs, how writers create believable stakes for longtime series characters, and much more.
Print Interviews and Reviews
John Nantz Townhall Review
The Real Book Spy Review
David Darling Books Q&A
“How do you maintain tension throughout the story without exhausting the reader?” writer David Darling asked. I answered this and a few other questions related to craft, my new release, and more.
Elise Cooper/Military Press Q&A
There, I said it. I do not like Russians because they are the vandals of the world…
Have you seen the Code Red tour highlights? See who made it into the photo gallery this year.