tv In Depth In Depth with Brad Thor CSPAN December 24, 2018 4:34pm-7:34pm EST
you are watching book tv on c-span 2. every weekend we bring you author talks and interviews around the country. for a complete television schedule visit book tv.org. >> now book tv's monthly indepth program with a best-selling author. his nofl novels include the book of fate, the inner circle and the escape artist which debuted at number one on the new york times best-seller list. he's also the author of the ordinary people change the world biography series for children and the forthcoming nonfiction title the first conspiracy, the secret plot to kill george washington. >> brad thor, over the course of 18 books, how many people have scott killed? >> i think i lost count after
book number one. he's killed a lot. >> why? >> my children's godfather is a former fifth special forces group person. he works for the state department now. he had a line that he got from a commander somewhere in his career in the army that said there's some people that just need killing. there are some people that you are not going to be able to reason with. you are not going to be able to negotiate with, and there's just evil in the world. that's kind of the approach he takes. doesn't necessarily like it, but when it needs to be done, he goes out and does it. >> is he based on a real person? >> so my protagonist who runs through the books is a combination, kind of a stew, if you will, of multiple people that i have known in the world of government, diplomacy, part of government -- he is actually named after somebody right here in d.c. who processes fisa warrants for the department of justice.
there's a real life at doj that i knew and i thought that was a great name for a character. he's a collection of these people, and then what i tell folks is that he's my alter ego. he gets to go and do the things that my wife won't let me go and do. she let me go to afghanistan, but she drew the line with chasing russian female operatives and that kind of thing, so there's a line i can't cross. >> how realistic are some of his exploits? >> they are very realistic. i spend a lot of time talking with people in the cia, fbi, people in special operations community, a lot of state dinners and a lot of pitchers of beer, i like to listen to stories. i find i learn more by not talking with them because just hearing them talk, but there is one question that i ask repeatedly when i'm out with people, and i ask it multiple times every single year, what are you afraid of right now? what's keeping you up at night? that's what helps inform the plots for my thrillers. >> brad thor, your protagonist
scott, he's handsome, rugged, resourceful. he's smart. he's got unlimited funds. he's got the brazilian girlfriend. [laughter] >> what are his faults? >> that's a great -- it's a great question, and something that i began exploring a few books ago. i made a choice as a writer, and my wife when she read the manuscript about three or four books ago and said okay i always knew what he thought. now i know what he feels. i think he's someone that his dad was a seal, who passed away. and he didn't have a very good relationship with his father. he decided he didn't want to go to college. he had an opportunity to be an athlete on the professional circuit, and he went that way out of high school. that made his dad who worked very hard to get his education upset. they had grown apart. and his dad died. the only reason he was still just minimally talking with his father was because his mom was
holding the family together. his dad dies. he loses his taste for competitive athletics and then decides to go into school and follow in his father's footsteps. i think there's a part of him that is trying to make his dad happy, looking for the approval. he became a seal. in a recent book, he has more father son issues with his mentor, his mentor wanting him to give up another career to do something that the mentor thinks is more valuable for the country. >> your 18th book "spy master" is coming out on tuesday july 3rd. he works for a group called the carlton group. what is that? and do these types of groups exist in our world? >> they do. the carlton group is a private intelligence agency. basically they offer everything that the cia would do, without all the bureaucracy. that's the fictional idea. as i watch the increase in the popularity and the contracts going to private military contracting firms like black water and other ones like that,
i thought okay, the next step in this process is going to be outsourcing intelligence gathering and maybe even analysis and maybe even some direct action, assignments where it allows the u.s. government to have plausible deniability. i thought this is the next big thing coming. i got introduced to somebody who is retired from the cia. i dedicated actually last summer's book to dewey, who just passed away sadly. and dewey had something that he was doing, where he was outsourcing intelligence gathering in multiple different ways, whether it was gathering atmospherics on the ground in afghanistan to help inform the dod about how to keep the troops safe. he was a fascinating guy. i based his boss on dewey. >> do cia intelligence operatives have the unlimited
funds that scott >> [laughter] >> no, they don't, unfortunately. there was a great book written, nonfiction that was called "the human factor", and it was written by a cia operative who was very unhappy with the culture at the cia. he would request -- he'd send in requests to approach certain potential assets, and he would have his requests sent back to him five times he would claim because the commas were in the wrong places, because it was easier to do than strong him along than say no. he was constantly paying his sources out of his own pocket, it would take the agency forever to get the money to him. i think more often than not you've got agents that are dealing with a big bureaucracy, as well intended, there's great men and women at the cia. that's one point i always make clear. there are some amazing americans there that are doing some of this nation's most dangerous business. there are people that think there are no problems there, and i've talked to people that think it's just so bureaucratic,
there's so much red tape, and that's part of what i deal with in my thrillers which i think makes them all the more real. >> can we read a political philosophy of yours in your thrillers? >> you know, i think ever since -- so i write political thrillers, and i think ever since human beings have gotten together, there's been politics. ever since we decided to get together in little bands and then move it up to tribes and then go to cities. any time there's an interest, politics are involved. so if you're protecting an interest or trying to leverage an advantage, politics are going to be involved. i think -- i hope that what my books do is shine a light on some of the complications that operatives have in this world and also let people know that there is no american dream without the men and women willing to go out and protect it. i think politicians get in the way of things too often. but i also think the cia being so closely tied to the state department, in having to run
operations in other countries through an ambassador, i have got a friend of mine now who just got made ambassador to germany, rick grinell and before he finally got confirmed at the senate, there was this whole terrible thing with the cia out of the berlin station where they paid all this money allegedly for dirt that some russians had or something like this, and without having the ambassador there, there wasn't that screen. so in that sense, that might have been better, but i think with the cia being kind of rotating through embassies and stuff like that, i think it probably adds to the bureaucracy and makes their job more difficult. >> and from your last year's book, "use of force", one of the most counterproductive things the cia had ever done was put its operatives in embassies around the world, too many of them began to think like state department employees. >> yep, there's another book that i was reading and i'm going to draw a blank on the title right now, but it was a very very dangerous operation in the middle east, and one of the people that the cia had allowed
to go on this team on this assignment, this guy had a severe medical condition, but because of hippa, the rules that protect your medical information and all that kind of stuff, this gentleman's medical condition couldn't be revealed to the leader of their team, and this guy had an episode, whether it was an epileptic seizure, or whatever, but now they're way behind enemy lines. they are in country big-time and they have to figure out how to get this guy out of there, medical attention. it's that kind of bureaucracy that will get people killed. that's the balance that the cia has. they don't want to be bureaucratic. they want to go out and help the nation and protect the nation and gather the intel they have to, but i think there are certain pieces that attach to that that make it very difficult. and that's why i love writing about a private intelligence agency where you've got guys out there. as americans, we all hope that there are scotts out there, where there are no rules, he's unshackled and he can go do what needs to be done. marcus lutrell, his story was
told. the first time i saw him speak, that was kind of the way he ended his talk when his book was out there, he said, you know, one of the greatest things you can do for us in the special operations community is just kind of look away -- doesn't mean we have no accountability, but kind of look this way, let us do what we've been trained to do. trust us to do our jobs and do the right thing. there's an incredible story where they decided that three of his teammates were killed because they made the decision they did to let those goat herders in afghanistan go and brought a taliban army on top of them and marcus was the only survivor. >> before we get into specific books, can you pick up any one of your 18 books or do you have to read them in order? >> no, one of the best pieces of advice i got when i started in this business was -- first of all, i never intended to write a series character. i was a big fan -- i loved the idea that i could visit a new
protagonist and new background with a book. my editor sat down and said how many times have you bought a book because you wanted to go on another adventure with that same character? i said gosh happens all the time. maybe it sounds like maybe the plot isn't what you like, but you love the character. i got it. that's the business model, franchise character. the next piece of advice she gave me was the one thing you have to make sure is if somebody goes into a bookstore, the fourth brad thor book is in there, and they are going to start with you, they have never read your other three, make sure they are able to buy that one and enjoy it even if the bookstore doesn't have the first three. the answer to draw it out is yes you can start anywhere with my books and you won't be missing a thing. >> welcome to book tv and our special in depth fiction edition. all yearlong we have had fiction authors on this year. and this month it's best-selling novelist and thriller writer brad thor. we're going to begin taking your calls. we will take your calls throughout this three hours. we want to put the numbers up
and the social media addresses so you can go ahead and start dialling in or start tweeting in, etc. here are the numbers, and for this show today, we want to ask for first time callers only. if you've not called book tv before, if you're a fan of brad thor, please call in. here are the numbers 202-748-8200. if you live in the east and central time zones. 202-748-8201 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. now, you can also tweet, facebook, instagram and e-mail. at book tv is our social media address, depending on which system you use. and our e-mail is book tv @ c-span.org. we will begin taking those in a little while. brad thor i want to talk about some of the themes that come through in your books before we go into specifics about the books. terrorism is not going away.
>> nope. no time soon. you know, it's funny, i've got a couple of my friends that are in the defense industry, and they said peace is not going to break out any time soon. i agree with you. it's been interesting because i'm trying to juggle all the threats that are going on in the world. obviously islamic terrorism, whether it was al qaeda or isis or before al qaeda, which i've covered in my second book "path of the assassin". that stuff has been there. we could talk about the collapse of pan ashg nationalism and how that fuelled the muslim brotherhood. that's one thing. we have the hybrid warfare which you are seeing with russia, that's forefront in spy master, the things they have done not only here but in the baltics. you have the chinese, the real big hack where they took a lot of u.s. navy secrets from that hack. everything the north koreans have been up to. the world is a very very
dangerous place. i continually remind people america has been one of the greatest forces for good and safety and security in the history of the world, but we are constantly being bombarded. i think the advent of the internet and our reliance on it has only made us more vulnerable to a different kind of terrorism, cyber terrorism. >> real life events are parts of your book. >> they are. some of the stuff happens in my books before it happens in real life and sometimes the events are a backdrop. for instance, we traded a couple years ago in the previous administration five gitmo terrorists for bergdahl, the guy who walked off his base, kind of a base in afghanistan, i had done a book prior to that where i did a trade of five gitmo terrorists to get somebody. there are certain things that happen. i talked about that. as we put my second book "path
of the assassin", the iraqis put out that they had found him, he had been in iraq and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head multiple times. i don't know how you shoot yourself multiple times in the head. the iraqis decided they had no use for him anymore. there's a lot of that kind of stuff that ends up happening because of the way i read the tea leaves. but i'm a voracious consumer of the news. i pay allot -- a lot of attention to domestic politics and geopolitics. if you look at what it and say what if, that's part of a writer's job to look at reality and say what if. that helps create interesting scenarios. i don't know stephen king, and i would never ever judge how hard his work is because it is different, but what's interesting, i do look at stephen king's work with a little bit of awe. i like his writing, but i also think it must be interesting to be able to create the parameters of the world that your fiction
exists in. your characters exist here. you can move the walls, whatever. i can't do that with my books. so if i say a senator has this ability, it's got to be the ability a senator has. or a navy seal does this, or somebody at langley does that. so i have very specific walls that are around my work or guide posts, if you will, kind of guide rails, and i have to operate in there, i don't get to cheat that stuff because i will hear from people if i get it wrong. >> scott invokes murphy's law. >> a lot. that is something that you will hear from whether it's green berets, whether it's seals, whether it's guys at the unit, you know, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. you can have the best plan in the world. the minutes the bullets start flying, things change. the mindset of adapt and overcome is big in my novels, that mantra of the seals success is the only option. failure is not an option. you have to think on your feet. that's what's interesting how
they select these guys to be in delta force or end up on the seal teams and eventually up at one of the tier one teams. it is interesting. you have to be able to think on your feet, and murphy's law is something they can all quote chapter and verse because something always goes wrong. the success of the mission depends not only on how well it was planned but how well you handled that thing that invariably went sideways on you. >> well, brad thor, another theme is potentially illegal operations on foreign lands and brutal interrogation. >> yep. so there's been a lot of that kind of stuff in the book. i think there are -- it was charles krauthammer who recently passed away that said there's kind of two types of acceptable morally acceptable interrogation. there is the okay, you know, we've got time. we can work on this guy. we can, you know, try to build rapport. there's a misunderstanding that our intelligence operatives and our military people go from 0 to
80 in the blink of an eye. they do try to build rapport. a lot of people realize a lot more can be done without applying difficult techniques. but the other thing that krauthammer talked about is morally acceptable is what you can do under the ticking time bomb scenario. if there is a nuke that is going to go off in times square in an hour, you know, you have to be prepared to get rough with somebody, to where sit and how do we diffuse it kind of thing? i think it was charles that made the joke if you had walked on the floor of the new york times in the aftermath of 9/11 and said there's a taxi cab speeding towards your building right now with a bomb in it and we can't evacuate the building, but we do have a guy in custody who knows how to stop it, you know, how much buy-in would you have gotten on the newsroom floor of the new york times of do what you have to do to stop that taxi cab from getting here and killing people. it is easy from a distance to say we don't like certain things, and i understand that.
i certainly don't want that to be the only tool in our tool box. i even expanded on it in my books the kind of interrogation that happens, but it is part of that thing that people like to read about. i think that's why keifer sutherland was so successful with 24. you want to believe there's a guy out there willing to break fingers if it is going to save american lives. >> you put a lot of detail into your description of people, places, things, transportation. >> i think that the details are the bedrock of a thriller. you're asking somebody to suspend their disbelief and come with you on this journey. and one of the pieces of fan mail, if you want to call it that, that i'm most proud of is when i hear from men and women in the intelligence field and the special operations community and they say that's exactly how we do it. i have had that problem with my boss, it's happened again and again, and you've nailed that
office politics thing that kind of follows you in the field. those details for me are important. if i'm not getting those right -- it is kind of like a currency. i'm building trust with you. nothing drives me crazier than to read another author who does something like puts a safety on a glock. there's no manual safety on a glock pistol. if they don't get that right, it tells me they didn't care enough to go and ask somebody who is not an expert. my books don't happen in a vacuum. if i wasn't able to talk to people in the firearms industry or seals or people at delta, things like that, i wouldn't be able to get the level of accuracy and detail that i do which is kind of a hallmark of my books that people enjoy, that i get those right. it is a little bit different than clancy. i grew up reading clancy. doing want to give you 20 pages about how a guidance system on a missile works. it is important you understand how, you know, we've got a special forces team and they are putting a laser on a target and the missile is going to find it. that for me is kind of the limit. i think people's attention spans have gotten shorter. i don't know that people could do kind of the chapter length and stuff, perhaps they could.
i don't know. clancy's gone. he's got great writers that have continued his work. some really really strong writers. but for me that was the one thing b -- leonard said the best piece of writing advice i can give is leave out the parts people skip. so long descriptions about technology didn't resonate for me, but i figure in my books i will keep it simple but important details. >> have you walked the streets of doberville in france or in paris or the streets of syria, etc., etc.? >> yes, and no. the paris stuff, yes. the polish stuff in the new book, no, that lake is interesting because the lake is half owned by poland and half owned by russia. and i wanted to know what does it look like? so i went on google earth. i couldn't get an idea. so the next step for me if i can't go visit someplace, i want to talk somebody who has
operated there, because if your life is dependent upon what you notice around you, you pick up interesting detail. i want to talk somebody on a diplomatic security service team who protected a u.s. diplomat in that area, cia, intelligence officer, special operations member, and i want to see what did they pick up. for instance, a couple of books ago "code of conduct", i set part of it in congo. so i was talking with somebody who had operated there a ton. and he was like all right thor what kind of details do you want from me? i said what does nobody else notice about it? he gave me a couple ideas. we weren't getting there. it wasn't the stuff that i wanted. and i said what i'm trying to ask is, did you notice like everybody had the same color bicycle? he goes oh my gosh, yeah, they have a bike that they call the black mamba. he said all the blacks are -- all the bikes are black and the
trail in the dirt that it leaves looks like a mamba. that became a neat detail for that book. if you've gone to that part of the world, you are going to go everybody does have that bicycle. thor must have been here or he really does his research. >> how did you get started in this business? your first book came out in 2002. >> it is a great question. so i always wanted to be a writer. ever since i was a little boy. my dad is a no longer active marine who got into the construction and real estate development business and my mom was a flight attendant for twa in the 60s, flew new york, paris, paris, new york. and the arts in our house were something to make you better rounded. they were not a career path. my dad saw both of his sons. i have a younger brother named scot with one t which is who my protagonist is named after. my dad did a lot of work in southern california. everybody he worked with was from the university of southern california. he said they stuck together and
helped each other and grads from usc. he said i want you and your brother go to usc, study business administration and then come to work and take over the business. well, i went to usc, and i started business administration. and i couldn't stand it. i was depressed. i didn't like it. and i went into the career counselling office, and they gave me something called the -- back then it was called the strong campbell personality test where they compare your interests to 2, 300 other professionals who love what they do. it doesn't mean you have an aptitude for that career field, but it means they are very satisfied in what they do. and i scored off the charts for writing and publishing. so i changed my major. by the classes i took. i didn't change it on the report card. it was still going back home to my dad in chicago saying business administration. but it was introduction to fiction writing, poetry 101 all this stuff. about my junior year, he's like i don't know what's going on here, but two years now, no business classes. what's going on? i had to tell him. he was actually really good about it. he said okay, we'll make it up.
you will get a finance degree post grad which i did not do. i saved money. i worked in college, saved money, traveled. i wanted to write a book so i decided with that money that i'd saved i would go to paris and do something no american has ever done. i'm going to move to paris and write a novel. went to paris, got three chapters into it and shipped my laptop back home. i was afraid of failure. what if i take this year off and write a book that nobody likes or it doesn't get published? it was easier that little voice in my head it was easier to give into that one that don't even risk it, don't embarrass yourself. i was on a travel show, the show did very well. after two seasons i married my wife. we were on our honeymoon. she said what would you regret if you didn't do it? i said writing a book and getting it published. she said okay you make that dream come true. that became my first book. >> who was that based on?
>> it was based on a newspaper article that i found while i was in amsterdam on my honeymoon with my wife. there was a swiss intelligence officer, real life, swiss intelligence officer who had embezzled all this money from the swiss army and was training his own shadow militia high in the alps with high-tech weapons from his own private arsenal. i thought to myself, if you're training a modern swiss militia, you know, we have the swiss guard, what would a modern swiss militia do? what kind of jobs might they take? i was living in park city, utah at the time. president clinton had come, i think it was his second visit two years in a row they came for chelsea's birthday because she liked to ski and the family would ski in park city. i knew somebody with the secret service. i said it's got to be a nightmare because you let other people ski at the same time as the president. and that's where my idea came for that book, what they would do. i said this is going to be about a president who skis with his daughter and the swiss mercenaries are going to get
hired because they are swiss, they are good in mountains and snow. they are going to capture -- they are going to take the president hostage during the ski vacation. that's where the idea came from. :: worth they mention of 9/11 and the tory peer >> host: how did 9/11 changed the trajectory of your book or did i.? >> guest: it's interesting because i was writing my second book, yet i was talking to the head of security for american airlines before in the run up to
9/11 about a hijacking, how american airlines might respond in the sky wasn't giving me any information. you information. he said you are the writer you figure it out the back blasting what to do with american airlines. it was very close to 9/11 we said while if the fbi didn't show up on our doorstep asking nascar asking me why were you the head of security for american airlines asking his questions. they didn't show up your deposit and issue appeared obviously a changed man in the global effort to fight terrorism, and particularly islamic extremism. i have been very interested in the islamic faithful at the university of southern california because we have so many families from iran to the downfall of the shaw had a big persian population in the difference between sunni and shia islam why a small percentage of people can read
the quran and the associated text and have a different interpretation. so when the nine 9/11 attacks happened i wasn't surprised but i thought okay, here's an area i could now apply to my thrillers appeared to try to balance in my books if i had muslim terrorists and plenty of books of no mention of islam at all. i try to be good in balance so have good character and not cared her peer and also allows the explanation and exploration of both sides of that issue spirit >> host: you got into a bit of trouble with the last patriot? escalated. the last patriot is really interesting and is based on one of my favorite concepts in his home which was this concept of abrogation. glenn beck that it was the da vinci code of islam and the premise behind the last patriot is there was a chapter missing from the quran and if it could be found in would have an incredible impact on the religion. that in and of itself created a
tremendous amount of trouble with the book i've been in saudi arabia appeared the puranas accepted by the muslim faith is a perfect copy of a perfect book. there can't be a missing chapter. years ago doing revelation they found a bunch of old things. it's a fascinating idea appeared the idea chapter could be missing was not taken well in some areas. >> host: did you get death threats? >> guest: a lot of death threats. no fireflies. you can write a book about capitalism, christianity like my friend dan brown did with the da vinci code and write a play about mormonism and a doughnut to worry about getting death threats and things like this. islam is interesting in that there are some very serious defenders of the faith they don't even want to criticize. sam harris was a great piece in the "huffington post" several years ago when there had been
the killing of theo van gogh in amsterdam and hershey ali had to to go on the run because the hitless with satirist chest and she was on it. but sam harris wrote this great piece on the "huffington post" called losing our spines to save our next and it was all about how we hampered the work of muslim reformers hear people looking to advance their religion and guys like judy chaucer is trying to help celebrate mosque and state and we don't do the fate of service or apologize for them instead of hoping shed more light on the areas where there's cracks and now as part of the thing i found interesting in the last patriot men also tied in with thomas thomas jefferson. au staff people whose the first u.s. president that went to work its radical islam. people said george bush. it wasn't george bush. wasn't jimmy carter with the iran hostage crisis. as thomas jefferson. so this idea jefferson might've
been onto a missing chapter from the quran and now becomes relevant today as a fun thing to do in that thriller appeared turning to this is a quote from reason magazine in 2016 of your spirit i believe if mohammed came back today and handed out trophies for the best muslims were, isis would get them. al qaeda would get them. the practicing islam exactly the way he told them to us. >> the best meaning people who are practicing their religion the way she wanted a practice. so there has been the majority of muslim people just want to get along with the neighbors. they have christians as friends. they have jews as friends. the same as you with their children. but there is the group, isis is one in particular when he saw they were going back to the seventh century idea of what
islam should be and where you don't take jews accretions for your your friends. the barbaric ways were torturing, which they were taken from the quran and things like this. it is a fascinating discussion to have because the puranas not organized chronologically. to actually organize by the length of the passages in the book. when i had discussions with people who particularly don't like me to talk about religious text being used to support violence, they'll say you're just cherry-picking. what's fascinating is mohammed's career was divided into two portions. he started out in mecca where he was preaching peacefully trying to woo the jews and fishes and then he went to medina where he got very powerful, very wealthy and became increasingly less tolerant of people that refuse to believe him enjoying his religion. and you see it happening in that time of his life than earlier, but the concept of application i
talked about when we started talking about the last patriot. the concept have been because his apostles came to him and said mohammed, you told us this and i are contradicting yourself. how is that possible? allah is all-knowing and all his perfect. if of mohammed in a very difficult situation and he went away for a couple days, came back and share the concept with his followers and said if i give you something today that contradicts what i told you yesterday, forget yesterday and focus on what i told you today. so with there was a missing chapter from the quran come if mohammed had a final revelation, if it was his last revelation which is what a fictionalized, that could reverberate through the entire religion. it could be an absolute game changer. that was the fun i had is that thriller offer author. very positive. it was meant to be fair, but to
be in fearless exploration of what was going on in that part of islam. the discussion raging between people who don't want change in people who do. "in depth" >> host: women operatives are very successful and very beautiful. >> guest: well come i don't think anybody wants to see anything but a beautiful bond girl when they go to a bond movie. you know, i am surrounded and what i do by incredibly intelligent and incredibly talented successful women. whether it's my editor, my wife, my agent. i'm very fortunate to work with the people i do. something that works for me in my office, my executive vice president when i write these women i don't want them to be window dressing. i have a huge female readership and have been successful of the commitment. women have to work twice as hard to make it in a lot of these industries. whether it's espionage come in the military, whether it's a law
enforcement, everyone has to work twice as hard. it's just the way it is feared a lot of these things are physical endeavor so they have to be twice as tough as their male counterparts. it is my way of recognizing and honoring these women and i think it is fine to have them be attractive and things like that because men are to appeared very cinematic when i write these books. i see them unfolding like a movie before my eyes. and so, i'm casting as they go along. if i can get jessica biel is this person, that's great. if it's over here jennifer garner, then it's jennifer garner. i'll often cut out pictures of actors and actresses and have them on the desk particularly when i have multiple people in the novel it helps me keep track and give them i know whose personality goes where. >> host: who was caught our breath when cut out a picture.
>> it changes from time to time. i'll tell you who was on my mind when i was writing spymaster. my latest beta comes out tuesday. i saw josh berlin in the way he was in the car real. it just came out this week. it came out thursday. two days ago and josh roland kind of been this grizzled guy who was still in the field, still picking up a rifle, that he is taking every shortcut he can. he's not going around 10 bucks to chase them die. that's what is going to do just to even up the score now that is creeping up into his 40s and every thing. so josh roland vicario was a little bit of the character touchstone for me because i love that movie. i think it's a brilliant movie. "in depth" how come there has not been 18 bribe or movies? >> a great question. i hope people from hollywood are watching right now. it's been one of the most
disappointing things for me is we haven't had a movie made. i have a certain reputation in hollywood as being a guy who writes about islamic terrorist and hollywood doesn't want to touch that. they will touch russian bad guys are they will touch american media not these. that's it. try to think back when was the last time you saw a major hollywood release, which had muslim bad guys. i go back to kurt russell and executive decision. you really have to go way back into the 90s. we are not at war with the average. a bunch of guys from county court that flew airplanes into buildings. i think you can explore the themes of islamic terrorism and what it means vis-à-vis the west without demeaning the billion people. i think you can do that. the film offers a great opportunity to put the story out there. but hollywood just doesn't seem to want to touch that stuff. in that respect we have a lot of offers come in and then we worked through the process and
get to level worst radiohead have to sign off on it and it's like this may be coming in no, half my books are not muslim terrorists. if i got nine movies made that would be terrific. that would get me into my golden years, my old age. about 59 movies made three years per movie for two years per movie fantastic. there seems to be a reluctance there which is misplaced and that's what's disappointing because we got a lot of books that have nothing to do with islamic terrorism. >> host: spymaster come your grocery summer talking russia and poland, but i don't recall any muslim carrot is in that book. just don't know, the code of conduct, all he had to do with somebody at the u.n. creating the viral hemorrhagic fever, hidden order was all about a series of murders taking place around boss did to look like things that happen in the american revolution in order to
influence things that the federal reserve. i normally don't say it's about the fed when i publicize it because it seems like how much -- how do you make that and have it be a thriller. that's one of several examples. the first one was the swiss mercenaries. they brought them along to make the fbi think it was. it was one guy for two pages and that was all. >> another theme, brad overcome the intergovernmental intrigue in the u.s. >> there's a lot of that. i talked to family members and things like this. not close immediate family members, the friend to talk about intrigue conspiracies in the deep state and i said you guys realize this is the same government that couldn't even run the post office. all of these things they want to put on d.c. i think makes for interesting fiction and i think we find it very easy to believe
that there are forces behind the scenes, puppeteers controlling everything and i think that makes for interesting reading. i grew up reading things like that. the three days of the condor movie with robert redford is fascinating that there would be potentially a group that just read books for the cia and all this kind of stuff. i think that intergovernmental intrigue makes for tension and fun reading. "in depth" >> host: speaking of the defendant politics coming to send out a tweet we want to show our viewers saying that if nobody else up to your going to run for president against president trump. >> guest: my interest with that, that is born of incredible frustration. so i was told -- i'm a father. i've got two children. you and i don't own this country, peter. you and i are stewart's regardless of how you vote and how we vote, you are stewards of the republic.
it's incumbent to hand down a stronger, freer, to the next generation. we merely safeguarded and then we handed on. we are not doing a good job of this at $1.3 trillion is an omnibus spending bill. so that tweet was the pinnacle of my frustration because i've been told if republicans could only control the house things that start happening. click again on the senate things to start happening. i am tired of listening to what used to be my political party. i don't want anything to do with republicans anymore talking about fiscal responsibility. that to me as a national security issue and if somebody writes thrillers and things like that i'm very concerned about national security issues. to have a republican -- they control everything. they control at they control it all appeared at the white house, congress. so they put out that budget. the president signs it. that's new is reprehensible. we were promised i wouldn't have been. i did between because i was so
upset and i had a realization afterwards. number one to answer your question about running for president. i have to get in the republican primaries and not those more interested getting on the debate stage with donald trump and not being afraid to confront him and be able to bring up these issues. you know what, not to be part of the republican party to do that and i do want to be part of the republican party anymore so it isn't going to happen. i go to the libertarian party. my friend hugh hewitt was pushing me to run as the vice presidential candidate to bring a little more hawkish foreign policy. i'm just focused on my thrillers. may you live in interesting times and they are really interesting and it's just crazy. >> host: isn't a person a sends to be a conservative writer? >> guest: i consider myself a conservative area in. i'm conservative on financial issues. not conservative on social issues. i have tons of gay friends.
i'm very much with george h.w. bush. he had a great tweet that the family put out a method that what he said that the government shouldn't tell you who to be in love with. for me i'm conservative when it comes to debt and deficit and keeping a good financial house in order. the rest of us libertarian. i want the government to leave me on, be as small as possible and i want to be judged by the people in my community. my neighbors, that kind of stuff. the closer you keep control and decision-making, the wiser decisions will be. i don't think the federal government should tell some guy in my town what to do. it's not my thing. as a writer i get painted with that brush. the only thing people here is conservative. but in a terrible repeal the "washington post" and was all about me, not about my book. i've got some great reviews on
it. people really read these books. but i got some money but only wanted to talk about my politics. i thought this is interesting. if you wander through my politics a profile piece on me. as a reviewer would hope you would put the politics aside. i think the person who did the review decided that he would signal to his fellow travelers were not worthy of consideration because he doesn't think and act like us. he and i have a lot more in common than he thinks we do. we agree on a lot. this is my big thing with all the political -- all the toxicity of politics right now there's so much more that unites us. at the end of the day were americans. i don't want another 9/11 that pulls us together. this idea that i can't talk to you because you didn't vote for trump are you burning for burning a write-in vote for
hillary whatever it may be a silly. it isn't good. it isn't healthy for our republic. >> host: as a reader of brad thor, nicholas has grown on me and i don't trust him. >> guest: nor does nicholas' employer. >> host: i don't trust him. >> guest: that's probably good -- for people who have not read my thrillers, nicholas is a character who started out as somewhat of a bad guy. he suffers from primordial dwarfism. he's under three feet tall, growth is very brittle bones and they didn't think he was going to live and he has lived. the one question i get more and more people are like where did the character come from. you've got basically the troll, a little person that is a mass during cyberand has made his living blackmailing people through the purchase and dust of top-secret intelligence.
it is interesting because the place you came from is not very exciting actually. i had my kids we launched a lot of dora the explorer there is a grumpy old troll who lives under a bridge and you have to figure out riddles to get across the bridge. the kids used to ask me about that and then my children as they took them out in our neighborhood where we used to live there was an actual little person and we would see this person going to work every day very sharply dressed in a kid said where do you think this person goes to work and it didn't something in my mind wipe out okay for a carrot or in didn't have a normal sized type, what round could you be successful in connecticut have been between your ears, with your brain matter, what might you do if you had a powerful in a lack of mass where the troll came from the combination of the person lived in my neighborhood, dorothy asked our neighborhood and really has developed a
relationship with this person. but no one else thinks it's a good idea. nobody else really trust them. i think you're right not to trust them. >> host: let's take some calls here tremper is her desperate first-time callers only today. mike who's calling in from the hometown of nashville, tennessee. >> caller: hey, brad. i'm a real big fan and i'm a real smart guy. i'm sorry to hear you're not running for president. and you have great hair. i used to have hair like you. i'll get on to my question. in your first book, and these are page turner is. i just love them. scott is skiing down the mountain i believe with the president's daughter in his arms and they are skiing down being chased by a knob latch. where was that ski resort and how did you come up with an amazing idea? >> you obviously are very smart man.
thank you for the compliments, mike. that was based on my time and part did he come to utah. that was deer valley, a ski resort. my wife and i as poor newlyweds used to ski there because she picked up shifts on the weekend. not poor, the school debt and that kind of stuff. it's a lovely resort. a high-end, expensive place to go ski and she was on call so they would give her two passes for the data scheme and that's kind of where we spend our time on the weekends together because we could get free ski passes there. good question. >> host: ronna nicholl bill, new york. ron, good afternoon. >> caller: good afternoon. i've been watching with great interest. thank you, mr. thor and thank you booktv. you guys are great. i want to ask mr. thor if his name influences instabilities and writing at all.
i also want to suggest that for his next thriller you could do a reluctant author being pulled into a political campaign. you know what i mean? of course you do, of course you do. anyway, you're a very engaging malady. thank you for writing all your great books. >> thank you for that. i appreciate it. it's funny because a lot of people ask me is brad thor my real name? and it is the way back in the 1800s the swedish government said we have so many sons and ericsson and not used to be because you take your dad's name and not the son or daughter depending on your gender. the government of sweden said we can't do this. you got this. you've got to pick a name for the family and thank god we had a great, great grandfather ericsson who said we are going to be thor. i'm very pleased with.and brad
thor stacks very well on a book cover. >> host: a reminder if you can get there in the phone lines, first-time callers only. you can do that via social media and we will scroll through those addresses as we go. this is a question from facebook. larry wants to know how many more books do you envision in a movie update on lions of lucerne. >> guest: okay, so great question. many more. harbaugh isn't going anywhere anytime soon. he's doing everything he can to stay in the field and i think you'll enjoy seeing what is the doing my master because he still wants to be out in the action. as far as lucerne is concerned, there is no update. we are a kind of a standstill in hollywood. in fact, i just took a big meeting on spymaster were some hollywood reducers.it would be a great, great place to start.
so it's up in the air. you know, i don't count my chickens before they hatch. we thought they had a good and going with clients. it just didn't materialize. you can't swing a dead cat in hollywood without hitting someone who has the millions or is about movies that almost got made and then finally got made. back to the future is an incredibly gory. >> host: trained to come you put out a book a year. when did you start working on spymaster because it's talking about coming in though, social media and the use of the russians and election disruption or propaganda disruption. >> last summer. when i got off book tour this time last year the end of july is when i started writing it. there was so much going on and it wasn't just here as he just here is to look into what the russians were doing in eastern europe and all that kind of
stuff and i was fascinated by something. september 30th of this year we will celebrate -- celebrates the wrong word. we will recognize the munich pact where hitler, mussolini got together with neville chamberlain in france and a chunk of czechoslovakia was seated to the of hitler said he wanted to protect ethnic germans and it has very much the echoes of what happened with the crimean peninsula where putin was saying i want to protect ethnic russians and all that kind of stuff. history doesn't repeat but it does rhyme. we are starting to some shape about a knockout into spymaster as well. >> host: dn in jackson heights, new york. >> caller: when you get my age you don't get to my novels. i was the number of years involved in that area and i have the feeling -- there is an
appreciation of how insightful rather than action is to feel the general feel pitcher covering and how the people who make things go are not the actual people. a lot of the people who died in the end are the people who never started. so i was wondering if you think that you might be -- [inaudible] at this whole dating. the brain is the site between habit and insight. it might be very interesting to show how much we appreciate interactions and exactly how much his habit and how much is inside. the insight is the specificity
for where you are and what you're doing. you really grasp the biology of this and then apply it to the field that is totally mental and very little physical. [inaudible] a really tremendous following. >> well, thank you. one of my favorite film characters is from jackson heights. so it's kind of neat to get a call from there. randy watson, great film character. that's fascinating. i agree with you i get to do a lot of training with people on the novels. there is a lot of things using weapons and things like that in what you do when they see you train like you fight and fight like you train and you brought up the red habit which is important. habit versus insight. it's absolutely fascinating. the challenge for me would be how do i get people to turn the pages and get them a little bit
of that to learn why that's important. that probably is a very interesting insight that readers would enjoy. something else kind of file away in my mental rolodex so thank you for that suggestion. >> host: brad thor, another theme. a lot of safe houses in the world. is there truth to hide not? >> guest: it depends on yes. is something that is very necessary. sometimes they're temporary. set up for us or operation. there's something i talk about in my book which is kind of a suitcase that will be in there with corinthian sim cards for phones. were back to murphy's law again, which is in got to expect that murphy will show up. he will show up at the worst possible time, through the operation in the chaos. and if you're going to fix it on the run, if you can catch her breath for a couple seconds to think that's very helpful.
that's why does exist. >> host: have you followed up on spymaster? >> guest: i have. who wrote hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy? douglas adams. douglas had a great quote about deadlines and he says that like deadlines. it's a absolute love the sound they make as they go whooshing die. i missed my deadline on spymaster. i kept wanting to tweet things into man and i put the wonderful people at simon & schuster really up against the wall. it really made it difficult for them, gave less time for the polishing because i was tweeting and changing stuff. stuff in the real world was changing and happening so fast eared i wanted the book to be not news that a dirty happen, the news that's about to happen. cannot do this, got to do that. my wife didn't like that. my wife didn't like having me be in my office seven days a week and working that hard. my family is incredibly
supportive. if that's what it takes to get the book done, they support me. they'll bring a tray over with dinner for me. my kids are my favorite waitstaff in the world. a beautiful waiter at a beautiful waitress. here's a hot meal, dad. hope the book is going okay. the goal with the next one i have started it is to actually get it put to bed in the fall so i can have a lovely christmas. so i could not have everything be a last-minute run to the store tobacconist of. >> host: you're hoping to finish it this fall. >> guest: you made that very clear before went on air. it is what the news told me to do. i had no choice. i'm a big believer in personal responsibility for your actions. when you said to do some thing.
if she says this is what you've got to do, i trust that. the news takes off. you had a visceral reaction. the first thing you and i talked about. what the major angry. i think there's probably other readers that have the same reaction but there's a blogger called the real books by that said the ending of spymaster is an absolute jaw dropper of an ending. i was one of the big callouts he did in his review. i'm hoping that people really like it in that it's something they appreciate and excites them. if you're just like look over, really haven't done my job. the emotion in your life as a
writer. >> host: if people out there are brad thor fans coming means they followed as a secret service agent and cia operative and now the private cia operative. could you envision killing him off? >> wow. there probably would be. i have no plan to do that. and i couldn't imagine doing that without being sure that the supporting cap i put together were enough to keep readers excited. they plan their vacations around their books. they want to read this over vacation. i have no plan. i can't think of the worst career move than to kill him off. i can't be coming off of this book doing a spinoff book or two
of the younger operatives, chase palmer and sloan ashby and may be dealing with some of the stuff in this book and having them go out on their own and see how readers react to me unpacking them as characters. but he still coming back. he still indoors and shooting bad guys and it's not going anywhere. thank you for giving the world a collective kill him. "in >> host: there were a couple of insight were it seemed like you are promoting his successor. >> guest: i think it's important. so hardback tracks and real people i know that are out there doing these things. so when i think about what he has to do physically to stay in the field i know people doing those things. so it is real and he does pick up in the morning and need to pop a couple of motrin to get his day going in the flakes. it's real. that's what i try to do at these
books. i want them to be exciting. they're short, crisp, cinematic chapters, but they need people to find them believable and likable, relatable and mesenteric airs that i read that i love that have never aged and that is great. but it's always kind of trapped with my age. i slowed back down a little to because i'm not actually enjoying adding a year every year to my life. that is going to be doing a lot of interesting things that going to be a combination of things in the early reviews on this have been so positive without his kind of looking not balancing those things that i think this is probably -- it depends what the readers think, not what i think, but i hope i've created one of the most engaging poster really books in missile and i've
been one of peoples favorite out of the 18 that i've written. >> host: is hoped she was the real thing? >> guest: some call it a cocktail. yes it's a real name. whenever you're on the airplane looking in the magazines and you see that genetics out with a guy like falls -- he's ripped like the hulk. there's a lot of stuff going on and in fact i had someone from seal team three take me to a facility to rehabbed professional at leeds. it's been tuned up before the combine and everything in it was amazing to see what they were doing for physical therapy in the special operations community realized a lot of these injuries football players are getting at the same things happening to the seals and delta force guys and we should be combining the techniques are bringing techniques are even better can we bring our own operatives down to rehabilitate. you have a lot of time and money
invested in these incredibly brave people of the special operations community. the quicker and better you can hope them, the quicker they'll return to the field and get back out doing the business for a nation that needs to be done. with the physical therapy stuff and diet stuff going on there, other places are looking not what works. performance-enhancing drugs because there were no banned substances when it comes to fighting bad guys. a few of these steroids, use steroids. growth hormone is to go out there. they're not out doing hard drugs and things like that. you see that with the bad guys. so we'll see if speed when the mumbai hotel attack happened those desert for 48, 36 hours just handfuls of speed going down there call it. that's not what our guys do. if there's something in medical
science that can give them an match whether it is in muscle mass, speed, ability to get on target and fire faster than the guy trying to fire you, that is legit fair game and why should we make our war fighters the best they can be. tree >> host: john and now or in michigan. you're on booktv with brad thor. >> that's an excellent segue. the competition between scott hoback, has it ever been a thought in your mind because i know -- [inaudible] >> guest: that's a great question. a wonderful character named mitch rapp. vince and i were at the same publishing house, same editor. i got to know vince before i was ever published and he was kind enough to say you're going to
need an agent. such a wonderful guy and an incredible writer. so the books are fantastic. we get a lot of fans several years ago due to cancer and the gentleman who's writing books now, titled mill and i are buddies. i knew conaway before he ever became a writer. my godfather, his dad were in the fbi together. it's an interesting question. there was no competition between me and vince flynn as far as they basically shared a lot of the same readers because my books especially early in my career, vince's books were in on-ramp to mine. it's always been a nice overlap, but a lot of fans would love to see the team up. i think i'll would do it, but at the end of the day it comes down to how much time do we have in a year to write something and
would vince is a state agreed they were okay to team aside. i have done something productive to thriller that is, tim rollins and steve berry. i think it was steve's idea one year that we all write the other's main character into one of our books. so i did it for jim rollins and steve berry. we all did it never once in a while someone will pop up on facebook and twitter and i'll say i will see that steve berry. fans who love the genre to see my character or other writers in one of my books. "in depth" one of your skills at one time was bringing brad meltzer's book. >> guest: i love brad meltzer's. if you ever get a chance to interview him come you some of the smartest and nicest guys. of the people i've met in my industry along with jim rollins and steve berry in so many others, david maran, one of the reasons i wanted to become an
author. so many good people and that the homeland security when i was on the rental unit. >> host: we'll talk about that in two seconds. brad meltzer will be on our in-depth edition in december. if you go to booktv.org, we've interviewed brad meltzer several times so you can find that online a booktv.org. what was the red unit? >> guest: in the aftermath we talked about 9/11 a little bit here before the commission report ever came out, the federal government realize what it happened on september 11th was largely due to a failure of imagination on our part, on the government's power. one of the criticisms as they were always fighting in the rearview mirror expecting the next byte to look like the last way. so when the department of homeland security stood up enacted a program called the analytic red cell unit and the
idea was let's not all sit around the washington beltway talking about what the next attack might look like. let's bring in creative thinkers from outside the beltway. people who don't think like us at all that interesting minds. brad meltzer, me, michael david of the transformer movie brought us in and put us in rooms, probably the most forward thinking federal program i've ever seen. and i'm the guy that's limited government, make government as small as possible. this is one of the best things and they said okay we will talk about different scenarios. if you are lone you are lone terrorist and you have these resources, what would you do with them? if you are the group what group what targets would you be interested in? basically a big think tank on steroids. the paris with people from different agencies across the government extra and that's what would have been. i remember i tell people that
it's the las vegas of government programs because what happens in the rest of program stays in the rental program. i have to agree i could never use any of it for my books. for me, the son of someone whose life had been made in the united states marine corps, meaning the marines made my dad a man who he is. he went to college on the g.i. bill. for my country to ask me to be of service not be picking up a rifle but using my brain to come in and help think was an incredible honor for me. i'll pay my own way. i don't want a per diem. no stipend. i will do this 100% volunteer out of my own pocket and not what i did. but i remember one attack that happened somewhere in the world and it was a scenario i have been working on and i called my team leader and i said can i talk about this. no, you can't talk about it. the only thing they ever let out
publicly, was terrorist targeting communities about to be hit by hurricane. think about people being piled into shelters, emergency vehicles being marshaled away from the eye of the storm so they could rush in, it was the only thing they ever made public. i can tell you the scenarios go even further than that kind of stuff. to get a bunch of creative people together and to channel them and not let them go off is like herding cats. they really were incredible with how they handled this and that gave so much faith in the steps they're taking to keep our country safe and american safe both at home and abroad was an unbelievable thing to be asked to be a part of. >> host: let's hear from jeremy in mattapan, massachusetts. please go ahead. >> caller: hello, am i on c-span? >> host: you are. >> caller: okay yes come i wanted to ask brad thor a question. was it wrong for him to tweet
out that he wanted to buy a gun after his acquittal -- after his trial. >> great question. the tweet was the gentleman has a little bit wrong. he's asking me if it was divisive the stand i took on buying george zimmerman a gun after his trial. i'm a big believer in personal responsibility, personal accountability. when seconds count police are minutes away. after george zimmerman was acquitted, the department of justice the department of justice under eric holder said were not going to give him his gun back. they were slow walking investigation on the road saying he's not going to get his gun back. i thought okay, here's a guy acquitted by a jury of his peers yet now the department of justice is almost like double jeopardy. the department of justice refusing to give his gun back. i will pay for one for him. i'll buy him one essentially. i can't purchase a gun for
george zimmerman, but i can understand an interpretation might be that's divisive good for my position now that here's a guy who needs protection even more. he had tons of death threats and i don't believe the government should be able to keep their boot on the neck of an american citizen who started gone through the justice system due process. they were kind of sane at the department of justice that there may have been a civil rights violation. there is nothing found in his trial in florida but said that was there. my thing is the department of justice wants to keep that gun. if he needs a gun to keep themselves safe i believe there was no legal reason he shouldn't have one. that's the position i took there. some people didn't like it. i understand that but that's where i was coming from. a big believer in the second amendment and people be empowered to protect themselves, their property and their family. >> host: talking with novelist brad thor.
for those of you in the eastern central time zone (202)748-8201. mountain pacific time, first-time callers only today. andrea is in walla walla, washington didn't. >> hi. this is andrea thorsen. >> host: great last name. >> caller: the last name is worsened. i am half norwegian and my husband has half norwegian i may always make jokes that my dad would only let me date someone that had norwegian blood in him. anyway, last week i was downtown in walla walla and on a bus was your name as a new author. it was new to me and i just finished the book and i asked my daughter for an idea to read and i just saw your name.
and then i turned the tv on and there you are and you're so delightful. anyway, i just wanted to tell you i just finished madeleine albright book on fashion. that is pretty heavy reading for me. i read pearce dan or amy pauly sat. i like mysteries. anyway, i was delighted to see you this morning. thank you so much for writing a book and i will read all of your books are thank you. >> guest: mrs. thorsen, thank you. you have an absolutely lovely last name and i'm glad to hear that. i'll tell you one of the funny things because she was saying she was on a bus and saw my name is a new author. a lot of people ask me about you reading devices and away like them. it has one big pro with one big
con. the pro of an e.u. reader kindle or an ipad is when someone gets to the end of one of my books they cannot magically get the next one. that's great for an author. that is the pro. the con is you don't know what anybody's reading when they read on the reader device on the bus or the subway we pass somebody at the beach where the lake. i think we've lost a little bit of the fun of seeing people reading a book. i used to get on airplanes and that's the fifth time i've seen that the court ever. how do you like it? are you enjoying it because i'm seeing it everywhere. i'm always glad to hear from readers and find out how new readers have discovered me. but we were doing bus advertising in walla walla washington ours a great reader my book out, thank you. >> host: your name is as big if not bigger than the book title. >> guest: i.e. to apply this to books, but everything seems
to be a brand. nike or whatever and i want it to be recognizable for folks when they see us. my job is to get better with each book because the people that read my books, those are my bosses, peter. so with each book i really strive to do better than the last one and so i think you are buying a brat or book for certain experience in my my -- that'll be my best work. >> host: is there a formula used for that asked. , somehow line? just go there some hallmarks. the action happens on page one. the only thing that i do and it's just to tell me wearing them in the book as i will do in microsoft's spreadsheet and i have columns so that chapter number, where it's happening, what time of day in what's happening in the chapter and i color code does so i can say it's been extractors since we last saw scott and maybe now is trying to bring him back here
that changes every book. if i brought them they cannot you see a different rhythm for each book and that is the news guiding me. it's hard work. it work. if it was dorothy parker who said i don't like writing. i like having written. that's a good line from dorothy parker. it's good writing -- good reading and start hard writing. >> host: you just started your book tour today with us. we appreciate that. you enjoy meeting fans? >> guest: is one of the best part. i've got the book done and i can go out and celebrate. the big thing as i said a few moments ago is answer the people i work for. this is my job reviews so i'm going out on the road. how well the book does and how nice the reviews are as part of my job performance. but i like to go out in the readers because i was the reader long before it was ever a writer. if you're a reader we have a shared language. if we love books it doesn't matter how you go, what she do
for a living, which her bank account is, we can talk about books forever and not have to else. people who love to read are passionate about reading. for me it's like a book club in every different city as they go along. i get to talk about my books, ask what they're reading. whether they like, whether they want to see more of an all that that kind of stuff. i know there's authors know there's authors to get to appoint and they they just don't go out on the road. it's fun. i enjoy it. a different city every day when i'm away from my family that my readers are my second family so it's great to see them. >> host: how many people i walked up to you is that i found you in an airport? >> guest: that the big one. airports are a good place i've had that happen a lot. a friend of mine before he passed away used to accost people in airports and puppy on the phone if he saw them reading one of my books and it used to just drive me crazy. i'm sure people thought he was
insane to a stranger says you need to talk to this person right now. i now. i set up for me and if the movie. your daughters just been kidnapped. that's a big way people discover me. the biggest way as word-of-mouth. there's no better marketing mechanism than for somebody you trust to hand you a book and sale of this book are above this author. i think it's one of the nicest things you can give somebody of the book. >> host: mike, new york, good afternoon. >> caller: my question is i know that brad is a fan of old hollywood. we keep hearing all about who would want to play. so i was just curious if you could have anybody from classic hollywood do it. i can tell you right now without even thinking steve mcqueen. the young steve mcqueen.
he had all the right combinations. as i talk to hollywood in thank you for such a great question. as we talked to hollywood about current mac nerds, one of the things i keep coming up with his intelligence level of the actor. you can't just be a pretty face. one of the reasons i the reasons i found matt damon so believable as jason bourne in the movies by the way, quick fact when jason bourne goes to a safety deposit box and pulled out his passport as easily as that's my exact birthday. it's august 21st, 1969. the thing that really cemented worn for me and i had read those books as a kid was how smart that damon is. you can see it in his eyes. there's some great actors out there would never want because i think they're pretty faces and not intelligent. i'd always used matt damon not if the actor a lot, but that's the kindest heart you have to have been a guy.
>> host: a treat they came out a year or two back. what are we looking at? >> guest: that happened about this time last year during bridge paid -- no, in the aftermath of bridge gave been the beaches were shut down in new jersey and chris christie decided to go. the governor of new jersey has a couple houses. there's the governor's mansion but also a beach house. chris christie was on the beach for some family and friends. the way we came to doing this is he was not reading my book, but i was on the phone with the guy who does my website in everything and were watching this in real time and he said, you know governor christie is missing and i said how about a great hook. he said yes. what's amazing is only a handful of journalists reached out to me on twitter to say is this a real picture or is it a photoshop. like ap and reuters reached out to me. it's amazing how many took it as
absolutely legit. in fact, there was a writer for the "boston herald" that heated christie scott and said not only after he shot him all down his reading a trashy novel. and then the guy tags and puts in parenti, hello, brad thor. not only taking the shot i christie, but a shot at me. i treated back lighten up, francis. it was a joke. but it was amazing how people were so upset about christie that of course he's sitting there reading a book as it nothings going on. probably my most most successful tweet. that thing would make a viral. i think people are way too serious. >> host: brad thor, another theme in your book increasing arrears, the use of technology and social media. >> guest: yup, it's a big thing.
i really focused on technology. i did some stuff in my book and blacklist was the one i really drill down on it. so there is this kind of double-edged sword. i had a problem. i do like edward snowden, i like bradley manning i don't like reality winner. i think the idea that these 20 something year old kids are going to decide what should be in the public realm and what shouldn't is not a to you to decide that. if you think is that much malfeasance in government you can get to rand paul. if you take something to senator rand paul, the biggest champion for privacy, this idea of suddenly are going to dump it and put all this stuff out there i don't like that. also at the same time i don't like intrusive spying. i don't like the idea that the nsa has set up the facility in bluffdale, utah to store the metadata. would rather see tax breaks given to companies like verizon and sprint announce them to hold
onto the metadata longer and if they have to give it up you have to give a warrant from a judge. i don't like the government doing that. if they're going to monitor phone calls, even the computer monitoring for keywords and stuff, if there's a keyword hit, does that mean i'll start listening to the next phone calls or does that mean the keyword hit tells them they can go back and listen to the phone call that just happened. so i have a concern about this and how certain technologies i've been fascinated by stuff i've learned if they're looking for bad art is coming together to form themselves, they can look at your water bill. someone is flushing the toilet a lot more at your house. you must have people there. let's look at your group of friends. this guy bill in poughkeepsie is not flushing the toilet. as water consumption is down. let's look at his credit card. he's been buying gas on gas station semis on on his way to the sea. all these ways technology can be
used. the brookings institute did a fascinating study. as governments outside of the united case and what they found is the cost of data storage came down. the amount of surveillance they were doing was going up. one of the big problems you end up happening with footage being held for a long time is to create a prosecutorial time machine where the government can go back. .. which a lot of people say franklin did not say. trade a little bit of freedom for a little added security.
frank church warned us. i think it was a today show back in the 70s after the commission he had overseen. he said very soon we will get to appoint surveillance wise. the government has the power to know everything. via telegrams and phone calls and mail. if they ever turn their ears and , that will be a rubicon we will have crossed and there is no getting back from it. what happened after 9/11. those years got turned in. it has not been perfect. there have been some attacks. there has not been anything like 9/11. a trade-off we need to constantly be discussing as citizens and stewards of the public. where is the balance? the same same thing that could go towards rounding up my son or yours at
some point in the future. there is some scary technology out there. in my opinion, should not exist. i do not think there is enough of a public safety. i am worried about things that can be abused. >> our protagonist has been using facial recognition tech knowledge he. >> he has. it's very, very interesting. it also, in real life, creates an incredible problem for our intelligence operatives. get fake passports ago to this country or that country. facial recognition makes it very difficult to slip in out of their assumed identities. there is also that potential for abuse. that is what i am concerned about. having their liberty infringed upon. next call for brad door is jim in brooklyn. >> i'm a big fan.
i was just wondering why -- your next up new york city. >> from your lips to my publisher's ear. it might be tough. i think they see it as downtown and had. getting enough people there. i would certainly like to try it. jim, if you'd agreed to come to that event, i'm guessing you what, i will be seeing my publisher tomorrow. a very specific request to do a signing in new york city. i'd like to do it. we will have a great time. i've always said that from the beginning. rock 'n roll musicians. not the fault of half the people
that came. those people are there for show. i'm going to use jim as a lever with my publisher. >> present ceo and your editor. how long has she been your editor? she has has her own emperor now. on my honeymoon, my wife and i shared an overnight train ride from munich to amsterdam. i had had my travel show on public. i thought a honeymoon. i want private compartment.
as a wedding present they give us as many overnight train rides as we wanted. great way to save money. has there been a cancellation. we had been at oktoberfest. beer is much stronger germany than it is here. i got on the train within oktoberfest type hangover. dreading. turned out to be a lovely brother and sister from atlanta georgia. if we have a shared love of books, we have have a shared language. a huge lover of books. we spent almost the entire night talking about books. she and her brother were fans of my tv shot the time. we pulled into the station in
amsterdam. what are you going to do when you get home? make more tv shows? i will write a bike bike and get it published she gave me her business card. she was a sales representative for simon & schuster. if i can help you, let me know. she eventually got it to one of the top editors in the business. emily has been my editor and now my publisher. she has been my editor from the get-go. my lovely lovely editor for years now. i hope it's not a dumb one. what would you call your favorite book that you wrote? which one where you particular pleased about writing? >> david, are you a brad thor reader? >> yes, i have read some.
>> what is your favorite? thanks for calling in. >> first of all, you took half of my answer, david. how do you pick your favorite child? it sounds like a made up answer. my favorite is always the one i'm currently working on. david morale who i love, a fabulous author, he likes to tell people he is rambo's daddy. david wrote a great book about writing. lessons learned from a lifetime of writing. author should not talk about the subject matter or anything within the book they are currently writing. every time you do that, you take a little bit of the energy away. i get really excited about the next book.
that one is a hardest book i ever had to write. inks were rapidly changing in the geopolitical world. i raise the bar so high for myself. as far as what i wanted to do with character development and story. i took a lot of risks that i did not know how fans would react to. i did not know where the edge is how much of it was an internal struggle that i could show. it was the right amount. people really enjoyed the insight into the character. it help them feel closer. a lot of action in the book. tons. it's what i've known for. the human struggle as well as the internal struggle. focused a lot on russia. do you personally see russia as a threat? >> yes. i believe they are huge, huge
threat. the article it is only been revoked once. we evoked it in the united states after september 11. we asked our nato fighters to help us fight in afghanistan. if one of the smaller nato members got attacked, would we go support them or is america to war weary? i have a fictional president in my book. i try to make my politics fictional in the book. this is not about the trump administration or the obama administration. certain things happening in the world. it is just the timing that is unbelievable.
what america agreed to get into another war in europe to protect the country that most americans probably could not have found on the map. if putin rolled in and took them, it would be very difficult away russia is set up to get them back. what would that mean for nato. too big, the united states and nato. if he can weaken us, we cannot nato alliance, he thinks that's good for him. he wants to reconstitute the old soviet union. he wants the breakaway sovereign nations back. the fact that we let him take the crimea peninsula, that only encouraged hitler to do more. that is my worry about putin. we will see history, maybe not repeat --dash discussions about nato. will they learn some true history of nato.
two. >> i would like to thank you for all of your books. my question to you is my father was a pow mia in siberia russia during world war ii. for 50 years was top-secret. my question to you is what it be a good idea to have a co-author rider to help write the story? my father's crew was the windy city. the b-29s in the 20th airport. there is a show on the history channel. plus the fact the picture of my father's plane taken by journalists in the air show in 1947. thank you for your comments. >> there so many great stories out there. i get asked a lot of times about is at the story that you'd be
interested in working on? probably one of the greatest compliments. particularly something like this to end up in siberia. it sounds like a fascinating story. my problem is, i am on track for a book a year with simon & schuster. i just do not have the bandwidth. one year i wrote took hundred two books. that was a lot. it was a big heavy left to do two books. for me to keep getting better every year, i told my editor, you know, when will the book be done. it will take as much runway as it takes for the plane to lift off. what i find is a harder i'm working, the more runway and looking at. let's get the plane out on the
tarmac. find a ghost writer or something like that. if it moves you that much, it will move other people. unfortunately, i can't participate. my job is to keep you happy with my books. a great writer out there that would love your dad story. >> longtime frustrated writer and screenwriter. what is the best way right now to get an agent? >> something called the writers guide to the very agents. you can order it from your bookstore. go to barnesandnoble.com. it's like a telephone directory. it will show you agents that are looking for new authors and what areas they are looking for. it is the best thing. every agent watching this right
now will hate my guts. i don't care. it's important for writers. they only want to be queried one at a time. they do not like you doing multiple submissions. if you take that first agent know enough to go through 12 agents before you find yours, that is three years out of your life. hit them all at the same time. they will snap you up. they should have to compete for you. >> you mentioned earlier the athena project. where did the idea or that come from? >> you brought up the concept of these beautiful talented women in my novels. who i work with. i also --dash i wanted to write a set of characters that would appeal. in all-female delta force team.
it is very interesting. when you put beautiful women into the field and after go up against men, even the toughest men, men often shut off the threat part of their brain. there is a lot of stuff that you can do and achieve. not just tactically like kicking in doors and shooting bad guys. at a bar in a refugee camp. kind of half spy, half operative this is talked about very quietly. going to the female ironman competition. having these professional competitive athletes. giving up sports and coming to serve your country. i want to be the guy that wrote the book on it. fans loved it. a quarter of it.
before the end of the year. try to wrap it up. >> sex and add language. >> great question. two separate issues for me. i don't think sex is necessary in the books. i could hit it is about to happen and we kind of say to black as we walked to the bedroom, i don't think it needs to be described. i'm a big social libertarian. i do not have a religious or any other issue about sex and books. i do not mind it. i think leaving it to the imagination is the sexiest thing you can do. i think people paid their own picture. i also respect every there's that don't want to see it. i do hear from people if there is that. that is fine. the language is one thing.
i do get a little pushback from some fans that don't like it. i try to explain to them i respect you do not like the language. i am actually trying to replicate the speech that happens with some of these people. a lot a very funny giving other people hand gestures or using certain words and certain phrases that have salty language in there. i am not being gratuitous. i leave the sex out. some of the bad language will always be there. >> we want to show you a little bit of video here. this is our author guest brad thor talking about books he read and used while doing research for his most recent book spymaster. this is from his website. >> i wanted to share with you some of the fascinating book that i read in addition to those as i was doing research for my
new thriller spymaster that comes out on july 3. the world of espionage, running spies is fascinating. it requires exceptional leadership, inspirational and management skills. i wanted to share with you a few of these books. i think that they are fantastic. whether or not you are in a leadership capacity, how to inspire people, or whether it is just espionage, spies in general this book was fascinating. it looked at some of the greatest spy novels ever and compared them with how the world of espionage really works. the intelligence committee really works. former intelligence officer himself. a really good perspective to bring what authors like me get right sometimes what we get
wrong and how the real world of espionage works. this is fascinating. this is the top of my stack. tying into the very last book that i'm going to share with you this book called the handbook of spies, actually, handbook for spies, was written in the 1940s. it was about an englishman who was recruited into soviet intelligence and how they set up their networks. fascinating, fascinating. it is very tough to find. i had to recently scramble to get my copy of this. alexander foot is handbook for spies. fascinating.
great stuff. another book that i read that is amazing the talking about the bravery of the men and women in uniform. it is amazing. great plans for combat last until the combat begins. immediately you have to change. rearrange what you are doing. it absolutely captivated me. i was thrilled to learn about these incredible operations. something called the oss. this is all about ria percival courage. the ability to take adversity and turn it to your benefit. fascinating, fascinating accounts. northern italy and world war ii.
they tried to shut down nazi supply lines and really harass the nazis. very few of which came according to plan. how these incredible operatives had to move in the field had had to change up their plans. keeping them motivated throughout the war. the next one that i read -- by the way, the brother of simon for those of you that could not read it, patrick k o'donnell. another book that i read, again, all of these are nonfiction books. conrad j. the untold secrets of fresh as master spy in america after the end of the cold war. this was amazing. an amazing book.
not only how this russian kept himself hidden from his own intelligence service as he came over to the american side, but what he had to do to keep his own networks in place. the personal attributes he needed to have two be a successful spymaster. this is a fascinating, fascinating book. i wish the subject was still alive. i would have loved to have met him and interviewed him. i think he would of been a fascinating man to talk to. now, i will wrap up with one of the most fascinating spymaster's i've ever known. in fact, read carlton and my my thrillers is based on this gentleman this is dewey's book called the spy for all seasons. it is amazing. dewey was an incredible, incredible american. an incredible spymaster himself. this is the story of dewey's
life. it reads like a thriller. you learn about, again, as with all these other books, what it takes to be successful. things we need to be successful in our day-to-day lives. these books are all fabulous. and not places you might think to go to to pick up management secrets. we have a lot of great seals and delta force guys that are running some phenomenal management books and leadership books and i've talked about those in the past. it's fun to dip into the world of espionage. this is my stack. i will post a list of these books. i hope that this video will help it for you. thanks a lot. >> that's a bit of research that you got going on there. that is part of what i love about my job.
very nice recognition from politico. fifty most influential people in politics. one of the reasons they said i have been creating the cold war thriller for a new era of conflict. they recognize there is a lot of people and governments and beyond that read my thrillers. it's a lot of fun. i like to take things i think are important. putting it in one of my thrillers. i read that in spymaster. >> to other thriller national security writers i like a lot.
i read his nonfiction. a hell of a storyteller i sat at a dinner where he spoke. i have not met him in person. i think it was david's book the director. i did a blurb on that. unbelievable book and a fabulous movie with russell crowe and leonardo dicaprio. >> some of the authors that you say are your favorites and your favorite books, stephen king. >> a lot of people don't remember sidney sheldon. i went to school in paris my junior year. i was able to find a fabulous bookstore called shakespeare and company. george who ran it was an amazing guy. i was able to get my hand on
some sidney sheldon books. he had an american, military american intelligence operation. sheldon led me to reading david morel. he wrote some great thrillers. he wrote some romance e-type things as well. he wrote some incredible thrillers. actually dictated them. had a stenographer in his office >> historical fiction writer. >> it is such a fantastic, fantastic book. how you take the backdrop hundreds of years to build a cathedral and tell the story of the lives of the people through that and make it riveting. that is on my bucket list. i would love to meet him. his book was given to me by a young tourist while i was on my
honeymoon with my wife. we met this young couple. he suggested that by stephen king. that is what kicked me off. we traded books on a boat from greece to italy. >> two things that brad thor mentioned. we have visited shakespeare company in paris. done a profile of that bookstore if you type in shakespeare company into our search, you will be able to watch that online. also, we have interviewed can folic. you can watch both of those interviews online. right now we are talking with best-selling novelists, phone numbers are on the screen. 748, 8200. east and central zones.
a reminder for this program. first time callers to book tv only. we will cycle through our social media addresses. you can make a comment or ask a question that way as well. i will read this facebook, that we have from gregory. he wants to know how the parenting influence, the personality and character that you have now. what does mr. thor think his parents did right and wrong? >> what a great, great question. kindness. also, they were both entrepreneurs. a lot of entrepreneurship flashing around. the dining room table in the
kitchen counter. my parents got divorced when i was nine years old. my brother ended up going to live with my dad. i ended up going to live with my mom. they both had different styles. which is probably what led to the divorce. two different styles. took them into different directions. it was interesting. my mom brilliant, brilliant, brilliant woman. my dad, the marine, super tough guy, knows to the grindstone, you know, i used to watch them do cold calls. it was an amazing thing. incredible learning experience to watch them say basically if you get a no, it means they guess is that much closer.
even the seals do this whole thing about failure not being an option. very much a part of my dad's being and two he was as a marine i think they did a great job in teaching us love of country, responsibility, citizens in our community. i grew up in one of the greatest periods in american history. the 1980s. an unbelievable time for music and fashion. i liked it. it was a lot of fun. i grew up in this time where my dad who was born in 1939, i grew up in a time where it was incredible abundance in the united states. you can see and do anything you wanted. even though the arts were not looked at, this idea was still there if i had something i really believed in and loved,
the money would follow. you should do what you're passionate about. do what you believe in. >> my mother is suffering from severe dementia. whatever medication they have her on, they always have her smiling when i go to see her. that has played into what is going on with him. a great cia operative that was struggling with alzheimer's. a race to distract all of this with no out of him and also to protect him. could somebody with all of these secrets that were still highly sensitive, could they speak to a caregiver? i think there is a little bit that happens with every writer. it will appear in the book a lot multiple references to the apostle.
that happened because i went to afghanistan. i never had a red bull until someone put one into my hand in afghanistan. we had cases of them in the truck to keep us awake. there is a little bit of working through my stuff that happens in the novels. >> and your father? >> my dad is alive doing very, very well in chicago. he still has his business. still working. hitting it out of the park and loving his life. >> has he ever been approached? last name thor. >> photo side down on the airplane. he's been a gate flyer for years. he sits in the front of the airplane. they look at the manifest. he plays that one as far as he can play it. >> another scene in your book is the sixth sense.
that agent seem to have. i am a big believer in man is the only animal that ignores their intuition. we have a rule in my house. the only time you can use earbuds is when you are in the house. you don't get to shut off your hearing when you go outside. i knew some folks that were involved in the investigation several years ago in times square with that horrible, horrible killing where the man had driven his card on the sidewalk and it killed, injured a bunch of people in times square. at a talk with my children about that. it happened very quickly. might not have made the difference whether you earbuds or not. but if you would've heard people screaming, do you think a fraction of a second would have bought you a chance. intuition is a big thing. trusting your gut.
if you talk to people who put your lies on the line, they talk a lot about not believing in coincidences. first time is chance. their time is enemy action. there is a certain zen to being successful as a warrior, as an intelligence officer. you cannot auto. you cannot teach. you just have it. i think that comes from trusting intuition. a tear from georgia and wayne pennsylvania. you're on with author brad thor. >> hello. >> we are listening. >> this is georgia. i always wanted to have the opportunity to ask the author if he can have a number of words that he has to use in a book. i find i am a big reader. >> a great question. thank you for that question. most authors have a contract where there is a target of
words. i cannot speak for other people what they've got. when you have a contract and you are being paid, they do not want you to turn in a book that is only five pages. there is a certain round yet operate within. as we discussed earlier, my love of tom clancy's books, the one thing i would kind of skim is when there are a lot of details about technology and things like that. some authors may have us convince that clancy was paid by word. reading some article in the 80s or heard something, he was convinced it was by the word. probably the worst way to incentivize an author. as i said earlier, take out the parts that people will skip. i hope that if you read my books you will not find that weird i think a lot of that comes down to the relationship of an author
and editor. stephen king has a great expression. you cannot be so married to something in a book that you refuse to take it out in the editing process. anything that makes a book faster, smoother, have to be willing to take it out. some people i imagine fight and don't take it out. that is why georgia had that experience. >> stan and lee summit, missouri. hi, stan. are you with us? i had the wrong line. i apologize. >> wilmington north carolina. >> hello. thanks for receiving my call. i am a great reader. i read most of your books. why are you aging him and also bringing in the secondary characters a little higher than
he is? >> okay. good question. why am i aging my main character and why am i bringing in the secondary characters? you are obviously reading the books very closely if you are noticing he hasn't frozen in time. he had decided he would do james bond underwater. that is what i heard was kind of the way that clyde describes it. i've never heard him say it, that's what i've been told. reflecting a lot of people that i know in real life. i heard about, and i cannot talk about it here on c-span, i talked about some absolutely fascinating situations. very high risk, very high reward in a couple of my books, i brought together together the secondary characters. not only to reflect that kind of come router he in the challenges of putting a team in the field,
but also to showcase another part. how does he do his leadership. we know how he does when he's on his own. he likes that. he likes it a lot. does he really like having to run a team? forced to take a team. it is being pushed on him. throw some curveballs. i want to test other parts of the character. hopefully that is revealing things to you. it makes the experience even more enjoyable. >> what is a toughest part for you? tying the pieces together? is it coming to a conclusion? >> i think the toughest part is actually getting started. it is amazing. authors are incredible procrastinators. there is always something that will pop up that is so important me being a consumer of news, i
can convince myself that what is breaking right now is so important and needs my attention, i have done a lot of commentary on table television and other outlets where i can say i need to focus on this because i might get the call from cnn or fox or msnbc and they want to know what's going on. it takes you away from your work i think that is probably the hardest thing for me. i talk about getting the train rolling on the tracks. getting it moving forward weird all the storylines. getting forward momentum. it takes a lot of energy to get a locomotive going. got to pull all the cars out of the station. that tends to be the hardest part for me. once i get it moving, it it's easier. the hard part is getting started. >> why are you living in nashville. >> we moved to nashville four years ago last month. from chicago. born and raised in chicago.
if you put that question, they would stage freedom. i would say economic refugee from chicago. we move from nashville where they have a balanced budget. they are running a surplus and there is no state income tax. great schools. low property taxes. me being a fiscal guy. having a responsible government is important to me. higher entire property taxes and income taxes and things like this in chicago. i was getting less and less enjoyment out of my city. i do tell the babysitter don't take the kids to the beach. don't take them to the zoo. kind of light, when i was a kid and i would watch watch a cartoon of two character stranded on a deserted island. one would suddenly look like a pork chop. all of the politicians look like an atm with eyes and hands and
feet. it was not to change what was wrong, it was always the citizens more. i am contributing to this by saying. the great thing about federalism is you can move from state to state to state weird i can move my job in my family. it's hard to do that. find a new dentist. a new barber. your children have to make new friends. it was the right move for us. the politicians had their hand so deep in my pocket they could tie my shoes for me. i am working harder and harder and harder just to keep up with more taxes. i would rather save that money for myself and i will move to a state and city that is being responsibly ran. capital is affordable. it could not be more true. >> hi peter, hi brad. >> hi.
>> i first heard of you when i read an interview of you in the nsp bulletin. i been a fan ever since. i love your technical accuracy, four instance you would never have scott operate the safety on a revolver, for for an example. my question is really very simple. are you still at pe and if so, in what states? >> national society of professional engineers. >> i was never part of that. i am not a professional engineer maybe someone spoke nicely of one of my books. i appreciate you like the technical accuracy, as i am assuming you are an engineer yourself. i have to tell you, though, i, i
got things wrong in the beginning of my career. i use the terms cliff instead of a magazine. i made mistakes as far as firearms were concerned early in my career. i have people come to me and say we can help you. let us take you shooting. a certified firearms instructor. i started doing training and learning about the parts of the pieces and all that kind of stuff. a first edition paperback from way back when. already gone back in further additions and collected things that are wrong. >> it's not a clip, it's a magazine weird i wrote it. i have to own it. i work very hard now. not getting those things wrong. a working knowledge of firearms and tactics. it does not mean i am perfect. i work very hard to make sure it
is right. >> you think james ryan in the acknowledgment. >> james ryan is somebody who is a friend of mine who has done some very, very selfless and dangerous things on behalf of the united states. that is about all i can say. >> that was about as big --dash. >> he told me a caput it in the book so one day he could show his children. >> bob. chicago. good afternoon. >> hi there, brad. an old dear friend of you and your books. just love them and cannot wait to get my hands on spymaster. i've learned over the years to start reading it in the morning. i know i will not put it down until i'm finished with it. i have to get up early. i just wanted to make a comment
about something that you said about us giving up crimea. i just finished reading a couple of books i'd like to recommend to you. one is internationalist written by two people. dealing with international law. crimea has been taken by russia. that taking has not been recognized by any nation in the world. because of international law. i think you would enjoy it. more exciting was a true book. nonfiction book which are probably learned about on book tv by bill browder. he is a chicagoan, by the way. that is not what the book is about. he was a moscow investor. that is more exciting than
anything i've ever read. he is still around. i want to thank you again. it's good to see you on television. what you said about your dad is absolutely right. he is a tough guy and i love him, to. >> is this bob s? thank you. you can email me those book title so i don't forget. i thought i recognized the voice >> who is bob s? >> a long time friend of my dad's. can i say his last name? wonderful, wonderful guy. longtime supporter of mine. dear friend of my dad's. what i love about bob is, in chicago, we had every creation of maxine's restaurant in paris built in chicago. she left it to the city of chicago. cultural pursuits of chicago. once a month they would bring in
a great cabaret act. i'm a big cabaret fan. i love the great american songbook. they would have one act once a month. you can accommodate a local hotel. they have a heart. bob would be there every time i was there with my wife. we would sit there and listen to this great music together. great to hear from him. i do called in, bob. >> here is polly from brooklyn. >> hi. brad. interesting listening to you. have not read any books, but you sound like a smart and interesting writer. i was wondering what book i would start within your list of books. wanting to make a comment that i just heard your comments about george zimmerman and you were interested in replacing his gun. i thought i really cannot support you for that. i don't think i can support you as an author.
i wonder what your comments would be. >> who are some of the authors that you enjoy reading? >> emily patterson. now i am blinking on what i read >> james patterson. we will go without one. that's good. thank you. your position as a fellow american, i absolutely respect how you feel. i want to thank you for saying it so nicely. if you don't want to read my books because of my position there, i absolutely understand that. we can agree to disagree. that is no problem at all. i thank you for calling in. >> in short form for viewers just tuning in, what we are, to about about george zimmerman? >> my comments were after george zimmerman was acquitted, he was found not guilty by a jury of his peers, the department of justice decided they would launch their own investigation.
during that time they would not give george timmerman his gun back. he was being further prosecuted after being acquitted. i use the term of the government keeping their boot on his neck. the guy needed to be able to protect himself at that point more than ever. he was under so many death threats. if the department of justice was going to do this and not return his weapon i would help buy him a gun and help protect him and his family. people did not like that. i'm a big believer we really need to work to be civil and respect other opinions. >> facebook comment from denita. in the book spymaster be read as a standalone? >> it absolutely can. absolutely. if you go into a bookstore tuesday looking for spymaster they don't have it yet, you can start anywhere in there. absolutely. >> is out frustrating or difficult to make sure that each book introducing the characters. >> it is a delicate balancing
act. you have to be prepared that someone is coming to your work for the very first time. you also have to make sure that you are not boring your fan base that has already rattled the books up to that point with material they already know. the biggest thing you can commit as an authors do cut in space descriptions. your fans will recognize it right away. it is funny because people asked me how to keep track of everything in your books. my wife is so fantastic. she has done three x five cards in a recipe box of each character. where they were introduced, what they look like, what their job is, all of this kind of stuff. if i've a character i'm bringing back, i will refer to that card. it will tell me where to go, read that description and that is it. quick enough that the longtime
readers are like, oh, yeah, yeah, i remember that guy. the new readers are like i got my feet wet with this character, let's see what happens in the book. >> we will show a little bit of video and let you explain it. if you cannot get through on the phone lines, you can get her on social media. we will scroll through the phone numbers in the social media addresses as well. here is an e-mail. this is from diane. do your books come in large print? we have wonderful libraries, but there are no large print copies of spymaster available. no copies of spymaster available. >> you are not the only one. it comes out on tuesday. yes. thorndike is my publisher that does large print. you can find it. bookstores can find it for it. if you live or doesn't have it, please request it. it does exist. >> we will show a little bit of video here in that we will have
you explain it. >> prologue. see island georgia. should have gone to bed hours ago. she should have ignored the second bottle of white burgundy in the fridge. placer empty wine glass in the sink and headed upstairs. but the 45-year-old was-year-old was feeling nostalgic. the more she drank, the more nostalgic she became. picking up the bottle she stepped outside. the night was warm in the ocean air carried with it the scent of magnolias. just beyond her pool. >> brad thor, what are are we seeing? >> that is the amazingly talented broadway actor armen scholz who was reading the audio version of my book hidden order. >> does he do all your books? >> he does. he is amazing. why don't you read your own books? you been around tv and radio. i could never do what he does. keeping track of the different
characters voices and things like that. >> it is a really growing area right now. >> something we been committed to an evolved with forever. always something i believed in very, very much. a very close relationship. doing a great job. a little taste of army there. unbelievable talent. it is funny because i will get sent a script. i have to read through a script to see what they are cutting for the abridged versus unabridged additions. sometimes i will get a call in the middle of recording saying how do we pronounce this word. i found it on the internet weird i don't know how to pronounce it. i may see if i can call somebody. let me know. a very collaborative process. i enjoy the audio versions. >> jan is in virginia. >> i am so thankful for your -- i've traveled all over the world
i have a piece of berlin wall. i travel through east germany and saw the devastation. it was absolutely amazing. i am so handicapped and disabled now. i don't do things online anymore i rely on large print books. i devour your books, but have to wait for so long to come up. i just do not know what to do. i've been everywhere you've been. all over the world. my father was a world war ii vet. we lived in europe. i was educated in europe. i did everything you do. i want to do your books, but i don't do online stuff. i don't know don't know what to do. after weight for years for things to come out in large print. i don't like audiobooks because i like looking at it in investigating and determining what's right and wrong.
east berlin. getting to berlin. at the time when it was divided. the soldiers lunging outside. we would throw things out the window. thousands of dollars on the black market, but they they couldn't tell anybody. >> i think we got the gist. rod thor, there is a real fan there. >> it sounds like she has done some very exciting things. if you cannot find my books in large print, make sure to ask for them. library or local bookstore. they do exist. i will double my efforts to make sure that those large print books are available for you and everyone else that prefers those. a lot of readers like that. i am wearing reading glasses now every single time i have 1000 pairs around around the house. i have to be able to have them.
my arms are getting shorter. they're not long enough to read those books. two calls by large print. >> rad thor. the use of drones has really been increasing in your books. is it increasing in the intel world? >> what you are seeing in my book says drones, not necessarily the big ones that have the missiles. they do exist in certain areas. smaller ones can be as first surveillance. that is a big, big thing. i last book, use of force, interesting drone controversy that i discovered while i was writing it. if something happened in a certain part of the world, the drone that would respond and what the drone could do was based on where the drone was launched from. i have operatives in the field that are under fire in their calling for help.
that drone cannot help us because it flew out of italy versus -- it's a fascinating story. from a technological standpoint, they are important on the battlefield in important for surveillance in my books. >> to find another theme in your books is allies and the cooperation of allies in different rules? >> it is hugely important. it is interesting to watch what is important in the actual intelligence world. whether it is with the jordanians are the french or the germans or the brits. all of those relationships are very, very important. they've always been. particularly with our closest allies. going into other countries. is he going to do it with the knowledge of those allies or not. they have their own set of goals. there are times where they have to skirt those allies.
that can be a good thing or a bad thing based on how circumstances unfold in the novel. >> spending a lot of time in italy. >> i did on the last book. i like italy a lot. i like all of europe. >> may be terrorism or plots are hatched? >> the last book, use of force, last summer's book, italy played a very prominent role because of the migrants that were coming over out of north africa. that was in the role of terrorists trying to hide. terrace in those migrate communities. in the fact that they were -- southern italy was very interesting and how they would work their way up. the anti-terror investigations. fascinating. they are like a james bond movie i have done italy before. i've done it in my second book.
a fun place to set a book. >> alley is in valencia, california. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. hi. i have a question for brad. have you ever invented a cool spy gadget in your books? >> that is a great question. allie, how old are you? >> i've in my 40s. you sounded younger. allie, i probably have. i will say this, i have a technique. you definitely see it and last summer's book use of force and you see it here. interrogation technique that i just completely -- it seems to me to make scientific sense that we would be able to do, do this kind of interrogation. i started digging and i started digging finding it was something that i was working on. i thought it existed in the real world. this guy actually knocked me on
this thing and it exists. which was very funny. i have created some stuff and some stuff that i found out actually exist that i did not know was there. >> what was your toughest of books to work on? what was the most frustrating. >> each one presented its own special challenge. they are all difficult. it is hard to write 100,000 plus words in a year and make them engaging and compelling. i don't know. my sites are always set on the next one. it is very rare that i look back we had talked about if you could go back and edit an old book, would you do it? he said no. i would drive myself nuts. i agree with that, too. no matter how many times i will read the manuscript, i could still go back and change every
sentence. oh, that could be done better. >> any of your 18 books that i wish i had not written that. >> no. no. not it all. each one was an absolutely amazing ride. a challenge. hard. extremely fun to do. >> i really mean that. >> this is an e-mail. marshall. you mention sending multiple queries to asia. do you suggest sending proposals to more than one agent at a single agency? thank you. >> that is a great question. i think you are starting to get into a little dangerous territory if you do that. i think maybe your query letter, i think that if there are multiple agents at that agency, unless it's a huge agency, if
it's a huge agency, you will probably get away with it. might not be the right thing to do. find out who is the best agent there. find out what you will be writing and focus on that one. if they reject you, i would suggest writing back to say do you think it would be appropriate if i approach and then list the other agents you are thinking about. >> let's hear from joan in north miami beach. hi, joan. >> hi. i don't know if you remember me, but i remember you. i took you on a book -- i was your escort. >> yes. where were you when we went on the trip together? >> state of the union. >> what city? >> miami. >> if i remember correctly, joan , you are quite well-known and beloved among authors for being such a wonderful author escort. >> if you thought that, that's all that counts. [laughter] i wanted to read you what you wrote on my book.
i thought you'd get a kick out of it and everybody else would, too. i wanted to know if you had any plans. i am not escorting any more, but i wanted to read this to you. it said to joan, my very fewest godmother. a bang update. our lives will be forever in twice. thanks for keeping us on the green ride of the grass. love brad. >> thank you, joan. that is very nice. >> are you still in author escort? >> no. there are very few bookstores left. >> did you go to books and books down in miami? >> it is the only one, yes. there were four bookstores where i live in aventura. they are all gone. those days are over for miami. >> you have any idea how many of
your books are sold online as opposed to bookstores? >> i have incredibly great relationships with independent bookstores. amazon and barnes & noble. you have great bookstores like poison pen in scottsdale and murder by the book in houston. i could go on and on and on with all of these great bookstores. it is interesting. in author escort, you you would land, joan would you up at the airport. she would be your guide to the city. joan would take you around to every bookstore that had copies of your books. you would sign the book with your name in it. it would be signed by the author. the old legend in the book business, a signed book is a sold book. i would spend the day with a lovely woman like joan. i went to a predominantly jewish high school.
i have been to more high holidays in christian holidays. joan and i headed off over jewish culture right away. it was really nice. >> says a quick prayer almost every book. is that on purpose? >> no. it is not on purpose and it is not me injecting my own spirituality into the books. that old line. you come to find god very quickly when the bullets are flying. >> if you fall, fall forward. >> that is a term i use in the books. the director of the author of strategic services. that was his big motto. if you fall, fall forward forward in service of the mission. great, great motto. barbara. good afternoon. >> good afternoon.
a comment that i'm really enjoying the program. i am a librarian. mr. thor is very popular. he is very well read in the library system. i am truly enjoying the program. i have not read all of your titles, but i am inspired to. i basically read nonfiction. i am going to read one of your titles. this afternoon i will pick up one. >> barbara, as a librarian, spymaster comes out this week. you've already gotten requests for this book? >> yes we have. yes, we have. there is a waiting list. >> first of all, thank you you for your call. librarians are such important and respectful people. and i look back at my summers,
one of the highlights of my week used to be going to the library and checking out books that i could read for that week. librarian was my guide to another world. the books that she would help me pick out. super, super super important people. so many people that have been led to my books because of wonderful librarians like arbor appeared i love that you said you are nonfiction reader. i have a lot of nonfiction readers. two classes of people i love hearing from. people who save my husband doesn't read or my wife doesn't read or my son or my uncle. i gave them one of your books and they couldn't put it down. i love nonfiction as well. i think, i call what i do, this is a great one for you, barbara, i call it faction. you don't know where the facts and in the fiction begins. we talked earlier about reading with a laptop open. so many interesting facts that i find during my research. almost like entertaining
nonfiction. it is a thriller. it is fiction. i love to hear from people who say it wasn't much of a reader, but you changed that. probably the best compliment you could pan off of. >> the last patriot, the dead poets society. factor fiction. >> did i really just call something the dead poets society ? >> kills her gets rid of rogue intelligence officers. >> it is funny now. in nashville. dead poets society. screenwriter went to a school in nashville. i went to see a lecture at the school. the writer was there. that is pure fiction. you are fiction dressed up with a fun kind of almost flip it name. a lot of operations get
interesting names. >> that's interesting. danica. good afternoon. >> hi, brad. i have two questions. do you believe in sleepers and what is your definition thereof? my next one is do you believe in special agents who have been spying around the world? a capability to have that part of the brain memory. taken away. little things that remind them that they were. >> sleeper agents. >> changing people's memories. i don't know anything about that >> joann is a new lynn north carolina.
>> i've enjoyed all of your books. >> why did you choose in your books as your guard dogs and pets? >> you you are awesome. i have to explain to peter what the word is. these were dogs that were popular with the border guards. they're very tall at the shoulder. no, i do do not have them. i have belgian mahlon watts. hyper smart dogs. his name was cairo. two titanium teeth. they are hyper- intelligent. very loyal. i think my wife would go crazy trying to keep the house and dog food if i have those big russian dogs. >> those two dogs are highly trained and very loyal. >> where'd you come up with
those dogs? was this a research project for you? >> earlier we talked about control. for somebody of such small stature, needed some muscle. two dogs he could trust with everything. with his life. he does trust these animals with his life. i told you about how he came up with the idea. the troll under the bridge that my kids watch on tv. okay. i have to find the biggest contrast. the biggest dogs i can find. i found these dogs that the russian border patrol and east germans used. that was a caucasian sheepdog. >> was susan janovic, and i hope hope i'm saying that correctly, i think it was in spymaster, was
she set up? was she innocent? >> i think you're talking about use of force. a wonderful family that donated to a charity, a military charity that i support. i name the character after her. you are asking her if she was set up -- >> just asking if she was set up. she seemed like an innocent pond to me. >> there was a certain amount to that. a little bit too at that may have been coming back in next summer's book. you are extremely perceptive. >> can you tell us the title of next year's book. >> i don't have the title yet. >> when you come up with the title? >> it is tough. sometimes i will get the title first. sometimes the story comes to mind before the title. i joke that it looks like a beautiful mind in my office.
pieces of red thread going to different cards. i will roll through titles with my editor until one really seems to fit. i do not have it yet. one of those things, where'd you get your ideas from? i say from the shower or the second glass of wine sitting on the couch with my wife. it's when i'm completely relaxed it will be interesting. i will let you know when the title does happen. it took you x amount of time for our interview. it was just drop into place. i get so much inspiration sitting watching so much good storytelling. it's funny how things will just pop for my own books because i saw an interesting phrase on the tv show. the process is absolutely scattered shot.
a computer that is not connect to the internet. do you do the same thing. >> i get to the point where have to take the wi-fi. yes. i absolutely have to do that. >> i've two friends who wrote olympus is falling in london is falling the movies. a computer that doesn't touch ever. billion-dollar movies and all this kind of stuff. hundreds of millions of dollars. a football. >> that is your home in nashville? >> it is. >> ever show a picture on your website? >> i do not, for for security
reasons, not of the house or out my window. i have shown some pictures of the interior. the american flag was shot in my office. >> bill is in west chester pennsylvania. hi, bill. >> i'd like to ask the opinion. unfortunately, i have not heard any of brad's. the korean war veteran. i do not have very much mobility left. pardon me. i do read quite a lot. >> thank thank you, bill, for calling in. jack reacher series is one of the most popular. he sells a book every six and a half seconds.
first of all, thank you for your service as a korean war veteran we really appreciate you and my family. jack reacher is an amazing success. a lot of people love that character. like i said a lot of books. >> one author we have not talked about that you listed as an influences john. >> he is one of the dean's of this industry. you know, he is there with freddie forsyth. clancy. that was really my manna as a teenager and college student. i read a lot of those books. they were so fantastic. coming in from the cold. i wanted to go through that all again. still a riveting fantastic book.
really some great, great stuff. i wonder how that would play today. a similar take on that. i think a lot of history is repeating itself. everything going on with russia. talking about the politics and all that. those areas are just as interesting now as they were. the gold standard. still an incredible body of work >> we just had a north korea summit. is that something that could be playing into your books in the future? >> i dealt with north korea in my book active war. north korea is a hard one to write about. i wrote about north korea in my book active war as a training ground. almost away afghanistan was for al qaeda. they were able to do things in north korea that they might not
be able to get away with anywhere else. the problem i have with north korea any bigger than that in a book is they are incredibly unpredictable. i talked about 9/11. i never had a plot that involved 9/11. i knew eventually, they would get him. the kim regime is very difficult to predict what they are going to do. as we sit here doing this interview, filled with headlines about the fact that he is already cheating on his agreements. i want my books to be evergreen. happening on your doorstep tomorrow. dealing with real-world kind of scenarios. you want the books to stand on their own and laugh. i would not deal with him directly.
>> do your book endings have a different conclusion? >> they do conclude except for peter is mad about the way i ended spymaster. i have done a couple, just a couple in my career that has a cliffhanger at the end. i got the same reaction peter gave me this morning. by and large, yes they do. everything is tied up. all of that kind of stuff. >> why didn't spymaster in that way? >> i told you. telling me what to do on the books. i have no willpower. i have to do.
one of my favorite people when it comes to the art of writing is stephen press field. amazing author. about how artists deal, how they overcome writers block. gates of fire. gates of fire requires reading and a lot of military circles. the legend of bagger vance. if you are a writer or want to be a writer, and you are watching this, the war of art, i keep it on my desk in my office. he talks about setting everything up to encourage the muse. i want the muse to be so comfortable she never wants to leave. that's a big thing that steve talks about. it's a brilliant book. like i said, are out this interview, i obey what she tells
me to do. you are upset with me, but i'm hoping you cannot wait happens in next summer's book. >> chattanooga, tennessee. e-mail. you are my three favorite contemporary fiction authors. do you as an author ever think about the legacy you would like to leave? >> i hope my books stand the test of time. the times will change. the technology will change. some point, decades in the future. generations from now. all be like minority report with tom cruise. everything is pre-crime and you are searching through crazy tech walls and things like this. that is my challenge as a writer not only up with, but ahead of that technology.
i am trying. what i like to do with my book is a world of espionage start. with the current, most aggressive tip of the spear people are doing. i am hoping that if i get one thing out of this from readers, they develop an appreciation and respect for them and of women out there doing things. they are not doing it for the paycheck. that is really important. that would be it. as i said earlier, there is no american dream.
i couldn't have the fabulous career. they have a much harder job than i do. >> are you popular within military circles? >> a lot of readers. a lot of people saying i picked up your book downrange. i see some of my books at the bookstore. you talk about this at the airports. if i'm able, i will do that. get on the plane. onto the bookstore. putting in there. hank you for your service real quick. drop them in there. a lot of men and women who told me they run an appointment overseas. somebody had it and gave it to them. i've had some very heartfelt emails and letters to people who say you got me through a tough time. your books kept me sane and things like that. it is a heck of a complement.
turn around and pay me a complement. >> reading harlots ghost. what did you think about it? >> what did you think of it, mark? >> i liked it. i like norman mailer's writing. >> thank you. >> i have not read it. having some of those classics that should be on that list. probably one of the greatest things about being a reader. you will never run out of great books to read. now that book is going to go on my list thanks to that suggestion. >> let's hear from carol down in florida. hi, carol. >> high. i have not read any of your
books. you have sold me. i don't want to start in the middle of a character i should have known something about earlier. can you tell me where is a good place to start with your books? >> i am honored. thank you for being willing to try one of my books. any of the books. my new one spymaster that comes out tuesday. if you want to start at the very beginning, you can start with the lions of lucerne lucerne. that was my very first book. on my website i have a list of my books in order if you are interested in order. you cannot go wrong wherever you start. spymaster or go back. either way, i hope you will be happy. i will count your longtime reader after this. >> we discuss this towards the beginning of the show. let's revisit this. what is in store for scott? any future book plans and while
writing books, do you you take into account recent world events? >> great question. yes, i do take into question. i do make sure that i'm keeping up with what is happening in the world. this is what is tough for me. i know everything that is happening. you haven't had a chance. you will be getting the book when it comes out. there is a lot. you will see the seeds of a lot more future things coming for him. i hate to be so coy with you. i put out too much in the public sphere that jim and steve will jump on it. they want to do that. that's a joke i make up book signings. i do played a little close that the next book is coming out.
you will get a lot in spymaster. >> pennsylvania. hi, ed. >> hello. how are you? >> i'm well. thank you. and your books, the scenarios that you come up with to write in them, do you you ever wonder or worry about may be saved the enemies of the united states looking at that in coming up with ideas from what you write? .... .... . >> so why change it.
i try to make sure i don't give as many ideas that they were not already have that it is a balancing act like everybody else. >>host: army commented on - - david army vet and he thought on military bureaucracy especially the way of officers are enlisted quick. >> i cannot read on - - comment. i am not a fan of bureaucracy at all it chokes off innovation and makes it difficult for people to do their jobs. that hampers getting the right resources down to the ground and out to the field. i am a small government guy i don't like the bureaucracy of people looking out for their own interest instead of those in the field by the way thank you my family and i appreciate you. >>caller: my name is dave
i'm a longtime fan i have read many of your novels. out of order i would like to know the correct order i know you are a political person i would like your opinion on the war that donald trump is proposing. >> thank you very much for your question you can go to brad thor.com and there is a list at the bottom of the page as far as the wall is concerned i am a big believer of borders for national sovereignty the but looking at israel i cannot give that to you directed is such a good question that there is a lot
of arguments made on both sides that i can see intelligence and reasonability and i think there is a lot for that but it is a tough issue but we cannot cover the time that we have left so i will bow out with that one. >>host: our guest for the last three hours of the special edition next month is our science fiction writer that concludes today's program thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having m me, peter.