Brad Taylor is the author of the Taskforce series which includes One Rough Man, The Insider Threat, Operator Down and Daughter of War. The latest in the series, Hunter Killer, is published in ebook by Aries on 6 August 2020.
Brad kindly answered a few of my questions.
1. Tell us a little about Hunter Killer.
This is the 14th Pike Logan novel, and through them all, Pike and the Taskforce have solved problems all over the world, but in the back of my mind I always thought, “There are other elements around the world like the Taskforce, and some don’t necessarily operate for the greater good. What would happen if the Taskforce itself went from the hunter to the hunted?”
2. What inspired the book?
My previous novel, Daughter of War, had elements of the Russian private military company Wagner in it. Wagner is a real organization that has conducted mischief in Syria, Ukraine, the Central African Republic, and is currently fighting in Libya. It’s an organization that provides Russia plausible deniability to conduct operations on behest of the nation while cloaking itself as merely a private enterprise. I had done quite a bit of research on the organization and still had keyword searches going anytime it was mentioned in the news, and I found a report that Wagner had sent an element to Venezuela to prop up the Maduro regime. I thought that was very bold and began to drill down, not because I was writing a novel, but because I was interested. That exploration led me to Brazil, its presidential elections, and the ongoing Car Wash corruption scandal. Seeing that much intrigue in South America gave me the germ of an idea for a story.
3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you?
A little of both. I don’t outline per se, but I do create what I call a framework, where I’ll know the threat vector, the setting, and about 80% of the time, the ending. Well, 100% of the time I THINK I know the ending, but sometimes it changes based on the flow of the story. So, I typically have the overarching theme and plot, but the granular details emerge as I’m writing.
4. Is there anything about the process of creating a novel that still surprises you?
Yes, and it’s usually a character. Multiple times I’ve created characters in the framework that I fully intended to kill off, but as I develop them, I just like them too much. For instance, two Israeli assassins figure prominently in Hunter Killer – but when I created them for Days of Rage – eight books ago – they were both just one-offs that I fully intended toeliminate in the plot. When the time came, I just couldn’t. I let them ride off into the sunset having no plan at all to use them again. Then I got the chance while writing The Insider Threat, where I needed a character with some inside knowledge of Jordan. I was going to create a character out of whole cloth, then thought, “Hey, you’ve got Aaron and Shoshana sitting on a shelf. Why not use them?” When I did, I received quite a bit of fan mail glad they were back. I thought, “Wow, good thing I didn’t kill them.”
5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?
That’s a hard question to answer right now, given the entire COVID mess. Right now, “Getting away from it all” entails sitting in a chair in my backyard – although I have been able to go to my rifle range and shoot. That’s a solitary sport, so it’s the one thing left.
6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
That’s too hard of a question. I have always been a voracious reader and couldn’t pick a single book. It would depend on the mood I was in that day, and then three days later I’d be kicking myself for picking THAT book.
7. I like to end my Q&As with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
I guess it would be on the research that goes into each of my novels, from the initial “book work” to on the ground exploration. If I can get to a country, I most definitely will, because getting boots on the ground really allows me to capture the essence of a location. In the military we always wanted to know the terrain, both in physical space and in cultural terms, what we called the sights, sounds, and smells of the battlefield. It’s no different when I write. For Daughter of War we travelled to Monaco, Nice, Eze, and all over Switzerland. For Hunter Killer we did the same, exploring the majority of Brazil. There is nothing in that book that I haven’t physically seen with my own eyes and explored with my own hand. The first-hand experience makes all the difference when I sit down to write.
About the Book
They’re killing his team. He’s coming for them.
The Taskforce were once apex predators, an unrivalled hunting machine that decimated those out to harm the USA, but they may have met their match.
While Pike is preparing to join the team on a counter-terrorist mission in South America, a friend is killed in South Carolina. The authorities believe it was an accident, but Pike suspects the attack was meant as a message to him. When he loses contact with the team in South America, Pike becomes convinced the Taskforce is under attack.
His men are the closest thing to family he has. he will do anything – even ignore direct orders to stand down – to find them.
About the Author
Brad Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of the Taskforce series, with nearly 3 million copies sold. He channels his decades of experience as a Special Forces Commander in the US army into his thrillers. In the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, Taylor commanded multiple troops, a squadron and conducted operations in classified locations. Now he lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife and two daughters. @BradTaylorBooks http://www.bradtaylorbooks.com