Way back in late February, yours truly brought you the world's first glimpse at bestselling author Brad Thor's new thriller's book jacket. And now, since I know my sophisticated audience would never dare judge a book by its cover, I bring you the very first interview with Brad Thor about his new book Takedown!
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But before that, let me come clean: I am a huge fan of Brad Thor's previous books, but then again I'm biased because I'm American and do not support terrorism against my country. If that describes you as well, then I'm fairly certain that you too will become a fan of Mr. Thor's work.
All indications are that Takedown, the fifth thriller featuring tough-as-nails and sarcastic-as-Blogstein counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath, will be this summer's hot read. You know, the one book you see every other person on the beach reading?
So, my tip to you is to get in on it early so you can take credit for discovering it--at least that's what I intend to do.
The book comes out on May 30th but I just preordered it on Amazon.com
And now, without Freddy Adu, we welcome Brad Thor...
Dr. Blogstein: Hello Brad, it is a true honor to have one of my favorite writers visiting the pages of Dr. Blogstein.
Brad Thor: It's my pleasure, Dr. B. Thank you for having me.
Dr. B: If you had two or three sentences to convince me to read Takedown, what would you say?
BT: I know where you live, what kind of car you drive and where you get your shirts laundered. Read it or I'll be in touch.
But if you aren't the kind who bows to petty intimidation, then I'd say - this book is a white-knuckle thrill ride. It is easily my best work to date. The plotting is razor sharp, the chapters are fast as hell, the action never stops and the characters are based on real people who are out there kicking ass and taking hyphenated names on a daily basis.
Dr. B: Brad, you had me at "shirts laundered."
According to your new book's description on Amazon.com, terrorists attack New York City and "all of the bridges and tunnels leading into and out of Manhattan are destroyed." Can something like this really happen in New York?
BT: If someone is willing to throw enough manpower at it, you bet it could.
Dr. B: The answer I was looking for was, "no." Dude, you scare me.
In your expert opinion, is a terror strike similar to the one you write about in Takedown imminent? If so, can you tell me when to get the hell out of here?
BT: It's funny you should ask. My wife jokes that I have some sort of bizarre ability to see into the future and write about events before they happen. I hope that isn't true with New York, but what's interesting is that Takedown is actually based on a very scary guy who went into hiding two days before the September 11th attacks. Not a lot frightens me, but this man is something to be seriously scared about. In my unending quest to have a fatwa issued against me, I used the guy's real name in the book - and made him a pedophile to boot. As I neared completion on the novel, the CIA launched a missile strike inside Pakistan and nailed a bunch of bad guys. Supposedly, my guy was among them, so I decided to give the character a fictitious name. Two days ago an intel buddy of mine called to tell me that the scary guy is not dead and had managed to escape. I hope I'm wrong, but if I were you, Dr. B - I'd make sure I had plenty of canned tuna and powdered milk under the bed. And while you're at it, keep that plastic sheeting and duct tape handy too.
Dr. B: Ummm, I could have used that plastic sheeting for my desk chair before you answered that question, if you know what I mean.
Are you ever afraid that you're giving terrorists ideas?
BT: With all of the work I put into my novels (interviews, research, etc.), I come across a lot of information that for reasons of national security, I either change or omit altogether. I consider it my duty to be responsible. But am I ever afraid that I'm giving terrorists ideas? It does cross my mind from time-to-time.
Dr. B: To that point, according to "Page Six" in the New York Post dated July 2, 2005, the government put pressure on you to cancel interviews on your last book tour because "the D.C. bureaucrats are afraid Thor will give away secrets that might help the evil-doers." If this is true, why did you get the memo and Scooter Libby didn't?
BT: You know what, Scooter's always been a rebel that way. He got the memo just like me, but a bunch of us suggested it might be funny if he blew it off and sure enough...
Dr. B: What makes Brad Thor novels so much fun to read is the tension of not knowing whether this is the book in which your hero, Counterterrorism Operative Scot Harvath, finally finds the letter "T" that's clearly missing from his first name. Seriously, dude, what's with your spelling of "Scot"?
BT: My brother's name is Scot. My mother didn't like the idea of three T's lined up in Scott Thor, so she opted for Scot with one T. The character is based in part on him. That's the truth.
Dr. B: How does the president in your novels, Jack Rutledge, measure up to other fake presidents such as Josiah Bartlet from The West Wing, David Palmer from 24, or George W. Bush from Crawford, TX?
BT: ROTFL. You're a pretty funny guy, doc. Let me take these in order.
Josiah Bartlet couldn't go a single round with President Rutledge. Who's going to train him? Josh? CJ? Mrs. McKlusky - "He's a wrecking machine, Josiah..."
Presidents Palmer and Rutledge, though, mano-a-mano would be a helluva fight. Plus, Palmer's got that bad paw with all that funky skin. That would be pretty cool, but I'm afraid if things got too tough, he'd tried to tag out to Jack Bauer. Then Scot Harvath would have to jump in and the ass whoopin' would begin. Bauer'd be hurtin' for a lot longer than 24 hours.
And because I'd very much like to be invited back to the White House, I feel it necessary to point out that President George W. Bush is not a "fake" president.
Dr. B: That's debatable.
Finally, Brad, if Takedown had a soundtrack what songs would be on it?
BT: What a great question. Let's see here. In order of appearance they would be:
Tear the Roof of the Sucker - George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
Daddy Cool - Boney M
Staying Alive - N Trance
Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway) - Billy Joel
Let's Get It On - Tenacious D
And for the credit roll - Scotty Doesn't Know by Lustra.
Dr. B: Books have credits that roll?
Well, thank you very much for your time, this has been a blast!
BT: If only all of my interviews were this much fun. Thanks, Doctor Blogstein. See you on the web.