Either way, six of the authors in the Atria Mystery Bus/Simon & Schuster family, have come together for brief conversations, face-to-face, with me to talk about their latest works at the Bouchercon 23 event in San Diego, California.
The featured authors include: Chris Hauty, I. S. Berry, Amando Correa, Christine McKenzie, Katy Hays and Jack Carr.
Their books are stunning. Their talents, equally so. And their futures are set to shoot across the sky, bright at the noonday sun.
Kick back, grab a beverage, and enjoy the last vestiges of the Summer heat, while you and I enjoy some conversation about books, thrillers and more, on an episode that will entertain, educate, and hopefully inspire you to write your best work.
Remember: there's room on the bookshelves for you too.
To learn more, visit our website at: TheThrillerZone.com, follow us at YouTube.com/thethrillerzone, and if you'd like to reach out, we're at thethrillerzone at gmail.
Cheers, David Temple
What is The Thriller Zone?
Join The Thriller Zone host and thriller author David Temple as he gives you a front-row seat to the best thriller writers in the world. If you like thriller fiction in Books, Movies, and TV Shows, you’ll enjoy The Thriller Zone Podcast.
Bouchercon 23 Event
Hello and welcome to the Thriller
David: Zone. I'm your host, David Temple. And on today's 149th episode of the Thriller Zone, we present six superstar authors in this bonus episode. I recently attended Baushikan 23, where David Brown of Atria Mystery Bus invited me to host their Saturday brunch and chat with a small stable of their clients.
Now what follows is a brief synopsis of those authors and their latest work. Each conversation is shorter than 15 minutes, but it gives you a great insight to their latest and or up and coming releases. Those authors begin with my good friend Chris Hoddy, author of The W& O. That's followed by relative newcomer and potential sensation I.
. Berry. Next is the always engaging Armando [00:01:00] Carrera. That's followed by the multiple New York Times best selling author Catherine McKenzie. Then you'll meet debut author Katie Hayes. And we'll wrap with my friend and yours, the mega hit multimedia wonder, Jack Carr. Short but sweet, I hope you'll enjoy this one hour of engaging conversations with six authors who are sure to take this world by storm.
If they haven't already, hint, hint. Special thanks to my new friend in books, David Brown at Atrium Mystery Bus, one of the hardest working guys in the business, and a super special thanks to my wife, Tammy, who makes my life a better place. By the way, who knew she was such a good videographer? Thanks, babe.
Chirp, chirp. Now, sit back and enjoy one of my favorite rounds of conversations. And in case you haven't figured it out by now, this is a perfect sample of what the future of my podcast will look like. Conversations face to
: face. Taking my lanyard off. How close do I have to get to this testing, testing? Is that good?
That is good.
David: How's my
: meter? How's my reading? Your, your reading's good. Here we are on the [00:02:00] flight deck. Thriller zone! Alright, whatever. I'm trying to get ready, man. I just rolled out
David: of bed. Yeah, well, ladies and gentlemen, we're with Chris Hauty, author of The Devil You Know, the Haley Chill series. Yes, you are.
And man, you look fantastic so early in the morning. All
: things considered. I think that's quite an
David: accomplishment. And did you do any laps this morning, perchance? I
: did, uh, I brushed my
David: teeth. Okay. This morning. Every little bit, right? Yeah,
: yeah. I prepare for these
David: things. And how are you enjoying VoucherCon so far?
Well, this is
: my first voucher. Oh. It's my first voucher. voucher. I missed the voucher because of COVID and, and I missed the voucher because of, I don't know, being obstinate. But, uh, this is my first and I'm having a great time meeting my fellow authors, making new friends and, uh, meeting the fans.
David: A lot of fans here today [00:03:00] looking for you.
: A lot of fans, none of them mine. I see a long line of fans in front of Jack Carr. Yeah, he's over there just... And so I'm sort of soaking up the, the vibe of that, of that enthusiasm. You're in his wake.
David: I'm in his wake. Yeah, yeah. Well, it is, it has been a tremendous opportunity. I have never been to a voucher con, and so this is my first.
The crowds are amazing. I was talking to someone yesterday. They said last year it was like 800 people. This year it's like 1, 600. That's twice as much, David. You are a mathematician. Amazing. I know. So early. Two times as many. Yeah. Two X. So let's talk about the devil you know real quick. Okay. Because you're going to get bombarded by autograph seekers.
Yes. What has happened since last time? We saw Haley Chill last, it was Storm Rising, right? Correct. Storm
: Rising, and she had, uh, essentially saved the United States [00:04:00] from, uh, being divided into two polarized halves. Uh huh. And so she is instrumental in preventing that from happening, but at the cost of true personal...
Loss. Right. And so when that book ends, she is in a bad place, uh, emotionally, and maybe even a little bit professionally in her role as a deeper state operative. So as The Devil You Know opens, Hailey Chill is still in a bad place emotionally. And it's really all about her, of course, saving the day, in this case, preventing the assassination of a second U.
S. Supreme Court Justice. I know. [00:05:00] How do I do this? How do you do
David: it? And
: at the same time, simultaneously, which means the same thing as at the same time, uh huh. She saves 19. School kids and their bus driver from certain horrific death on the idyllic island at the time of Maui. Wow. Yeah.
David: You, I noticed one thing.
You're always ahead of your time. Every single book, have you noticed this? Of course you have. It's weirdly prophetic. It's weird. Deep State started that way, and every single book, the book comes out, within months, something inside that book happens. It worries me. Nostradamus comes to mind. It makes me wonder if the next book, if there's any more Haley Chill, what we could look forward to.
to then or [00:06:00] be afraid of
: true. The next book, Mr. Temple. Yes, sir. Is a closely held top secret that I can't discuss on your podcasts, unfortunately.
David: But Chris, we're, we're pals. I
: mean, I know, can we, can we go off the record? Can we mute these microphones?
David: Yes. Hang on one second. Okay. Okay. So here's, what's
: going to happen.
I'm not going to fall for that. I know you're just... No, I'm very excited about what's coming next. I've been working quite hard, as you know. Yes. And, uh, and I really think that this is going to be a big book, uh, in
David: the thriller world. I think, and, and is it, can I ask if it's a Hayley Chill book or is it a complete departure?
Again... Top secret. These lips be sealed. Okay. Well, it will be a thriller. We know that. Yes. [00:07:00] There will be elements of mystery and suspense in it. Yes. It will be a page turner, a white knuckler. Yes. It will be a top seller. Yes. Fingers crossed. Fingers crossed. And something tells me, because you came from Hollywood business, I know that you have since, and I air quote the retired, because you've just kind of stepped away from it.
Bye. Yes. Stepped away. You, you can, uh, envision potentially this becoming a series or movie in your wildest dreams, right? Uh, the Haley Chill series or the new book? The
: new book. Both. Both, yeah. Wow. Where as soon as the strike is over, we're gonna, we're gonna, we have a, a, a, a. A very, uh, successful TV and movie producer who will, uh, uh, take the book out.
I guess this is the whole series? Or maybe this is Deep State. I don't know how those things work. Um, so that will happen as soon as the strike is over. And yes, I think this [00:08:00] new top secret, uh, book that I'm working on and soon to, to, to... be soon to be finished. Uh, would make an excellent, excellent movie
David: when you say soon to be finished.
And I think we talked about this on one of our prior shows. Do you take, are you about a year ish at a time for a book? I'm just,
: I think, um, well, it depends which part of the process we're talking about from From idea to me, turn it and into my editor. Uh, there are several drafts in between those two points.
Sure. And I feel like my work isn't done, but where it's really all on me. Uh huh. That process usually takes about Eight to ten months. The book I'm working on now will be about a year old come October. [00:09:00] So we're, it's a little, uh, it's taking a little bit longer but I'm taking more care with it because I think it's such a great idea.
Really a very ambitious, dare I say audacious
David: idea. Wait, ambitious and audacious?
: Both. Wow. Yeah. Audacious.
David: You know the last time you were on the show when we were out in Glendale or was at Pasadena? I can't recall. Yes. Um, we
: were , we make up words. On this podcast. And do
David: you remember the word from that
Babe? Do you remember the word from that show? I don't. I don't. But I do remember this one. Audacious. Audacious is the way that you can describe this new
David: book. Okay. Now I do know that we walked away 'cause it uh, it birthed a t-shirt. Hashtag Don't be Boring. Right? Which has become a mantra of mine. I hear it everywhere I go.
It's everywhere. I saw it. It's everywhere. I think I saw it on a Times Square
: billboard. I think I see it on t-shirts. I see it on Coke cans. Yeah, there was, uh, I came [00:10:00] out of the voucher con yesterday for lunch with some of my author friends and there was skywriting.
David: Skywriting? Skywriting. Don't
: be boring.
That's amazing. Everyone's catching on and have you noticed the world is a more
David: interesting place? It really is and it's all because of Chris Haughty, author of The Devil You Know. H A U T Y Yeah. Dot com. Dot com. Here comes Alana.
IS Berry: Hi. Is it okay? My blood sugar level is really low. Is it okay if I'm eating a little?
You can do
David: anything you want for crying out loud. Okay. I'm... We are with Alana Berry. I asked Berry. The book is The Peacock and the Sparrow. And, Alana, I gotta tell you something. Anybody who listens to this show knows that I am a book cover... Yes. Fanatic. And this is single handedly... And I'm, I'm not even exactly sure why, one of the best book covers I've seen this year.
Thank you! That's
IS Berry: such a compliment. It's
David: striking, it's mysterious, it's colorful. It does everything you want [00:11:00] in a book cover that says, what the hell is going on? You got this guy in the shadow, lighting a cigarette. Yes. And then of course you have Ian Caldwell saying, a breathless tour de force, the perfect spy
IS Berry: tale.
Thank you. Thank you. Smoking figures pretty
Catherine McKenzie: prominently in the book.
David: It starts off with the smell of his cigarettes.
IS Berry: That's right. His informant. Yes. Exactly.
David: Why the, is there something very significant about that? And is, there's a purpose to that cover in the cigarette? A little bit.
IS Berry: Um, so it starts off with the main character saying he hated the smell of his informant's cigarettes.
And then there's a point in the book. Where he sort of bonds with the informant and they share cigarettes. It's like a turning point in the book.
David: And I would say that with an experience of an OPS officer of both the Europe and the Middle East that you're bringing all that CIA experience to light in this book.
And this is a debut. Yes. [00:12:00] I mean, I don't, I would say this if you weren't here. So I'm not blowing smoke up your skirt, but there's a lot of buzz that this is going to be one of those books that everybody's talking about. Oh my gosh, thank you. And how does, I mean, that's got to make you feel great. It's such
IS Berry: honor.
I mean, it's,
David: Thank you. And it's so cool. And I mean this in all the absolute best ways to have a woman write a spy novel. Thank
IS Berry: you. Thank you. I mean, it is, I feel like it's an honor. It's such a heavily male genre that, um, yeah, I'm proud of the fact that I'm one of the only female spy novelists.
I think I might be the only female spy novelist who used to be a spy. I hope I'm wrong, but, um, but I think I might be.
David: So you can actually say officially that you were a
IS Berry: spy? For sure. I had my cover lifted. There's a whole process behind that. And I had to have the book
Catherine McKenzie: cleared.
David: How does, see, I know nothing, I love to read spy novels, I love that whole world of intrigue, everybody does, but I've [00:13:00] never really understood, A, how does someone become a spy, B, how do you go from that world into the regular world?
IS Berry: Yeah, well, the um, the application process is pretty similar to any job, I mean you really just send in your resume, it's kind of a myth that they recruit you, um, and then leaving Was that your other question? Uh huh. Yeah, that was actually harder. I mean, because you're in this sort of insular, paranoid world for so many years.
Right. And then you leave and you're kind of looking behind your shoulder and, I mean, sometimes I still leave a car space between me and the car in front of me so I can have a quick egress. In case something happens. So, yeah.
David: Do you find yourself when you're driving home that you don't take the same pattern every time?
IS Berry: did when I first came back from Baghdad. I spent a year in Baghdad during the war. And I definitely, it took about a year to sort of re acclimate and, um, my My, um, survival [00:14:00] skills were still very much part of my life, um, but not
David: First time I'd ever heard about that, my brother used to be in intelligence in the Air Force, uh, in some, some division, I still don't know what it is, and he said he never drove home the same way ever.
And I was like, what does that like? He goes, you just get into the habit of it because you, you have to be prepared as though... Someone's possibly telling you.
IS Berry: It's true. I mean, the instincts kind of die hard. Um, and especially, it was actually more of a concern when I worked at Langley, at the headquarters, because then it's like you're taking the same route every day.
And we used to joke, because there's a gas station across the street from Langley, and we used to joke, like, the Chinese, the Russians are probably just... Parked there watching the same cars go in every
David: day. Can you do me this favor? Can you give me, because I have not had a chance to, this, this, uh, interview was sprung on me before I had a chance to really dig down on it.
I'm going to read this book and I hope you'll come back and be on the show. But can you give me the elevator pitch [00:15:00] for the
IS Berry: Peacock and the Sparrow? It's basically about an aging spy stationed in Bahrain, um, who gets caught in the crosswinds of the Arab Spring on his final tour. He gets ensnared in murder, consuming love, and an unpredictable revolution, and, um, he's forced to choose a side.
David: That is so succinct. Yeah. I've had some practice. That is amazing. And how has it been received from the people here at Bauschika? Or, and, and friends and family? Yeah. You always start there. Really
IS Berry: well, especially from people I think who appreciate a realistic story. spy novel and actually, you know, I've been so flattered and honored because the Intel community really seems to love my book.
I mean, I've gotten so many people who have reached out from inside the community and they just say it resonates with them. So,
David: so, and if this is slightly ignorant, just bear with me, it's not too much of a stretch. How? When you think of James Bond, James Bond is Hollywood ized spy. For sure. So this is [00:16:00] the antithesis
IS Berry: to that.
I would say so, yeah. I think it's much grittier, um, darker. I think it's more in the vein of,
Catherine McKenzie: um, Of Le
IS Berry: Carré or Graham Greene, um, and yeah, or yeah, I wanted something that was much more
David: realistic. I was going to say Le Carré is the very first person that pops up when you say legitimate spy.
IS Berry: Right, and he, right, he didn't glamorize spying.
I mean, he wrote about sort of the ugly realities and, you know, the geopolitics and the... Sometimes dark consequences of spying.
David: Did you grow up wanting to be in CIA and the spy world and that whole mysterious segment of
IS Berry: society? Definitely not. No? Um, I'm a lawyer by training, so yeah, I kind of anticipated a more, you know, practical route.
Um, but I really, I studied abroad in college and, um, And then I worked overseas after college as an editor for a newspaper in Prague during the 90s. Um, which was sort of [00:17:00] the left bank at the time, you know, the new left bank. And I kind of just fell in love with, with the world beyond. I mean, at the time that was communism had fallen and it was a, it was an area in transition, Eastern Europe.
And, and that really kind of sparked my, my love of foreign affairs.
David: Speaking, since we are in the center of VoucherCon, what has been a highlight for you? What's, what's something that you... Came here not expecting that you were pleasantly surprised
IS Berry: with. I mean, just meeting the other authors. I've just been blown away.
Um, and the level of support, and camaraderie, and meeting you, meeting Mystery Mike, and um, the deadly pleasures. crowd, and I just, it's been wonderful.
David: Isn't it neat, uh, and neat seems like such a shallow word except for the fact that it's such a neat idea that you can step into a world that is, that one would think would be so highly competitive, and yet is so open arm welcoming.[00:18:00]
and supportive. It's
IS Berry: 100%. I mean, I've said this before it is. I was blown away by how supportive writers are. It is the most supportive profession I've ever worked in. I mean, I was a lawyer. I worked as a spy and those are not professions where you're, you know, supporting the person next to you as much.
It's much more cutthroat. And I've just. blown
David: away by it. Do you have, and I don't want to take away from the peacock and the sparrow, but do you have plans for a future, uh, book and is it in process or is it? Yeah,
IS Berry: I started writing, um, and it's going to be a spy novel. It's going to have a female protagonist, I think.
Nice. Um, and I think it's going to be based on my experience spying in Baghdad. Um, I'm kind of going to fictionalize it. Um, and I'm focusing on one operation in particular, uh, where I helped apprehend a top 10 terrorist target through my informant. Only to learn later he might not be guilty. We might have gotten the wrong guy.
So true. That part's true. Wow
David: So what is a movie or a [00:19:00] TV series? Today, yeah, we're in the recent that would be similar to that story that you're going forward with
IS Berry: Sort of the same vibe. Yeah, the same. I really love the movie Beirut with Jon Hamm. Yeah Yeah, which I felt like was so gritty and not overly glamorized.
David: That's what we liked about it. Yeah. Oh, okay. Yeah Yeah, we love it. Yeah, and just fascinating. Yeah, sometimes they do this. It's so polished and yeah pretty that I'm like, is it really like,
Catherine McKenzie: I mean,
IS Berry: yeah, you have people jumping from roofs and stealing cars and yeah. You know what series I loved was Babylon Berlin, which is a German series, but they've dubbed it into English.
It's not strictly a spy series, but it takes place in Weimar Germany, um, just before the rise of the Nazi party. And, um, but it's. It's so dark and noir ish and gritty and it feels like a spy series.
David: And that leads me to this final question, which [00:20:00] is, um, and I know it's a dream, it's a dream of mine as a writer.
Do you, had anybody interested in this, turning this into either a film or a TV series? I have!
IS Berry: Yeah. Already? Yeah, um, yeah, a couple, yeah, I think it's all sort of in flux now with the writer's strike. So, but yeah, we have a couple, couple things.
David: Maybe by the time you come on to the show, which is in the very near future, I trust.
I'd love that. We can maybe talk a little bit more That would be wonderful. You know, I certainly don't want to speak out of turn, but uh. Thank you, Alana. Thank you so much. Thank you
IS Berry: so much. This was a pleasure. Yeah.
David: Thank you. Looking forward to reading the book again is the peacock and the sparrow.
IS Berry: Thank you.
Awesome. Okay. Thank you so
David: much. And let me make sure I get this. Armando Lucas
Armando Correa: Correa. Correa. Like Korea. Okay. Perfect. Nice.
David: Uh, you know, I'm not that smart, so I gotta really work on it. [00:21:00] The book is The Silence in Her Eyes, and, uh, I'd love to... How about this? We'll start off with a little elevator pitch. What this book is
Armando Correa: about.
This book is about, um, a girl, she's 20 years, 28 years old and she's gonna be by herself for the first time in her whole life. She can't see the movement, she's a kind of blindness and she only see like, uh, you know, statues. Okay. Everything is stopped since the day she was 8 years old. Oh wow. Sickness is called akinetopsia, and it's reversible, and she's creating a world around her with all these images around her.
David: wow, it's almost, it's metaphysical,
Armando Correa: mystical. Yeah, and then, you know, she met the neighbor, a girl, and she transformed into her, and they create. craziness [00:22:00] in the middle of New York today. Yeah. Which is where you live now, isn't it? The whole, the whole book is in my apartment. That's the funny thing. It's my neighborhood, my bookstore, everything is in my apartment.
I love it. When you open the door, you can see Morningside Park and you can see the dog. And, uh, you know, I, I love creating this. tracing is around me. Yeah.
David: You're the author of the German girl, the German girl. Now that that was a monster hit, wasn't it? Oh
Armando Correa: yeah. That opened all the door for me. And I was lucky because I remember, uh, I was a friend of Is editor Johanna Castillo at Samuel and suer she, she can read in Spanish.
And my first book, it was a kind of memoir in search of Emma. And I remember having a lunch with her and she said to me, Armando, you have to write a novel. I said, Johanna, every writer has a noble on the bed. Yeah. And, and I, I remember the next. [00:23:00] launch with her and I presented all this idea about the German girl, you know, all the memorabilia that I have, all the stock, the original postcard from this St.
Louis, you know, ocean liner with over 900 Jewish refugee, all of them with. Premier of Disbar in C by 1939, and Cuba denied the entrance and United State and Canada. And then they send them back to, to Auschwitz actually. Wow. And then, uh, I create this story and she said, okay, I gonna buy the novel. I only have like a couple of pages and the whole idea, a couple of chapters let's say.
And, and she said, uh, uh, Simon Chu is gonna take like two weeks to make a decision the next. day I have a contract on my desk and then I signed the book and I was lucky enough that before the book was out, it was sold to over 12 countries. And then she signed me to another two books, you [00:24:00] know, and sometimes editors and agent are lazy and they want to write, you know, they want me to write another historical novel.
And then I have the daughter stealth and the night traveler. That is the one that is out. But when I finished the German girl, I presented the idea. for the silence in her eyes. They said, no, Armando, don't write any thriller. You are good at, you know, historical novel. And the German girl sold over 1 million copies.
And then, you know, they want me to stay in the same boat. And when they say, okay, I'm going to write the book for my, this is the only book that I finished and I sold finished because you know, all of them, uh, there were ideas and a paragraph, sometimes a sentence. And then when I finished, she loved the book.
Yeah. And my editor Peter Boland at uh, at Atria, uh, you know, he was a wonderful editor because it's a new genre. It is difficult, uh, it's a completely, uh, way to write when you are doing this kind of thing.
David: What do you suppose was the magic? I [00:25:00] know that's a tough question, but what is the magic that made that book skyrocket?
Armando Correa: The silence, you know, uh, I think it's the, the idea to create this kind of fantasy because, you know, I don't know, you heard before akinetopsia, the sickness, I never heard about it. I want to create some kind of sickness with her. And Derek, there are another kind of blindness that you can define the face.
Yes. You know, this is, this is real. But for me, this is like a fantasy, right? Stop motion is different when you can see the movement. Sure. And I started studying. I did a lot of research about this because you, you know, it's in first person. You have to ride like you are in, in her mind, right? Seeing all this work and, and creating a story in every person that is stopping you, right?
Because the only way you. You lost the person is when you blink, you [00:26:00] know, if you are here right now, I'm going to see you forever until I blink. Maybe you left already, but I can smell that you left. I can listen to your steps, you know, and then, then if she loves someone, she wants to stay. Stay here. If she blinked, she lost the image of the person that she loved.
David: That is so amazing. I've never
Armando Correa: heard of this. Yeah, me neither. And then there is a lot of video on YouTube, some cases in Germany and how they see, you know, if you go to the subway, they function better when they have the eyes closed and they use the, you know, the walking stick. Exactly. Yeah. And because with the eye, you can see the car here.
You can see. see everything. The good thing is they have like a good sense of smell and noise. Everything overcompensates. Exactly. And, and, but for her, it's like a, when it's, you know, a taxi is like a yellow cloud and the rain is [00:27:00] beautiful. The rain, there are glass, like a piece of glass until like you blink.
Yeah. It's beautiful. I love it.
David: Fascinating. . I've never heard anything. Well, now I understand why the cover is done in like this Yeah. Repeat pattern. Um, well, you know, having come from a a, a background of journalist, editor mm-hmm. has got to have influenced you strongly to be such a strong author.
Armando Correa: Yeah. Uh, you know, uh, uh, I seem, I am an editor.
Yeah. And, and I am love to be edited. Yeah. You know, I, I believe in editors, you know, um, and you're a big fan of that. Oh yes. Yeah. And for example, uh, you always fight with your editor when, when you finish your first draft, you send your masterpiece, you think it's a masterpiece. And then when the editor, of course, the first paragraph was you're brilliant.
You're a genius. And then, you know, crazy. But the next morning I said, he was right. Yeah. And then you start [00:28:00] walking. And for me it's, it's their problem. I don't have any problem to finish a book. Right. If you want me to write another scene, I'm going to write another scene. Sure. Yeah. And I am my first editor at the same time, because for example, this is around 100, 000 words, but I finished over 200, 000 words and I got in and I'm cutting because I prefer to have the whole atmosphere.
Right. And I know I am very conscious for the pace. Because, uh, uh, my major was theater critic, and I study theater, and I create a scene. I know, you know, the next action has to happen. I, I don't want to be bored, you know, you'll be bored when you're reading. Less is more. Exactly. Yeah. And, and for other plays, I, I, when I'm reading, I want to enter.
to a room to fill it, to see the wallpaper, the texture, you know, I, I, I think I'm good at it sometimes too much, but you know, I love to, uh, because some kind of writer and it's valid because I love [00:29:00] it, you know, they, you are. reading their thinking. But I want you to feel like the character and go to the room and go to the head.
David: You that entire world, yeah. Exactly, yeah. Well, are you telling me that The German Girl is your very first book? Yeah. And you did a million copies on your very
Armando Correa: first book? Yeah. I'm, I'm lucky.
David: I was going to say there are people at this convention that dream decades dreaming to get where you've gotten. So it has to just hit you in such a profound way.
Armando Correa: I think with the German girl, there was an, this. story was with missing. I was 10 years old. You know, my grandmother, she's a daughter of a Spanish immigrant. They arrived in Cuba at the beginning of the 20th century. And she was pregnant with my mom when the St. Louis arrived and were rejected. And I remember growing on during the eighties in [00:30:00] Cuba, I was a child.
I, my grandmother fighting with my grandfather. Cuba is going to pay very dearly for the next 100 years. Because what they did to the Jewish refugees. And then I started, you know, doing... I was a kind of child that instead of reading about cowboys or, you know, I read about the Second World War all the time.
I was obsessed with the Second World War because of my grandfather at the time. He loved history, and I was passionate about history. And for my mind, I said, can this happen in the, you know... Because the Second World War happened in the second... In the 20th century. century in the most civilized continent in the world, in the most civilized country in the world.
Right. That happened in our countries, you know, in the third world, but not in this first world. And for me, I have a fascination about that. And I started, you know, collecting story. I was thinking to write a nonfiction book. I have the survivor of the book, you know, the children of this. [00:31:00] And when Johanna talked to me, I said, okay, maybe have, and became a father.
I always said that my daughter, she's 17 now. Uh, she made me a writer because, uh, I remember that. Why is that? Because, because the German girl, that it was going to be a nonfiction book. It started, you know, in the voice of a 12 years old, you know, the first season. sentence is more or less like, I'm going to be 12 years old.
I decided to kill my parents. You know, that's the first sentence. And at the beginning, it was nine years old. Then, you know, she was growing off with Emma in a way and, and all the emotion and the, the father with the daughters, a mother with the daughters is because of, I am a father, I think I cried a lot and make people cry.
I love. make people cry. I love it. Yeah. And, and this is seeing, I became a father, you know, if you talk to me about your dog, maybe I can cry right now. I am your emotional [00:32:00] guy. I emotional. And I, I, I, I love to create emotional connection with a reader. And I think that's my key when I did the German girl.
David: And so with silence in her eyes, it is, it is a thriller. thriller.
Armando Correa: Uh, yes, because, uh, I, I, I am not going to spoil the book, but you, you see this delicate woman, right? She looks very young, younger than the 28 years old. She's living by herself. She's in love with the delivery guy with the guy in the book.
She's a good reader. She's all the time reading. Right. And, and then she thinks that she's helping her neighbor that is It's her only friend because she's, you know, she's living like a nightmare with her husband. He's abusive. Oh. And then a terrible thing happened. Something happened. We'll leave it at that.
And then everything changed and [00:33:00] nothing is what you
David: read. Nothing is what you think it is. Yeah. That's what I love. I love books that make you do that.
Armando Correa: It's like, Oh, I'm going to see. She, her emotion and the relationship with the mother and who is the bad people here. You never know who is the bad
Well, as we get ready to wrap, tell me about what's been one of your favorite things that's happened here at voucher con, whether it's a panel or someone you've met, what's, what's the highlight? Oh, it was the dinner last
Armando Correa: night. Yeah. I, uh, Mike, I don't know if he organized this. kind of dinner since the beginning of the convention with over 40 people.
I think most of them writer, publicist, bookseller. And I'm, you know, I, I, I am very introvert for me. It's hard to make like a connection in this.
David: I don't believe that at all, but go ahead
Armando Correa: and now believe me and right now I'm talking to you. And I, but it's hard for me and then in the table, I met another [00:34:00] author.
I met Jack Carr wearing the same, you know, in print publishing house and it was wonderful and everybody's nice. You know, it's different. Believe me, people from the thriller world is completely different from the literary world. And how is that? What's the biggest? There are more. They're friendly, you know, they talk to you.
David: Literary or a thriller? A thriller. Yeah, very friendly, very
Armando Correa: approachable. Approachable and they talk to you. They ask about your book. Yeah, literary, not so much. No, no, no. They only talk about them. Oh, yeah. All the time. Yeah, that's, that's, that's nice. You know, I'm not against anybody. Sure, sure, sure. But it's a, it's a different world.
David: Yeah. Well, Armando, I wish you huge success. I don't think you need a whole lot of wishes because you're doing something right. Thank you for
Armando Correa: having me. Absolutely. Thank you.
David: That's great. Such a blessing. Do you want to finish your apple? No, no,
Catherine McKenzie: no. Okay. I'll eat it
David: after. Catherine McKenzie has [00:35:00] written a book called Have You Seen Her?
And she's right here on the Thriller Zone. Thanks for joining us. Thank. Thanks for having me. Uh, how about BowsherCon so far? Having the big thrill of your life?
Catherine McKenzie: It's been fun, for sure. Maybe you can hear it in my voice. Yeah. Too much talking. Uh, maybe too much talking at the bar.
David: Was last night particularly, I mean, you know, Fridays and Saturdays tend to be the big...
Catherine McKenzie: Yeah. I think actually Thursday night was my big night. I, I went to bed a little earlier yesterday, so. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
David: And what, what's been a highlight so far for you?
Catherine McKenzie: It's always fun to meet with other writers and meet some fans. And, uh, one of my editors is here. So I've been hanging out with her. So it's been fun to tell
David: us, uh, so we can jump into a little bit of a, uh, elevator pitch, uh, cause I have not had a chance to read the book.
It just was presented to me, but what. I'm
Catherine McKenzie: storming out of here. It's
David: okay. Tell me about this book.
Catherine McKenzie: Uh, so have you seen her is the story of Cassie [00:36:00] Peters and she is leaving New York for reasons which we will discover eventually, of course, um, to go join the search and rescue squad in Yosemite National Park, which she had done 10 years earlier.
Soon after she gets. there. A couple goes missing, and it echoes another disappearance of a couple of 10 years earlier that she was also involved in.
David: Wow. Pulls you right in. Now, has this, I was reading that you have, a lot of your work's been optioned for television. True. Is this one also
Catherine McKenzie: in that? This one has not yet.
I'm going to say yet. I'm going to be positive. It has not yet been option.
David: No. And where can we possibly see some of this show up besides the top selling book lists? Oh,
Catherine McKenzie: right, right. Well, nothing's been made yet. You know, Hollywood, which is on strike. Um, the vagaries of that. But, uh, yeah, I have various projects at various stages of development.
Um, one of my books, I'll never tell, they've actually written two scripts for it. And so maybe it'll become a TV show if the strike, [00:37:00] when the strike gets
David: resolved. For someone, uh, who is listening to the show that doesn't quite know how that machine works. Yeah. Can you walk me through that? So if, if Hollywood comes to you and says, Catherine, we love your book, we want to turn it into a TV series.
Right. How does that happen?
Catherine McKenzie: So they, they do what's called option the book, which is they give you some money to have the right to produce it usually for a year, 18 months. And then they normally try and find a screenwriter to write a script, come up with a pitch and write a script. Um, and if they like that, then they go to networks to try and get a deal.
And if the network likes it, then they ask for a bunch of revisions, and maybe they ask for a second script. And then, eventually, if they actually go to make the first episode, they have to write a check to the author to buy the rights at that point. And anywhere along that process, anything can go wrong, so.
David: So you can get paid as an option for them to just have the permission. The [00:38:00] permission, exactly. actually happens, you get paid again. And then if it's super successful, you get paid
Catherine McKenzie: again. You get paid every episode of TV. There's a fee that they, you get paid. Yeah.
David: How many people do you think see stories like yours?
Right. And they, and I have a very specific reason for this and they go, Oh, well, that's what I want to do. And they get into the business thinking it happens. It always
Catherine McKenzie: happens that way. Oh yeah. I mean, I've definitely read stories like that. Um, I think once every six months, somebody on Twitter is like, I'm going to start writing to make, to get rich, you know, and everyone starts to laugh, obviously.
Um, I don't know if that's happened, you know, from my books in particular, but I've met a few people who have said that they started writing because they read my books, which is always kind of very cool. Um, But I don't know, I mean, I, I was, you know, people liking getting a book deal to winning the lottery and I think getting your book made into a TV show or a movie is like, I don't even know what that's like, winning the super power [00:39:00] ball.
Yeah. And then, for it to be good on top of it, then that's another whole thing, right? You mean
David: good, the adaptation that they did
Catherine McKenzie: of it? Yeah, it's easy to make bad TV. Yeah. As we've seen. As we've seen. It's hard to make good
David: TV. Speaking of bad, and you started off the conversation a little bit with the strike, how does that hit you?
How does that make you feel? What do you think about this?
Catherine McKenzie: Well, I had a bunch of projects that were like, about to go. right before the strike. Um, so, you know, I was a little personally disappointing, obviously, and hopefully those will all get revived afterwards. But I think it's super important. Um, I think that, you know, we don't have a union in the book business, but maybe we should.
Um, but, uh, I think that there's been a power imbalance that's really happened in the industry. Where the people who produce the content are kind of at the bottom of the totem pole, which seems a bit inverted to me. Um, not that it's not hard to run a studio, but I feel like there's more than one or two [00:40:00] people who could run studios, probably for a little bit less money than 250 million a year.
Like, I'd do it for five. Give me some training. I feel like I could learn how to do that job. Um, but, you know, original, fresh ideas. are harder to come by than you think and so, um, I think people should be able to make a living doing a creative pursuit.
David: And Lee Goldberg was on the show recently and had the greatest thing.
He said, you know, the guys who are making the decisions are making millions of dollars. Millions. However, all we're asking for is like a hundred thousand. Yeah. You know, a token of money because we created it. And I said, it comes down to one word, and we said it simultaneously, greed, and it always is, isn't
Catherine McKenzie: it?
It is, and I mean, again, I'm not anti capitalist. Sure. There's enough money to go around for everyone, I think is the point. That's the WGA has, I think, been amazing at their communication, which, they're writers, they should be. Um, [00:41:00] and, uh, they put out a graphic that showed that, like, what we were asking for, asking for is like 0.
18 percent or something of last year's earnings by the companies. It's nothing. We're asking for nothing. Um, and to, to be told and to hear from again, people who are making 50, a hundred million dollars a year that like we have unrealistic financial expectations or we're greedy is It's hard to swallow, you know?
David: That same conversation, if I may continue, is the fact that everyone gets bent out of shape on, um, Well, I need more money. But, yeah, but we just need a little bit more. Right. to in order to propagate more good stories. So they go, well, we won't, we, we'll just go AI. So we had this whole conversation about AI.
The thing about AI, though, it regurgitates information that already exists. So what you're going to do is get a watered down version of everything that's already happened in the past.
Catherine McKenzie: Yeah, I think [00:42:00] so. I mean, who knows where AI is going to go? It's in its infancy. Do I believe that they put out the best?
version of that for free. No, they probably have a better version, you know, behind the scenes. And, um, and, and I think that AI in some industries has been super helpful, you know, and we all use aspects of AI without thinking about it. Spell check is an early version of AI, right? So, um, but, uh, yeah, again, I think that comes down to just like sometimes a lack of respect for how, how we're all here, you know, like, There aren't books if there aren't writers, you know, and it doesn't mean that editorial and the cover designers and the production side of it and the management side are important, but they're not more important.
And that's what I've just found always fascinating is like, how did you become more important than the people who are like, people, I think in general don't buy books because of an imprint. They buy books because of an author, right? Yes. And they don't, they're not like, [00:43:00] Oh, this person is president of this such and such book company, so I'm gonna go buy all their books.
They don't care about that. Right. You know, they care about Jack Carr. Exactly. Who's just sitting right over here. Right. You know, that's who they came to see, and that's whose books they want to read. And they came to see you, too.
David: Oh, that's kind. I saw quite a lineup.
Catherine McKenzie: I think that was two people, but they are very kind.
David: I saw a line. I think it's on the inside jacket of your book. It's easy to disappear when no one is watching. Right. When I read that, that right there between a good cover and a, and a byline like that, it makes me want to read it. Oh, good. This is not a series. It's not a series. No. Do you have any series?
Do you have? Plans for
Catherine McKenzie: series. I don't have any series right now, but I am writing a series. So finally after 15 books I figured out, well, maybe I should write a series. That might be a good idea. . Oh, it's 15. Yeah, I've read 15 books. 15 standalones. Wow. Yeah, yeah,
David: yeah, yeah. Now I got a quick question before you go.
A lot of people go back and forth about this, that they, a lot of [00:44:00] authors, I just love one original idea and move on to the next one like you, 15 in a row. Others say, I, I create this one character and I want to build an entire world and I build a nice career out of it. Do you think there's a right or wrong way?
A better or a less better way? No,
Catherine McKenzie: I don't think there's a right or wrong way. I think, I always am a big believer that you have to be passionate about what you're writing about. And if you are, hopefully that will connect with an audience. So if you're just doing something because it's like, oh, I think this is what's marketable, um, you know, that's going to come through.
Sure. So for me... I always, the way I, my process was, I knew I was done with a story when I didn't have any questions about the characters anymore and I kind of didn't care about them anymore. I know that sounds cold, but I'm like, I was done with them and we spent time together and now it's over. So for me, the challenge in writing a series was coming up with a character that I wanted to spend more than one book with.
So, so far so good. I'm writing book two, and we'll see.
David: First of all, congratulations on Have You [00:45:00] Seen Her. Thank you. Second of all, I wish you huge success when the strike is over and all your stuff gets reacquired and put back into motion, and I can't wait to see what this series is about. All right, well thank you.
And when can we expect
Catherine McKenzie: that first? It's coming out next week. Next year. But I can't announce it yet. Sure. But next year.
David: Yeah. And will we see you at VoucherCon next year? It's going to be in Asheville?
Catherine McKenzie: Yeah. Undoubtedly. I'm sure. Yes. Thank you again.
David: Thanks for
Catherine McKenzie: having me.
David: Nice. Thank you. Katie Hayes, author of The Cloisters, is on the Thriller Zone.
Welcome. Thank you so much for having me. This is your debut. It is. I love meeting debut authors. You know why? Why? Because I get to see you when it's all fresh and new and everything's exciting before you blow up.
Katy Hays: Right, or before we are exhausted,
David: yeah. Either way it works. Well, how about this? Since I didn't have enough time to read that in the 14 minutes that I had prepared, can you give me a little, uh, elevator pitch
Katy Hays: of it?
Of course. Yeah, The Cloisters [00:46:00] is the story of a young woman who goes to work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval museum, the eponymous museum. Cloisters, which is a 14th century monastery that was moved from Europe to the northern tip of Manhattan by John D. Rockefeller. And while she's working at the Cloisters, she discovers a 15th century deck of tarot cards that may actually tell the future.
And so it's about whether or not she can use the cards. to unravel a murder that happens at the museum.
Catherine McKenzie: Oh
David: my goodness! Yeah!
Katy Hays: Have I tempted you now to read it?
David: Yes. Now, I want to say this. There, I get, uh, probably four or five books a week that come into the Thriller Zone. Oh, yeah. And I probably read two a week.
And everyone who listens to the show knows that I'm a fanatic for book covers, and this is one of the most beautiful book covers ever.
Katy Hays: Oh, thank you. They did a beautiful job. They did a wonderful job. I
David: mean, the color of blue and the way it [00:47:00] kind of shimmers in the light. It's just you can't you can't forget this cover.
Katy Hays: it's lovely. I mean, especially with the gold foil, it just really
David: pops. And so that is based loosely on something that actually happened. That building literally was the bill. Yes.
Katy Hays: So the Cloisters is a real place. And this is something that actually a lot of readers ask or don't know if you're not familiar with the Metropolitan Museum of Art's northern branch.
They have obviously the main Met on 5th Avenue, which everyone knows, but they also have a museum at the northern tip of Manhattan in Fort Tryon Park that is dedicated solely to medieval art. And that is the Cloisters Museum. And it was kind of a European folly built by the son of, you know, one of the original American robber barons.
And he had a personal medieval art collection and he wanted a place to house it. And so he went to the Pyrenees in [00:48:00] France and bought up all of this sort of tumble down stone from a cloister and a monastery there. And he shipped all of this. To the northern tip of Manhattan to this park to create a museum for his private collection, which now houses more than just his private collection, but it's an incredible, if you're ever in New York and you want sort of something out of the ordinary, the cloister.
David: Unbelievable. Yeah. Well, so, tell me, this is going to seem like a silly question, it's a debut book and a New York Times bestseller, so that means you came out of the gate with a major hit.
Katy Hays: Yeah, I mean, the pressure's on now, right? I think that's. the challenge. Um, no, I was incredibly lucky the book was chosen as a read with Jenna book club pick, uh, for the today shows book club, which was a really wonderful experience.
They're an incredible team. They did a great job by the book and [00:49:00] it has been a really lucky first book experience.
David: How many people do you think, especially here at VoucherCon, where they're, you know, authors are daydreaming of being in your shoes. How hard do you think it is to come out of the gate with a hit like that?
And did you ever have that dream?
Katy Hays: It's funny because the book is a lot about whether or not, um, luck plays a significant role in our life. And I think the reality is that any of the books here are strong enough books. to be New York Times bestsellers. I think that there is kind of a golden ticket when you get a book club pick.
I mean, it's sort of like winning the debut author lottery, um, and this book just happened to win it. And I think for me, the best thing about that is that it has an opportunity then to find more readers than it might otherwise. And so I think that's been really great is to see more readers having access to the book and it's been a wonderful
[00:50:00] And what's interesting is, it's not your classic straight ahead thriller. It's more mystery suspense oriented. So the fact that you're, you're, you're, you're basically able to cover two grounds at once.
Katy Hays: Yeah, you know, I think if you were a true blue thriller reader and you come to this. I don't think the pacing will be quite up to your thriller standards.
I would say this is more of a literary suspense novel or a upmarket suspense novel So it doesn't move with the kind of quick clip of a lot of thrillers Um, but I do think that yeah, it's deeply rooted in the I'm a big reader. Um, obviously most writers start as readers and I'm a big reader of, um, authors like Patricia Highsmith and Megan Abbott and writers that work sort of in a darker, noir, slower mode.
I, I'm obviously like a huge Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett fan too. I'm a Californian, so there's nothing I love more than some California noir. Um, And I think that it's really a [00:51:00] book that will be great for readers who love those authors as
David: well. Awesome. And I have to ask the obvious question, is what are you working on
Katy Hays: next?
Oh my gosh, I just turned in my second book to my editor, so she's reading it now. And I'm really not good at pitching it yet, which is something, you know, obviously I gave you a one sentence summary on this, but that's two years in the making, three years in the making. It's the story of a man whose wife is found dead on the island of Capri, and he lives under the suspicion of having killed her for 30 years, but is exonerated of the crime.
And he returns to the island with his daughter. And again, Someone dies 30 years later, and it it's about the unraveling of the family in the wake of this second death and how it causes them to question everything that came before. And that one is definitely more paced like a thriller. It really from right from the get go is just foot on the gas.
Kind of wonderful. And I love this setting for [00:52:00] me and a book. I want to travel someplace that you want to spend six to eight hours. So the Island of Capri is this kind of weird and magical place that is both, you know, everyone there, it's, it's reminds me a little bit of LA. Everyone there is. It's kind of performing something that they want to be, or are hoping to be.
So it's a lot about appearances, illusions, things like that. Yeah.
David: Well, the book again is The Cloisters. The author is Katie Hayes and boy, it's again, a beautiful cover. I can't wait to read it and I would love to have you back on the show when we can dig deeper.
Katy Hays: Great. Thank you so much, David. It's been a pleasure.
David: All right. Look at this, I haven't seen the small one. Yeah, this is the baby. Yeah. That's really nice. Dude, I've been watching your, uh, equipment
Jack Carr: update. It's pretty serious. You've taken it. I don't even, I can't do it. Like, when I had, I had this, the thing. Yeah. Not the computer, I was in that, uh, we can talk about it.
Should we talk about it on the thing? I'm talking right now. Oh my goodness. Do I have, do I have a headset or
David: no? No. [00:53:00] Uh. Do you need to? I I can hear the reference.
Jack Carr: Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. You know, so I started with, uh, The larger, did you say it? Roadie? Roadcaster Pro. Yeah. Roadcaster Pro. So the large one. Yeah.
And then just a camera. So anyway, just the camera on a tripod. Uh huh. And that's it. And you put the two cards in. And then record, record, and go. And I had headsets, and that was it. That was pretty much it. Now, there's no way I could possibly do it. Now there's, like, podcast tech comes in, sits down. It's still the, the, the road, roadie thing.
Maybe a newer one. But it's hooked up to, like, multiple screens, multiple cameras all over the place, and angles, and the whole... I can't, I don't even know how to turn it on. By
David: the way, we're with Jack Carr, in case anyone hasn't recognized the voice yet. We do have video as
Jack Carr: I'm trying to emulate it right now, like, just by, like, It's, it's, uh, you got the voice for this.
Yeah, but you got
David: the talent, right? How you doing? No, but seriously, I watch your videos, and I always, I'm waiting for that wide shot, I'm like, [00:54:00] What's, what, what
Jack Carr: new toy Jack's got now? I did a little walk around when I first, like, last, uh, last August, I think, is when they, Finally finished it. Um, and I did a little walk around and I showed the, the everything in there, but now it, it looks not as clean as it did then because that's where I also put all the, when the gear segments come in and people send me things, I do it and then it stays in there and it's just been piling up.
So it's a little bit, a little bit crazy. So looking for, I think I'm going to move out into a, an office space, uh, in town. That's a little bigger and kind of move out of the garage.
David: I'm going to geek out on you a little bit. Because I've watched this since day one. I've been, I was there back in Thriller Fest 2019, and you had actually premiered before that.
But I've been watching this meteoric rise, and Tammy and I talk all the time, how the hell does he manage this empire? And every time I turn around, it just goes boom, boom, boom.
Jack Carr: It's chaos. It's constant chaos. Uh, three kiddos. Three kiddos. So you're juggling the three [00:55:00] kiddos. My wife kind of holds down, down the fort, but it's still, uh, right.
Very late at night. Yeah. I'm always late with deadlines. Um, I've pulled a couple all nighters this time and they're getting harder and harder to do. Like Savage Son, third book. I pulled maybe one or two all nighters and it was still like, Oh, okay, you know, I'm feeling it a little bit, but I can still push through this last one, three all nighters in a week and a half.
And it was a painful, like I felt it much more and it's only been about three years from Savage Sun to this one, but I definitely felt it a lot more. This one, three years on. Yeah, it's uh, but, no it's just all prioritized every day and some things get missed and I'll have to pick them back up again and it's constant juggling uh, always thinking about how to do it better always thinking how to be more effective and efficient um, even in the midst of the chaos.
Uh, and I was adding new things to grow and do those things at, uh, the same, like the, the level that my other projects are at. [00:56:00] So it's just, hopefully everything's making each other better as I, as I grow. But my first nonfiction comes out in October of 2024. So adding that to the mix, Tom Clancy started doing that, uh, in the early nineties.
So I think it was after book six, I want to say, but it might have been after book five, but, uh, he started doing the nonfiction, then he started adding, you know, more things to what he was, he was doing. So my first nonfiction book is on the 1983 Beirut Barracks Bombing, which is a lot of newly declassified documents that have come out in the last few years.
So now you can piece together what was happening in the White House. And who is making decisions whether to put marines ashore, keep them on ships in the med, and, um, what level of involvement we were going to have in, in Lebanon. So, with that, and then going and talking to survivors who are pulling their friends out of the rubble, and, uh, talking to people who went to identify bodies, same, the same team that identified the bodies at Jonestown got sent to Beirut, Lebanon after the, after the bombing.
So there's, uh, you can piece together this, this whole story, and, I won't tell you how it ends, people don't know how it ends, because there's a, [00:57:00] uh, 2008 there's something that happens that's extremely significant, um, all those years later. So it has a beginning, middle and an end that almost reads like a, like a thriller, but I want to keep that history alive and keep those lessons alive so that future generations don't have to learn those same lessons in blood.
The way that
David: the speed with which you move through life is always been amazing to me. And so only the dead. Most recently. Will you try to do a non fiction and a fiction simultaneously each year?
Jack Carr: That was the idea when I pitched it to Simon Schuster and they loved it. Very soon thereafter, I realized that, uh, no.
It's gonna be every two years. I called them back up and I said, I know what the contract says, but there's no possible way to do these events justice, uh, in a year. So, you have to, it's gonna be every two years. And if it takes longer than that, it's gonna take longer than that. It's always about the product.
It's always about Doing the best I possibly can with the stories or with these new non fiction, uh, works. And I'm working with a guy, uh, amazing guy, James Scott, Pulitzer Prize [00:58:00] finalist, historian. So he's flying around the country doing all these interviews, digging through archives, uh, right now. And, well, we're putting the story together, uh, this fall and start editing and get it out there by October of 2024.
David: And let's talk about the TV series. I mean, when, when that all came together, and everybody knows this terminalist, how that all came together. Did you have any idea in your wildest dreams that it would go to the level that it went so quickly and so broadly? I probably
Jack Carr: should lie when I answer this question, um, but, uh, I just, that's what I always expected.
Yeah. Um, and not just expected by sitting there though, um, I guess, uh, but also knowing that you have to, that I had to put in the work throughout my whole life for that to happen. Um, but as a kid, I'm looking at, uh, first blood and I'm looking at, uh, the book and the movie. I'm looking at a brotherhood of the Rose, the book and the NBC adaptation.
Uh, and I'm taking note of all these things and I'm learning and I'm [00:59:00] absorbing and I'm finding out what I like and what I don't. And, um, just making it a part of my experience and my foundation. So. When I got to, to the show, and was fortunate enough to put a team together that, uh, was the exact team I wanted, and there's a lot of trust in Hollywood also.
Sure. So if you hand your, cause you're handing this over, especially as a brand new author that no one knows, and you're not coming from politics and sports, no background in social media, no following, nothing. Right. So, when you, when you option something at that stage, uh, by contract you, they can do whatever they want.
Right. Um, so it's, there's a lot of trust involved in having Chris and Antoine Fuqua, uh, involved in this from the get go and them wanting me involved at every step of the process. So I became a student of screenwriting and the whole process in Hollywood and on set. I'm going around all the different, uh, departments and, and talking to everybody and they're coming to see me and I'm talking to them about what they're doing.
So I'm just constantly learning. So the new, new, uh, origin story and that comes out. That'll come out first. We'll start filming that first, uh, Rider Strike Dependent. And then, uh, going to True Believer, the second book. [01:00:00] So, uh, I'm writing one of the episodes for both of those. And it's go, go, go. But as soon as the Rider Strike's over, we should start filming.
David: How do you like the screenwriting aspect in, uh, in comparison to...
Jack Carr: Well, I'm hoping that one complements the other because they are so different. Novel is just me. So, if people hate it, whatever, it, it, that's all on me. And I never think about... Uh, reviews, critics, audience, losing an audience, gaining an audience, I never think of any of that.
It's all about the story. Right. So 100 percent heart and soul goes into it. I honor the story. I never think, Oh, is someone not going to like this? Yeah. Is this going to alienate somebody? Or what's popular right now? Yeah. Should my chapters be shorter? Should they be long? No. Never ever any of that. It's all about the story.
Um, and in screenwriting, now this. This is a collaborative effort. Oh yeah. This screenwriting is a team effort, meaning that you have to, especially if you're new, really choose your battles, build up political capital, and then decide how you're going to expend [01:01:00] that. Uh, is it going to be something here that's really not going to make...
Too much of a difference and it's probably going to end up on the cutting room floor. Right. Or is it something big? Uh, where you really need to draw that line in the sand where you know you're going to lose your audience if you go down a certain path. So you have to figure that out. That's the art of it.
The art of leadership. Right. Um, the art of working with a team. And, uh, so very, very different. This, I'm just locked upstairs in the house and, uh, trying to write without interruption. Uh, screenwriting, you're sending scripts back and forth. They're going up the chain all the top of Amazon, back down with notes.
They're going to Chris, they're going to Antoine, more notes coming in, you're, they're talking about things, you're collaborating, you're changing, you're coming up with a reason not to change, if that's the case. And so it's a very collaborative process, so very different. And there are rules in here, in the books, no rules, no rules, do whatever you want.
Uh, I can blow up the Golden Gate Bridge, I can go jet around the world, I can do anything. Uh, screenwriting, not so much. You have, uh, 45 minutes to an hour to tell a story, and you have to tell it in a certain location, and there's a [01:02:00] budget, and there's, and there's, there's, really it's the time though.
That's the real limiting factor. And so you have to get very good at telling this story that's going to connect with people within those constraints. Yeah. Those constraints do not exist
David: in a novel. Do you have a preference? Does it matter to you?
Jack Carr: Um, I like both, but I started as a reader. Uh, I didn't start reading screenplays as a kid.
I'm reading books as a kid. Sure. But I'm still a student of film from the audience perspective, from the fan perspective. Um, so I like them both, but, uh, my foundation will always be the
David: novels. You also made a great comment when you were on the podcast, uh, and Mark Graney shares this, uh, mentality, and he goes, and you both said this, when people will go, Oh, but the book, Jack's book was so much better than the TV show.
You both said, I created this, Hollywood created that. This is my story, and that's their interpretation. And I always liked the idea that you guys said that, because what you're doing is you're saying their art form is their
Jack Carr: art form. Yeah, it's an [01:03:00] adaptation. It's not, they're not just like taking every single line in here and putting it into a script, copying and pasting.
Um, because of those constraints. So sometimes three characters might get morphed into one. Some characters might not even make it because you have eight hours total to tell, eight episodes to tell this thing. Um, so, and I always went, I went into it just knowing that First Blood the book, very different than First Blood the movie.
Fantastic. Yeah. Two totally different mediums in which to tell a story. Um, but I went into it knowing that there were going to be changes and wanting to be a student of, uh, of that process. So, um, but I, but I love being involved with it, but then again, if it's horrible, then you gotta take ownership. You can't say Hollywood screwed it up because now you're a part of this machine.
Right. And so you gotta take ownership of that. If people hate it, you know, that's Yeah. Okay. That's how it goes. But, uh, but I love, I love both. Uh, I love every part of the process.
David: Do you ever, Jack, do you ever get to the point where you just go, I would like to take a big, long, deep breath because I know you've got between books, fiction, nonfiction, your [01:04:00] online store, which is crazy successful and all your product launches and the TV and movies.
Do you ever just go, could I grab a little breath or, or do you go, I'm making hay while the. Yeah.
Jack Carr: Whatever Yeah. Well, the sun shines. Yeah. So, no, because I've, not until just now, uh, thanks, uh, but, uh, no, I think of it more in terms of how do I, how do I do this better? How do I focus on doing the things that only I can do?
Yeah. Uh, and how do I, um, take some of the things that maybe I don't have to do? And give those to somebody else, so I'm bringing on a chief of staff that can help do some of those, those things that maybe I don't have to be doing, take over like some emails and meetings and schedules and all that sort of a thing, uh, and act as a more of a protector barrier so that I can just focus on the writing, and I'm not also as doing all of those things.
So it's time to professionalize a little bit so I can work on this next book, book number seven, work on the nonfiction. There's some other projects that haven't been announced yet that are also in the works. So there's a lot [01:05:00] to, uh, to manage. And a lot of those things are things that only I can do. So anything that maybe somebody else can do, I'm going to work on.
outsource that, uh, delegate that here in the next, uh, few months. And
David: I think I know of a wife and three children that would probably applaud
Jack Carr: that. Yeah, yeah, it's, uh, it's busy times, but I try to put the pen down, close the computer, put the phone in the other room and, uh, just spend time with them when we're together after school or, like, picking up the, the youngest at lacrosse practice or whatever it is, then I'm, I'm trying to, you know, be off, uh, and then only when he gets She goes to bed, and then I'm back on for another few hours of uninterrupted work, uh, and then up and back after it again in the
And did you tell us just before we came on, daughters and college
Jack Carr: now? Yep, yep, so college there. We have a 15 year old and a 12 year old, um, but it's, uh, it's still constant chaos. Yeah. It's just how, how life is. But, but, uh, but I love it. And you gotta realize that, uh, you know, the kids aren't gonna be around for, uh, for that much longer.[01:06:00]
Yep. So you gotta, uh, uh, embrace it while you can and, uh, and love every minute of it, because you'll miss it when they're, when they're gone. Sure. So that's kinda how I,
David: I look at it. And since we're sitting in the middle of Racon, you were a surprise guess at the last minute, weren't you? What, what, yes. What made you decide to come
Jack Carr: back?
I wanted the old stomping ground. Well, I wanted to, I wanted to come. Yeah. Um, but. There's so much going on. I didn't want to commit and then have to back out at the last second because it's complete chaos. Yeah, so, uh, so anyway, that's the that's the reason I had to back out of something last year and I feel awful about it.
Oh my gosh, I'll never I'll never get over it. But so I'm going to avoid I tend to overcommit anyway. Uh, and I want to say yes to everything and help out as many people as I can. And, uh, but I also have that issue of now I've said yes to all these things and now there's deadlines looming and there's all these, there's family stuff and all this.
And I'm, yeah, so I need someone to, uh, start managing that part of the chaos because I am notoriously horrible at saying no. So I didn't want to [01:07:00] all of a sudden be on all these panels and then have something happen at the last second. So,
David: it's nice to be here. Well, as Tammy and I said right before, right when you stepped up, we have been watching you from afar.
Just cheering you on, and not that you need it, but we're so proud of you. We're so happy for you. Thank you. And your
Jack Carr: family. Well, I appreciate the support. from the, from the very beginning means the, means the world. And that's why I love coming to these things also, because it's a chance for me to say thank you to people.
And that's what I love doing on social media. And so I love doing at book signings and at conferences like this. And it's a chance for me to shake hands with somebody and thank them for taking a risk on me as an author and then telling a friend. So I sincerely appreciate it.
David: Well, thanks for spending some time with us.
Absolutely. Yeah. Awesome. All
Jack Carr: right. Nice.
David: Well, that wraps BowsherCon 23. Thanks for joining me. And guess that means it's time to already begin planning for next year, which is slated to launch late August. And yes, the Thriller Zone is already [01:08:00] in talks with those in charge about having an even bigger presence at BowsherCon 24 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Just a quick reminder before I go, join me next week when my guest will be Lou Burney as we talk about his latest thriller, a book I literally could not... put down dark ride. That's Monday, the 18th. Also, I'm happy to announce that Detective Lieutenant Joe Kenda will join us on Monday, the 25th as we wrap what has been a stupendous september.
Joe and I will talk about his latest novel, his first fiction. All is not forgiven. Available now from our friends at Blackstone Publishing. So be sure to catch Lou Burney on the 18th and Joe Kenda on the 25th. Last thing, if you haven't yet subscribed to our YouTube channel, do it today at youtube. com slash thethrillerzone.
And stay tuned for upcoming announcements about what you can expect on the TZ later this fall. As always, you can find us at thethrillerzone. com and reach us at [01:09:00] thethrillerzone at gmail. com. I'm David Temple Groves. I'll see you next time for another edition of the Thriller Zone. Your front row seat to
the best thrillers, the Thriller Zone.