The Thriller Zone

This month is turning out to be epic to this podcast; I mean, it's one great hit after another, to borrow an old radio phrase. Today, I welcome New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr to discuss his latest thriller, Only The Dead.

Jack is well-known in the #militarythriller community for his "been there/done that" true-to-life details, action-packed page-turning thrillers, and atop all the military awards, the hunting expertise, the love of sharp objects, and the mastery of the written word, he's just one helluva solid dude.

Professionally, he's a former Navy Seal, spent 20 years in Naval Special Warfare, and went from enlisted Seal sniper to. Jr. Officer leading assault and sniper teams in Iraq & Afghanistan, to Platoon Commander practicing counter insurgency in the Southern Philipines, to commanding a Special Ops task unit in Iraq.

With now six books under his belt, including: The Terminal List, True Believer, Savage Son, The Devil's Hand, In The Blood, and now Only The Dead, Jack, as you'll hear inside the show, tells us he is NOT slowing down.

In fact, between the Amazon TV Series, The Terminal List, Jack has another show in the works. He's also hard at work on his next thriller. AND he's putting his pen to paper for his first official non-fiction.

So, as you can see, this former Navy Seal has the stamina, determination, and discipline to keep...on...ticking...no matter the odds.

My wife and I have followed Jack's career from (practically) Day One, and we've noticed two big things: (1) No matter how successful he's become (and no doubt rich, to boot), and no matter how in-demand he is, Jack remains one of the very nicest men I've ever met in this business. In any business. And (2) Jack is a man that puts his family first, his country second, and his business third. That's a powerful combo.

Want to FOLLOW Jack? He's on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @JackCarrUSA. His website is: OfficialJackCarr.com, and his storefront (which is kick-ass and super top-shelf) is shop.officialjackcarr.com

Kick back and enjoy a rapid fire session with my friend, Jack Carr. Would he have it any other way?

Oh, and just in case you're bummed it's only 30 minutes, Jack has assured me he's happy to make a return visit and clear the decks so we can have a much longer time together. After all, he says, "I want to see what this Rapid-Fire Questions" is all about.

Plese be sure to SUBSCRIBE at YouTube.com/TheThrillerZone, visit TheThrillerZone.com where you can follow everything we do, and connect via both Twitter AND Instagram @TheThrillerZone.

Thanks for watching!

-David Temple, host
[ linktr.ee/davidtemple ]

The Story Factory is an entertainment company representing some of the best authors in the business.

What is The Thriller Zone?

Podcast host and thriller author David Temple 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 love The Thriller Zone Podcast.

00:00:09:03 - 00:00:34:00
DAVID
Hello and welcome to the Thriller Zone. I'm your host, David Temple. And on today's show, a rock star of an author. I mean, the personification of literally a rock star. I met this gentleman back five years ago almost, and he was right there on the edge of getting ready to blow up. And when you met him and you read his first work, you go, this guy is going to have a prolific career.

00:00:34:01 - 00:01:01:07
DAVID
He's going to be a monster. Jack Carr is our guest. I know. Really, Only the Dead is the book. You know, Jack is the former Navy SEAL guy, right? 20 years Naval special warfare. He's he's been at pretty much every spectrum of business. But now he has turned his love of the military and his appreciation for, let's call it, tools of the Trade.

00:01:01:07 - 00:01:30:02
DAVID
And he knows them very well into not one but six New York Times bestselling hits, Terminal List, True Believer, Savage Sun, The Devil's Hand in the Blood, and Now Only the Dead without any further Ado. And not like he needed all that big introduction, Please welcome Jack Carr to the Thriller zone. You look as fresh as a daisy.

00:01:30:02 - 00:01:34:06
DAVID
I want to know out of the gate. By the way, welcome Jack Carr to the Thriller zone.

00:01:34:20 - 00:01:56:07
JACK CARR
Thank you so much for having me. And I don't know why. You know, they're very kind. First off, to say that I appreciate it, but it's a little of the coffee, which, as I mentioned, is I don't know what cup this is, but it's a lot but a lot of I think it's just loving what I'm doing. I just love getting up every morning and there's not a morning where I'm like, and I felt like that.

00:01:56:07 - 00:02:17:18
JACK CARR
And the SEAL teams feel like that today. And that's just yeah. So I think that helps. But, but a lot of it might be a disguise, might be the enthusiasm that might be making up for the exhaustion. I think there's something there because every morning it's shot out of the can and it's juggling those kids, getting them to school everyday, fed to school, dog fed dog walk, all the rest of it.

00:02:18:10 - 00:02:38:12
JACK CARR
Lots of inputs, lots of tanks, lots of direct messages, lots of emails, a schedule that is packed. We're trying to figure out, especially in the lead up to book launch, figuring out where to do some other things in there and when to write, which is wayside during book launch month essentially. So it's yeah, it's go, go, go. But I think it's it's yeah.

00:02:38:12 - 00:02:42:11
JACK CARR
The enthusiasm definitely masks the exhaustion I think.

00:02:42:18 - 00:02:52:08
DAVID
Well you wear it well. And speaking of wearing, I couldn't help but break out a little bit of my Jack swag for the show.

00:02:52:17 - 00:03:12:02
JACK CARR
Thank you. Thank you. Match is my hat. I love it. I sincerely appreciate it. Yeah, People seem to really like the like the merch. And I have some whiskey stuff that. Some more whiskey stuff. Drop in here pretty soon. Some different glasses and flask and a few other things. So, yeah, Good to know your audience. The whiskey stuff is extremely popular.

00:03:12:15 - 00:03:32:21
DAVID
Yeah. And Jack, you know, I want to give you huge props out of the gate. I don't know if you don't know this about me, but I was a QVC host at one time, and being able to watch you and your swag and your your online store is off the charts. I mean, there's no better pitch guy. I mean that with all respect.

00:03:32:21 - 00:03:35:03
DAVID
No better pitch guy in the business than you.

00:03:35:13 - 00:03:54:05
JACK CARR
Well, I appreciate that. And it's you know, it's it has to be grandpa. It has to be me. It can't be like, oh, should I have some swag? Maybe. What's a company that does that? Oh, they do it. Oh, okay. I can check. They send me a list of things. I click, T-shirt, I click, I click tumbler, I click, whatever.

00:03:54:05 - 00:04:19:17
JACK CARR
Doorbell. Yeah. Okay, that's it. And you're done. Like, that's not at all. It's all very personal. Everything that goes into it is very I try to support better known businesses as much as possible, try to do made in the U.S. as much as possible. And and all that stuff in there has some sort of a link to me, whether it's personal or through someone who I know through their company, through a veteran, or it's something just that I like because it's kind of on par with what the things that I like.

00:04:20:06 - 00:04:36:18
JACK CARR
Yeah, typically all my life, even when I had zero money, I like things that were, I don't know, not trash, I guess, right? I don't know. I never really thought about, you know, how much something was out of my price range. I was just always like, Oh, one day I'll be able to get that or I want to be able to take.

00:04:36:18 - 00:04:37:22
JACK CARR
I won't have that option anyway.

00:04:38:06 - 00:04:45:05
DAVID
That's it. Sure. Sure. Well, you know, last time you and I were actually eyeball to eyeball was Thriller Fest 2019.

00:04:45:16 - 00:04:53:11
JACK CARR
Was it, I think, or was it a book book signing in San Diego right after that?

00:04:53:11 - 00:05:13:18
DAVID
Well, I remember. Could it have been San Diego first? Either way, it was pretty close to each other. But you were right there on the precipice of like blowing the hell up. And I mean, it's just, you know, and I love Tam, and I sit back and we watch from a distance. It's been, what, almost it's five years and change now.

00:05:13:18 - 00:05:35:10
DAVID
Yeah. By the way, big thanks to Warwick's bookstore in La Hoya. Yeah, but it's five years, and it's been me, Orrick, and I'm like, What is life like? I mean, sure. Yes. We're going to get to this beautiful, gorgeous, hefty tome of what I want to say is like, what has this ride been like? Because we're just out here going.

00:05:35:20 - 00:06:04:03
JACK CARR
Oh, thank you. You guys have been amazing. And you guys have been, you know, a part of this journey from the very beginning, you know, from the first time that that you reached our I reached out over that have been like, you've been with me from the beginning. And I sincerely appreciate all the support and encouragement and, you know, I don't get a chance to think of it in those terms, though, as far as your question goes, because I every so even when no one had even heard of me and I hadn't sold one book yet, I still woke up and still was working.

00:06:04:14 - 00:06:26:14
JACK CARR
All these days that's not changed at all. Some of the inputs, like there's more emails, there's more text messages, there's more people asking for for things, certainly. But the day isn't any less busy. It's just, you know, some parts are different kind of. But I still managed to fill that day. I try to try to live it to its to its fullest.

00:06:27:02 - 00:06:43:21
JACK CARR
So yeah, I mean, so I don't look, I don't really sit back and look at it in those terms. I just know there's another book to do. Book seven watching this book here. Book six I have a nonfiction book in the works. I'm working on that with a historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist James Scott, amazing guy who has five books out, most on World War two.

00:06:44:16 - 00:07:01:12
JACK CARR
So we're researching the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing that comes out in a year and a half and have the podcast have the show, although it's pencils down on the show right now because the writers strike but has been spin off and then roll on that right into the second novel True Believer. And it's just in there. Some other projects haven't been announced yet in the works as well.

00:07:01:18 - 00:07:08:01
JACK CARR
So let's just go, go, go. But it's always been go. I can't remember a time in my life I didn't get up and go, go, go.

00:07:08:19 - 00:07:16:21
DAVID
All right. Well, listen, since it is Mr.. We're talking to Mr.. Go, go, go. And I only get 30 minutes of your time. I want to squeeze in as much as I possibly can.

00:07:17:06 - 00:07:18:15
JACK CARR
But let's do it. Let's do it.

00:07:18:17 - 00:07:41:03
DAVID
But because I've been coming after you for a while. So listen, first of all, so happy for you. Could not be could not be happier for you. I mean, of anybody I know that deserves it. It's you. You live it, you love it, you learn it and you do it. So huge, huge props to you know, I want to say when we get to I mean, where do I even start with only the dead?

00:07:41:03 - 00:07:58:05
DAVID
And I've got all your books. They're all stacked up on the shelf behind me. I always try to be careful, Jack, because I'm kind of a no B.S. guy, so I don't go around throwing accolades just for the fun of it. But I, I, I think this is your best one. This feels to me the best one yet.

00:07:58:19 - 00:08:20:08
JACK CARR
Yeah. Yeah. It's cool to hear that. Thank you. Because you never know. You know, you work on something for a year and a half and then it's like a painting or a sculpture, and then you bring a bunch of people into a room. Let's say if it's 200 years ago, and then you pull the sheet away, and then you might hear a bunch of, like, gasps of horror about what you created and spent the last couple of years on her back then five years of your life.

00:08:20:08 - 00:08:35:03
JACK CARR
Ten years of your life, 20 years of your life. So it's similar in that you don't know you have a as you were, you put in the work in that's you know, you're putting the work in. That's what you know that all of your heart and soul is going into it. But you don't know really how it's going to be received because I'm not writing it.

00:08:35:08 - 00:08:53:12
JACK CARR
I'm writing it for the story. I'm not writing a short span. Last time said this or, you know, this reviewer said this like, No, I don't do any of that. It's all about the story because people are trusting me with their time. They're never going to get that time back. And that's something I take extremely seriously. So the first review, when I saw that first review hit, I was like a little bit of a relief.

00:08:53:18 - 00:09:00:20
JACK CARR
And then a bunch of other ones have come in since then and they've all said it's the best one yet. So that's, that's very humbling.

00:09:01:12 - 00:09:21:15
DAVID
Yeah. And I, you know, it's just it's got everything and I've got so many things to say. I mean, you know, you're talking politics covered cryptocurrency, Russians traders, espionage and that's only up to chapter ten. I mean you're just coming out of the gate blazing but in it and this is going to sound a little cliche, so bear with me, but it's like I'm watching with one.

00:09:21:15 - 00:09:40:06
DAVID
I am reading the book and the other I am watching television because for fear of sounding like some kind of cliched soundbite, it is like ripped from the headlines while you're reading it. You're going, Wait, didn't that just happened yesterday? Were we Isn't that happening like right now? I mean, that's timely because I know that you've been working on this for so long.

00:09:40:06 - 00:09:43:17
DAVID
And so this was in the works back away.

00:09:43:17 - 00:10:01:00
JACK CARR
So yeah, over a year ago. So as I'm writing one, as I'm as I pick little notes, I have a folder that are just ideas about where to go with the next book, things I want to include in the next book somehow. So I have a folder going as I'm writing the current novel. So over this last one I have that same folder.

00:10:01:00 - 00:10:16:11
JACK CARR
So now I'm taking all those ideas and putting them together and figuring out because this one, for those who read it, I tie up a lot of loose ends in this one. So that really opens the door to where things could go next. After the last one. There's like one way it's going to go after the landing of the last book.

00:10:16:11 - 00:10:27:20
JACK CARR
This one, there's a lot of options out there. So I'm distilling all that down right now and getting my one page executive summary together about where I want it to go, middle or an end of the outline and then end of the narrative.

00:10:27:23 - 00:10:33:10
DAVID
Let's take a short break and come back with more Jack Carr right after this.

00:10:33:15 - 00:10:40:09
JACK CARR
This is Jack Ah, hanging out with my buddy Dave Temple on the Thriller zone. Enjoy. The best thing.

00:10:40:20 - 00:10:45:02
Speaker 3
Is the first song. And now back to the show.

00:10:45:05 - 00:11:00:18
DAVID
All right, so as we pick up on Only the Dead, so James Reese is back in the shit, but this time it's a slightly different flavor, so to speak. And so in the interest of time and so that I don't give away too much, there's going to be a couple of things I'm going to tickle here, Jack, in a second, but make sure that I don't do it the wrong way.

00:11:00:18 - 00:11:06:20
DAVID
Can you give my listeners just that little thumbnail, kind of an elevator pitch of what this book is all about?

00:11:07:14 - 00:11:27:07
JACK CARR
Yes, I can. And I had a theme that that guides each of the novels to date. I find it's very helpful to have a title out of the gate so I'm not wasting bandwidth worried about coming up with a good title. So even into the working title, it's on there. A one, aa1 sentence or a few word theme that's going to guide the story.

00:11:27:07 - 00:11:51:15
JACK CARR
So everything is either going to tie back to that theme directly or more importantly, indirectly. And this one is truth and consequences. And so there's a if it sounds like there's kind of a very final tone in my voice as I'm saying it, there's probably a good reason for it. So this one is truth and consequences. And I don't to give away too much because there are some things in here that people aren't expecting.

00:11:51:21 - 00:12:11:05
JACK CARR
I've been setting this up for a while now, just like I was setting up the Here's a spoiler alert, so stop listening. If you haven't read the last book, then what was going to happen to the president? That's a better way to put it. What was going to happen to the president? In the end of the last book, I've been setting up for a two previous four four from the previous novel and at the beginning of the last novel, Love in the Blood.

00:12:11:05 - 00:12:26:02
JACK CARR
So if people are paying attention, they'll see that it wasn't like out of the blue. People say it was a shock. Well, if you go back, there are some very big hints in there from the president himself that that was going to be how the book was going to end or that was going to be how he was going to end his presidency.

00:12:27:02 - 00:12:46:00
JACK CARR
So so for that, there's some other things in there that I also did over the past couple books that would get people to think that things are going a certain way, especially when it comes to a safe deposit box left behind by James Reese, my protagonist, his father. And so I have kind of left little things here and there for those paying attention where they think it's going to go a certain way.

00:12:46:06 - 00:12:55:22
JACK CARR
And I don't think anybody was really going to guess what's actually in that thing. If you were to ask 100 people right now who are fans of the book and readers of the book, I don't think any of them would guess what's in there.

00:12:56:14 - 00:13:16:14
DAVID
No, no, not at all. And that's that was so much fun in the reveal. But you know, what I love and what we've always come to expect on are your books. You've got the tools of the trade. No surprise there. You got plenty of action. Yeah. It wouldn't be a jack or a book without that. Even a little healthy death dose of Bank of Bank of Romance, which is always nice.

00:13:16:18 - 00:13:33:03
JACK CARR
We're all going to just be in the past ones. Yeah, it was time, you know, I left and I needed to do some of that, so. I guess so. I guess I. I didn't really listen to them. It was just natural that, that what was going to happen happens in that part. I couldn't like not have that stuff in that perks, that certain part.

00:13:33:03 - 00:13:39:11
JACK CARR
So it was more natural then than anything else. But people have been wanting a little more romance then they get a little bit more this time.

00:13:40:10 - 00:13:57:22
DAVID
And what's really funny about this, it's a book I can recommend to my mother in law, which is she's she's a little bit older than me. We'll just say that. And she says, You know, when I go to recommend a book, she goes, Well, does it have any good, hot, steamy sex in it? And I'm like, Yes, ma'am.

00:13:57:22 - 00:14:01:22
DAVID
And I've got one for you now so that you can enjoy. Yeah, it's so funny.

00:14:02:13 - 00:14:10:05
JACK CARR
Yeah, yeah. That was a that was interesting. I wanted to write because I haven't really done that before. Usually I leave. I leave stuff to the imagination, you know, It's not like Sure.

00:14:10:05 - 00:14:10:19
DAVID
Sure, sure.

00:14:10:22 - 00:14:17:08
JACK CARR
Detail here, but. But I leave more to the imagination. In past novels, I guess that's the best way when it comes to that sort of thing.

00:14:18:03 - 00:14:31:21
DAVID
Yeah, and it's so funny for a split second. For a split second, when I'm reading one particular scene, I'm thinking of, I'm like, Could Jack really kind of take off the gloves and turn it up? Just a taste impact. I think he could.

00:14:33:02 - 00:14:40:02
JACK CARR
Oh, yeah, Yeah. Make it a little uncomfortable and I give it to my mom or my brother in law.

00:14:40:02 - 00:14:45:08
DAVID
I'm expecting a little saxophone in the background, you know? Yeah, you know what I'm saying, girl?

00:14:46:12 - 00:14:52:21
JACK CARR
Yeah. For that segment of my audience, I wanted more of that. That might be like a out of the present. Yeah. It's here for you.

00:14:53:10 - 00:15:13:17
DAVID
Yeah. All right, well, I got a two part question. I'm kind of known for my two part questions. The first one, it's a little bit of a softball, but it's certainly what I feel is a valid question. Do use and it's and I'm sure you've been asked this a hundred times, but, you know, all inquiring minds want to know, do you see James Reese going on forever, at least as long as you can see to tape?

00:15:14:22 - 00:15:43:06
JACK CARR
Yeah, I think so. You know, I think about one book at a time, but also knowing you're part of a longer story arc where I don't have a final novel or I'm not like ten and that's it, 12 and that's it, 15 and that's it. So each story in and of itself has to fit a an arc that's beginning, middle and end, but also continues a larger arc and continues to develop that character who is learning, continuing to grow, applying past lessons, successes and failures to future problems.

00:15:43:06 - 00:15:56:16
JACK CARR
So it's hopefully in the form of wisdom because that's hopefully what we're all doing in our journeys in life. So I don't have a an end in sight. I guess that's the way to put it. But I'm certainly not closed off to it either.

00:15:57:10 - 00:16:24:03
DAVID
Well, you know, when we got a chance to see James appear in the form of a real person on television with terminal list, we all it had it reinvigorated our excitement because we're like, it's on the big screen or medium screen all of a sudden. And we're like, wow, it feels even more real. So, you know, with your talents you can go on is really as long as you wanted to write anything good.

00:16:24:03 - 00:16:49:00
JACK CARR
We're talking about some some long term story arcs for the series, the novel side, but then also spinoff series. The first one is this one starring Taylor Kitsch, that is, as of yet untitled, but it's a Ben Edwards prequel origin story. So the story of how he kind of went bad, his story goes back in time a little bit, and then his story from the SEAL teams to the CIA, how he was recruited.

00:16:49:00 - 00:17:11:19
JACK CARR
So it's more of an international espionage thriller. So I'm writing that right now. Well, was until the writer's strike happened the other day. And we'll pick pencils back up as soon as they resolve those issues. But yes, it's okay. We're going back and doing a prequel origin because there's not a book like this. So if somebody takes the terminal list and it's like, okay, I love this, but I'm going to look here.

00:17:11:19 - 00:17:33:05
JACK CARR
Oh, that's different. Oh, that's different. That's different. I hate it. That's not an option with a prequel because you're creating it out of whole cloth based on characters and you're going back in time. There's a couple of touchpoints with things that I've mentioned in the novels, but essentially it's its own storyline that I'm creating with the so co-creating with David Virgilio, who was the showrunner of the Terminal List.

00:17:33:14 - 00:18:02:13
JACK CARR
And for those listening showrunner showrunners like a director in a major motion picture because he's juggling multiple directors in series television and he's just a fantastic guy who I've talked to every day since December of 2019, when Chris Pratt and Antoine people first put us in touch to start building this thing out. So. So anyway, it's it's so their spinoff, that's the first one, Taylor Kitsch, starring Chris Pratt and three of the seven episodes and then we'll All right from that is that true believer with Chris Pratt in in every episode of our for True believer but yeah it's a lot like going on.

00:18:03:04 - 00:18:18:16
DAVID
Jeez I in because I'm a two so two part question so do you ever get a hankering you almost jumped it for me right there but do you ever get a hankering to write a completely different book? And now that you've already told me you're working on a nonfiction, this may be that answer, but I mean, a nonfiction is fabulous.

00:18:18:16 - 00:18:31:21
DAVID
I'm a big fan of that. But I'm wondering, like, do you ever just go, Oh, I want to write a book about this guy? Or do you feel so ensconced in that particular genre and that, you know, commitment to one.

00:18:31:23 - 00:18:33:09
JACK CARR
Yeah, that universe. Yeah.

00:18:33:10 - 00:18:34:11
DAVID
So, yeah, universe. Thank you.

00:18:34:22 - 00:18:59:04
JACK CARR
So I know I love this and I'm going to keep doing this has to do a foundation foundational series, the nonfiction, starting with the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing here coming out a year and a half. I'm loving that. So I initially I thought that one was going to be one book a year. And very soon after we started doing the research in like last October, last October, November timeframe, I realized I called it back.

00:18:59:04 - 00:19:18:07
JACK CARR
Simon Schuster. I said, I know the contract says one a year, but it's going to be every two years because to do it and the way that I want to do it and I want to be very thoughtful, very respectful, I want to move it forward. I want to add to what's already out there. And it's going to take two years that were just research wise for the nonfiction side of the house.

00:19:18:13 - 00:19:42:09
JACK CARR
But but I have a multi-year strategic plan that is right over there on my board, actually on my little magnet board. And I print out every time I make a change, I print it out and put it on the board over there behind us. And so there are a best way to answer that question is there are a lot of options on that.

00:19:42:09 - 00:19:48:21
DAVID
Yeah, I can only imagine with you, Jack, the whole wall is just one great big notepad.

00:19:49:20 - 00:20:03:10
JACK CARR
Well, interestingly enough, I outgrew this board and downstairs in that garage I ordered the biggest whiteboard magnet thing I could and. Yeah, right. And it takes up almost the entire side of the garage. I was like, Oh, I didn't really measure. I just went to like the biggest one and got that.

00:20:03:10 - 00:20:04:05
DAVID
Yeah, it's.

00:20:04:12 - 00:20:15:09
JACK CARR
It's very large. Like, I don't think it's even going to be able to get up here and even go anywhere, Like it's going to have to probably stay in the garage. It's so big, so you have to build a house around the thing. So anyway, I need. Yeah, a little more space. Little more space. That's all right.

00:20:16:00 - 00:20:25:08
DAVID
And since a whiteboard is smudge able, do you have any kind of security for that room So no one walks in and accidentally backs up and wipes it down?

00:20:26:02 - 00:20:43:10
JACK CARR
Well, these are printed and then they're on a little like little magnets that hold them to the to the board. I had a few out here, but they hold them up there. And then the other side that's to the wall has the the whiteboard markers that you can you can erase. So I should probably take a picture of it and then wipe it down just for security purposes.

00:20:43:17 - 00:20:49:22
DAVID
Yeah, exactly. And then store that in some little safety deposit box with only one key.

00:20:50:03 - 00:20:55:01
JACK CARR
That's exactly right. That's also in another storage unit somewhere under a different name.

00:20:55:01 - 00:21:15:13
DAVID
Exactly. That we cannot tell you about. All right, Now I want to talk about I want to get on a serious note for just a brief second, because I don't spend a whole lot of time super serious. But it's it's a dash of politics. How concerned are you? And without sounding like a television news program, how concerned are you and you and you get a sense of that in this book about America's future.

00:21:15:13 - 00:21:30:07
DAVID
And by that I mean the security from outsiders who want to do us harm and and our strength to keep our proverbial shit together so that we continue to stand strong and remain that superpower. Is that too loaded of a question or. No?

00:21:30:15 - 00:22:07:09
JACK CARR
No, not at all. It's my my fourth novel, The Devil's Hand, really delved into that, and I started writing that one in the summer of 2010 or 2019. And so that one, I was looking at America through the eyes of our enemies. So let's say Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, super empowered individuals, terrorist organizations. And at the time this is pre-COVID, I was primarily focused on tactical lessons learned from watching us on the field of battle for 20 years and how they were and apply those lessons to their future battle plans.

00:22:07:09 - 00:22:21:21
JACK CARR
And then so I started writing and then COVID hit. And then I thought, well, I mean, now I know my enemy shoes right now. What are they learning from our response to COVID? What would I if I was the enemy, what would I take out of this of our response, what I learned from it as the enemy? And what would I apply to a future better battle plan?

00:22:21:21 - 00:22:42:18
JACK CARR
How could I exploit this? And then a summer of civil unrest, very contentious election season. And of course, the enemy is learning. Watching. I'm writing a book from that perspective. But the horrible takeaway from all of that was that, hey, if I was one of those entities that I just talked about, I might not do much because we're doing a pretty good job of tearing ourselves apart from the inside.

00:22:42:18 - 00:23:06:00
JACK CARR
Social media is a tool, and just like any tool you can use it as a weapon. And primarily it's being used as a weapon to divide. And who benefits? Well, politicians that need to galvanize bases, social media companies that maybe initially wanted to, you know, sell you a bar of soap or something, but very quickly realize that they can influence more than just consumer behavior, but actual thoughts and that division gets clicks.

00:23:06:00 - 00:23:31:00
JACK CARR
And so the citizenry is left not benefiting from that particular tool. So when I put my feet up at the end of my feet up, when I finally sat down at the end of that with my wife on the couch and grab a glass of wine, yes, we are very concerned for the future of this nation because we have three kids that are growing up in a time where all those inputs that are coming, not all most of those inputs coming in are not necessarily the most helpful.

00:23:31:00 - 00:23:51:15
JACK CARR
They don't encourage you to, let's say, go back in the pages of history to really understand an issue before passing a judgment on it or before voting on it or before retweeting something from someone else who probably also didn't put in the requisite time, energy and effort into understanding the issue, asking the why, realizing that the decisions we make today aren't for us.

00:23:51:15 - 00:24:15:21
JACK CARR
It's for our kids and our grandkids, for those future generations. And what do we what do we owe them? Well, at least opening a book and understanding some of those foundational elements that pertain to these issues and also appreciating the ability to even do that, all the sacrifices that were made so we can have these options and opportunities that we have today, all those sacrifices that were made from the inception of this country up through today, that that gave us all of these freedoms.

00:24:16:02 - 00:24:34:12
JACK CARR
And we were just to to out of respect for those people that sacrificed so much and maybe take a breath and do a little study on your own before getting manipulated by either a social media company or a politician to get you to take a certain action, because it is all about manipulation. That might sound cynical, but it is.

00:24:34:12 - 00:24:51:19
DAVID
No. And I'll tell you what, if if you don't mind, I would love to read this once. It's literally one sentence down here on a page for 98. And if it somehow jacks it up in some way you don't like, I'll cut it out. But this right here really caught me because, I mean, I highlighted it and I hardly ever do that to a book.

00:24:51:19 - 00:25:09:10
DAVID
But when it's something that really just slaps me in the face, I'm like, bam! And it goes. Of course, James is talking to a gentleman commander. I believe we share a belief in the country is at a crossroads. And then James is. Yeah, you sound more optimistic than me. And he goes, That's the political way of saying, I don't know if we can save it.

00:25:09:10 - 00:25:28:05
DAVID
The lobbyists, big tech, the defense industry, pharmaceutical companies, they have real power, real control. The people, as you correctly noted, get manipulated and taxed with no recourse other than to vote. But that vote means less and less. The more power and control these corporations accumulate.

00:25:28:05 - 00:26:07:14
JACK CARR
It's very therapeutic to write some of these sentences passages as well, not just when it comes to creating bad guys. And it seems like a politicians and so elected representatives and the bureaucracy that they're a part of and the senior level military leaders out there give me a lot to work with when it comes to creating bad guys and the whole ecosystem that where there is a significant overlap between the political class, the bureaucracy that stays in place, regardless of who's in office, and the lobbyists for pharmaceutical industry, for military industrial complex, for big tech.

00:26:08:03 - 00:26:26:11
JACK CARR
There's a lot of overlap in all of that. It's a it's a gigantic ecosystem that is so powerful now just because of its sheer inertia that standing up against that is is difficult. But James Risk gets to do that in ways in the novels that would put you in prison for the rest of your life if you were to actually do some of these things.

00:26:26:14 - 00:26:29:09
JACK CARR
But that also makes it very therapeutic for me to write.

00:26:30:00 - 00:26:42:19
DAVID
Yeah, no doubt. And you know, this book is a little bit darker than I remember some of the other books being there's some violence going on that are there even for James Reese. I'm like, Wow, he's taken it to a new full.

00:26:43:09 - 00:27:00:04
JACK CARR
And I didn't start out like as part of my one page executive summary or part of my outline or just what I thought process as I went into this one. I didn't start off saying, you know what, This is going to be my longest novel and my most brutal. Like, that's not part of it. It just naturally in that way and I don't have a length in mind.

00:27:00:04 - 00:27:23:01
JACK CARR
I kind of thought that by Book six I get a sense based on my outline for how long it was going to be, and I thought this would be 115, probably hundred 20,000 words when I'm done. Blew right by both of those blue right by 125 five 131 135. So this one's hovering right at 139,000 words. So it's a thick book that can also act as a doorstop or a blunt impact weapon maybe, but it's also the most brutal.

00:27:23:01 - 00:27:27:18
JACK CARR
But that just came about naturally as part of the story. And yeah, it is it is pretty brutal.

00:27:28:22 - 00:28:00:23
DAVID
Well, I want to I want to give you one little warm and fuzzy here before we because I'm really trying to watch the clock. We got a couple more things to do. But I just wanted to say one thing. The folks that I've always admired about Jack, Tammy and I talk about this often. I mean, besides the books in the podcast and the marketing savvy and the way he loves and protects his family, we were talking one day we heard or saw something, Jack, where you were talking about one of your children with special needs and how all he went, all of this work, all this books, you know, all this marketing, everything is to

00:28:00:23 - 00:28:29:02
DAVID
ensure that they're taking care of and never have to be a burden on anyone. And we both just turn to each other. And for some reason, that just really washed over us. And I suppose part of it I have a learning disabled nephew and he's in a very, very precarious health situation right now. I mean, like bad. And so we were just talking the other day about how important we see that and how much we respect that.

00:28:29:02 - 00:28:36:16
DAVID
And you and I just wanted to say that besides just being a massive talent, just what a solid dude you are. So.

00:28:37:13 - 00:28:54:09
JACK CARR
Well, I appreciate that. Thank you. And so sorry about your nephew. He's so tough on on everyone but yeah, a little guy needs a lifetime of full time care, and that's that's expensive. So if I go out and get hit by a bus tomorrow, I want to make sure that he's taken care of. So I still think I'd work hard regardless.

00:28:54:09 - 00:29:11:05
JACK CARR
But that's a little bit extra inspiration every morning to get up and do everything to the best of my possible ability because he's a sweet little guy. You're lucky that his sweet little guy, but that's a lot of work. And he has a brother younger and a sister older, so he's right in the middle there. But yeah, my mission is I was getting out of the Navy.

00:29:11:05 - 00:29:30:02
JACK CARR
It was very clear to me was to take care of him and make sure he's taken care of for a lifetime, a full time care. My passion was writing and so merging those things together to find purpose going forward, that was that was what I did. But yep, it's like going that extra mile in the race, you know, it's not about me, it's not about you.

00:29:30:05 - 00:29:38:05
JACK CARR
Maybe it's about somebody else. In this case, it's about our our middle child. And he's a sweetheart, but he's. Yeah, he's a lot of work, though, that little guy.

00:29:38:18 - 00:29:54:06
DAVID
I'm sure. But you know what? I just admire that. Listen, as we get ready to close all our shows, I always ask my guest that one piece of best writing advice. And since I've been watching your career, as I mentioned at the top of the show for about five years now, and I want to know what that is.

00:29:54:06 - 00:30:10:15
DAVID
But before that, and so many of my listeners, it's amazing how their write in and they'll write some of the same questions. They want to know how the sausage is made. So they were always saying, you know, what's Jack, if you get a chance to ask him, can you find out what his typical writing day is like? Do you do you follow that?

00:30:10:15 - 00:30:13:15
DAVID
Probably pretty much every day if you're as disciplined as I imagine.

00:30:14:08 - 00:30:29:18
JACK CARR
Well, it's it's work every day of some sort. But today it's all interviews. And that means that what really gets me out of it's for everybody but for me anyway, what I need is uninterrupted time writing a place that's quiet. I don't need a nice view. I don't need anything like that. I can just be looking at a wall.

00:30:29:18 - 00:30:55:09
JACK CARR
That's fine. But as long as it's quiet and it's uninterrupted, those are those are the two things. So if you're jumping from interview to interview throughout a whole day, that's not that's not part of the secret sauce, but it's part of the whole thing. And I love talking about books. I love talking about reading, I love talking about writing, but so I don't have an actual schedule where I'm up and now I'm working in at six to whatever, and then I have a break and then I do this and then I do it.

00:30:55:09 - 00:31:13:11
JACK CARR
At now it's, it's the needs of that story. So for this one, I did pull three all nighters on this one because no one's interrupting me between ten at night and six in the morning. Harder to do on this book. And it was overall about a week and a half. Just as I get older, it's harder to do so to minimize those going forward.

00:31:14:03 - 00:31:34:16
JACK CARR
But it'll be just right all day by longest writing word count. This time was my record, and it was, I want to say 56 or 5800 words. That was, wow, what, one day? But I love it. So it's not it's not like I'm dreading any of it. I absolutely love it. But this one ended up taking longer. That's what the story took.

00:31:34:16 - 00:31:49:22
JACK CARR
It's not like I get 200,000 words and I'm like, That's about what these books are. Time to wrap it up. No, it's never a story takes. And I'm very fortunate that I have some very flexible deadlines, I guess is the way to put it now. Always. I always have, because I'm not going to rush to make a deadline.

00:31:49:22 - 00:32:05:13
JACK CARR
I'm in a rush. But right, I'm going. And it's with the needs of the story, whatever it requires to make that story, the best it can possibly be. And if I'm still going, we can push a pub date, we can do whatever, but I'm not going to shortchange the readers trusting me with that time that they're never going to get back.

00:32:06:03 - 00:32:28:09
JACK CARR
So all my energy and effort, all my heart and soul, is going into every single word that's in any of these novels or any single Twitter or Instagram post or blog post. Because once again, it's time that people trusted me with so it's so I don't have maybe someday I'll get to that point where I'm like, okay, I'm going to get up and I'm not doing anything until 230 in the afternoon and I'm going to write up that interruption maybe.

00:32:28:13 - 00:32:57:08
JACK CARR
But you know, you're also doing the things that any small business is going to have to do, which is not just create the product and let it sit there on the shelf. You're going to have to let people know that it exists and our, you know, do that today while you have platforms that weren't available 30 or 40 years ago, like this podcast, like my own podcast, like social media channels, all those things that you are, you can interact with an audience with a readership where you can build that readership, you can establish trust, and they continue to build on that trust with a readership, with an audience.

00:32:57:12 - 00:33:10:00
JACK CARR
So all that is part of it. And if you think today that you got a book deal and your publisher is going to do all that for you, and all you have to do is sit in the cabin up in the mountains and write the book and then get upset when the publisher doesn't do those things for you.

00:33:10:13 - 00:33:26:09
JACK CARR
Yeah, you're probably going to be upset quite a bit. I mean, I'm sure there's some outliers here in there that that can, but you got to take ownership of these things, I think especially today because these platforms are available that weren't available in the seventies, eighties, nineties.

00:33:27:06 - 00:33:41:21
DAVID
Okay, I got 60 more seconds and I wrote sometimes I'll wrap a show with Rapidfire questions and there's a few that they're kind of tongue in. She gets real easy. Number one is yes or no discount only drink and eat now from Yeti dog bowls.

00:33:42:06 - 00:34:00:18
JACK CARR
That's true. That is very true. Oh, but the writing advice before for that person who wrote in wanting to know about that, it's a mission to write a bad chapter. And I got that from from Brad Thor. I heard him say it once and I thought, you know what? That's very that's very liberating to hear that from somebody who has written.

00:34:00:18 - 00:34:16:11
JACK CARR
I think at the time I heard him say that was probably he's 50 novels in 14 novels and something like that. So I thought, you know what? That is very liberating. Give yourself permission. I changed it up a little bit. I said, give yourself permission to write a bad sentence, a bad chapter, a bad book, then go back and make it great.

00:34:17:01 - 00:34:33:01
JACK CARR
But you got to get it down there first. So I did. I did like that piece of advice from from Brad Thor. And then on the personal front, advice that I passed to the kids and I think about myself is never missed an opportunity to make somebody's day. And that's why I say thank you to as many people as I possibly can on the social channels.

00:34:33:01 - 00:34:46:00
JACK CARR
And that's why the book got turned into a show, because I didn't even think about it in these terms back then. But I did a favor for somebody in the SEAL teams that I didn't even think twice about. It was just a good, good dude who I wanted to help out and he was getting out of the military.

00:34:46:00 - 00:35:01:04
JACK CARR
I wanted to help him transition out to the private sector and then I forgot all about it. And he never, never did and ended up calling me in the fall of 2017 before the book came out and first asked if I remembered him, which I did, and then asked if if I remember what I did for him in the SEAL teams.

00:35:01:04 - 00:35:14:03
JACK CARR
And I did not. And he reminded me. And then he said, Hey, I do have a book coming out. And I said, Yep, and it's coming out a few months. I can give you a galley copy in a galley, something I just had learned about maybe two weeks prior to that. And I said, it's a rough draft type of I think I can send it.

00:35:14:08 - 00:35:26:07
JACK CARR
And he said, Yeah, I'd like that, but I'd like to give it to a friend of mine. And I said, Yeah, no problem. Who's that? And he said, Chris, Brad And I was like, Oh, that's very convenient. Cause I thought of Chris Pratt playing this role back when I first started writing it in December of 2014 before he was in Elysium.

00:35:26:19 - 00:35:51:09
JACK CARR
So anyway, so that, you know, inadvertently making somebody's day, not that you should do it for Machiavellian reasons, but in this case, it's, you know, it came back around and now we have this amazing universe with Chris and Antoine and the showrunner and this amazing cast and crew, and it's like a yes now. And it's all because of Jared Shaw giving the Who's Who play Boozer in the show and who's now writing for the spinoff series and is an executive producer on this spinoff series.

00:35:52:01 - 00:35:59:13
JACK CARR
And we're all working together to try to move the ball forward and continue expanding on this universe. So yeah, I never missed an opportunity to make somebody's day.

00:36:00:05 - 00:36:28:07
DAVID
I think that is probably my favorite moment of the whole show right now because that is so true. I mean, it's whether you want to call it karma or love or generosity or grace or kindness, it's we need more of that. So hats off to you for that. I love that. Well, folks, if you'd like to learn more, visit official Jack cars.com, where you can pick up fabulous swag like this and follow him, as I do on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook all at Jack Carr, USA.

00:36:28:07 - 00:36:41:01
DAVID
I want to say a big thanks to David Brown, who put this together, the lovely and talented Emily Bessler, who has who said yes to publishing your books and of course, to you, Jack, for agreeing to come here and spend some time with the Thriller zone.

00:36:41:13 - 00:36:55:22
JACK CARR
Oh, no, I was looking forward to it. This is awesome. It's great. Great to see you. Always love talking to you. And I'm so glad we got to do it like this. And it's what's great is that these things give us an opportunity to put the phone down, to turn off the email, and just to have a conversation and catch up a little bit.

00:36:55:22 - 00:36:58:04
JACK CARR
So. So I really appreciate you having me on.

00:36:59:05 - 00:37:21:12
DAVID
Man. The guy has energy to spare. Thanks again to Jack Carr for spending time with the Thriller Zone Only the Dead is the book. You know, we mentioned at the top of the show there are six books already out. You can pick up any book and be ready for a fun thrill ride. It's even better when you read the one before.

00:37:21:13 - 00:37:40:19
DAVID
Sure, you can start at the beginning, but if you want to just pick up one right now, this is at only the dead. So again, huge congratulations. We wish him the biggest of success. All right. We have had such a rush on some guests to cram them all in and may, for some particular reason, I guess a lot of the books are dropping.

00:37:41:06 - 00:37:58:15
DAVID
I can't tell you exactly at this exact second who's going to be next week. So until then, I'll say stay tuned. It's going to be somebody great because May is packed with talent. Until next time. I'm David Temple, your host. I'll see you next time for another edition of the Thriller Zone.