The Thriller Zone

Hello and welcome to the 161st episode of The Thriller Zone. Today marks the next to the last time an author will appear on this podcast in 2023. I’m your host David Temple and our guest is a member of our RISING STAR MONTH.

Steve Stratton is an author I’ve followed for nearly two years, and today I’m excited to present his new thriller, SHADOW SANCTION, the latest in the Lance Bear Wolf Series.

Today, Steve talks to me about his illustrious career in the military, and the secret service, and shares several of his experiences as a thriller writer. Perhaps best of all—for foodies like me and Steve—we get to discuss a passion other than writing; that of good food.

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In this conversation, Steve Stratton discusses his background in the military and the Secret Service, as well as his passion for food and culinary experiences. He shares how his experiences have influenced his writing and the development of his main character, Lance Bear Wolf. Steve also talks about his growth as an author and his future writing projects. 

Some of the principal themes discussed include differentiating the protagonist, the persistence of cartels, the importance of attention to detail—especially as it pertains to branding—lessons learned, the changing landscape of publishing, and both the power of self-publishing and the changing perception of self-publishing in the industry. 

Overall, the conversation highlights the joy and value of storytelling and the impact it can have on both writers and readers.

00:00 -Introduction and Background
02:03 - Passion for Food and Culinary Experiences
04:08 - Early Career and Entry into the White House
08:23 - Transition to the Secret Service
11:07 - Joining the National Guard's 20th Special Forces Group
16:00 - Writing Style and Growth as an Author
20:35 - Future Writing Projects
26:07 - Creation of the Character Lance Bear Wolf
27:05 - Differentiating the Protagonist
28:31 - Learning from Jack Carr
31:27 - The Persistence of Cartels
33:00 - The Octopus-Like Reach of Cartels
34:23 - The Importance of Attention to Detail and Branding
36:30 - Lessons Learned in Writing
40:11 - The Importance of Editing and Conciseness
43:08 - Learning the Publishing Side of the Business
45:03 - The Changing Landscape of Publishing
50:24 - The Challenges and Opportunities of Self-Publishing
53:27 - The Power of Self-Publishing
54:25 - The Power of Self-Publishing
57:13 - The Role of Agents in Publishing
59:23 - Continuing to Learn and Progress
01:01:33 - The Importance of Community
01:05:36 - Rapid Fire Questions
01:11:04 - The Love for History and Perspectives
01:14:27 - Dinner at the French Laundry
01:18:19 - Don't Let Your Ego Control Your Writing
01:20:24 - Book Recommendation: Shadow Sanction
01:20:51 - Personal Background and California
01:21:20 - Reflections on Life and Writing
01:22:09 - The Importance of Reading and Writing
01:23:23 - Commitment and Discipline in Writing
01:24:15 - Final Thoughts and Lunch Plans
01:25:15 - Writing Less Complex Stories
01:26:11 - Deepening Character Development
01:27:20 - The Importance of Characters in Books
01:28:13 - The Role of Setting in Books
01:29:10 - Recommended Book: The Spy Coast
01:30:08 - Appreciating Characters and Craftsmanship
01:31:10 - The Influence of Personal Experience
01:32:04 - The Power of Fully Fleshed Out Characters
01:33:13 - Writing in the Flow State
01:34:02 - The Joy of Writing in the Flow State
01:35:26 - The Benefits of Face-to-Face Interactions
01:36:25 - Book Recommendation: Gangsters Don't Die
01:37:39 - The Desire for More Face-to-Face Interviews
01:39:07 - The Importance of Face-to-Face Interviews
01:40:03 - The Impact of Face-to-Face Interactions
01:41:17 - The Value of In-Person Conversations

all times are approx.

The Thriller Zone with David Temple is sponsored in part by Blackstone Publishing.

What is The Thriller Zone?

Join podcast 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 love The Thriller Zone Podcast.