The Thriller Zone

Welcome to the latest episode of The Thriller Zone with special guest, Christopher "Chris" Reich. In this episode, we dive deep into the world of Chris Reich, a renowned author known for his thrilling novels. The host, David, engages in a captivating conversation with Chris, exploring his journey as a writer and the inspiration behind his successful series and standalone novels.

Chris shares insights into his writing process, revealing how he transitioned from a corporate career to pursue his passion for writing. He discusses the challenges and triumphs he faced along the way, highlighting the importance of perseverance and never giving up on one's dreams.

The conversation delves into the intricacies of Chris's latest book, "Matterhorn," which promises to be a blockbuster hit. The host and guest discuss the characters, setting, and themes of the book, offering a glimpse into the thrilling world of espionage, action, and emotional depth that readers can expect.

Throughout the episode, the host and guest touch on various elements of storytelling, from crafting compelling characters to creating immersive settings. They also explore the evolving landscape of the publishing industry and the impact of technology on espionage and intelligence operations, drawing parallels between fiction and reality.

As the conversation unfolds, the host and guest share personal anecdotes, including a fascinating story about Stan Getz's iconic song "Desafinado" and its influence on their lives. The episode is filled with engaging discussions, literary insights, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the creative process of a successful author.

In the end, the episode leaves listeners intrigued and eager to explore Chris Reich's thrilling novels, offering a blend of action, suspense, and emotional depth that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Tune in to TheThrillerZone.com for a captivating journey into the world of storytelling with Chris Reich. And to learn more about our guest, visit: ChristopherReich.com

BEST CHRIS REICH QUOTES:
  • "I love what I do. So it beats working for a living." - 00:00:47
  • "I got to write a book that is as exciting as The Bourne Identity. And that book became Rules of Deception." - 00:03:46
  • "The days when the public unites around a central title, a central book that kind of captures the national interest, the zeitgeist. Very rare now, very rare." - 00:05:48
  • "Social media is killing attention span, where people want that dopamine hit every 15 seconds, new page, new picture." - 00:06:38
  • "I want to be part of this box theory where I keep a certain level, and then boom, you drop dead or something, you know, at age 85." - 00:10:23
  • "Revenge is not a dish best served cold. Revenge is a dish best served hot and bloody right in your face." - 00:35:45
  • "I don't know, revenge is not a dish best served cold. Revenge is a dish best served hot and bloody right in your face." - 00:35:45
  • "Stan Getz is one of the greatest alto players ever. I mean, one of the greatest players of anything ever." - 00:42:18
  • "I try to aim for a certain level of a skill level, let's say. So, you know, but thank you. I'm glad you like it." - 00:44:24

BEST DAVE TEMPLE QUOTE:
"I put it [STAN GETZ} on the drive up from San Diego today so I could get in the mood, because whenever I feel if I'm too preoccupied or down, I put on Bossa Nova, or Stan Getz, and it just makes the world a better place." - 00:40:26



Award-winning Green Beret, Steve Stratton, is the author of the Shadow Tier Series and the novella, A Warrior's Path: the Lance Bear Wolf Story. Learn more at stevestrattonusa.com

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.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Welcome to the Thriller Zone, Chris Reich. Great to be here. Thank you, David. I am so glad we get a chance to sit down. And thank you for making that sojourn from Newport Beach.

CHRIS REICH:
Being a Los Angelino, that comes with the territory.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Yeah. Well, you didn't even bat an eye at that. So I appreciate that. A lot of people go, I don't want to go across town.

CHRIS REICH:
My pleasure. For this, absolutely. It's a must.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Well, you're kind of a big deal.

CHRIS REICH:
Well, thank you. I appreciate that. Really big deal. Well, I've had my successes. And the most important part is I love what I do. So it beats working for a living.

DAVID TEMPLE:
We have so much to cover, as you'll see. I've done my homework. There's something, I'm kind of a fanatic because I don't just, I don't just read the book. I study the book and I make notes to myself going, ooh, I like that. And because later when I have free time, I've heard about free time, I will break it down and analyze it and go, what is Chris's magic? So we'll get to that. I'm ready. But I mean, come on, two series, seven standalones. I want to mark these because I'm helping edit this show, so I want to give you all the accolades I can. We've got the Simon Risks series, right? The Take, Crown Jewel, The Palace, and Once a Thief. Sounds like anything ready for Cary Grant in my book.

CHRIS REICH:
It is. They're about to start filming that in England right now. Netflix UK with Edward Berger directing. That's the director of All Quiet on the Western Front. They're casting right now. Took four years to get here, but in innumerable scripts. But it's a go. It's green light. So that's a thrill. And I think he is like a modern day Simon Risk is. a modern-day, you know, Cary Grant. Rougher around the edges, to be sure. A little bit more muscular. Been through some tougher times, but he still looks great in, like, a gray suit from north by northwest, you know?

DAVID TEMPLE:
Nice. It's so random, too, that I would pull him out of nowhere, that I would pull Cary as a reference.

CHRIS REICH:
From our generation, he was my favorite. And in that movie, North by Northwest, and everything is, he was so classy. And you just have to bring that kind of character. I think he still is an everyman to the 21st century.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Yeah. By the way, just for record, we are talking about Matterhorn, and we're going to get to that. But I like to back up to get to know you. I will say I have plenty to say about this book. All right, so now the second series, Dr. Jonathan Ransom, Rules of Deception, Rules of Vengeance, and Rules of Betrayal.

CHRIS REICH:
That was my biggest selling series. It was great. It was born out of failure. It was born, the book before that was called The Patriots Club, and I loved writing it. And it actually won the best, the first ever International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel, but it didn't sell. It didn't sell and it did, it sold so poorly that I could not find a publisher. After having written five or six books, And as my agent said, Chris, you've spilled so much red ink over this town, no one wants to touch you, you know. So I go, well, what do I do? He goes, go out there and write the book you've always wanted to write. The best thing you could, you know, the best thing you've ever done. Now is the time to do it. So I said, OK. What were my most or what books influenced me the most? Okay, and so I go back, you know, I grew up reading the classics Tom Clancy Frederick Forsyth and Robert Budlum, right? So, you know, of course in among those the first among equals was the Bourne Identity and And so I said, I got to write a book that is as exciting as The Bourne Identity. And that book became Rules of Deception. And I remember I wrote it for a year and a half just on my own. It's like being a writer is like being in a sub. Once every six or seven months, you surface, you look around, people talk to you, then you go back under and do your work. So I spent like a year and a half writing this book. And I remember I sent it in to my agent, Richard Pine. And I said, what do you think? And he goes, well, just give me a little bit. I sent him on Friday. He called me Saturday morning. He goes, I read it in seven hours. He goes, you did it. He goes, I think you did it. So we went out, he goes, and he started showing it to people and to different publishers. And then he goes, Chris, you have to come to New York. All these people want to meet with you, like the seven big publishing houses. And David, you know what the first thing they said was? What? After turning me down, just not even talking to me two and a half years before, they go, Chris, we've always wanted to work with you. So that was a good trip to New York and that book came out and it was, I mean, it was a blockbuster, you know, 10,000 copies first week out of Barnes and Noble, number three on the New York Times list, full front page rave review from Janet Maslin. It was, I mean, that was the zenith of my career. It was one of the great moments when I was in Chicago the night before it came out and it was at number 200 on Amazon. of all books, of every book. And when I landed in New York and that review from Janet Maslin raved across the top of the art section to come out, it was number two. Wow. And I remember going, how is this possible? Then I saw the newspaper in the airport. Right. That was a nice moment.

DAVID TEMPLE:
You made a comment as we were warming up before we started the show that those days are not here anymore. Those days are gone. after fashion, right?

CHRIS REICH:
The days when the public unites around a central title, a central book that kind of captures the national interest, the zeitgeist. Right. Very rare now, very rare. Remember the Da Vinci Code? Everybody read the Da Vinci Code. Everybody. I mean, it sold like six million hard covers. Even the book like Into Thin Air from John Krakauer, nonfiction, the Da Vinci Code. You don't find those books anymore that were so uniting.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Do you think it's because our attention spans have shortened and or too much competition for our attention and or too much competition in general?

CHRIS REICH:
All three. I mean, all three. Social media is killing attention span, where people want that dopamine hit every 15 seconds, new page, new picture. The barriers to entry for publishing have been lowered dramatically. So you can publish your own books. There's a lot more choices, being good, bad, or indifferent. And people just tend to read or look at what they want to look at without kind of opening themselves up to the larger discussion. So like you said, it's a combination of all three that it's made that much harder to have these giant breakout books. You know, the books like, remember those Oprah books? Oh, yeah. Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections. I mean, each book, you got on that Oprah list, that's a million copies you're gonna sell. You know, you're rich if you got onto that list. But more importantly, it gave all of us, you know, having that water cooler conversation. And it's even harder with TV shows. Game of Thrones was the last one. You know, The Sopranos. Where's our water cooler TV shows now where everyone is talking about the same show, the same book?

DAVID TEMPLE:
Because there's too many choices. Yeah. Innumerable choices. All right. And to wrap that, so we got seven standalones. Devil's Banker, Invasion of Privacy, The First Billion, The Prince of Risk, The Runner, Number to Count, and The Patriots Club, with Matterhorn makes 15. Do you prefer standalone or series? Does it matter to you?

CHRIS REICH:
It doesn't matter to me. I did set out with the rules of deception to write a series, and I wanted to build a market doing it that way. And I had this great character, Jonathan Ransom, a doctor for Doctors Without Borders, the guy goes around the world, and unbeknownst to him, his wife, who's his assistant, is actually the spy who puts him into position using him as cover for her own work, right? So it was a great kind of Hitchcockian setup where he doesn't even know that he's being used a certain way. And he has to discover in the course of solving a conspiracy that might imperil the world, whether his wife loves him, whether what he's been doing has been worth anything, and then discover his own special set of skills. So that was really fun to write. And I'm saying now, the Matterhorn, this book, Matterhorn, is the beginning of a series, you know, starring Mac Decker, who's a spy that's been out of the game for nine years for a lot of reasons, basically to save his own skin and to save his family, who, upon learning of the death of his son, is brought back in in a big way. And at an older age, at our age or my age, you know, pushing 60, he has to discover, does he still have the right stuff? And this will expand over the course of several books.

DAVID TEMPLE:
You made a mention somewhere along the way, either in social media or in some press, about health and longevity and maybe your health and longevity and how you stay fit and so forth, which plays a key role in Decker.

CHRIS REICH:
Tell me about that. Well, I just think that the world has changed so dramatically in terms of what we are all capable of doing physically, mentally, as we get older. I mean, all those barriers have disappeared. I mean, my conception of a 65-year-old man when I grew up in the 70s was guy that's balding, a little bit bent, you know, he's at his workshop. And now a 65-year-old man, you know, like runs up Mount Everest, right? Right. and does a triathlon or an Ironman and sets a world record. So with the advent of all these supplements, of how we take care of ourselves, proper nutrition, all of us have kind of a capacity or capability to do really super exciting, fun things. until we die, you know? The old idea of age used to be that you would get better, and then you had this slow senescence. That's gone. I wanna be part of this box theory where I keep a certain level, and then boom, you drop dead or something, you know, at age 85, you know? So, and I try to bring this into Matterhorn about, you know, this guy is 60, or almost 60, but he's kept himself in great shape, so hey, you know, for the 35-year-old bad guys, they better watch out.

DAVID TEMPLE:
I dig that. By the way, I just turned 65, so I'm like you. When I was growing up, the 65 was the old guy. Oh, he's retiring. Now I'm like 65, it's like the new 45, I don't know.

CHRIS REICH:
I think it's what we want it to be. Exactly. I mean, you look great. No one would ever say you're 65. Yeah. And, uh, you know, I'm 62. I feel like I'm 40. I don't feel any different from when I'm 40. Uh, I'm setting all these goals and, you know, to, to kind of do one difficult thing a year, it's called a Misogi. Uh, it's just fun. It's fun to be alive at this age. And now with my kids grown up, I can again, concentrate on myself more on my work, but more on my, I just got remarried. Uh, so things are going great.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Yeah. Oh, good for you. Congratulations. You know, so I want to talk about why I love this book. And, uh, I may, I made copious notes in here and I want to start out with a comment about chapter one. This is probably, And I highlighted it here, because I want to make sure. I'm like, I don't want to forget anything. One of the best chapter ones I've ever read. And you mentioned Born Identity earlier. The Born series, my wife and I, Tammy, we'll sit there and watch that series over and over and over. If it comes on on a random Sunday and we catch it, we'll go, let's just sit down and watch it, as though we had never seen it before. And this has that feeling. So I'm not taking anything away from that franchise because you have your own thing here, but boy, that opening chapter. Well, thank you.

CHRIS REICH:
You know, that's the, when you're writing a thriller, you don't have much time to grab people's attention. Right. Especially these days, as we were talking about. So I always try extra hard to make the first chapter a grabber, the great inciting incident, you know, to bring people right in to, really what is the third act of another story. So this opens up, this is the end of another two people's story that has been going on for a couple hundred pages before. And now we're seeing the denouement, the climax. So it's really fun to write and, you know, write it spare, get people right in there. You know, there's a couple twists that happen right from the beginning. So yeah, I must say, I did enjoy writing that first chapter. So thank you.

DAVID TEMPLE:
You probably saw the Don Winslow interview. I did? Yeah. He's become a friend. Good guy. Great writer. And he made a comment way back when. He said that every word has to pay rent. And I love that, and it reminded me of Elmore Leonard, take out the stuff that nobody, that everybody hates, right? And this is that, there isn't a spare, and Tani was asking me, and I'll refer to that a couple of times, I'm like, she goes, you know, in 330 and a half pages, how much fluff? I'm like, not a sentence.

CHRIS REICH:
Well, I don't know, I'm sure there's a few sentences, but I try to keep it spare now. And the book's shorter than my other ones. It's 85,000 words. My other books are usually 110,000, you know, definitely 100 pages longer. But that wasn't, this book, Matterhorn, was supposed to be an adrenaline ride, a thrill ride from the very beginning. I want to get it right into high gear. You have this great, fun, exciting beginning of first chapter that takes place where else but on the Matterhorn. Hello. And then we have a couple. I gave myself 20 pages to set things up a little bit more slowly before really putting into third gear and hitting the accelerator for the remainder of the book. So I couldn't agree with you more. is a process. It's a learning process. You say, it's 15 books. Wow. And I'm still figuring out how to write better and better. And leaner is always better. Hemingway said, I can tell how good my book is by how many sentences of my favorite sentences I take out, and I leave on the floor. And Don's right. So every word pays rent. And yeah, so You know, I've been reading a lot of the book out by Alan Furst, who writes all these great World War II novels. And he's very concise and pithy in a lot of aperçus, which I love. And I try to work that in now with my dialogue being shorter, crisper. It just, you know, maybe it's just because as you get older, you don't want to put up with the BS anymore. It's like, tell me a story. Let's make it fast. Let's make it great. Get to the point.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Get to the point. All right. visual techniques on the show. What is the fancy word that you just used that I don't know? Aperçu.

CHRIS REICH:
Yeah, what is that? That means a certain, what's the word? It's a French word. It means not an intimation, but kind of a little pithy observation. It means an observation, a little observation about how people think or, you know, what are they really thinking? Right. Something like that. So it's kind of like an insight. It's an insight.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Insight. You work that into your story, don't you? It's almost like, it's not Mac thought this. It's, you're sharing what he's thinking, but in an insightful way, almost like the reader is getting an inside peek. And it's so delicate, the way you do it, and so it's like a spice, not like a, oh, look what I'm doing here.

CHRIS REICH:
No, I like to just, I want you to think that you're in his mind and I want the way the book is written when he's the narrator to feel a certain way. So that's Mac. So you're in Mac's mind and you want to then like him more, get to know him better. Cause you're really, you know, I'm not hitting you over the head. You're just, you're reading it as he's thinking it.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Right. Now here's an interesting thing and we're going to keep drilling down on this. So I know the stories about Mac Decker. As I'm starting to read, for whatever reason, I didn't pick up Will because all I'm thinking about is, oh, the protagonist, which is great for me because then at the end of that scene, which I will not say, it took my breath away because I'm like, what? How does this? And then I had to go back and go, oh, this must be the son. But boy, like you said, You told me the entire world without me knowing it so that when you did the payoff at the end, I mean, it was so brilliantly done.

CHRIS REICH:
Well, that's just, you know, I was, we were talking earlier, this book I'd written first as a screenplay. Yeah. Now I'm a huge fan of the outdoor photographer, Jimmy Chin, who photographed a free solo about Alex Honnold climbing El Capitan without ropes. Right now, just saying that, David. Yeah. My palms are getting sweaty. Yeah. Because even though, you know, you're watching it, you know he's going to make it to the top. Yes. Or they wouldn't show it. Sure. How did this guy do that? And then how did Jimmy Chin put these giant 35 millimeter, 70 millimeter cameras onto the face of El Capitan to film him? You know, and he's been up on Everest and everything. So I was thinking, God, this guy, I just, I'm in awe of what he does. I have to come up with a story to bring him to or neighborhood cinema, to the AMC or the Edwards Cinema. So you could go check him out to watch Brad Pitt chase Keanu Reeves or George Clooney up the Matterhorn. And I've spent a lot of time in Europe. I'm Swiss. And a lot of time in Zermatt. And I've watched these guys do that. And I thought, this is just the perfect vehicle, the most famous mountain in the world, the most iconic, recognizable peak. somehow, Chris, figure out a set of spy story that revolves around something happening there. And so the result is this book.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Well, and I think it's going to be just a monster hit. Monster. Well, thank you. Just a beast. And I was talking to the guys before you showed up, and they said, and Jonathan said, so what do you think about the book? And I'm like, I try not to be superfluous or overly dramatic, but I said, this is not in the top 10 of my favorite books of this show so far. It's in my top five. That's very kind of you. Thank you. And I'm not just saying that, because I did not want the book to end, first of all. And when I found out that you're going to make it a series, I'm like, thank you. universe for making another one but anyway so they're just stunning um and and here's why i mean it has everything i want it starts out of the gate at 65 miles an hour it's got all the spy craft that you want uh a compelling story satisfying read and a love story

CHRIS REICH:
Hello, you have to have a love story. You have to have the emotional element to draw people in. I mean, that's the why what's the why of the book? Yeah, you know, the why is the guy solving his son's murder, but then he's discovering all the life that he's left behind. You know, did he was the sacrifice he made? What was it worth? And now he has to kind of come back and make all those choices. Um, not worthwhile, but he has to say, I did this for the right reason. And part of it, of course, is the romance with his former Mossad partner, Ava at all, you know, the dark haired, you know, Israeli beauty. I love Israeli Mossad Asians. Something about that is so sexy. Sure.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Sure. Kick ass.

CHRIS REICH:
So beautiful. I spent plenty of time in Israel. I love that country. I love the people there. Just a different kind of attitude in life. And so it was a pleasure and fun to bring her and she is very much in the next book as well.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Well, and let's talk about the bad guy in this story, who also shares an affinity toward her.

CHRIS REICH:
Well, the bad guy is Mac's former partner, former climbing partner, first of all, a former dirt bagger where they were best friends, even closer than best friends, people that climb these peaks where they hold each other's lives in their hands. That's not just friendship. That's more. That's complete reliability, I mean, 100% I'm, you know, I'm in your hands. And so they both follow the same kind of career path, they leave climbing to join the Marines, they become snipers, they transition laterally to the Central Intelligence Agency. And these careers are based upon real people. Okay, there's a base one people, one guy I know, who was with the Marine Special Operations Command and then went into the CIA and actually disappeared. Last time I met with him, he goes, Chris, he goes, I'm not going to be able to see anymore. I'm taking this new job and I'm going to be scrubbed. I said, what does that mean? He goes, well, I'm going to be eliminated from all mention of me from the internet will be disappeared. You won't be able to find me. And I go, what kind of job are you doing? He goes, well, obviously, I can't really tell you. But it'll be under a different identity and be involved in the stuff that you write about. So I thought, wow, that's cool. And I swear, three months later, I started looking, and this guy's name was gone. Wow. And he had been a former gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps. He'd just been actually promoted to a first sergeant or the rank above that. So there was plenty of mentions of him before. And all of a sudden, zip, it's gone. So these characters are real. And in this book, the bad guy, kind of one of the bad guys, Ilya Ivashka, was an American born of Russian parents, but I mean, American to the core, who then for reasons as their career progresses, decides he has to kind of to find his own identity, betray his best friend.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Heartbreaking. And what a superb bad guy, though.

CHRIS REICH:
Bad guys, David, are always the most fun to write. Sure. Because you could have so much fun with them. It's so hard to write a really interesting good guy. Yeah. And that's why you were mentioning Don Winslow and his books. Even the good guys are bad guys. and especially the latest series, because they're all criminals. Oh, yeah. They're all crooks to begin with. So it's just kind of honor among thieves, but they're still thieves. Yeah. In my books, the good guys are good guys, so you have to make them much more nuanced. And the bad guys are, you know, this guy's a drinking problem. He has a, he loves sex. He likes all kinds of, you know, low-born women, let's say. And he'll do whatever it takes to succeed, you know, kill whoever he has to, bribe whoever he has to, you know. And so he is just so much fun to write.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Karma's a bitch, as we learn later in the story. So I wanted to make sure that I covered the men, the mountain, and the message. So we've covered the men. I want to go to the mountain. Now, you have been there. I'm assuming you've climbed it.

CHRIS REICH:
I have not. I've climbed halfway up once, and I got snowed out. And I was trained really hard to go last summer because I wanted to film it and then use it to promote the book. But sadly, I was taking care of my 94-year-old mother who recently passed away, and I could not go away for the amount of time it took to go and get acclimatized and at my age and do this thing. The climb itself, David, is only for even, they say the Matterhorn is the easiest mountain for a really good climber to go up and down, and it's the hardest for kind of a beginner climber. It's really about four and a half hours up, four and a half hours down. You're going 4,000 feet straight up and 4,000 feet down. Everyone dies coming down. No one ever dies going up. They all die coming down. Because when you're going up, you can hold on to something, right? And when you're coming down, you're literally coming down the spine of a mountain with 4,000 feet on every side of you. And it's just, it's so overwhelmingly, Not frightening, but it's just, you have to pay so much more attention. It's windy. Most of all, it's just a feat of pure, it's kind of like running two marathons. You're running a marathon up, running a marathon down at that altitude. That's the hard part of it, okay? But like I say, it's very doable. And I say about people die, if you go with a Swiss guide, like I'm planning on going back up this summer.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Oh, you are going to do it.

CHRIS REICH:
So I'm going to go this summer. And when I go with a guide, you never die with a guide. So they'll stop you before you do something. Wait, you never die with a guide? Swiss guides have never had never. If you're going up with one of the guides that has their license and they work out of the climbing shop in Zermatt, They don't die. They're not going to let you die. And first of all, they're not going to let you go up unless they know you could do it. And so before I had done all the training climbs beforehand, and I remember the last time I went, he goes, Chris, we'll go up. We're going to go up in two days. He goes, but it's going to be the hardest day of your life. And I go, well, thank you for that vote of confidence.

DAVID TEMPLE:
But you're excited about it. Oh, yeah. I love it. It's great. And what kind of training, just for curiosity?

CHRIS REICH:
Well, I do F45 three times a week, which is the new functional fitness. It's a big chain. It's kind of promoted by Mark Wahlberg, where you go in for 45 minutes and they just bust your butt. All these, just constantly one exercise to the next. Doing burpees, a lot of kind of bear crawls, but then with weights. So you're mixing up everything. Yeah. It's really fun. And you just get, you just, your heart rate is at 150 the whole time, up your VO2 max rate, which is your oxygen utilization. I do that. Now I'm starting now with the regular, you know, with weight training with a guy. So, you know, my age, you can't take it, you got to take it pretty seriously. Yeah. Not pretty, very.

DAVID TEMPLE:
But what's fun about the Matterhorn and what makes this book different is... We're going to take a short break to thank our sponsors and we'll be right back. Stay with us.

CHRIS REICH:
And now back to the show. What makes this book different is these days, okay, I need four and a half hours to go up and four hours to come down. The guides have races to go up and down as fast as they can without ropes and without any kind of safety mechanism. And they will go up in about 65, 70 minutes and even faster coming down, which is like a mountain goat, because the Matterhorn is never quite vertical. And there's a lot of loose rock, and there's a lot of steps. So it's basically ascending kind of a staircase, where there's always some place for your feet. But one mistake, one misplaced foot, and boom, you're gone. You're dead. 4,000 feet, nothing stopping you. That's a long way to fall. That's a long way to think before you hit those rocks. So, but, you know, these guys that helped me with this book, one in particular, Andy Steindl, who's a guy who has one of the records, you know, he sets it, then his best friend, you know, breaks it. So they were giving me advice on this book about, Chris, this makes sense, you can't do that. So I hope that when you're reading, especially the last act, which does take place on or around the Matterhorn, that you're kind of getting that scared feeling, like, oh, my God, this is what it feels like to climb the Matterhorn at full speed.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Well, there's a couple of things that are very interesting about this book besides the obvious, and that is the sense of place. The place is a character. The way you weave in the different townships and the cities and the climate and the seasons, it's charming and welcoming. in amongst all this harrowing danger that's happening simultaneously. That's what makes the read. It's like a sandwich of all this goodness. You got, ah, and you got, ah, you know, you've got this dualism going on. That's so fascinating.

CHRIS REICH:
Well, you know, I grew up a lot overseas and the hallmark of all my books from the first one, Number to Count, which of course is set in Zurich and where I'd worked as a Swiss banker.

DAVID TEMPLE:
That would be this one because I had you bring this in because I wanted to know where you started. So I wanted you to finish this story. Sorry to interrupt you, but I got a real specific question.

CHRIS REICH:
No, no, my pleasure. So my point was that I try to make my books very, the hallmark of a Christopher Reich thriller is that they're all very international. I think I've written one book, Invasion of Privacy, that was in the United States and set in Austin, Texas, where I'd lived and worked. But when you read my books, it's going to be a travelogue. And that's my favorite part, is to tell people quick descriptions about where, the feel of the place, the food you eat, the way the air smells, all that.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Well, and that to me is to be able to tell that minutia of detail and still keep the story moving is the sign of a real craftsman because you can get bogged down in he walked into the room and then you describe the room in detail like a Thomas Wolfe where you're like, oh my God, 74 pages later, I forgot why I came into the room.

CHRIS REICH:
You know, that's, I call that, that's the Scrimshaw error. The Scrimshaw is from Herman Melfield, Moby Dick, where he writes 50 pages straight about Scrimshaw, which is the art of carving onto ivory. It's like, what happened to Moby Dick? So as a rule, as a writer, and I follow this now really assiduously is, you know, you got no more than a short paragraph of description, back to action. You know, you're in a room, give me two lines of the room, then what's happening? Give me dialogue. You just gotta keep it moving. And if you pick the right words, And you forget, readers have great imaginations. You just got to spark the imagination and they're going to let their mind do the work and it's much more immersive that way.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Yeah. Let me get this straight. At the age of 32, you left corporate to chase this, you know, full-time career as a novelist. First of all, how brave is that? Second of all, how do you shoot out of the gate at your first attempt? This went on to sell

CHRIS REICH:
Very well. It's almost 2 million copies worldwide, yeah. Which is a lot. Yeah.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Especially these days. Now granted, this was, what year was this?

CHRIS REICH:
Published in January 1998. Coming up on 30 years. Wow. I know. Yeah, so I left corporate world. I was a Swiss banker. That's about my time working for the Union Bank of Switzerland in Geneva and Zurich. And I left that to run a Swiss watch company for six years in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. And that kind of petered out. And I decided that I wanted a new career. And I was newly married. I have a little bit of money in the bank. And I said, I want to be a novelist. And I set my sights high. I did not want to be a starving artist. I wanted to write bestselling fiction, the kind that I'd read since I'd grown up. Ken Follett, Frederick Forsythe, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlam, John Grisham, all that stuff. That's who taught me how to write. John le Carre, who's my absolute favorite. So I said, you know, I'm gonna give myself the chance to succeed. So we left Switzerland and moved back to Austin, Texas Had like I said a little money in the bank and said I'm gonna you know, I always say you only make a first impression once Okay, so when you write the first book, it better be pretty good. Yeah, and so I have these books I used The Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett, The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett, and The Night Manager by John Lecrae is my models. So, and I say this to aspiring writers, don't try to break the mold or make something new. Pick one of your favorite books that's in your genre and try to write it like that. Now, I'm not saying copying it, nothing like that. No pleasures, but use that as a template. And that's what I did. I said, look at how Ken Follett does this. Short declarative sentences. He switched his point of view. Each character is distinctive. Always building suspense. And I just kind of copied Ken Follett, really. And it turned out well. I was very lucky with this book, though. The backstory of how this book got published, you know, and Napoleon said, remember what Napoleon said? He said, I want my generals lucky, not good. And I got lucky when I was writing the book. First, I was humble. I'd given it to some people to read and they made some serious And I followed their critique. I mean, this book took me, number to count, nine months to write 660 pages, right? That was first draft. And I gave it to a woman that was in my apartment complex in Austin. She was studying her MFA there. And she read it. She goes, Chris, you're a pretty good writer. He goes, but this story makes no sense. You have to completely reorder this. And I took her advice. I didn't say, oh, you know, I know better. It's like, you're pretty smart, I think. And so I took four months, and I started rewriting the whole thing, right? Wow. And then I was able to get the book into the hands of a family friend named Farlyn Myers. And Farlyn God rest his soul, he worked at a big ad agency called J. Walter Thompson in LA, and his boss was James Patterson, the James Patterson. But it was before he was the James Patterson. Back then, this is 1996, there was another Patterson who was much more famous, Richard North Patterson, who had written a book called Degree of Guilt, which was a just mega, mega bestseller. And Jim, or as we call him in my house, St. James, He wasn't famous yet, but he actually read the first pages of my book, and then he called me up. He said, Chris, you know, I read the first 50 pages of Numbered Accounting. He goes, it's really good. Wow. He goes, I'm going to break my rule, and I'm going to tell my agent that he should represent you. And an hour later, I get this phone call from Richard Pine, my agent to this date. He says, Chris, this reminded me of the old Robert Ludlam books in the back alleys of Zurich with the cobblestones and the cold air and the bad guy lurking behind the corners, you know, you know, and the great conspiracy. He goes, I would, I would like to represent you. Wow.

DAVID TEMPLE:
That is so crazy.

CHRIS REICH:
So I never wrote one letter, what do you call it? One, you know, solicitation, one quote, never wrote. I had got this, so I was just the luckiest writer in the world, period.

DAVID TEMPLE:
James has done okay for himself.

CHRIS REICH:
He's done okay for himself, and he's just the nicest, most giving human being. He's just a really great guy. You know, he knows that there's enough success for everybody, and he's always willing to help others, to lend a blurb, and certainly, obviously, in my case, it was a lot more hands-on. So, yeah. Thank you, James Patterson.

DAVID TEMPLE:
So, we've got the men, the mountain, and the message. Is there a message that Chris would like his audience to walk away from this book with?

CHRIS REICH:
It's a message that I carry. It's like, never give up. You can't give up. There's no money in not trying. There's no money in saying, oh, I give up. You have to keep it going to the end. I don't know, revenge is not a dish best served cold. Revenge is a dish best served hot and bloody right in your face. And, you know, that was, you know, these books get violent and it's all about doing the right thing and seeing justice done. Yeah. And I hope that, you know, at the end of this book, you feel justice is done and you shed a tear because you see that, you know, that good things are kind of ahead. And you're wondering what will come next for Mac Decker, for Ava, for his family. You know, there's extended family that's all involved kind of in the family business, which is intelligence.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Yeah, I will say the conclusion is very satisfying. I won't say anything more than that, because that would be just not right.

CHRIS REICH:
Well, thank you. All these books, they're not just thrill rides, but they are emotional, too. And I wanted that emotional closure. And you're thinking, OK, things have turned out pretty nicely. What's going to happen next? Where is he going next? Because a man like Mac, he's going somewhere.

DAVID TEMPLE:
There are a couple of notes I made for myself, things that I did not know. And then there are, like, some of these agents, the agents that being developed by bad hands. I'm trying to keep it as, uh, though this is all doable right this minute, isn't it?

CHRIS REICH:
Everything in here is based on reality. This is all super doable. Which makes it even the more terrifying. One of my themes in my books is the supra-empowerment of the individual. With the internet, with all these technological tools in our hands, I mean, you're giving individuals the power and the capabilities that used to only be available to entire national intelligence agencies. Right. You know, in the book, there's a scene where he accesses a certain database And, uh, and these days now with AI and how you scrape the internet for pictures that, you know, I know for example, that spying right now, covert agents have a real problem because you can't disguise yourself anymore because there's a facial recognition everywhere. And I talk about this in the book and I do mean everywhere, uh, from the streets to the airports to banks. I mean, and intelligence agencies have the capabilities to tie into these. You know, what do you think the NSA does? Exactly. They spend $40 billion a year to suck up all this information. I don't know if you know, but every single text message you write, every voicemail you get is being captured right now and stored at a facility in Utah. It's all there. All there, but apparently they could only access it with a subpoena or a court order, but it's there. The point is your information has been vacuumed up and it's sitting there just for the right time when someone decides to look into you. So we don't even, it's so mind boggling what is going on with AI, with the NSA, with hacking and all these tools that, you know, nothing is safe, nothing is sacrosanct, there's no more privacy, done, fact.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Mic drop. There is a, uh, I'm going to have some fun here because there's, here's one tiny little paragraph that I made a note to myself. So much information in a tight paragraph. Because he and Mack were the best at what they did. Liquidating the opposition, taking out targets, posting numbers on the scoreboard. More accurately, putting a Black Hills 250 grain slug into the skull of a man or a woman at a thousand yards with a 20 mile per hour crosswind and an altitude differential at 200 feet.

CHRIS REICH:
I think I owe Stephen Hunter, the great writer, something about that. Cause he, he's the ultimate assassin and sniper writer and one of my favorite writers ever. Uh, but yeah, isn't that fun? I mean, that's what they do. It is a science.

DAVID TEMPLE:
A, I love the science of it. B, I love the minimalism of that paragraph. What you created, you created an entire scene in one, two, three, five sentences. Stephen Hunt, it makes me think of the movie Shooter with Mark Wahlberg. I've seen it 20 times, that watermelon or can of Spam across 2,000 yards or something. Anyway, things like that, I totally dig. The fact that on chapter 26, you mentioned Stan Getz's Desafinado, which is one of my

CHRIS REICH:
Favorite. Me too, me too. I was not much of an athlete as a kid. I was the piano player for the orchestra at Harvard School for Boys just across the valley. And in the jazz band, that was a staple of the jazz band. Desafinado, of course.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Great little story, if you'll allow me. So I'm hanging out. I'm in my first tour of duty in Los Angeles. So I lived there three different times before I moved to San Diego. And I had a friend, Al Schmidt. We're hanging out one day, and he has a friend come to visit. The guy walks in, and I look at him like, God, you look familiar. I don't know why you look familiar. He goes, so what's your name? He goes, Steve. Hi, Steve. He said, hey, can I crash here for a few days? I'm like, sure. So we're hanging out, and all of a sudden, music gets talked about. And I have on my turntable at the time a Strud Gilberto. Impanema, right? And he goes, oh yeah, what a great song. I'm like, yeah, it's one of my favorites. Yeah, my dad really nailed it with that. I'm like, what's that? I'd never asked his last name. So Steve Getz, his dad is Stan Getz, and he's hanging out on my couch for a week. And he goes, David, let me tell you that story. He goes, I'm a kid. I'm in the kitchen. Astrood is cooking at the stove, and my dad is playing this in the background, and she's just... And he goes, wait, wait, wait, wait, sing that again. He liked it so much, took her into the studio the next day. History was made.

CHRIS REICH:
Stan Getz is one of the greatest alto players ever. I mean, one of the greatest players of anything ever. I just, and I think we forget that Brazilian explosion that took the country by storm in the 60s and early 70s. Stan Getz, Astrid Gilberto, you know, Sergio Mendes. I love that.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Yeah, yeah. I put it on the drive up from San Diego today so I could get in the mood, because whenever I feel if I'm too preoccupied or down, I put on Bossa Nova, Stan Getz, and it just makes the world a better place. I agree. So I just wanted to share that.

CHRIS REICH:
You said your tour of duty, were you an FBI agent or a cop?

DAVID TEMPLE:
No, I used that playfully, because when you get into Hollywood business, I was acting, voiceover, and so forth. It is a tour of duty because you got to be in shape and prepared mentally for that. And I happen to go back because I'm a masochist. I went three times and we see where that got me. But yeah, I loved the, when we talk about your setting and your sense of place, Ava and Mac had left Zurich an hour earlier. They had passed Zug in the Zugger Sea and transited Lucerne, passing the Sprower Bridge. The sky darkened. Cloud mist hovered over Lake Lucerne, its water as green as ivy, its surface smooth as ice. The highway followed the contours of the lake, long languid curves at the water's edge. To their right, foothills, Gruta Mountains, hillocks yielded to sheer rock faces. You span this delicate balance between literary and just balls out an action thriller, which is such a deft maneuver to make, which is why I just respect the craftsmanship and enjoy the talent.

CHRIS REICH:
Thank you very much. I just, you know, I'm a big reader. Yeah, it's obvious. And so, you know, I don't just read my work. I read primarily nonfiction now, you know. And so, and just having, I try to aim for a certain level of a skill level, let's say. So, you know, but thank you. I'm glad you like it.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Yeah, it's just stunning. And I'm, let's see if there's a few more things. Oh yeah, I asked the questions about, well, one of the key elements that's going to happen in this book, which I will not mention, which we referenced earlier about is, wait, can that actually be done? I've had the thought before, probably thousands of us have had the thought before, hey, if I were going to take down a country, what would be the easiest or one of the most uh, one of the easiest ways to do it on a very large scale, rather simply. And when I read that, which I will not say, down around the end of the book, I was like... Well, I got this idea.

CHRIS REICH:
I had, for one of my books, one of the rules books, I spent a lot of time with the FBI counterterrorism team in New York City. And that was comprised of agents from a number of different, uh, three-letter agencies. One of them was, um, Well, he was in charge of guarding the New York aqueduct. See, the water that comes from New York, that's a hard target. That's a very hard target because if you can poison the water supply in New York, You know, New York City has like the best water supply, the cleanest waters coming from upstate New York, from Canada, whatever. But if you could poison that water, you're going into 7 million households, you know, in Manhattan and greater New York area. So that place is freaking guarded like Fort Knox, because if you can put any kind of nerve agent or stuff like that, so powerful, the stuff they have now, it's scary, right? Yeah. So I took that idea, and having met this, spent some time with this agent, and then used it in this book about what would happen if you were able to poison a water supply.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Yeah. Well, there you go. I am curious, and I know, having been around this business long enough, that you're already working on the sequel. Have to be, right? How far into that process are you?

CHRIS REICH:
Not far enough. No, I'm on page about 110, and I have the story. I have a great opening. It starts out in Paris a year after this book ends. It starts off with Mec. He has a wedding ring in his pocket, and he's at the restaurant Jules Verne in the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, this beautiful Michelin-starred restaurant looking out over Paris. He's been granted his freedom. The CIA, as Cunlum says, it's all forgotten. You're a free man. Just keep your head low. Don't get involved. Don't talk to us, but live your life. So here he is, he's, and Ava's sitting across, and he's about to pull the ring out and ask her to marry him. It's, you know, he's popping the question. And just as he's about to do this, she goes, oh, I got a call, excuse me. So she gets up and leaves the table and doesn't come back. And he gets up and he tries to find her, but the thing about this restaurant, David, there's only one way in and one way out, one elevator. It's a private elevator to this restaurant, and no one's seen her. He searches the whole place, the elevator, no one's seen her, she's just gone. And that's the beginning of the book. Where'd she go? And he has to go figure out everything about it. And of course, then, of course, the stakes escalate very rapidly. Sure. So it's a fun starting, a lot of emotion about being in love and about starting your life again with someone who means the world to you and then having that carpet pulled out from under you.

DAVID TEMPLE:
So much autobiographical nuance in there, isn't there?

CHRIS REICH:
Exactly. You can't help it as a writer. Always write what you know. And so, as I said, I got recently remarried very happily. So, and I'm wishing only the best for Mac.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Yeah. Folks, if you want to learn more, go to ChristopherReich.com. This book is just, like I said, top five easy of this year. Are there hints at this getting picked up?

CHRIS REICH:
I'm just- It is getting picked up. We're about to finalize it. Wait, what? Oh yeah, it's been- a lot of people want this just because it's so cinematic and they know, you know, people want to make meat and potatoes fair to get people to the movies and what could bring people to the movies more than two of the most famous actors climbing up one of the most famous mountains in the world. It's really, this is a cinematic experience. I'm about to close the deal. I can't say with who, but it's with a major production company. Actually, I could give you a hint. It's owned by one of the, it's owned by the biggest selling commercial music artist of the last 20 years. It's that person's production company. I can't say the name, but right there. I mean, I was on the phone with him for three hours the other day and getting all excited about this. So yeah, let's, you know, this is the first step. this is the first step in the process. I mentioned that my Simon Riss books are at Netflix UK with Edward Berger directing, been greenlit. So that's happening after, you know, after 25 years, finally getting things made on the screen is very rewarding.

DAVID TEMPLE:
What is that thing? Now, we, I always close the show with this question. what is your best writing advice? And you did have some writing advice you've already given, but if you could expand on that just a little bit, what would you say for my listeners who are really going? Because we started off by saying, look at the competition. Look at the competition for our attention spans. Look at the competition of the volume of people trying to write bestsellers. I want to do this, someone says. I want to be like Chris, someone says.

CHRIS REICH:
I just give the advice that I use that worked for me, which is pick your genre. You can't leave your genre once you're in it. So you're going to be in that box forever. Okay. Pick your genre, pick your favorite writer and someone that has a lot of success. model your first work or works on other books that were successful in your category, okay? Follow those rules and know the rules of the genre. The secret to writing best-selling fiction is to follow those rules Intimately, exactly, but make the story seem fresh and new. So you have to have a certain expertise in an area, especially when you're starting, you're introducing yourself to the reading world. Who are you? Why should they read you? In my example, I was writing Numbered Account. I was the former Swiss banker who is now pulling down the curtain and revealing the secrets of the super secret world of Swiss banking. Okay? So that's a reason to buy the book. That's a why. Why do I want to buy the books? I want to learn about, oh my God, what really goes on in this organization. When you look at like, uh, Patricia Cornwell. Why do you read Kay Scarpata? You want to learn about CSI, about that stuff, right? So you have to have, I think, to begin with a certain expertise. Right. And, and that's how you grab the attention of an agent of a publisher.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Just as simple as that.

CHRIS REICH:
And give yourself the chance to succeed. Don't shortcut it. Do your best work. You know, you only make a first impression once. And people don't want to keep going back to you and saying, oh, I hope it's getting better. It was almost there. You really have to come out with a bang.

DAVID TEMPLE:
You know, it's funny. And something you said made me think. I talk to a lot of writers, especially first-time writers. I want to do something completely original. And I always go, Alright, first of all, great challenge. Great Matterhorn to try to climb. But is that really the best, smartest choice? Because there's no template upon which to try to base that success.

CHRIS REICH:
Well, I mean, I think it's a silly idea. But I mean, what do you want out of a writing career? I wanted to make money and support a family. So I knew I had to write best-selling fiction. If you want to be experimental, go for it and get self-publishing. you know, best of luck to you. Get your beer mug. I'm not going to tell people what not to do. I just know what worked for me and what worked for Ken Follett and Robert Ludlum. You know, Robert Ludlum was an actor. He didn't make it. He was a stage actor and he was doing voiceover, like you said, had been in New York. And he said, God, I got to do something else. So he wrote the first book, The Scarlatti Inheritance. Yeah. which was based on a lot of the old John Buchan, the first great, the Scottish first great thriller writer. So Ludlam, who was writing in 1971, said, I'm going back. I'm going to copy this guy. Chris Reich started going, I'm going to copy Ken Follett and John le Carre. So whoever today copied Don Winslow, or use that as an example. Use someone that's successful, and you know the public wants to read that. I would be adverse or remiss to say, Go write something experimental or wholly original.

DAVID TEMPLE:
You know, best of luck to you. Well, it goes back to, do you want to make a living? Or do you want, you know, there's so much of that. I want to be an artist. I'm like, really? Does art, can art not figure out into, figure into a career in writing? I mean, James Patterson will tell you, or Jim, as you say, will tell you, I'm not a literary guy. I'm, you know, my books, nothing super fancy about it, but you want an airport read, you want to get on a flight in LA and have something riveting to read by the time you land in New York, a page turner, you kind of know what you're going to get. You know exactly what you're going to get. I'm your guy.

CHRIS REICH:
He defined, he knows what his public wants, and he's a master. He is the master at it. You know, the funny story about Jim Patterson is when he became a writer, he was still being CEO of J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency. Now, Jim is a driven guy. He goes at 80 miles an hour. But people ask, well, why are his books written the way they are, which is this really short chapters, three, four pages? It's because when he started, He would get up at 5.30 in the morning and know, oh, I only have till 7 to write before I have to take a shower and go to work for my real job. So he only had time to craft three or four tight, propulsive chapters. And that's how his formula was born, out of necessity. He couldn't sit there and write 20 pages. He goes, I got to write. I want to write this book. I have this story to tell. Those first Alex Cross books are fantastic.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Well, I'm going to just wrap by saying that you have a new fan. I mean, I'm not just saying that because you're sitting here. When I read this book, and I probably could have easily blown through it in a heartbeat, but it's like a really good meal. You want to sit there and really savor it. But I said, because of the expertise and the sparseness, and while still being a complex thrill ride, I got to read more. So that's why I said, you know, bring in Number to Count. I want to see, I want to see where we went from here to here, you know? Big difference. Yeah.

CHRIS REICH:
Big difference. And how? Well, Number to Count, it's a first book. Just look how long it is. It's very long. It's a lot more emotional. I let myself, I hadn't learned how to write yet. I was writing that one really from the heart. I hadn't learned to put that kind of exacting eye on my work and learned how to cut my sentences and say, okay, cut this paragraph in half. That is my biggest selling book. And people really responded to how heartfelt it was. And it's a thriller, but it's also a coming of age story. It's a kid looking after, trying to find his father's murderer. There's a lot longer descriptions of Switzerland in there. There's a lot longer digressions in the Swiss banking, which is the expertise people wanted. So I think that served the, or met the appetite of the reader's market in the year 1998, which is decidedly different than the year 2024. Sure.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Isn't it interesting? Did I hear this right? A son is seeking the revenge of his murdered father. A father is researching the demise of his murdered son.

CHRIS REICH:
This is pretty much in all my books, not all, but most, there's someone gets murdered, you know, then you want to find out a husband, a wife, a son, father, a relation. And that's the engine that gets the car started, gets the story going.

DAVID TEMPLE:
So if you were to look back and you could go back to the Chris that wrote Number to Count, you could somehow go back in time and you could say, Let me tell you, let me tell you what I'm going to know at 62. Let me tell you now. What would that be?

CHRIS REICH:
You know, you can't go back. And I had to learn how to write. So, you know, whenever I have a problem writing, my agent says, Chris, shut up, just write. Yeah. Because write, the writing solves the problems. But you can't think the problems out. You have to write them out. So I mean, I don't think I could apply the rules that I have today to myself back then, because I had to learn how to write. And that took, for this first book, a 600-page book. My new book's 330 pages. So, you know, writing is learning and it's learning about yourself, really. Sure. So it's hard for me to apply those rules. I would say, what rules? Yeah, it's like, you know, make it quicker. Cut out all the fancy words. Don't try to teach people, you know, new words, things like that. The Hemingway called it the $10 words. Cut all those out and just tell the story.

DAVID TEMPLE:
I think it's funny that sometimes first time writers, we've all done it. feels like if I throw in those $10 words, I'll impress my reader. If I really extrapolate all this vast knowledge and I just really stack the deck in information, they're going to be so impressed. When in reality, I'm never impressed with that. I'm like, get to the story. Indeed. That's true. Yeah, all right, last thing, because I always end up with the best writing advice, but you've already answered that, but I'm always curious. This is one of the things I throw in every once in a while called rapid-fire questions, but it's just one question. If you and your wife, your new wife, and I and my wife were going to sit down for a nice dinner there in Newport Beach, and you could invite two more people, living or dead, to join us for this little six-some soiree,

CHRIS REICH:
Who would it be and why? Wow, that's too hard of a question. Who would it be? Two most famous people, who would I want to meet most?

DAVID TEMPLE:
It could be any genre, dead or alive, it could be... I'm trying to think of something interesting.

CHRIS REICH:
I've just been reading... You know who I'd like to meet? Henry VIII. I've just read all the Hilary Mantel's books. Actually, no, not Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, his great advisor who ended up being beheaded. He was the first Superman of his age. I mean, he was a soldier. He was a brilliant diplomat. He was the first real king's advisor. He streamlined the English government. So I'll take Thomas Cromwell because I've read so much about him. Now, who else would I like to meet? I mean, Jesus is maybe one of the, I'm not really religious, but Jesus is one of them. It'd be a fascinating interview. Oh, Napoleon I'd like to meet. I love history, so I'd love to, so let's go with Thomas Cromwell and Napoleon Bonaparte.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Awesome. Thank you again for making this happen.

CHRIS REICH:
David, thank you for having me. It was a pleasure.

DAVID TEMPLE:
Yeah, I feel like I could sit here and talk to you just all day long. Very good. Instead, why don't we go grab lunch? Let's do that.

None:
Bye.