Earlier this week, Brad Thor’s latest thriller, “Hidden Order,” hit book stores. In an extensive interview with The Daily Caller, The New York Times best selling novelist dishes on his new book, his writing process, and his journey from being “an absolute idiot as a kid” to conservatism.
Your next novel is “Hidden Order.” Tell us about that.
In the wake of 9/11, my wife Trish and I were stranded on the East Coast. We had planned a vacation to Greece, but flights had been halted. Instead, we ended up on a tiny island off the coast of Georgia.
While there, I learned about an organization more secretive than the CIA, or even the NSA. It has been around for a hundred years posing as an agency of the Federal government – but it isn’t Federal at all. In fact, every facet of this organization reads like it has been ripped right out of a modern spy novel.
It fascinated me and I wanted to write about it for ten years, but that invisible hand was there. This time, though, it wasn’t pushing me ahead, but rather holding me back. The time hadn’t been right – not yet. Then I saw a shift in the United States and I knew the time was right to write “Hidden Order.”
It was the same feeling I had with “Black List,” he thriller I published last summer that presaged the NSA scandal. I knew that was going to be the next big thing we’d all be talking about. I feel confident that “Hidden Order” will not only give people a thrilling read, but also an insight into the next big scandal we’ll be talking about.
What do you think of the famous French spy novelist Girard De Villiers? Have you met him? Have you ever had an experience, like he has, where something you wrote occurred after your book was published?
Girard and I haven’t met, but I certainly would enjoy sitting and chatting with him.
My wife has a good sense of humor and instead of calling me psychic with my novels, she simply refers to me as being “psycho.” That’s because multiple things in my books have come true. Not only the NSA scandal, but the 9/11 attacks, the “suicide” of Abu Nidal (who was “found” to have shot himself “multiple” times in Iraq), and a host of other items.
You are part of a special government program in which you collaborate with the Department of Homeland Security to try to imagine ways terrorists might attack us. What does that involve?
The Analytic Red Cell Unit was created in the wake of 9/11 to help the government stay three to four steps ahead of the bad guys. The goal is to identify potential targets at home and abroad, and how they may hit us here, as well as American interests and citizens abroad.
It is easily the most aggressive, forward-thinking program I have ever seen the Federal Government stand up. They bring in creative thinkers from outside the Beltway to sit down with a range of government, military and intelligence people to create possible scenarios. One of the proudest moments of my life is when my country asked me apply my creativity to helping keep our nation, its interests, and citizens safe.
As far as what is specifically done in the unit, I like to refer to Red Cell as the “Las Vegas” of government programs – what happens in Red Cell, stays in Red Cell.