Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Coffee chat with Brian Andrews, author of thriller, espionage, science fiction

It's a pleasure to welcome to my virtual café, Brian Andrews.
Brian is a best selling author of military fiction and espionage thrillers, a former US Navy Vet, and Park Leadership Fellow. He has a master’s degree in business from Cornell, and holds a psychology degree from Vanderbilt. He is a husband, father, and advocate of planetary stewardship. He would also like to someday take a walk on Mars.

Welcome Brian,
 
DL: Firstly, since this is a coffee chat, how do you take your coffee (or not as has been the case), and what is your favourite time of the day to partake?
 
BRIAN: Ahhh, coffee… nectar of the gods and quite possibly the single greatest human culinary achievement. I prefer my coffee hot, with steamed milk and a hint of sugar. 


DL: As a Navy vet, has writing Military Thrillers been a therapeutic outlet for you, or is it a case of you feel there should be more believability in this genre and you can deliver these details? 

BRIAN: Great question! The legends of the genre Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn were brilliant authors, but never served in the military. Now, you see a new generation of rising military thriller authors who are veterans with a voice and stories to tell providing a level of authenticity not seen before. As you know, I co-author the best selling TIER ONE series with fellow Navy veteran CDR Jeff Wilson under the name Andrews& Wilson.

For us, the TIER ONE series is both therapeutic and celebratory. What I mean is by writing these characters and telling these stories we are able to honor the brave men and women who serve in the military and find both meaning and purpose for the sacrifices made and lives lost. Jeff and I strive to write novels with a “tick on a hound” perspective—so real and gritty you feel like you are a member of the team on mission while you’re reading.

You can find us online at www.andrews-wilson.com and @BAndrewsJWilson

DL: Your latest book "Reset" has a science fiction element to it. It reminds me of Michael Creighton. Is Sci-Fi Thriller a genre you'd like to write more of? And if so, which Sci-Fi books/authors/TV shows have influenced you?

BRIAN: RESET is the novel I’ve been dreaming about writing my entire life and is packed with every cool idea I’ve ever wanted to toss in a book: Mind Control, Parasitic Organisms, the discovery of Alien Technology, Underground Bunkers, Doomsday Preppers, an Eccentric Conspiracy Theorist, and of course, DARPA.

 
At my core, I’ve always been a Sci-Fi fanboy. If I had been born today instead of forty years ago, I would be first in line to sign up for a ticket to Mars, so yes, this is definitely a genre you’ll see more work from me in the future. Early influences for me were the X-Files television shows, Orson Scott Card’s Ender series, James Rollins Sigma Force novels, and the body of work by writer/director James Cameron. More recently, I’ve been enjoying the work of John Scalzi, Peter Clines, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Dennis E. Taylor, and Amy Rogers.
 
If you like films like War Games or The Terminator, or television series like the X-files or Stranger Things, you’ll love RESET. I should also note, that I was fortunate enough to entice the worlds most talented voice actor, Ray Porter, to narrate the audiobook. I’ve listened to the pre-release recording and it is a masterwork, with Ray voicing over a dozen different characters and bringing them to life in way I could have never imagined. Please check it out on Audible!

DL: You've served on a submarine and you'd like to go to Mars. Both require living in a self-contained, closed-quarter environment with other people. (I reckon I'd cope with the confined space but would smother the snorers within the first week.) What is the one feature of closed-quarter living that most writers of Books/Film/TV get wrong? And what is one feature they're spot on about?


BRIAN: Another intriguing question. What they get right is the amplification of tension in the interpersonal relationships. Self-contained, closed-quarter environments are sort of like human pressure cookers. There’s no where to run, no where to hide, no where to escape your social and professional adversaries. This creates wonderful drama. What authors who haven’t personally experienced living and working in these environments have difficulty expressing and describing is what I call the “man serving the machine” phenomenon.

 
Understand, this is not metaphor. The greatest constraint on the engineers who design submarines and spacecraft is the requirement to make room for the humans. The humans inside the machine—with all their human needs—really throw the proverbial “monkey wrench” into the equation. There were dozens of omnipresent reminders, when I was working on the submarine, that I was not the priority. The machine is the priority. The mission is the priority.
 
You are either a cog in the machine (best case scenario) or you’re luggage (worst case scenario). I worked hard to be a cog :-)  


DL: I love conspiracy theories. The weirder the better for me. Plus they're great fodder for speculative fiction. Many of your books feature covert deeds and conspiracies. Do you have a personal favorite conspiracy theory?

BRIAN: Of course, the Roswell incident and alien visitation lore in general. I think it is ludicrous and outlandishly egocentric to believe that in a cosmos with billions of stars and trillions of planets Earth is the only place harboring life. In fact, I will go on the record now, on your blog, with this feather ruffling statement: People who don’t believe there is alien life beyond our little blue marble are the ones guilty of peddling conspiracy theory!


By the end of the next decade I’m certain we will have discovered evidence of microbial life on Mars, Titan, or Europa. I also predict we’ll discover an exoplanet in the habitable zone of an alien star with an oxygen rich atmosphere and evidence of liquid water. Once that happens, the race to launch the first interplanetary probe will be on…a race I presume Elon will win.
 

DL: And lastly, are you a biscuit or cake kind of person? And what is your favourite biscuit/cake?

BRIAN: Coffee cake with a cinnamon, sugar, walnut marbled filling.

Thanks for dropping by for a coffee chat. If readers would like to know more about his latest release or follow this author, here are some links.
 
ABOUT THE BOOK



The human mind has always been unhackable… until now.

DARPA wants to study him.
 The Pentagon wants to pretend it never happened.
 And his wife just wants him back.

 But the mysterious object discovered by Army Sergeant Michael Pitcher defies logic and has set in motion a sequence of events that, if left unchecked, will RESET the fate of humanity.



MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
 Brian is a US Navy veteran, nuclear engineer, and former submarine officer. He co-authors the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon best-selling TIER ONE thriller series with Jeffrey Wilson. He is a husband, father, coffee lover and occasional malcontent. His latest stand-alone thriller, RESET, is new for 2018. You can find him online at: www.andrews-wilson.com and @bandrewsjwilson.

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Stay tuned for more coffee chats commencing June.

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