Welcome to Shelfbuzz, Jack. There is a lot of buzz about your PRIMAL series. Matthew Reilly said the series “bristles with authenticity” and compares you favorably with Tom Clancy. Besides your military background (which we will not delve into for security reasons), what made you want to create this series?
I’ve written the sort of books I’d like to read; hard-core action, lots of guns, cutting edge military technology, and no small dose of testosterone-fueled violence. And yes, I drew on my own personal experiences and the experiences of people I know. But there’s another aspect to it. Anyone who’s worked in the military will tell you of the frustrations they face being hamstrung by politics, bureaucracy and international law. I wanted the opportunity to explore a world where justice is served without the limitations of government service. So I created PRIMAL: a vigilante organization dealing out justice where governments won’t or can’t. They have no national affiliation—just an inherent need to stick up for the little guy. They’re the A-Team with a healthy dose of hardcore action, realism and gut-wrenching emotion.
That’s a fantastic premise–but a potentially far-reaching one. Tell us how you brought this concept down to a human level.
I introduce PRIMAL through the eyes of Vance, a veteran CIA operative with a chip on his shoulder. Years of working with the Agency’s more questionable allies have left him and his partner, Ice, jaded and questioning orders. When a third party offers him the chance to take justice into his hands, he grabs it.
And it sounds like this opportunity transforms him…
Yes, Vance starts his journey as a loyal company man. By the end of the novel he’s a renegade outside of the law, kicking doors and taking scalps. Something tipped him over the edge, but I won’t spoil it for your readers.
We understand that you are a big movie fan, so which actor would you cast as Vance?
I think Idris Elba would do an excellent Vance. He’s got a heavy hitting presence that would do the jaded CIA operative real justice.
Speaking of movies, the PRIMAL series seems perfect for the next action/adventure franchise. Any plans in the works?
I can neither confirm or deny at this time. You’ll to have to stay tuned to find out.
PRIMAL Origin is set in the Mideast. How important is that setting?
The United Arab Emirates is vital to PRIMAL Origin, not only because of the terrain but because it’s a clash of cultures. It is where modern civilization impacts with some of the most staunch traditionalists. What’s more, it has real issues relating to fundamentalism, labor exploitation, and organized crime.
After readers finish PRIMAL Origin, which novel of yours should they read next?
Readers just discovering the PRIMAL series have a lot to look forward to. So far the series is up to nine books. There are also two stand alone backstories (PRIMAL Inception and PRIMAL Mirza). But after PRIMAL Origin, readers can move on to book 2: PRIMAL Unleashed.
This has been great, Jack. Thank you so much.