Twenty-one-year Army veteran Brad Taylor went from working as a Special Forces commander to writing best-selling thrillers, enticing readers with his smart and detailed tales of intrigue.
“I was going 900 miles an hour (in the Army), and then with my last assignment, as an instructor at Charleston, I went to a crawling pace,” Taylor said. He always had intentions to write, and his sudden change in lifestyle was the ideal opportunity to give a novel a shot.
“I expected it to sit on my bedside table,” he said. “The first book sold and my editor asked me to write another one.”
Now, a few years later, he is promoting his fifth novel, “The Polaris Protocol,” to be released Tuesday.
Taylor researches his books meticulously, often doing more work than can fit into a single book.
“I see something in the news that spikes my interest and go from there,” Taylor said.
For his latest novel, Taylor traveled to Mexico City to research drug cartels and border patrols. What began as a character-driven story about cartel kidnapping evolved into the story of the role of the U.S. global positioning system in everyday American life.
“GPS has infiltrated our daily lives so much that we don’t even realize it,” Taylor said, citing cellphones, credit cards and traffic lights. “If you knocked out GPS, it would have a catastrophic effect.”
He weaves a tense, scary, realistic account of today’s modern age and reliance on technology.
Like the previous four books in the series, the central character, Pike Logan, operates as part of the Taskforce, a secret anti-terrorist team that works outside U.S. law to thwart enemies.
While Taylor doesn’t write directly from his own military experience, readers can’t help but imagine that many of the thrilling scenes he depicts have a kernel of truth behind them.
“Whether it’s an assault scene, a rescue or attack, I fall back on what it was like when I did it for real,” he said, though “not in a specific way.”
This book tour brings Taylor to military bases for the first time, which he is excited about.
“I get a good response from (service members). I try to show the moral compass of the operator on the ground ... there’s moral ambiguity in combat. You have to make life and death decisions, sometimes it’s the right one and sometimes it’s wrong,” Taylor said. “I try to reflect that in my books.”