About Matt Lynn
Matt Lynn -  Thriller Writer

Where did you get the idea for this series of books?

For the last few years, I've been ghost-writing military thrillers. You might well have read one: they sell by the truck load. I wanted to create my own series of books, making use of some of the experience I had in writing military stories. Every SAS guy you meet these days is off fighting in Iraq for one of the Private Military Corporations. And it struck me that as small PMC unit would make a great theme for a series of books tracking a group of hardened fighters as they make their way around the world.

Do you do much research?

Loads. It's really important in these kinds of books that you get all the technical details right. So I spent a lot of time interviewing soldiers who had fought in PMCs, and, of course, the ghost-writing came in handy. In each of the books, I've included an appendix detailing all the weapons the guys use in the story. I try and make it an interesting mix, so you’ll find some kit that is completely new, as well as some old weapons as well.

What are your influences?

 

Obviously I'm influenced by the military writers who are around at the moment, such as Andy McNab and Chris Ryan and Damien Lewis. But I've also drawn a lot from World War Two stories such as Band of Brothers and the books of Sven Hassel who wrote a hugely successful series of books based on his time in the German Army on the Eastern Front. Few writers capture the madness of warfare better than Hassel. If you read the books closely you might guess that I like Westerns as well.

 

Where are the books set?

The first book – Death Force - is set in Afghanistan, because that is probably the most brutal, but also the most fascinating, combat theatre in the world today. It's a completely lawless place, where all the usual rules of warfare have been torn up. It is the perfect setting for a story about modern-day mercenaries.

After that, the unit moves on to Africa. There are so many failed states on that continent, it would be wrong to describe Batota, the fictional country in which the book is set, as based on one in particular. But it is a great place to set a story. With so many corrupt regimes, and so many natural resources, Africa has always been the prime hunting ground for the dogs of war.

In the third book of the series – Shadow Force – they will be taking on the pirates in Somalia. Again, it has been great fun researching the story. There is something fascinating about piracy, and always has been. The techniques the pirates use for capturing ships are really interesting: so too are the way the ships defend themselves. Somalia itself is a gruesome, failed country, and the poverty of the people makes piracy, to some degree, understandable.

 

What other subjects are coming up?

The great thing about writing a series of thrillers about mercenaries is that you never feel you are going to run out of stories. They can go anywhere in the world, and get involved in any kind of conflict. They can even start a war if they need to. I’d like to set stories in the Artic, in the Far East, around Burma and Thailand, and in South America.

 
 

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