Hey there, Word Nerds! So excited to have you here for a new episode of DIY MFA Radio.
Today I’m interviewing the New York Times bestselling thriller author, Brad Taylor. We’ll be talking about the fiction vs. reality. As writers, we’ve all been told to “write what you know” but as with everything, there are pros and cons to incorporating our real-life experiences into our stories and novels.
Brad Taylor’s novels are a great example of finding that balance between fact and fiction. A former member of the Special Forces and now a security consultant, Brad uses his knowledge both of the military world and obscure international news, to craft thrillers that seem almost to anticipate real-world events. In this episode, he shares insights about his process: how he gets inside the skin of his characters and brings readers into the world of stories, making that world feel totally real.
In this episode Brad and I discuss:
- Writing what you know and balancing fiction and reality.
- How to get into the shoes of your character.
- Deciding which details and information to unpack for the reader.
- Plotting versus pantsing.
Plus, Brad’s #1 tip for writers.
About Brad Taylor:
Brad Taylor served for more than twenty years in the US Army, including eight years in 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, commonly known as Delta Force. He also holds a Master’s of Science in Defense Analysis and, in addition to his writing, he serves as a security consultant on asymmetric threats.
Brad pays close attention to obscure international news stories before mainstream media picks them up, so his books can read like prophecies, almost anticipating real-world events. He is a trusted and mediagenic expert who has been called to comment on breaking news for FOX, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera America, and Newsmax on stories as diverse as the Charlie Hebdo attack, ISIS, the Sony hack, the death of Osama Bin Laden, and Tom Clancy.
Brad is the New York Times bestselling author of eight previous Pike Logan novels. His latest book The Forgotten Soldier, is a fascinating departure from this series, where the characters (a close-knit group in a military Taskforce) face their most emotional challenge yet—hunting one of their own.
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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome.