10 Questions with Dick Couch
Who is Dick Couch?
Dick Couch. Navy SEAL, Combat Veteran, CIA Case Officer, New York Times Best Selling Author–with eighteen books to his credit. During the Global War on Terror, Dick Couch alone has been allowed to embed with the component commands of the US Special Operations Command. Dick Couch alone has tracked the SEALs, Green Berets, Rangers, and Marine Special Operators as they trained for war–and written extensively about this training. Now after eight books of special-operations nonfiction, Act of Revenge marks his return to fiction.
1. Mr. Couch, thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed for my blog. ACT OF REVENGE, your newest novel, came out on August 3. Tell us a bit more about this book.
Actually the book came out on 5 August, and it marks my first novel—at least my first solo novel in close to ten years. The story follows a Navy SEAL who comes home from war with a mission. He is also to his core, a warrior. For the last decade and a half he’s been continuously at war—combat rotation after combat rotation. He’s a veteran of the close fight and he’s taken a great many lives. Yet, all that combat and all those deaths were in the service of his country. Now, that’s about to change. He will take life, but he is not in uniform.
Since their college days, Garrett and his identical twin have been estranged. They were both in love with the same woman, and she chose Garrett’s brother. So Garrett chose the Navy SEALs. Then, following the death of their younger brother, also a Navy SEAL, yet another tragedy strikes the Walker family. The twin is caught in the web of a Russian Mafia organ-theft ring. He was just another business man in Las Vegas on just another business trip. Then drugged and alone, strange men enter his hotel room and crudely remove his kidneys. It’s a rare crime, but one that happens more than is reported. For those in the black-market organ trade, easy pickings, right? But they didn’t count of the resiliency of the one twin, nor the rage of the warrior twin.
Together, they embark on a mission. Together, they put all the rules aside bring about the ultimate Act of Revenge.
2. Who is Garrett Walker, and how did you come up with his character?
Garrett Walker served me to previous novels—The Mercenary Option and Covert Action. In both of these Garrett is recruited to a private military company that operates with the approval of the US Government in certain ticklish situations. Act of Revenge is a prequel to these works that marks his transition from uniformed service to a different kind of duty.
3. ACT OF REVENGE marks your return to fiction from a number of special operations non-fiction. How was the process of writing this thriller different from the previous books?
I’ve always maintained that in writing a novel, you get to go hang out with your imaginary friends for a few hours each day. Nonfiction is a 120,000-word term paper. I like both, but writing novels is more creative and a great change of pace from nonfiction.
4. What’s one important thing to remember about ethics and moral conduct in the battle field? Why is it not okay to fire at an enemy combatant who has run out of ammunition and only now decides to surrender, but a second earlier his bullets were about to blow up your brain?
Good question. Our values define who we are and provide us with the moral authority to take another human life. Ethics are moral armor, if you will. It is important that our deployed warriors operate within an ethical framework and specific rules of engagement. It guides their battlefield conduct and allows them to return from battle morally and mentally intact.
5. How is ACT OF REVENGE different from other thrillers in the genre?
Well, it’s both a medical thriller and “domestic” special operations thriller. Not sure that’s been done before. And I’ve always wanted to put a good Navy SEAL up against the underworld. The Mafia, Russian or otherwise, is used to playing with no rules, while law enforcement has to play by rules. What if the bad guys come up against someone who is a deadly force and does not play by the rules.
6. What is your greatest satisfaction as a writer? What is your greatest disappointment?
Having a reader say, “Damn you, Couch. I was up until 3:00am last night finishing your book. I couldn’t put it down.” Disappointment? Always like to sell a few more books—maybe you can help with this.
7. Why do you write?
Candidly, it’s how I make my living, and I count myself a very lucky man who can make a living doing something I love.
8. What are your favorite pastimes?
I have many. Skiing, fly-fishing, hiking, and music—listening and playing. If I’m not writing, I’m doing one of those. And of course, reading.
9. What are your writing habits? Outlines or not?
At this stage of my game, I seldom use outlines. It’s all in my head. For nonfiction, it’s pretty formatted, so I just need to create a balance in project, giving the proper weight to each aspect or phase of the training of military operation. In writing novels, I have an idea of the beginning, most of the major plot points, and the ending. Then I create the characters and turn them loose. Sometimes, I feel as if I’m just running along behind my characters taking notes.
10. What is your next book going to be about?
I have a history of the Navy SEALs coming out in November in conjunction with a 2-hour PBS special in November. Then in May of 2015, another Garret Walker story, Act of Justice. And finally, I’m under contract for a nonfiction work with Mike Thornton and Tom Norris—both SEALs and both recipients of the Medal of Honor.
Connect With Dick
- Website: http://dickcouch.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/dickcouch
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/88189.Dick_Couch