10 Questions with Stephen Templin
My guest today is Mr. Stephen Templin, author of TRIDENT’S FIRST GLEAMING, an action thriller, that comes out on September 9. Please scroll down to enjoy his interview.
Who is Stephen Templin?
Stephen Templin completed Hell Week, qualified as a pistol and rifle expert, and blew up things during Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. After the Navy, he volunteered as a missionary and attended college. Then he lectured as a tenured university professor in Japan for fourteen years, where he also practiced the martial art aikido. Currently, he lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
1. Mr. Templin, thank you for stopping on my blog again. Your newest thriller, TRIDENT’S FIRST GLEAMING, comes out on September 9. Tell us a bit more about this book.
Chris Paladin leaves SEAL Team Six to become a pastor, but CIA spook Hannah Andrade pulls him back into Special Operations Group, the ultra-secret unit that SEALs and others served under to eliminate bin Laden. Chris and Hannah are joined by Delta Force’s Sonny Cohen to stop a new terrorist threat from launching a deadly cyber-attack against the United States.
2. How did TRIDENT’S FIRST GLEAMING go from an idea to seeing the light of publishing?
A: I dug deep for a hero and just kept digging for the core of something, and I hit on the spirit of the warrior—something I’ve long been interested in. Then I added flesh, personality, and a past; Chris Paladin was born. He was quite wobbly in the beginning, but as I wrote and revised, he could walk. Then run.
When Hannah stepped onto the page, she was an elusive character, difficult to nail down. When I stopped trying so hard, her character flowed, retaining that air of mystery.
Cyber-terrorism is so cutting edge that I had to put Chris up against that. And a truly evil bad guy.
I talked to my agent, Scott Miller, about the novel, and we decided the best way to approach the market with it.
3. Why do you write?
Since elementary school, it has been a constant thirst. Almost a need.
4. What are your writing habits? Outlines or not?
For a short story, I don’t need an outline, but a novel is monstrous to tame, and I find a rough outline helps: A beginning, end, and some scenes in-between. And then the characters take over and blast my plans to pieces—but that’s okay. I try to write 1,000 words (about 4 ½ pages) a day.
5. What is your greatest satisfaction as a writer? What is your greatest disappointment?
My greatest satisfaction was a wonderful review from Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani (New York Times). As for greatest disappointment, I’m still waiting for it. The only easy day was yesterday.
6. What are some of the spy thriller tropes that you think are done to death but readers still love them?
I think a novel is a little like a meal—most of the recipes are quite similar. In the hands of a cook, the recipes are copied; in the hands of a master chef, the recipes are transformed into an epic meal. If the meal is boring, it’s because of the cook. (As I answer this, it’s close to dinner time.)
7. How do you connect with your fans?
Over 30,000 people connect with me through Twitter, so that medium is huge, but people can communicate with me in more depth via Facebook, so both are important for me.
8. What has been the readers’ reactions to your works? What is the best or worst fan mail you have ever received?
For the most part, readers have been supportive. Some people have a political or personal ax to grind, but they aren’t fans. My fans are troopers; although they tell me what they like and don’t like, I can’t recall receiving “bad” mail from anyone.
9. How is TRIDENT’S FIRST GLEAMING different from other thrillers in the genre?
Chris Paladin is a combination of SEAL/pastor, a hero I haven’t seen. Also, he’s the only hero in a thriller I know of who works for Special Operations Group (SOG). When the President wants to deny a high threat military or intelligence operation, he calls SOG. Most of the names on the CIA Memorial Wall are SOG operatives who died on active duty.
10. What is your next book going to be about?
I’ve started writing the sequel to Trident’s First Gleaming. The title is From Russia Without Love. It’s scheduled to come out spring of next year.
PRAISE FOR STEVE’S BOOKS:
“As action packed as a Tom Clancy thriller…harrowing…adrenaline-laced.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Pulses with the grit of a Jerry Bruckheimer production…”
—Stephen Lowman, The Washington Post
Praise for Trident’s Last Gleaming
Another great novel reflecting our Spec Ops forces’ global capabilities. Written by a proven and insightful master storyteller.”
—Howard E. Wasdin, SEAL Team Six Sniper and NYT Bestselling Author of SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper
“Stephen Templin’s Trident’s First Gleaming is a muscular thrill ride that’s rich with detail and full of heart and energy. A stand out in the ranks of modern action-adventure thrillers, Trident’s First Gleaming is a blast.”
—Mark Greaney, #1 NYT Bestselling Coauthor of Command Authority, by Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney.
“There are few authors who have as deep an understanding of the shadowy world of global special operations as Stephen Templin. And there are fewer still who can synthesize that knowledge into a thrilling narrative so deftly. In Trident’s First Gleaming, Stephen weaves a tale that reflects today’s complicated reality, where motives and allegiances are rarely black and white and there are no easy answers. Even more impressively, he manages to do this while still bringing plenty of visceral gunfights and car chases.”
—Chris Martin, Bestselling Author of Beyond Neptune Spear and Shaping the World from the Shadows
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