As I thought about writing this book, I had nothing, no plot, no title, nothing but a desire to showcase one specific admirable character trait in the hot, sexy thief Gregg Hadyn: Gregg’s ability to shrug off how other people–especially agents in the intelligence community–tended to dislike him just because he was a thief.
This was another world for Gregg, an opposite universe to his status in the thieving community, where he was beloved and looked up to. I wanted to highlight Gregg’s ability to work within a community with the opposite viewpoint of him, one in which people tended to mistreat him first and ask questions later. I had already thought about spinning off a specific character from Book 2 to vilify for the most horrible treatment of Gregg, and this seemed the perfect place to do it. Enter Richard “Dick” Jarus, (fictional) Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. But it wasn’t enough to show Gregg continually disliked and mistreated, or even how he reacted to it. I wanted to show how Gregg’s charismatic, likable personality changed the bad opinions when those holding them had the chance to get to know Gregg Hadyn.
That was it. That’s what I had in my head when I started to write Book 5. And I had no idea as to where to have the story begin, so I went with the most convenient place: exactly where Book 4 left off. As in all the books to this point, I had Book 5 pick up pretty much exactly where Book 4 left off–only four hours later.
And so it began. I have often described myself as the type of writer who “writes by the seat of my pants,” meaning each chapter plays out as I dig into it. I don’t use an outline or any predetermined, stylistic guide. So, when I decided to pick up four hours after the SIRU’s last mission–while they were still in Moscow–everything just flowed from there. I wanted a quick wham, bang start too, an immediate action-packed scene to grab my audience and hold them captive for the outcome. The idea of using drones for the main plotline fell in quickly, and all the subplots came together in a hurry as well.
Though Book 5 is my shortest novel to date, it was also the most fast-paced, action-packed. It was the book my husband said was his favorite–that I was getting better with each book I wrote–and that meant everything!
The SIRU went from Moscow to St. Petersburg in Russia and then on to China for the main plot in Book 5. A lot of fun research went into learning about various places in China as well as learning about the Predator and Reaper Drones. It’s a whirlwind of a ride for readers who love action-adventure/crime-heist/espionage books. I guarantee it!