5
Jan

My Conversation with Brad Thor

New York Times Best-Selling author Brad Thor is one of the most accomplished thriller writers of our day.  His signature character, Scot Harvath, has been entertaining audiences since his debut in 2002.  This year, Brad took the all female covert operations team he introduced in “Foreign Influence” and spun them off into their own book – “The Athena Project”.  I called this team a “lethal combination of beauty, brains, and bullets” in my review (which you can read here).

Brad has spent time as a member of Homeland Security’s Analytic Red Cell Unit, is a fellow of the Alexandrian Defense Group, and is a frequent contributor to the Glenn Beck program.  He can now add to his resume – an interviewee and friend of thewordzombie.com.  Just before Christmas I had a chance to talk with Brad about a wide range of topics.  We covered “The Athena Project”, how veterans could help secure our airports, the things that scare him most, why gun owners should be allowed to fly armed, the best non-fiction book he’s ever read, teleportation, why Eric Holder is a coward, and – of course – zombies.  It was one of the more engaging and interesting conversations I’ve had in long while.  I hope you enjoy it.




The Word Zombie:  Up until now, all your books have focused on Scot Harvath.  With this one you’ve shifted that focus away from him and onto the women of the Athena Project.  What was it like writing for this new set of characters as the focus – getting in to their new voice and their new personality, as opposed to what you’ve done with Scot Harvath?

Brad Thor: Well, it’s interesting, because these characters are based on actual, real people.  Delta Force really is going out and haunting high-end female athletic events, particularly the triathlons in Hawaii, and tapping these women on the shoulder and saying – “Hey, how about leaving the sporting world and coming to serve your nation?”  So, I felt a certain responsibility to be as accurate in my portrayal of these women as possible.  Now, that said – it’s a highly clandestine, very top-secret organization, so there’s not a lot of information, even with contacts like I’ve got, that I was able to get about these ladies.  So it was actually very challenging.  It wasn’t just a simple as taking men who would be in that situation and then just giving them female names.

The Word Zombie:  In the past there has been a lot of controversy among some folks about women serving in combat. You talked about your inspiration coming from what’s really happening with the military right now.  What do you see as that role for women in combat going forward, and do you make a distinction between covert operations and front line infantry combat?

Brad Thor:  Well, it’s a great question.  I think this is a brilliant idea that I wrote about with female Delta operatives – I think it’s brilliant.  I think if women can get the training they need to be the best possible hitters out there, I’m all for it.  I think it’s a great idea.  Who knows, we might discover through studying that women are better snipers than men.  That would be terrible interesting.

The one thing that I spent time studying, that I can really speak to is women in the special operations world.  I think it’s a terrific, terrific idea.  Front line like infantry stuff – I don’t know enough about it, I don’t know enough about the training.  I do know that in a city like Chicago, we see this issue come up every once and a while with women wanting to join the fire department.  Can they carry one of their comrades out of the burning building, do they have the upper body strength – there are those questions.  I’ll leave that to other people, but as far as women receiving the best training this country has to offer to go do some of this nation’s most dangerous business, I’m all for it.  Listen – if you want to pick up a rifle and go defend my freedoms, I want to help you do it.  I think that’s wonderful.  I think it’s commendable.  I think we should do everything we can do to support people who want to defend America.  I think that’s terrific.

The Word Zombie:  I have a young daughter, so it’s really important to me that she have strong female role models.  You’ve talked in the past about being a fan of the show “Alias” and the strong female role models in it.  What did you hope to say with ”The Athena Project” about the avenues that are open to women – not only in the military, but also in the world that we live in today?

Brad Thor:  That’s a great question because, like you, I have a daughter as well.  What kind of dad am I, who spends every day creating characters, to not create a set of lead characters for her to look up to and admire?  In all of my books, women have never been sex objects; they have never been window dressing.  They have always been strong and integral to the plot.  When they’ve been in the Scot Harvath books, Scot Harvath wouldn’t have been able to solve what he was doing or attain the objective he was after without the strong female character that helps him.  I’ve always had good strong female supporting characters – this is my first time doing them as lead characters.

Men and women are equal, but they’re not the same.  I think that’s something we lose in our politically correct culture.  There are going to be things that guys can do that women can’t, and there are going to be things that women can do that guys can’t.  It’s just the nature of being men and women – we’re equal but we’re not the same.

With the “Athena Project” I definitely wanted to create a set of strong female characters that male readers would enjoy reading, and that female readers would enjoy reading.  I don’t want to just sell to half the marketplace.  Once I get men and women enjoying these characters, the bonus for me is that these are strong female characters, and female readers can look at them and say – “Wow, this is really neat”.  There are some incredible opportunities in this world for women who are patriots; who love their country and want to serve their country.  Whether that’s in the military, law enforcement, or the intelligence world – there’s a lot going on out there.  Women have come a long way just in the last 50 years.  I’m absolutely proud to highlight that in this book.

The Word Zombie:  In the reviews that I did of both “The Athena Project” and “Foreign Influence”, the one criticism I did have, if you can call it a criticism, was that they both felt like the building blocks, the foundation, for a bigger story.  You’ve introduced a shadowy organization, the Amalgam, that we’ve learned a little bit about in these books.  I think it portends bigger and better things down the road.  Are these books the foundation for a broader, more complex story?  If so, where are you looking to take it over the next few years?

Brad Thor:  Bingo – you nailed that right on the head.  You got it.  That’s exactly what I’m doing.  I fell in with a group of very interesting people who have really have their finger on the geopolitical pulse.  These are people who have been very close to the people holding the reins of power in different places in the world.  It’s very interesting what I’ve learned from them and what is actually going on.  We talk a lot about terrorism and that being a threat, but there are some even greater threats out there.  As I learn more and more from spending time with these people about what the country is facing, what’s coming down the pike, I thought – I can’t possibly bite all of this off in one book, but there are several little pieces of it that are fascinating for stand alone books.  That’s what I’ve been going after with these books.  So you’re right; there definitely is a set up.  Each of these books is meant to stand on it’s own.  If you haven’t read a Brad Thor book before, you pick this up and you can read it.  If you pick up the tenth Brad Thor book, you don’t have to feel like – “‘I’ve got to go back and start at the beginning”.  If you want to do that, that’s fine – but you don’t have to.  The books are meant to stand alone, but I definitely am trying to build to something.

My books are as based on reality as possible. They are as much fact and as little fiction as possible.  Fiction is important to tell a story, but the bedrock of a great thriller for me is the details, and those details are true life.  It’s funny, with doing the spin-off series “The Athena Project”, there’s a lot more science in that book than I’ve done before.  I got a couple of scathing reviews from individual readers who nailed me saying – “Oh, it sounds like something out of a sci-fi plot.”  I don’t respond to those.  I just say – everybody’s entitled to their opinion.  But last week, Foxnews.com came out and said that the greatest  single breakthrough in 2010 was this huge leap forward in the science of teleportation.  [Teleportation plays an integral role in the plot of “The Athena Project” - you can find the foxnews.com article here]. That’s last week – three weeks after my book had been on the market.  I finished my book  and turned it in over the summer – and I saw this coming.  When you read a Brad Thor book, you are getting stuff before it even hits the headlines.  I wanted to respond to a couple of people that tried to needle me for the science in the book and I just thought, you know what?  It’s gonna come out – you’ll see what’s happening. 

The Word Zombie:  As much as I enjoy the Scot Harvath books, I really enjoyed this book – it had it’s tone and own rhythm.  It was a good compliment to what you do in the Scot Harvath books, and yet in made the women of Athena really feel like their own characters, not just a pure spin-off – just a “maybe I can sell some books with these women” endeavor.

Brad Thor:  Well, thank you – that was the idea.  I’ve had people who have been die-hard Scot Harvath fans say now “The Athena Project” is their favorite book, which is an incredible compliment.  And then there are the people that have come to it expecting it to be a Scot Harvath book and that’s not what it is.    This is a completely different series.  It’s in the same genre, but it’s something brand new.  It’s the whole Abraham Lincoln thing – you can please some of the people, some of the time – but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.  What’s thrilling for me is how many of my diehard Scot Harvath readers absolutely love “The Athena Project” and say –  “I can’t wait for the next one”.  And then there are all of the new readers – people that have never read me before, have never read any of the Scot Harvath books.  The first book they are picking up is “The Athena Project”.  They’re saying – “Wow this is really good.   I can’t wait for the next one.  In the meantime, I want to go back and read some of Brad’s other books.”

There is a certain amount of art in being a writer and it’s nice to be able to stretch yourself and do something different.  I didn’t want to do something so radically different that all of a sudden I’m writing “chick-lit”; I’m writing Nicholas Sparks – I didn’t think that was the right kind of thing to do.  I wanted to remain within the thriller genre.  The big thing for me here was – it’s a lot of work to do two books in one year.  You’ve got all these guys out there that put their name on a book and let somebody else do the writing.  Their name is real big and the guy who does the actual book is real small.  That’s not me.  I wrote this book myself.  So I figured, if I’m going to write two books in one year, (writing one book a year is an incredibly huge deal), but if I’m going to write two books in one year, I’m going to do something that I have fun with – and I think that really came through with this book.  That energy, that “can’t-put-it-down-keep-turning–the-pages” is all there.  That’s directly tied to how much I enjoyed the subject matter and enjoyed writing about it.

The Word Zombie:  I want to take a step back to something that you mentioned earlier.  In the past you’ve said that your job as a thriller writer is to beat the headlines – that’s what you need to deliver to the reading public.  The world that we live in today is obviously very dangerous and changing very, very quickly.  What are the one or two things no one is talking about right now in the world that really concerns you?

Brad Thor:  Well, I’ll tell you a couple of things.  Number one, I think one of the biggest soft targets in the United States, (and that’s what the terrorist are going for – they don’t want it to be tough, they want it to be easy – they’re looking for the softest targets they can nail), one of the biggest ones we’ve got out there is movie theaters.  I hope it doesn’t happen, but I don’t know how we avoid it – one night we’re going to get terrorists, who don’t even need suicide bombers, who just need to walk in to movie theaters across the country – they’ll walk in with backpacks , set the timer, and leave the backpack under their seat.  They’ll walk out of the movie theater – they don’t even have to lose a martyr.  These things will go off simultaneously across the country and our way of life will change overnight.  The shared experience we have as Americans, of sitting alone together with strangers to watch a story unfold on the big screen, will end.  That will cease to be.  Nobody will go the movie theaters anymore.  The movies are very emblematic of America.  The fight that we have against Islam, where Islam resents our cultural power around the world – to strike at the heart of Hollywood, that would be the way to do it.  It’s one of the things that I’m afraid of.

One of the other things I’ve been afraid of – in the 1970’s there was a horrific terrorist attack in the airport in Rome, in the terminal area.  We had the shooter at LAX several years ago shoot up the El Al ticket counter.  It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.  All that time it takes to get through some of TSA’s ridiculous security procedures – people are just sitting ducks right there.  We are very vulnerable at the airport.  I’m not a big fan of airline travel anymore for many reasons, including the TSA stuff, how vulnerable we are at the airport, and how unfortunately, as dedicated as the men and women are in this country – there’s great people at TSA – we seems to fight a lot of our fights in the rearview mirror.  We’re fighting the stuff that’s happened in the past, not fighting the stuff that’s coming up.  We have this knee-jerk reaction to every single terrorist attack  – we’re not getting in front of them.  Although that said, the FBI has been absolutely fantastic in foiling plots here.  Thank God these idiots reach out to other people on the Internet and we’re able to put them in sting operations and nail them.

Here’s my other thing – there was an interview of Eric Holder by Pierre Thomas at ABC [you can view it here].  Here’s what worried me about what Holder said.  Holder made a specific point to talk about the fact that these guys are sitting in their basements getting radicalized over the Internet – as if the Internet is the bad guy, as opposed to Islam being the problem.  (Now nobody mentioned Islam in there, no one mentioned Al-Qaeda.  They’re too cowardly to mention Islam.  Eric Holder called us a nation of cowards?  Guess what – it’s Eric Holder who is more of a coward, who refuse to actually acknowledge the fact that in the last 24 months we’ve had 126 terror indictments, and every single one of those people has been Muslim.  I mean – we’re not at war with the Irish.)  I made a comment about it on my Facebook page recently.  If readers go to my Facebook page they’ll find a lot of these things that I’m looking at and talking about with terrorism experts – I’ll actually post and discuss there.  This idea that the Internet is bad and refusing to look at Islam as the problem, scares me because  – will they use, (and “they” being the people that absolutely hate this country as founded, as constituted) – will they use the next big terror attack, because it involved the Internet, as a way to shut down free speech?  To get this “net neutrality” stuff passed?

The FCC is already way overstepping its bounds.  They want to regulate the Internet.  The surest way to take this country over is to shut down free speech.  That’s why you see these idiots like Al Sharpton wanting to regulate Rush Limbaugh.  That’s one of my concerns.  It’s like Rahm Emanuel said – “never let a good crisis go to waste”.  When the next terrorist attack happens and we add it to that scumbag Nadal Hassan who shot up Fort Hood- (he did his radicalization with Al Alaki in Yemen over the Internet) – I’m worried that the Leftist are going to hold up the Internet as a big problem as far as radicalization of Muslims living in America, and that they need to clamp down on it.  They’ll use this whole terror thing as an excuse to take away our right to free speech, our right to have free and unencumbered access to the Internet – to be able to communicate with other people around the world.

So – you’ve got the airplane terminal that I’m concerned about, movie theaters, commuter train stations, hotel lobbies like Mumbai, another Beslan style school attack or, God forbid, a string of Beslan style attacks here.  Then from the political side it’s the progressives who hate America; wanting to silence free speech, with one of those steps being getting control of the Net.  Sorry you asked that long question?

The Word Zombie: No, not at all.  What scares me the most is,  I think everything that you just lined out is interconnected.  You look through the course of American history and some of the worst encroachments on personal freedoms that have happened have been in response to some sort of crisis – be it Pearl Harbor, be it 9/11, etc.  It’s like you quoted Rahm Emmanuel – “let no good crisis go to waste.”  If you take all that, in total, (and there’s been a lot of discussion – especially over Thanksgiving – about the TSA, and how far is too far) – where do you draw that line between giving up liberty to secure safety?  Ben Franklin said – “Those that would give up essential Liberty to secure Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”.

Brad Thor:  And will lose both.  And will lose both.

The Word Zombie:  Absolutely – and will lose both.  Where do you draw the line?

Brad Thor:  On Facebook I posted a quote from James Madison.   It says – “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”  How eerily prescient is that?  That was James Madison.  I talk about the TSA fighting looking in the rearview mirror.  Here’s my thing as far as giving Liberty for more security – I’m against it.  I’m a big fan of the book “Freakonomics”.

The Word Zombie:  Great book.

Brad Thor:  Great book, because what “Freakonomics” teaches us is that everything we think –  pretty much about everything – everything we think we are so sure of is wrong.  The Left would have you believe that children are just dying by the boatloads in firearms accidents.  When in truth, and I don’t have the statistics right at hand, so I won’t quote it, in truth it is in exponentially more swimming pools kill kids every year [you can see the case study here]. Yet, we don’t have this incredible movement from the Left to ban swimming pools – it’s to ban guns, when guns aren’t as much of a threat to the lives of children as swimming pools are.  That’s very interesting.

I’m one of these guys who says, listen – we need security, but I don’t believe that the answer is to take away our liberties to give us more security.  I believe the answer is to restore more liberty to people and that will actually give us more security.  I’ll give you an example of this.  I think if you are a licensed, concealed weapons permit holder, you should be allowed to fly with your weapon.  If there is extra training that teaches you how to use that weapon within an aircraft, and you can pass that training, then God bless you.  I think you ought to be able to do it.  I think that if terrorists knew that you were going to have at least 10 patriotic Americans on every airplane, packing everything from .380’s to big .50 caliber handguns;  .45 caliber, 9MM, .40 caliber, .357, Sig – if you had people with firearms on these airplanes, they would be a lot safer place to be than they are now.

When I was in Afghanistan, I flew out commercial through the Kabul airport.  You couldn’t even get near the airport without having somebody screen your car.  What I would love to see is – let’s replace the TSA with returning veterans.  I want vets who have stood at checkpoints in Fallujah, or Marjah, or Kandahar, or Tikrit – I want them 2 miles outside the airport, looking for stuff that looks funny.  Everybody’s got to get their car inspected before you get up to the airport.

Then, I want to do what the Israeli’s do.  I want people to stand in line and have to go up to the ticket counter, and while your standing in line – take a wounded veteran and put them in charge of interviewing people.  While you’re standing in line, waiting to get your ticket and check your bag in, you’ve got one of our brave veterans asking you a couple of simple questions.  Where are you going today?  Where have you been?  Where have you traveled in the last 6 months?  Exactly the way the Israeli’s do.  They can look for signs that people aren’t telling the truth.  The secret service is trained to look for micro-expressions (I write about it in my books.) – these subtle facial cues and behavioral quirks that suggest that somebody is up to no good; that they’re under a tremendous amount of stress.  I would love to have our vets doing this at the airport, instead of the TSA folks.  It’s not that I want TSA people to be out of jobs, but this front line stuff, I would love to give to our returning vets – our wounded vets.  I think that would make us a lot safer.  What an incredible thing, to be able to take someone who was wounded in combat, who still is a hero, (that doesn’t change, whatever wounds they’ve suffered, they’re still a hero, they still want to help protect our nation and keep it safe) – wouldn’t it be great to put them in that position?

So, if you or I were flying out of an airport, and we were a little bit hinky – the answers that we gave to that first round of interview questions didn’t feel right to that interviewer – we would get kicked to the next level of questions.  At that point, if it’s still kind of funky, you get pulled out of the line and you go to a place where they can talk to you a little bit further.  To me, that would make a big difference.

The Word Zombie:  I’m reminded of the saying – “an armed society is a polite society”.

Brad Thor:  Absolutely.  I agree with that 100%.  I am so pro the 2nd Amendment.  I’m glad to see McDonald vs. Chicago where I live, I was glad to see the case in DC as well.  I believe that the answer to security is not less liberty, it’s actually more.  I have to be honest with you – I have real doubts about the efficacy of these backscatter machines.  I’m married to a physician – I’m concerned about the radiation doses.  I thought it was very crafty how TSA decided to just not use them during the Thanksgiving travel season, to quell all of the anger over the opt out.  You see how quickly that story died.  It was a clever, clever PR move by TSA, and clever is not something I normally apply to Janet Napolitano’s execution of her duties.

She had the recent quote – they’re “working 364 days a year”.  You add that to – “the system worked” when it was a bunch of passengers who had to tackle Abdulmutalab, the Christmas Day underwear bomber.  I’m sorry – that doesn’t instill a lot of faith in me, in how that agency is being led.  There are some great men and women at TSA and as angry as a lot of American’s get at the intrusions into their lives, I always make sure that I thank those frontline people. Because, you know what?  Those are our neighbors.  Those are our relatives, our friends, who are doing those jobs.  They take their orders from the leadership of TSA.  I always like to draw that distinction.  These are important men and women, trying to keep us safe.  If they have idiots leading them – that’s not their fault.

The Word Zombie:  Turning my last question on its head a little bit – you were very clear about the things that scare you.  What are the one or two things going on in the world right now that really give you hope, and really inspire you for what the future is going to hold for this country?

Brad Thor:  I have to tell you, one of the things that gives me a tremendous amount of hope is the Tea Party and Glenn Beck’s 9/12 project.  There are a lot of people that want to paint the Tea Party with an evil brush – “they’re just a bunch of evil white people”.  They couldn’t be further from the truth.  I am so proud of this kind of awakening in the country.  For too long we have entrusted the stewardship of our Republic to our elected representatives in Washington D.C. – and that was a mistake.  We were leaving the mice in charge of the cheese factory.   That was a big, big, big mistake.  Now we’ve woken up in this country.  I think people who criticize the Tea Party are, by and large, incredibly ignorant.  They don’t know anybody in the Tea Party; they haven’t been to any Tea Party rallies.  I’ve been to 4 or 5 Tea Party rallies.  I think it’s great when people who have a desire to see their country properly led, properly managed, and their elected representatives to be held accountable – those people stand up and say, “Hey, alright, you know what?  We weren’t paying attention.  We’re paying attention now, and here’s what we want.”  I think that’s fantastic.  Let’s face it, most of us have been busy going to work, raising our families, running our businesses – we really did trust these idiots in DC to run the country.  (And by the way, I’ve met a lot of them and there are a few who really impressed me, but by and large these people couldn’t be game show hosts – most of them.  With my apologies to Pat Sajak, who seems like a very smart guy.)

I think that this big wave that we had in November – I don’t want to turn this in to something political – but I think the fact is that we have an incredible system.  Let’s be clear here – it’s not a Democracy we have here – it’s a Republic.  If it were a Democracy, there would be mob rule.  A Republic, we still have the “res publica” thing, which is the law.  That kind of stuff – political activism from everyday, main street people in America is something that I find incredibly wonderful.

When I kind of zoom out my view and look at the world – I’m not a big fan of the UN.  I think the UN causes more trouble than it solves.  We’ve got a lot of hotspots around the world – Iran is still developing it’s nuclear weapons;  this idiot Kim-Jong-Il is still in power and he’s grooming his knuckleheaded 20 something son to take over for him; you’ve got Turks who are upset at Israel because of the flotillas.  It’s common sense that doesn’t seem to be that common when I look around the world.  I wish that I could give you more that I am positive about – I’m usually the most optimistic person you’ll ever meet – but as a husband and father, and as an American, there’s a lot that concerns me internationally.  I don’t see a lot of backbone in the leaders around the world.

The Word Zombie:  It’s the truth.  I’m in the same boat.  I look at the reasons I started this blog; it was not just to review books and talk with authors.  It’s like you said – I’ve got a job to do and I have a family to raise.  I’ve always been very politically aware, but I was inspired this year to really put myself out there more and share my thoughts and opinions.  It was part and parcel of that awakening that you talked about in the country.

Brad Thor:  Absolutely.  And to that question of things that I’m positive about here in the country – I mentioned the Tea Party and I mentioned the 9/12 project.  You can’t mention the 9/12 project without mentioning my friend Glenn Beck – who I love dearly.  He is a very good friend of mine and I have incredible respect for him.  I have said repeatedly that Glenn Beck was the right man for this country at the right time.  Just like people who deride the Tea Party, I find people who deride Glenn are often incredibly uninformed about what he’s talking about.  Glenn is not making this stuff up.  He doesn’t just pull it out of the backsides of monkeys that are circling overhead in his studio.  As he repeatedly says on his show – “Don’t take my word for it, go and do your homework”.

Glen has brought an incredibly powerful spotlight and shined it on the progressives.  These are people how have operated largely in the dark, or largely without any attention put on them.  They are one of the biggest threats to Liberty in this country.  It’s something we need to be concerned about – it’s our responsibility.  We trusted the elected officials to be stewards of our Republic – that was a dereliction of OUR duty.  It’s not our elected representatives who are stewards of the Republic, it’s us.  We are the stewards of our Republic and it’s up to us to make sure that America remains free, it remains strong, and that our Liberties remain intact.  How dare we surrender any of our liberties.  How dare we give any of them up and embolden and empower the federal government.  What we’re doing is, we’re not only giving away our liberty, that’s liberty our children will never have – because liberties, once surrendered, are never recovered again.

The Word Zombie: Glenn’s been an inspiration.  I think  learned more from reading “Broke” this year than any other book I read.  What a phenomenal job he did.

Brad Thor:  I have to tell you – here we are talking about my books – I love “Broke”.  I actually have it at hand right now; I’m looking at it – it’s right here next to me.  It is not only the best book Glenn Beck has ever done, “Broke” is the best non-fiction book I have ever read.  I’m not a math guy, I’m not an economics guy – I really have trouble keeping stats in my head.  I’ve got everything in that book.  It’s like mental sticky notes.  I can draw on it when I’m talking to anybody.  I’m in the business of selling my own books, but I find myself spending more time telling people to go out and buy “Broke” by Glenn, than I do to go out and buy my own books.  I feel that passionately about where the country is going and about the power in the information included in that book.   Thank you – I’m really glad you brought that up.

The Word Zombie: I have one last question, completely shifting gears.  Once the zombie apocalypse occurs, and I think we can all agree it’s a matter of when, not if – are you going to be going it alone, or are you going to look to join up with a group of ragtag survivors? Also – do you prefer long-range weapons when dealing with zombies – you know guns, flamethrowers, etc, or do you prefer the more traditional mêlée weapons like classic baseball bat?

Brad Thor:  You are a man after my own heart.  How much time do you have for me to answer this question?  I LOVE zombie movies.  Listen – I make no secret of the fact that I am somebody that believes in preparedness.  The zombie apocalypse has become this metaphor for being prepared for whatever might happen.  I was in New York when the big northeast blackout happened.  Not only was I better prepared, just being a visitor to New York, than most people, I knew what to do when the lights went out.  I was in a hotel and I got upgraded to a room that had two bathrooms.  I filled up both bathtubs with water because I knew that the gravity fed tank was going to run out at some point – so I had water long after everybody else ran out of water.  That’s just a microcosm – but that doesn’t answer your question.

I’m going to be the guy that has my family to think of.  Anybody who thinks that they can survive without the help of other people is sadly mistaken.  You can’t stand on that wall 24/7 – you need to find that ragtag band of survivors. As a matter of fact, that ought to be YOUR band of survivors.  You should already have a mutual assistance network set up with friends and family before the zombie apocalypse even happens.  That would be my biggest piece of advice right there.  As far as long range, versus up close – I don’t ever want to get up close.  I want to be able to eliminate that zombie problem before they get anywhere near me and my family, because they’re like coat hangers.  They’re able to multiply in the blink of an eye.  You think there are only 2, then there’s 4, then there’s 8, then 16 – it’s going to be a problem.  I’m a big fan of eliminating the threat before it becomes too much to deal with.

The Word Zombie:  Perfect!  Thank you for taking the time out of your holiday schedule to talk with me.  It’s been a great honor.  Like I said before, one of the reasons I started this blog was because I wanted to the opportunity to interact with authors and talk with them about what makes them tick.  I have thoroughly enjoyed our conversation.

Brad Thor:   I always love making those contacts and reaffirming that – you know what – there’s a lot of us out there.  There are more of us than there are of them, and we’re going to keep telling people – they’re not going to win.  We’re not letting them win.  I’m sorry – they are in the minority and they don’t get our country.  It’s ours.  We’re keeping it.  As a matter of fact, we are going to make it even better – because we’re going to start clawing back some of the things we’ve surrendered to these idiots.

The Word Zombie:  Keep up the great work.  I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for both Scot Harvath, and the women of the Athena Project next year.


I can’t thank Brad enough for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat with me.  It was an great conversation.  My wife serves as my defacto editor on the site, catching most of my most egregious spelling and grammar errors.  After she finished proof reading this interview, she told me she might like to read one of Brad’s books – he sounded like and interesting author.  I have to tell you – coming from my wife, that is high praise.  Brad, it looks like you might have two fans here at thewordzombie.com going forward.


I encourage you to check out Brad’s website – www.bradthor.com

You can also find him on Facebook and on Twitter

You can learn more about Glenn Beck’s 9/12 project here.

My review of  “Broke” by Glenn Beck can be found here.

You can read more about the science of microexpressions here.

© 2011, The Word Zombie. All rights reserved.

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