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Martin and Hawke

KIM MARTIN and MYKEL HAWKE

authors of the Jake Tyler series

Interview


IMPORTANT NOTE: There are IN THE DARK OF THE SUN spoilers in the following interview. If you have not read the book yet, we strongly recommend that you save this for later reading!

The two of you worked on this novel for quite a few years…why has it taken so long to complete?


Quoting Kim

Obviously the research and on-location time was substantial, but we also ran into a good bit of industry skepticism. It always seemed like the timing wasn't right—nobody was interested in "another drug war story." Everything coming out was focused on the "War on Terror." The Drug War was—and still is—one of the quintessential wars on terrorism.



Quoting Hawke

Most people have dismissed the Colombia Drug War as a thing of the past. Quite the contrary. If nothing else, it has evolved. It is now the way terrorists are funding their missions and, in many cases, the land bridge they are taking to use as a back door to funnel chemical and nuclear weapons into the USA for future attacks. So it is a forgotten war, a shadows war—which are the kind of conflicts in which Special Forces typically operate. And for me—for Jake—this was the logical starting point for our series.


Well, that sure puts it in perspective. Amazing we don't hear more about that in the news.


Quoting Kim

And right now, at this very minute—and really, at any given time—there are hostages being held in Colombia. Even Americans. Some have been there for years, some will be there for years, and some will never see freedom again. There's a good book, Out of Captivity, written by the three American civilian contractors who were being held with Colombian politician Ingrid Betacourt. The publicity of their dramatic rescue put FARC terrorism back in the news for a while, but it wasn't long at all before the media focus returned to the Middle East. And yet, what is soberingly real—and forgotten—are these other wars that rage on. In the preface of the contractors' book is a list of dozens among hundreds of civilians, journalists, politicians, military, and police that were still being held at the time of that publication.


This book, at times, is like a gut-punch. It rolls along like any epic thriller, fleshing out lush locales and interesting details...and then suddenly, in the heat of the action, it turns stunningly harsh. Ugly, even. So it definitely does reflect the elements of that terrorism.


REMINDER: STORY SPOILERS BELOW!

Quoting Hawke

In the beginning, I had a brutally honest conversation with Kim about this book and the series. When she was outlining her initial ideas and basic plot, I said, "You realize that, in this scenario, there is about a 100% chance of rape. No way around it." And, with the character of Jake, like me, there would be some dark and dirty dealin' to be done. The world of combatants and their wars ain't pretty…and you don't get to go to commercial when things look like they're about to get bad and there ain't no cavalry comin' to the rescue.


Quoting Kim

Because of the hard-core nature of the story and much of the action in it, we tried to build a balance with humor and romance. It was also a way to appeal to both men and women, something that I think Hawke's new Discovery series does extremely well. Our writing styles are very different and, at the same time, strike a good balance of elements.



That's true. The humor is absolutely one of the best surprises. Falcone and Niles are great for comic-relief…will they be returning in the series?


Quoting Hawke

Yeah, they were too much fun to kick to the curb, so I'd say yeah, there's a good chance you'll see them again. Have to give them major props for withstanding the Jake Tyler school of hard knocks!





What about Callie?


Quoting Kim

In the beginning, it was my intention for her to be in every book...but as the story played out, I could see where the horrific experience she endured would leave her pretty damaged. Which presented a dilemma.





Quoting Hawke

Because Jake is not a particularly tender-hearted guy. She's not his type—or wasn't—and now he's faced with the reality that, if he moves on it will leave both of them heartbroken...but if he embraces the relationship, it's going to be life-altering for him. Maybe not in a good way. He's always been a lone wolf, even with women, so it's a drastic departure.



Quoting Kim

Her, too. There are going to be some rocky roads ahead, which will present other kinds of challenges for Jake to deal with.





It was also shocking—and disappointing—to lose Jake's best friend so early. Was that always the plan?


Quoting Kim

Not at first, but it became quickly obvious that it had to happen. Like many sequences, I agonized over it but as soon as I came to grips with the inevitable, I just had to push through it. A writer has a special connection to the characters, so it's always hard to inflict pain and suffering on the good ones.




Quoting Hawke

There will most likely be at least one prequel with Jake and Haskell in earlier days, which will allow readers to get a more in-depth glimpse into Jake’s past. Each book will reveal a little more of his background and past, but I think there are some stories from earlier years that we'll possibly work into a prequel.




The jungle sequences are so graphically realistic, as readers have conveyed in their reviews, it's almost like a character in the book. Is it really that bad?


Quoting Kim

It's worse! We've both experienced it—Hawke on the most brutal levels imaginable—and we wanted readers to be able to have some sense of that. Going forward, with all of the books in the series that will be one of our objectives, to make it real. When I read a thriller, I want to lose myself in it and see it all unfold like a movie in my head. The good, the bad, the ugly. All of it.



Is there a movie in the future?


Quoting Hawke

You never know. I think it could make a great film or TV series.






And looking ahead, where will we find Jake next?


Quoting Hawke

Not ready to let that out of the bag yet, but it's already in the works!

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