The Chatter Podcast: Spy Thriller Fiction vs. Fact with Brad Thor

By David Priess
Thursday, July 7, 2022, 9:29 AM

Brad Thor is a #1 New York Times bestselling author who has more than twenty thrillers behind him and shows no signs of slowing down. Rising Tiger, just published on July 5, 2022, yet again places his franchise hero--former world-class skier, Navy SEAL, Secret Service agent, and private intelligence operative Scot Harvath--into deadly situations backlit by realistic geopolitical developments. How does Thor come up with his plots full of international intrigue and his detailed settings for Harvath's globetrotting adventures?

Some of it comes from his parents, a US Marine and a flight attendant. Some of it comes from his personal experience before becoming a full-time novelist. Thor started out as an award-winning creator, producer, writer, and host of the critically acclaimed national public television series, Traveling Lite; since then, he has served as a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Analytic Red Cell Unit and shadowed a Black Ops team in Afghanistan.

Thor joined David Priess to discuss these questions and much more. They talked about how Thor's writing career started, the work of Secret Service agents, rebuilding trust in American institutions, US-Indian relations, the perils of rising partisan extremism in what Thor calls the "political-entertainment complex," how to write realistic descriptions of widely varied international locations, the value of bad-ass women characters, how he keeps current on geopolitical developments, how and why he places easter eggs in his novels, his encounters with celebrities from George Clinton to Michael Hayden to Mandy Patinkin, and the value of writing fiction by the seat of your pants.

 Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Among the works discussed in this episode:

-The TV series Rick Steves Europe

-The TV series Traveling Lite

-The book Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor

-The movie Iron Man 2

-The podcast episode Secret Service Dilemmas and Training with Jon Wackrow on Chatter

-The book Suicide of the West by Jonah Goldberg

-Brad Thor's other novels

-The book The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

-The TV series The Old Man