Jeff Glor talks to Dalton Fury, a former Delta Force commander and author of "Kill Bin Laden," about his new book "Black Site."
Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?
Dalton Fury: My own personal experience of being dubbed persona non grata, or PNG, from Delta Force, for one. It's not necessarily something to be proud of, but it does come with the decision to write about Delta in a non-fiction setting, which is what "Kill Bin Laden" was. The list is short but pretty distinguished. I'm nobody, but the other guys on Delta's unwelcome list are a pretty big deal. In the fictional thriller "Black Site," the impetuous and self-assured protagonist Kolt Raynor deals with the same stigmas of being exiled from the unit for making bad choices. Unless you have lived that personally, as I have now for several years, it's impossible to portray that accurately as a fiction writer. Coupled with that, there are so many extraordinary acts of valor by members of Delta Force that probably will remain classified for generations and can only be touched on in a fictional account. Crafting a thriller about these kinds of men is so easy when you have witnessed these things. As with "Kill Bin Laden", a major source of inspiration for me remains the indescribable feelings I'll always have for my former mates - including my mates that have shunned me since KBL was published. All are a special breed of warrior.
JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?
DF: Clearly how difficult and time consuming fictional writing is. It's an all-in commitment to get a manuscript to the point where you hope your editor doesn't laugh at the work or reconsider the effort. A distant second though was the sporadic jolts of what I humbly call brilliance or the "ah-ha" moments where one plot point somehow seems to naturally fit within the pile of subplots after gentle tweaking. Fiction writing, at least to me, is easier in some ways, but much harder in other ways when compared to writing a non-fiction narrative like KBL. I knew how that ended before putting pen to paper. It was just a matter of writing the truth from one paragraph to another. The timeline was already set. Taking on a fictional series of Delta thrillers, allowed me to help readers enter the black ops world from the perspective of a disgraced Delta operator and write about many of those moments of truth I mentioned above where life or death decisions were made by a Delta operator. But, most importantly, still not compromise men or the missions of Delta.
JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?
DF: I smile at that question. Who can make a living just writing? It's difficult to even consider myself a writer in the traditional sense. I'm not the guy who secrets himself off to some secluded beach front property for months on end, steadily pounding away at the typewriter well into the night, chain smoking menthols, and crafting a masterpiece. In our case, writing is a team sport - from the editorial team at St. Martin's Press expertly led by Marc Resnick, to the mega-talented thriller writer Mark Greaney, to my superstar agent Scott Miller at Trident Media Group, to the steadfast support of Facebook friends, and last but not least, my fairly unimpressed but wonderful wife of twenty years. Beach front property or not, I'd still be moving plot points around "Black Site" like a kid who just received a Rubik's Cube for his birthday all the while watching my wife shake her head as she asks if I had ever thought to do the dishes.
JG: What else are you reading right now?
DF: I just finished former Delta officer Brad Taylor's "All Necessary Force" on a flight home. Brad is a superstar and a very close friend. He is also a pure and natural writer. The difference between us is that his writing is like a Delta operator on a singleton mission -it's him alone on the X. For me, it's that team of Delta assaulters I mentioned above that gets stuff done. I also picked up Michael Hastings' "The Operators" for a flight from Atlanta to San Diego and devoured the entire thing before we touched down. I personally know many of the players in the book, particularly retired GEN Stan McChrystal, who in my opinion history will be kind to generations from now. He was the right man for the War on Terror and our entire nation owes that man, and his family, a debt of gratitude for their collective sacrifices since 9/11. I think our great grandchildren will be reading about Stan the Man as being the most talented, committed, no-BS general since George Patton. Even though he was a major force behind my being PNG'ed from the special ops community, I'd still pick up a rifle for the man today. And if I am blessed enough to be around when my great grandchildren are born, I'll be proud to bounce them on my knee and tell them the good general and I shared the same shadows on the battlefield in Iraq.
JG: What's next for you?
DF: We didn't slow down after "Black Site," in fact the sequel is already in the works and St Martin's Press has the manuscript. It's truly humbling and exciting to receive so much support from so many who are already asking when Kolt 'Racer" Raynor's next nail-biter will be on the shelves. I'm hoping Kolt will live for a third book in the series, and that Dalton Fury has it in him for maybe even a fourth, but that of course is largely up to the readers. I can say this, if you liked "Black Site," you'll smoke right through an all-nighter with "Tier One Wild."
For more on "Black Site," visit the Macmillan website.