Nelson DeMille talks weaving fact and fiction, his sources

(CBS News) In his latest book, "The Panther" (out on Tuesday), best-selling mystery author Nelson DeMille weaves fact and fiction together to tell the story of his longtime protagonist, anti-terrorism special agent John Corey.

DeMille said on "CBS This Morning" that readers will be educated by this book.

"This is not a primer on how to fight terrorists, but if you read the book, you'll learn something," he said.

DeMille said that while novelists may "make it up," the facts in his books' stories are all true. "If they sound true, they are probably true," he said.

In his extensive research for his writing, DeMille said he usually visits the country he's writing about. But this time, he said, he was advised to not do so. "Yemen two years ago, when I was writing this book, was a hot spot. It was unraveling. It's always unraveling. Now it's because it's total chaos there," he said. "I wanted to go. My wife said, 'Don't go.'"

For this book, DeMille said he relied on input from "good sources" in the Joint Terrorist Task Force in New York, people in the FBI, and others. "I've been doing this for a while now," he said. "Some of the people that I spoke to initially are retired and they tend to speak more freely when they are retired."

Freely, but anonymously. "I don't name sources," DeMille said. "Not a good thing - even retired people don't want to be acknowledged in the book."

DeMille did reveal that CBS News' John Miller, who is a former FBI assistant director, was once a reference for his writing. DeMille said, "John did one of the first interviews back in 1978 with me when I did my first book, 'By the Rivers of Babylon.'"

For more with DeMille, watch his full interview by clicking on the video player above.

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