Brad Thor on Why Protection Officers Should Read Fiction

Sometimes it takes telling a stranger about a goal to make yourself accountable to follow through. For many, this will translate into the last time you trained for a 5K or marathon. For a very select few, it means committing to a career as a writer that will progress into being a New York Times bestselling spy thriller novelist. Brad Thor did just that, but it took a verbal commitment to a stranger on an overnight train in Switzerland to get moving. 

In this episode, Fred and Brad discuss what inspired his career as a novelist, as well as advice from other writers that motivated him as he defined his work. Similar to those in the special operations or security field, Brad knew that the details are the “bedrock of a good thriller” (or case), and his novels closely mirror true historical events with incredible accuracy. This is due to spending over two decades immersing himself and leading research within special intelligence organizations. Raised by a marine and a flight attendant who are “veracious consumers of news,” it’s no surprise he reads three newspapers each day and is hungry to see the world beyond the perimeter of the United States. Fred and Brad discuss his fascination with the protection of high-profile individuals and the security professionals that make it possible. 

Brad Thor is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 20 thrillers. He has appeared on every major news channel (including ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, CNN, and MSNBC) to share the parallels between his novels around terrorism and international espionage, and the real threats facing the world today. Brad is well respected in the security and intelligence space and has served as a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Analytic Red Cell Unit. He has also lectured to law enforcement organizations on over-the-horizon/future threats, and has been a keynote speaker for the National Tactical Officers Association annual conference.


Episode Notes:

Purchase Brad’s latest book, Near Dark, here. 

Brad shares his ‘top gear’ from his 2018 Bestselling Novel, Spymaster here. (The list includes Beirut Rules: The Murder of a CIA Station Chief and Hezbollah’s War Against America by Fred Burton, Samuel M. Katz)

Check out Brad’s research for his 2012 novel, Blacklist here. (The list includes Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent by Fred Burton)