Q&A With Kyle Mills
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Q&A With Kyle Mills
New York Times Bestselling author Kyle Mills is my guest for this Q&A today. Kyle is the author of many thriller suspense novels. Some of his books are standalone and many others are part of a series. You may know him best for writing in the Vince Flynn Mitch Rapp Series.
Q: Kyle, what made you want to become a writer? What made you choose writing thriller suspense novels?
A: It honestly wasn’t any kind of lifelong desire. I was working for a bank to pay the bills and exercising my passion for rock climbing in my off hours when I realized I never did anything creative. I’d always admired creative people and thought why not give it a shot?
My first idea was to build furniture but, frankly, I’m not all that handy. It was my wife’s suggestion that I write a novel, but it initially seemed like a dumb idea. I’d never done all that well in English classes and had no experience in fiction beyond liking to read it. Still, I couldn’t completely shake the idea and finally decided to put pen to paper.
I decided on a thriller for two reasons: First, I’d loved the genre since I was a kid and had read hundreds. The second was that my father had been an FBI agent, diplomat, and director of Interpol. They say write what you know, and I’d come to know that world pretty well.
Q: You’ve written standalone novels as well as series. Do you prefer writing standalone novels more or a series?
A: I initially didn’t much like the series. I felt like the settings became too complex after a few installments. Now, after spending the last ten years doing it, I think I was wrong. While the universe can be a little difficult to handle, it also creates a richness that’s hard to match in a stand-alone.
Q: Reading your bio on your website you talk about living all over from DC, Virginia, Maryland, Wyoming & London and your father being an FBI Agent. Would it be fair to say that your father being an FBI agent and traveling to those places had an influence in your writing? Also what was it like being in all of those places, especially London?
A: My father being an FBI agent was pretty pivotal. Research is fundamental to thrillers, and I started writing before the Internet transformed that task. The contacts I had in law enforcement made it much easier to create realistic scenarios and get the details right.
Travel’s also been an important part of my writing. It provides not just interesting settings, but interesting perspectives. It’s easy to fall into insular ideologies and lose one’s ability to see outside that box. I live in Spain now and experiencing how other people see America and the rest of the world order is an endless source of intriguing ideas.
Q: What are you currently working on now? Is it a standalone novel, part of your existing series or the start of a new series?
A: I’m resurrecting a character from a book I wrote years ago called Fade. He’s a former SEAL with all the requisite skills to be a thriller protagonist, but with a very different outlook than characters like Mitch Rapp or Scot Harvath. I wanted to explore modern threats like increasing political divisions, technology, and rising authoritarianism, and Fade is the perfect vehicle. He’s more philosophical and flawed than usual and that gives him an interesting lens into the problems we all find swirling around us.
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? The entertainment industry needs new content again instead of remakes, reboots, prequels, sequels & spinoffs.
A: I always have books being shopped around but haven’t had one made into a film yet. I agree that Hollywood could use some new content, but they operate very differently than the book industry. I wouldn’t say it’s something I’ve pursued all that energetically. While I like movies, I’m a real sucker for good novels.