Q&A With Steven Stratton
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Q&A With Steven Stratton
My latest Q&A is with author Steven Stratton. Steven is the author of Shadow Tier & its sequel Shadow Sanction coming out on August 30th of this year.
Q: Steven would you like to tell the readers of the blog and I a little about your books Shadow Tier and Shadow Sanction?
A: Yes, thank you Bianca. In the first book Shadow Tier, Lance Bear Wolf, a Crow Indian and US Army member, experiences a tragic incident in Mexico where his stepfather and mother are killed by the Sinaloa cartel. Fueled by a sense of revenge and justice, Lance initiates a one-man war against the cartel. He forms a team of like-minded individuals and conducts unsanctioned missions, crossing into Mexico to confront the cartel directly, Lance, targets cartel leaders Alejandro and Eliana Cortes. Mexico designates Lance an international terrorist. He’s questioned by the FBI but gains the attention of Special Operations Command. Lance and his team become the Shadow Tier, a new Tier One unit with a mission to capture the Cortes siblings and the infamous El Chapo.
In the second book, “Shadow Sanction,” set in 2003, five years after the first book, Lance Bear Wolf continues pursuing El Chapo. The cartel exploits reservation land to bypass law enforcement and create meth labs. The president tasks Lance with stopping the opium production in Afghanistan, funding the Taliban. Balancing protecting his people and complying with orders, Lance trains his tribe to defend against the cartel while his team tracks opium to France’s Marseille, led by Jean Paul Croce, who aims to rebuild ties with the NYC mafia.
Q: On your website I read your bio about what you did before becoming an author. Would you say that your military career at the White House Communications Agency and 20th Special Forces is what inspired Shadow Tier and Shadow Sanction?
A: Absolutely! It’s much easier to write about what you know. In my case, I had four and a half years working around the president, vice president, and secretary of state. Toss in a couple of world leaders and you have the makings of a story. Add to that my time in intelligence and special forces units working with partner nations and I have plenty to draw on.
Q: Now on top of being an author you develop cyber security products that support the warfighter and intelligence community. What is it like developing cyber security?
A: I am technically retired now, but still advising. I was never a programmer, but I do know what the NSA demands, and the government needs to be secure across all their hundreds of networks. So, my role was to scan the market (primarily government sector) and look for problems to be solved and requirements that were not being met that impeded government agencies from performing their mission.
Then I would take those findings, determine if and how we could solve it, calculate the return on investment, and present in the form of a business plan. Once approved, I would create a roadmap of how we would build the software in components to get to a product solution that could be certified for use by the NSA.
At the end of my full-time tenure, it was hard to leave the sense of mission behind. I’d spent a life in the military and government or working as a contractor for it. It was fun, challenging, and rewarding.
Q: Your military career took you to many places around the world and different cultures to experience. Which places were your favorites to explore?
A: Iran – one of the centers of learning and philosophy, was and still is a favorite. I wish I could return with my wife and be assured they would let us leave.
Scotland – such beauty, nice people, and kilts. And what guy doesn’t want to wear a kilt? One half of my family history is from Scotland/England.
Norway/Sweden/Denmark – another amazing part of the world, rich in deep history, and the other threads of my genealogy.
Q: Are you currently writing your next book? If so, can you reveal any details? And how can my readers learn more about you and your writing?
A: I have finished a third Shadow Tier that I have sent in for Department of Defense prepublication review, and I am at 80K words in on a Shadow Tier Book 4 that sees Lance and his wife Elle in Cuba trying to link El Chapo to a conspiracy to grow opium. I’m in the “pull it all together and close it out” stage of writing. The start and the end of a novel are my favorite parts to write.
Thank you, Bianca for this opportunity to answer your questions! Readers are invited to learn more by visiting my website https://www.stevenstrattonusa.com.
My social media accounts:
Facebook Page – https://facebook.com/stevestrattonusa
X – @strattonbooks
Instagram – @stevestrattonusa