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What should we expect from Arctic Fire, compared to your previous books?
Hopefully, readers will be into the torture-to-get-information controversy—which will be an ongoing theme in the books—because they’re conflicted in so many ways by the question. It’s such a difficult but real issue, and it’s so tough trying to frame how to go about it (fairly?). For instance, do we use it as a deterrent (stated U.S. policy) as some would argue we use capital punishment? How high in the COC must agents go to get a go-ahead to torture? How confident must agents be of a suspect’s membership in or allegiance to a recognized terrorist group that could actually carry out a 9-11 like attack before he can inflict torture? How confident must an agent be of a suspect’s knowledge of relevant information—we shouldn’t torture if we don’t have confidence he knows anything, right? Are there torture methods which are not acceptable?
Why have you shifted from finance to political?
I’m intrigued by the question of torturing terrorists for information as a means of short-circuiting major terrorist attacks like 9-11. And the political thriller genre seemed much more appropriate as a platform for that. It’s such a compelling and personal question—especially if it’s your family member or friend who could be saved from terrorists if our agents could pry information out of a suspect by using torture methods. And there are so many sub-issues to that incredibly controversial topic.
I just finished reading Arctic Fire and wanted to know if there is going to be a follow-up book?
I'm working on the sequel now. It's called RED-CELL-SEVEN and should be out next fall.
Have you written a character that you didn’t like (not from a quality standpoint, but as a person).
Have you written a character that you didn’t like (not from a quality standpoint, but as a person).
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Q&A With Steve Frey

Thriller Author Stephen Frey
How long do you think about a plot before you decide to make a book of it?
I’m always thinking about new plots, so usually a long time (months sometimes years). On average, I come up with one or two a week and I think about them for a while before discarding most of them. So the one I decide to write I’ve usually been thinking about a while. Then, sometimes, they seem right immediately. HELL’S GATE was an example of that—the story about western wildfires. As soon as I heard the thirty-second tag—while fishing in Montana—I knew it was a good one.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Once I actually start tapping the keys, it’s about 90 days for the first draft.
What kind of daily schedule do you maintain?
I’m usually up by 5AM, sometimes earlier, especially if I’m in the middle of the book. Characters and plot threads everywhere in my head and it’s hard to leave the book completely which can be frustrating—especially for others around me. That’s probably why I write reasonably fast—to get it down and be able to think about other things. That last word of the first draft is a huge relief, even though the work’s really just begun because there’s always lots of editing. I’m usually finished by 2PM. For some reason I’m not much of a writer after that. Then it’s exercise, catching up on what’s happened in the world, etc. I’m in bed by nine six nights a week—pretty exciting, huh?
Do you make major plot changes during the writing or does a book stay pretty close to your original concept?
Close to the original. I do lots of outlining before writing so that doesn’t happen. I once didn’t, a long time ago. Figured I had the story all mapped out in my head and paid the price when I realized halfway through I really didn’t. I find it very hard to make major changes once I’m into the book.
Rave Reviews
“Fast-moving, zestful, stirring…full of twists and surprises…compelling characters.”
-Los Angeles Times Book Review

“A prolific writer of best-selling thrillers concocts a flat-out page-turner…”
-The Seattle Post

“Frey’s writing is so vivid and the action so fast-paced you’ll want to stick around for the ride.”

“Author Stephen Frey enlivens finance the way Patricia Cornwell does forensic science.”

“High-stakes power play at its most ferocious level. Read it!”
-Donald J. Trump on The Chairman

“John Grisham meets Robert Ludlum on Wall Street in this fast-paced thriller”

“When it comes to high-finance intrigue, this series continues to look good on the bottom line.”
-Booklist for THE PROTÉGÉ
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