I am Sergeant with the Edmond (OK) Police Department and commander of our department's Bomb Squad. I have been a police officer for 35 years and have been married to my wife for 30 of those years; we met on a traffic stop where I wrote her a ticket in 1983 for peeling out through a red light in her Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. That was THE BEST ticket I've ever written. I responded to the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 on the day of the bombing, and our squad assisted in the investigation for the remainder of the time at the blast site. I broke my back in 2009 after falling off our bomb transport trailer and was off work for nearly 2 years, however I have since returned to full duty status and plan on retiring withing the next few years.
When did you start reading Vince?
The first Vince Flynn book I read was Memorial Day. My wife bought it for me when it came out and I have been hooked ever since. I have read every one of his books at least 4 times and am currently on my 5th reading of American Assassin.
Do you have a favorite book?
I think American Assassin is my favorite book simply because it was the most anticipated book of them all. But it's kinda like having to choose which child is my favorite (even though I have only one child...haha). I love each book for different reasons. But there was so much interest, curiosity, longing and anticipation for the story of how Mitch Rapp became Mitch Rapp, that I literally counted down the days with excitement for when the story would finally be told, so for that, 'American Assassin' has to be my favorite.
Who is your favorite character?
Favorite character? Mitch Rapp, of course. However, Mitch Rapp couldn't be Mitch Rapp without Irene Kennedy, Thomas Stansfield, or even the crusty old fart Stan Hurley.
Who do you envision when you read about Mitch Rapp?
Oddly enough, before I ever knew what Vince Flynn looked like, I envisioned someone who looked pretty much like him. When I saw what he actually looked like, I was amazed. I had actually envisioned a book's character to look like the movie character only one other time, and that was in Tom Clancy's 'The Hunt For Red October'; I had envisioned Jack Ryan to look like the actor Alec Baldwin. But as for which actor I envision? I picture Chris Hemsworth, except darker eyes. I suggested him to play Mitch Rapp after seeing him in one of his earlier movies: 'The Perfect Getaway'.
If you could be a character in a Vince Flynn novel, who would you be?
That's a difficult question. I think I would have to be Stan Hurley, because Mitch Rapp is too complex of a character to pull off. Stan Hurley is more akin to my way of dealing with scumbags on the street, which has landed me in the captain's office many times in my career. Having said that, I like how Stan talks to people and how he is brutally honest (and stubborn), as well as driven. As reckless as he is portrayed, he still has an odd sense of conformity; he plays by the rules...the terrorists' rules. And that's exactly how you fight these fanatics; down in the gutter, and down in the gutter is precisely where we need to be.
Is there anything else you would like to share relating to Vince and his novels?
Only that when Vince passed away, it was truly a profound loss. After my wife turned me on to his novels, I turned my mom and brother on to them. After my mom read 'Memorial Day', she did precisely what I did: immediately went out and bought the first 5 novels. Vince is definitely missed, but like I mentioned earlier, when I first began reading his novels, I pictured Mitch Rapp to physically look like Vince; so in a sense, Vince continues to live on. As long as his words remain and as long as people continue to read his work, he will continue to live on.