What's Your Story: Terry Hayes


I am a former journalist and foreign correspondent who, through a very fortunate set of circumstances, got the opportunity to work as a screenwriter and film producer. A person who I didn't know - a medical doctor - was looking for someone to collaborate with him on writing a movie. A mutual acquaintance mentioned my name and the doctor came into an office where I was producing a top- rating current affairs radio program and we had a chat about journalism and movies. What we were really trying to do was work out if we could work together.  We both seemed to think it was worth a shot and we ended up going on a long journey together. The doctor's name was George Miller, he went one to be nominated for several Oscars and won one. The first movie we did together was called Road Warrior/Mad Max 2 and a whole lot of of other movies and mini series followed. As I mentioned, it was a very fortunate set of circumstances! I have continued to write movies but my greatest joy has been to work as a novelist. My first book, I Am Pilgrim, is about to be published in the US.

Why did you start reading Vince?
I love browsing in bookshops and surfing the net. I remember walking into
a ookstore, picking up a Vince Flynn book - it was Consent to Kill - reading
the first few pages and then promptly buying it. I guess that was 2005 or
so. My kids are always saying I'm losing my memory (to say nothing of my
mind), so it might have been a little later.

Do you have a favorite book?
My own favorite is American Assassin - primarily because it is a sort of
origin story and I always seem to have a weakness for those. I loved going
back and meeting Mitch Rapp at a much earlier part of his life and it's always
terrific to read about those things - big and small - that contributed to him
becoming the man we know.

Who is your favorite character?
Well, I'd like to be original - and I have really tried to make a case for Irene Kennedy - but I'm afraid I just can't go past Mitch. I think we should all be so lucky to know - let alone create! - a guy like him. I think, as we get older especially, we become more and more disillusioned with politicians no matter what party they represent. Mitch's attitude to them certainly struck a chord with me.    

Who do you envision when you read about Mitch Rapp? 
Having worked so long in the movies, I always think in terms of casting so forgive me if I go down that route. If you were going a bit older, I think of Russell Crowe - there is something very contained and powerful about him. You get the sense he is very much his own man - just think of him in Gladiator. Younger, and a guy who seems to have a very big career in front of him, is Chris Hemsworth. There is a real presence and like-ability to him - with or without that big hammer. My wife says Russell, my tween age daughters say Chris - and that pretty well sums up the age thing! Of course, they are both Australians (which is where I was raised) so maybe I am a bit biased. In order to counteract that, I think Matt Damon could play it really well and he's such a good actor I can't help envisioning him in many, many things I read.

Is there anything else you would like to share relating to Vince and his novels?
Everyone should read these books!