2016
08.07

Celebrating the release of Andy McNab’s new Young-Adult novel ‘Street Soldier’ we were granted two copies to give away… to you! Of course we also asked Andy a few questions about the book and guess what……Sean Harker, the young lad who is the main character in Street Soldier, is based on a young Andy McNab!

GML: Hi Andy, good to hear from you again!

Thank you for the sorting the free copies of Street Soldier for us for our fan giveaway, where two lucky readers will win free books.
There’s loads of excitement around the release of your latest Young Adult novel, and I’m sure you’ve noticed many of your not-so-young readers enjoy your YA books as well.

A few questions for you:

Street Soldier is said to be your ‘most autobiographical novel ever’. The main character Sean Harker is a troubled teenager. Where Nick Stone has your adult qualities (but only the good parts), how much of Sean Harker is a young Andy McNab?

Andy: OUR BACKGROUNDS ARE CERTAINLY SIMILAR, LIKE SEAN I GOT IN WITH A BAD CROWD, GETTING INTO TROUBLE AND EVENTUALLY GOT CAUGHT AND SENT TO JUVENILE DETENTION. LIKE HIM, FROM THERE I GOT RECRUITED INTO THE ARMY.

HIS SENSE OF DISILLUSIONMENT WITH LIFE AND PEOPLE IN AUTHORITY IS SOMETHING I FELT AS A KID.

We at Grey Man’s Land like to see ourselves as ‘fans of the first generation’ – we’ve been reading your books since Bravo Two Zero was initially released. Many readers of your latest young adult novels, like the Liam Scott series and now Street Soldier, were not even born or were very young when you wrote your first novel Remote Control in 1998. Now that the black bar over your eyes has gone grey, what do you do to keep up with what goes on in ‘their’ world to be able to write authentic youth novels?

ARE YOU SAYING I’M GETTING OLD? WHAT’S THAT GREY BUSINESS?

SERIOUSLY THOUGH, YOU ARE RIGHT, THE CIRCUMSTANCES AROUND BRAVO TWO ZERO ARE ‘HISTORICAL’ TO THIS YOUNGER GENERATION, BUT IT’S A HISTORY THAT ITS IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND, AND LIKE ALL HISTORY, FOR US ALL TO LEARN FROM. I GO TO SCHOOLS AND YOUNG OFFENDER INSTITUTIONS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AND INTERESTINGLY WHILST THEY MAY NOT KNOW THE POLITICS BEHIND THE BRAVO TWO ZERO STORY AND THE FIRST GULF WAR, THEY ARE INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT ABOUT THE MISSION, WHAT HAPPENED, HOW WE ALL FELT. KIDS ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE INTERESTED IN WAR STORIES.

IN TERMS OF KEEPING UP WITH WHAT THE YOUNGER GENERATION ARE THINKING AND DOING, I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN VARIOUS GAME COMPANIES, AS WELL AS TV AND FILM STUFF. THE STORIES THAT INTEREST YOUNG PEOPLE REMAIN THE SAME, THE DIFFERENCE IS JUST THE VARIOUS MEDIUMS THAT THEY ACCESS THEM ON. WE NEED TO BE OPEN TO NEW WAYS OF GIVING MATERIAL TO PEOPLE – WE ALL WANT TO KEEP BOOKS ALIVE, THEY ARE CRUCIAL TO STIMULATING THE IMAGINATION AND MAKING US CREATIVE, BUT WE SHOULD ALSO GO AND FIND PEOPLE WHERE THEY ALREADY ARE, WHETHER THAT IS GAMING, STREAMING VIDEO, WAFFLING ON SOCIAL MEDIA, OR WHEREVER.

Is Street Soldier a stand-alone novel, or will we see more of Sean Harker?

I AM PLANNING A SECOND, HE HAS GOT MORE OF A STORY TO TELL, BUT IT DEPENDS ON WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF THE FIRST BOOK!

We’ve had youth characters Danny Watts, Ethan Blake, Liam Scott and now Sean Harker. Do you have a favorite?

AT THE MOMENT SEAN IS DEFINITELY THE FAVOURITE, MAYBE BECAUSE HIS STORY IS SO SIMILAR TO MINE, MAYBE JUST BECAUSE HE IS WHO I HAVE BEEN CONCENTRATING ON RECENTLY, BUT THEY ARE ALL GREAT CHARACTERS I THINK.

Nick Stone fans will be pleased to hear Nick’s 18th (!) adventure, Cold Blood, will be released this October. With all past drama and then the devastating events in Detonator….we expect him to be crawled up in some dark corner. How on earth will you get him on his feet again?

AS YOU MENTIONED AT THE BEGINNING, A FAIR BIT OF NICK’S CHARACTER IS BASED ON ME. HE DEALS WITH THINGS IN A SIMILAR WAY TO ME WHICH IS TO JUST CRACK ON AND KEEP FOCUSED. HE WON’T LET WHAT HAPPENED DESTROY HIM, BUT OBVIOUSLY HE’S SUFFERING. AS YOU MAY ALREADY KNOW, COLD BLOOD IS BASED IN THE NORTH POLE. NICK TAKES A JOB OFFER THERE AS A WAY OF PUTTING SOME DISTANCE BETWEEN HIM AND WHAT HAS HAPPENED.

Will you be doing a tour and book signings in support of Street Soldier and/or Cold Blood?

YES, THEY’VE GOT ME WORKING FAR TOO HARD! I’M TOURING DURING THE LAST WEEK OF OCTOBER AND FIRST WEEK OF NOVEMBER. DETAILS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON SOCIAL MEDIA SOON. I’LL ALSO BE VISITING SOME SCHOOLS TALKING ABOUT STREET SOLDIER AT THE SAME TIME.

Finally, would you be willing to sign a book with the phrase, ‘Jon Marquis is a proper hard man?’

HA HA, DEPENDS HOW MUCH YOU PAY ME?

Thanks so much for your time, Andy. Hope to speak to you again soon!

Lynn & Jon

NO WORRIES, THANKS FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT AS EVER.

Street Soldier will be released 11 August. A free copy can be yours, all you have to do is like our Facebook page Grey Man’s Land and 2 lucky winners will be selected at random at the end August.

UPDATE: Winners are Jan Radovic and Peter Wilkinson, books are coming your way 🙂

Andy McNab's Street Soldier