YAYYYYYY!!! Andy granted Grey Man’s Land another interview… see his answers below
GML: Hi Andy.. congratulations on the anniversary of Bravo Two Zero! Thanks for answering a few of our questions again..
First of all… twenty years..wow! They say ‘the older, the wiser’. How much wiser are you today?
Andy: CERTAINLY OLDER BUT NOT SURE ABOUT WISER!
GML: Bravo Two Zero ‘Revised and Updated’..why is there a new edition after 20 years?
Andy: B20 IS STILL THE BIGGEST SELLING WAR BOOK OF ALL TIME. IT IS A PIECE OF HISTORY AND, FROM WHAT PEOPLE SAY TO ME AT EVENTS, HAD AND CONTINUES TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON THEIR LIVES. FROM A SOUTH AFRICAN HOMELESS WOMAN WHO FOUND THE BOOK ON THE STREET. SHE DECIDED TO GET GRIP OF HER LIFE AFTER READING THE BOOK AND KNOWING THAT PEOPLE CAN OVER COME AND THAT THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE. AFTER READING BTZ ANOTHER WOMAN IN LONDON CANCELLED HER PLANNED SUICIDE. THAT MADE ME FEEL VERY HAPPY.
GML: This book is highly likely interesting for new readers, will it be interesting for those who have known the story since the first edition in 1993 and have been following you ever since?
Andy: 20 YEARS ON I AM A DIFFERENT MAN TO THE ONE THAT FIRST WROTE B20. OBVIOUSLY OLDER AND WISER, WITH THE BENEFIT OF DISTANCE AND TIME, PLUS HOW MY LIFE HAS BEEN SINCE, I’M ABLE TO LOOK AT EVENTS AND HOW I FELT ABOUT THEM IN A DIFFERENT WAY. THERE IS LOTS OF NEW MATERIAL, WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE REST OF THE PATROL SINCE, WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I WENT BACK, HOW IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE AND THE LIVES OF EVERYONE ELSE INVOLVED!
GML: If you had not written Bravo Two Zero and with the turn your life made as a result of the immense success of the book, where do you think you would be now?
Andy: I WOULD HAVE DONE A LONG STINT WORKING FOR THE PMC (PRIVATE MILITARY COMPANY) IN COLOMBIA AND WOULD EITHER STILL BE DOING IT OR DOING SOMETHING SIMILAR.
GML: Would you say that the events of B20 still have impact on your life today…Professionally we know – but (if any) like health wise, mentally, daily routine, decisions you make…etc
Andy: I WAS LUCKY TO COME OUT OF THE GULF WAR UNSCATHED MENTALLY BUT I HAVE SEEN AND CONTINUE TO SEE THE IMPACT THAT COMBAT HAS ON FRIENDS LIVES. HOW HAS IT CHANGED HOW I LEAD MY LIFE? I GUESS I ACCEPT THAT I HAVE LOST ONE OF MY NINE LIVES, BUT THEN AGAIN MAYBE IT MAKES ME THINK THAT ITS WORTH LIVING EVERY DAY TO THE MAX. BIT OF BOTH.
GML: We here at Grey Man’s Land read, of course, the first edition of B20 in 1993 (even though we were like 4 or 5 years old or so) but it means we, and a lot of your fans ‘of the first hour’ are 20 years older too.. How will you keep us (and the younger fans) entertained for the next decade(s)?
Andy: IF I TOLD YOU THAT THEN IT WOULDNT ENTERTAIN YOU WHEN IT HAPPENS WOULD IT!
GML: Please give us a short take on the subjects that we know are an important part of your life….
Andy: IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE EDUCATION I WAS GIVEN BY THE ARMY. A MASSIVE PART OF MY LIFE NOW IS VISITING SCHOOLS, PRISONS, ARMY BASES AND COMPANIES TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES BEING OFFERED TO THEM. IF YOU ARE EDUCATED YOU ARE IN CONTROL AND CAN MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS. IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT WE EXPLAIN THAT TO PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY THE YOUNG.
* Supporting wounded servicemen and women
Andy: OF COURSE! WE ALL OWE THEM A DEBT OF GRATITUDE AND SUPPORT. WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT WE DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO HEAL THE WOUNDS, WHETHER PHYSICAL OR MENTAL.
* Participating in eliminating illiteracy
Andy: IT ALL COMES DOWN TO TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE, EDUCATION ENABLES YOU TO READ, READING GIVES YOU POWER, THE POWER TO MAKE DECISIONS THAT YOU WANT TO MAKE.
* Family life
Andy: THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT TO SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN THAN THE SUPPORT OF FAMILY BACK HOME.
* Lectures, book signings, tours meeting fans
Andy: GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO CHAT TO THE PEOPLE WHO READ THE BOOKS, WHAT AUTHOR WOULDN’T APPRECIATE THAT CHANCE? OH, AND THE KFC/MCDONALDS ALONG THE WAY. ITS ALL GLAMOUR.
* Big waves
Andy: PURELY FOR INSPIRATION ON THE WRITING OBVIOUSLY, GET OUT THERE EARLY IN THE MORNING AND THEN FIND SOMEWHERE FOR A BREW AND A FRY UP AFTERWARDS.
* Grey Man’s Land
(ok, just kidding)
GML: We really hold you to the publishing of the delayed Nick Stone novel ‘Silencer’ end this year but a lot of fans are wondering if there too will be a new Tom Buckingham and a sequel to the Dropzone series in the next future?
Andy: YES, THERE WILL BE A NEW TOM BUCKINGHAM IN 2014. NOT SURE ON DROPZONE, I’LL LET YOU KNOW.
GML: We may or may not have asked this a few times before…..but if we promise to NOT ask about movie news this time – would you promise to let us know immediately if there is anything to mention?
Andy: YES, I PROMISE. WE’RE MAKING PROGRESS, SLOWLY…IN FACT I’M IN LOS ANGELES AS I WRITE THIS.
GML: Something the lucky fans who managed to get a ticket to one of your book signings often wonder… are they allowed to bring their old & favourite McNab book(s) so to get your signature in those?
Andy: OF COURSE! THE OLDER THE BETTER ALTHOUGH I MIGHT START TESTING PEOPLE ON THE PLOT!
Thanks so much again Andy, we wish you happy touring and hoping a lot of your fans will get a chance to meet you and get their books signed!!
Grey Man’s Land