2012
26.07

YAY!! Andy was willing to answer our questions about the War Torn sequel ‘Battle Lines’ that was published this month. Of course we also had some other prying questions for him…so below his answers. Enjoy!!

Grey Man’s Land Interview with Andy McNab
July 2012

GML: Hi Andy, thanks for answering some of our questions again, with the release of War Torns sequel ‘Battle Lines’ this month.
First of all..how was working with Kym again?

AM: “It was great! Her experience is different from mine and its so useful getting a different person’s view when you are writing. Also, the female characters are so important in this book that it was vital to have an authentic female voice in the narrative.”

GML: Kym being the ‘social’ one in your collaboration, did she do the family stuff again?

AM: “We both did really. We spent time in some camps talking to families and Kym did some further visits and meetings, but I went out to Helmand in the Spring and spent a lot of time talking to some of the lads about the issues surrounding home, balancing these contrasting aspects of their lives, communications and how they felt about stuff basically.”

GML: When War Torn was released you promised us a sequel with the same characters and some new ones. What can you tell us about the people in ‘Battle Lines’?

AM: “I want you to go and buy a copy! But briefly, Dave Henley and his wife Jenny are still at the centre of the book and we follow their lives and those of the families around them, many of whom were in War Torn.”

GML: Characters in your books are often based on people you know, or have met. Are you expecting requests of ‘royalties’ again?

AM: “Ha ha, hopefully not! I’ll have to start saying that every character is a version of me, the good parts of course! There are lots of people that have helped me research and create these characters, and lots of people’s experiences woven into the story, but that is the nature of authentic and realistic fiction, I want it to be based on truth and real experience, that is, hopefully, part of why people want to read my books.”

GML: On the cover of the book it says ‘Sometimes your toughest enemy is yourself’ What does that mean?

AM: “It is a reference to the idea that serving soldiers are in a situation where they have two completely contrasting parts of their life, on the one hand they are out on patrol, literally risking life and limb and watching their mates getting injured or worse alongside them, and on the other, they are on the phone or email to their families at home hearing about the kids playing truant, the car failing its MOT or their relationship going to shit because they aren’t there and they can’t do anything about it. It is incredibly frustrating and a difficult balance to get right. Much more tricky than in the era before instant communications. Nowadays the lads hear about everything going wrong at home and are completely powerless to do anything about it, whereas in previous times, at least they didn’t know about it!”

GML: Can you relate to this yourself?

AM: “Yes, I had a few relationships whilst I was a serving soldier, I found it difficult to get the balance right and I got it wrong a couple of times!”

GML: The first book didn’t have a moral message, you said when War Torn was published. Did you avoid politics again in this sequel?

AM: “Yes, it isn’t about politics, it is about people, life struggles and the difficulties facing not only serving soldiers but also their families back home. If there is one political theme in the book, however, it is the continuing need for more civilian acknowledgement and training for service leavers suffering from PTSD. The difficulty comes with the fact that it often doesn’t come to light until after those afflicted have left the army. This is where problems arise as neither families nor the National Health Service have the experience or training to deal with these problems. It’s not through a lack of interest or awareness, but simply that the experiences that have led to this are so extreme and unique to serving soldiers.”

GML: Often, even recently, you express your worry about unemployment of ex-army personnel and its consequences, hence your work for ForceSelect. Is this subject implemented in ‘Battle Lines’?

AM: “I haven’t really focused on this issue in Battle Lines, I think there is a danger in throwing too many themes at the reader all at once, perhaps that is one for a different book.”

GML: The original idea was to write about the difficulties of contact with the home front, as in present days there are many ways of contact possible. How did that turn out in ‘Battle Lines’?

AM: “It turned out as I hoped. There is a storyline in Battle Lines concerning a classic case of Chinese whispers and rumours of what people are or aren’t getting up to at home. This is the basis for lots of angst for those serving, as you might imagine, and is just one example of how improved communications aren’t always a good thing for the morale.”

GML: Indeed, today there are mobile phones, Internet and probably ways of contact I don’t know about. How was that in your army days and are these improved communications really an improvement? Or should we go back to ‘All Prohibited except Smoke Signals’.

AM: “I can’t confess to have done quite as much communicating with people at home as I might have done when I was serving. Perhaps this was why I had a couple of failed relationships! But I’m sure I was therefore spared some of the grief and worry that other guys go through. I’m not saying we should go back to having no contact at all with families at home. That just wouldn’t be acceptable to people in this day and age where you can skype anywhere in the world and the majority of us are permanently online and on the end of a mobile. The point I want to make is that this technology doesn’t come without its problems and should be used and treated with respect.”

GML: There has been mention of War Torn being turned into film. Which is a nice bridge to all the other movie stuff.
You were in Cannes this year. What was the result apart from meeting Robert the Niro again.

AM: “I’ve got a couple of projects in pre production at the moment. We’ve got Echelon, the Nick Stone film which is coming along really well and there should be more exciting news on that before too long, and also Red Notice, featuring my new character Tom Buckingham. That is motoring and again, watch this space for announcements!” (GML: WE WILL, WE WILL!!)

GML: This new character ‘Tom Buckingham’, the lead in a new book ‘Red Notice’, which will be published in October…please tell us..Who is he?

AM: “Tom is a serving SAS soldier. He’s very different to Nick Stone in his upbringing, outlook and way he operates. Whereas I based Nick Stone loosely on myself (as everyone knows), Tom is based on a close friend of mine, someone I admired hugely. I will tell you more about this in the Autumn when the book comes out. The other big difference with Tom Buckingham is that I have changed my narrative structure with this book. Whereas the Nick Stone books are in the first person, ie you see everything happening through Nick’s eyes and if he can’t see it then you don’t know about it, I’m using the third person now so as well as seeing everything that Tom sees, we get to see what is going on elsewhere, what the ‘baddies’ are up to, how the politicians are handling the situation, it is more of a 360 narrative picture, I’m really enjoyed doing it.”

GML: And we will enjoy reading it! But now……The new Nick Stone novel has been postponed until next year. It’s obviously not really common knowledge yet since there haven’t been reports of riots in front of publisher Transworlds office. What’s going on??? Your fans are not pleased. One even wonders how to know it’s autumn this year!

AM: “Don’t worry, the new Nick Stone is coming out, I promise. I’ve more or less written it already! It is going to be called ‘Silencer’ I hope and it is set in Colombia and in Moscow, going back to some old operations and then bringing us up to date with Nick and the big changes that were just happening at the end of Dead Centre….

It just got pushed back to give more space to ‘Red Notice’ which people seem to be getting really excited about, which is all good.”

GML: Andy, as always we’d like to close our interview with a silly question. This time we’d like to know… you’ve been surfing quite a lot lately. Who can join you on your surfboard any time and why? (And please don’t say your neighbor Katie Price, as she’s capable of floating without a board.)

AM: “We’ve all seen the photos of Cameron Diaz on her surfboard…. But for someone slightly different, I gather Obama can surf. He grew up in Hawaii so should be able to! I’d quite like to go out surfing with him and chat about a few world policies!”

GML: Wow! Thank you so much for the interview again Andy and we’ll be looking forward to hearing from you again soon!!

Hope you all enjoyed! Happy Holiday Season!!
Lynn & Grey Man’s Land

Get Andy McNab’s Battle Lines now!

2012
04.04

BBC Today
27 March 2012

Two British soldiers have been killed in the big British barracks at Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, by an Afghan wearing a military uniform.

An American soldier was killed in a separate attack in eastern Afghanistan by a man believed to be part of a village-level fighting force being fostered by the Americans.

One-in-seven international military fatalities in Afghanistan this year has been caused by Afghan soldiers turning their arms on the men who thought they were comrades.

Author and former SAS officer Andy McNab has just returned from Helmand and told the Today programme’s Sarah Montague that “even the Afghan National Army (ANA) are targets,” pointing out that the brigade commander does not go anywhere without his bodyguard.

Go here to listen to the BBC Today item with Andy McNab

2012
23.03

Andy was on BBC 5Live today. It’s available to Listen Again for 7 days.

Go here to Listen to the show Andy’s item – on satelite phone from Afghanistan – starts at 2h.21m

2012
21.03

It’s been awfully quiet here. Nothing to do with forgetting our readers and/or forgetting about Andy McNab. It’s just like the expression “Life is what happens to you, while you’re busy making other plans”. Here’s an update covering the last few months.. hope you enjoy!!

Andy McNab: Video Games do not cause Violence
31 October 2011

“People have always been fascinated by war – games are just another medium. There have been war films since the beginning of cinema -…it’s all part of the same thing” McNab is right but not really putting forth a strong argument. “…the big argument about games inducint violence – they’re a load of nonsense; violence has always been there”
Go here to read more

Andy McNab on special learning mission to McVitie’s in Manchester
31 October 2011

“It’s been a coup to have both a real life hero and successful author visit the Learn 4 U centre at McVitie’s. The event with Andy McNab resulted in a real buzz within the factory,” said Jonathan Waterhouse, USDAW learning rep coordinator at McVitie’s Manchester. “The Six Book Challenge is another great example of how USDAW unionlearn representatives at McVitie’s have engaged with our union members, allowing us to reinvigorate or start a reading culture with the support of both The Reading Agency and Stockport Libraries.
Go here to read all about this event

Foto by Mike Corrie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see more photos of the event Go here

Andy McNab on Twitter: “Great visit to mcvities, thanks guys! The learn4u education centre is a great initiative, we need more of these, good for staff and company. And still eating all those biscuits!”

Andy McNab in The Sun: Who airs wins
26 November 2011

After girl is trapped, SAS hero Andy McNab reveals his clothes horse survival guide.
Just how dangerous can it be to use a clothes horse?
Go here to read the full article

Andy McNab: I owe everything to the military education system
30 November 2011

Last night, at a secret location in the East End, Andy McNab addressed the London branch of the Royal Green Jackets Association, the body representing former members of the Rifles Regiment. McNab, a decorated Rifleman before he entered SAS folklore on the botched Bravo Two Zero mission, was drumming up support at a private bash for Care for Casualties, the regiment’s appeal to care for the families of its wounded and dead.
Go here to read more

Andy McNab on judging panel for the fourth annual Millies
28 November 2011

“Millies show truly remarkable work our Armed Forces do” ~ His Royal Highness Prince Charles

Prince Charles launched this year’s Sun Military Awards yesterday alongside senior Armed Forces chiefs and a host of stars from the worlds of showbiz and sport.

The judging panel for the fourth annual Millies — which takes place at London’s Imperial War Museum on December 19 — includes England footballer Frank Lampard, Sun columnist Jeremy Clarkson, TV adventurer Ross Kemp, SAS hero Andy McNab and Samantha Cameron, the Prime Minister’s wife.

SAS legend Andy McNab said: “The Millies show the public just a little of the courage of the servicemen and women that protect us.”
Go here to read the full article including photo of  Andy McNab with Prince Charles

 

Tesco Books Blog: Andy McNab – your questions, his answers
7 December  2011

George Terry: “A little while back we gave you guys the opportunity to put your questions to the ever-enigmatic Andy Mcnab. His latest book, Battlefield 3: The Russian, was released a month or so ago, accompanying a game of the same name which he also worked on, drawing upon his experiences in the SAS to offer guidance to Electronic Arts on some of the finer points of combat. Last week, Andy sent his answers back to us. Unfortunately, he couldn’t answer every question that you guys sent, but the answers that he has given is should serve to shed a little light on a writer who has always been something of a mystery to his fans.”
Go here to read all Q and A’s

Andy McNab on BBC 4 radio programme Food for Thought
December 2011

Andy was on the BBC 4 radio programme Food for Thought in December. Unfortunately this programme is not available to Listen Again. Below the text with this particular show. Didn’ t want to leave it out!

‘What do you want before the chip shop closes?’ was the phrase former Special Forces soldier Andy McNab got used to as a child. In Food For Thought, he describes his transition from a thirty-six-inch-waisted ‘fat kid’ to fit career soldier, after a spell in juvenile detention. Joining the army meant decent food and regular meal times. You could be up on a charge if you didn’t eat breakfast before Queen’s Parade.

Over spam, pick’n’mix and with condensed milk in his cuppa, Andy talks to Nina Myskow about feeling looked after by the army, the daily rituals of preparing dinner in huge Dixie pots and how he cooked on an army Hexy burner in the kitchen sink when he bought his first house. He was worried about the gas bill. These days, he doesn’t cook much but makes ‘Desperate Dan’ sausage and mash for a family special occasion. And, after a life in the military, the novelty of eating out still hasn’t worn off.

Andy also details the realities and deprivations of war time capture and there’s a frank revelation about the worse thing he’s ever eaten. Not for the squeamish. It’s all rather different to the boiled eggs and chocolate given to him by the Red Cross on his release, and the expensive kobe beef he has sampled since.
Source: BBC

Andy McNab writes foreword ‘Sniper in Helmand’ by ‘James Cartwright’
14 January 2012

Pen and Sword Books Launch New Title  ‘Sniper in Helmand’ – the Book That the MOD Tried to Stop Being Published.
‘Sniper in Helmand’ is a thrilling action-packed, yet very human, account of both front line service in the intense Afghanistan war and first-hand sniper action. Having never planned to write a book, James Cartwright was encouraged to write down his experiences as part of his treatment for post traumatic stress disorder.

Andy McNab inspired James to join the army and has written a moving foreword. James Cartwright, a pseudonym as his true identity cannot be revealed due to him being a Sniper. Snipers’ identities are not allowed to be revealed for their own safety, served with the Royal Anglian Regiment.
Source: PR Web

Radio Programme ‘Answer Me This!’  Episode 202 – about Andy McNab hiding his face
26 January 2012

Answer Me This! is a weekly comedy podcast in which Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann answer questions submitted by their listeners, with the assistance of Martin the Sound Man.

This episode: Olly is a staunch traditionalist when it comes to marriage (despite being, at the same time, staunchly anti-marriage); Helen guesses what Andy McNab’s mysterious face really looks like; and Martin the Sound Man mounts an impassioned defence of the underscore.
Go here to Listen to this episode  [Andy item starts at 18m15]

Andy McNab in The Sun – My View about Foodbanks
3 February 2012

Foodbanks are thriving as thousands hit by the recession find it harder to feed their families.

Desperate Brits can get supplies to last at least three days from the charity projects. There were 79 foodbanks across the UK in 2010 – now the Trussell Trust alone run 170. And more than 100,000 people rely on food parcels, donated by locals, to survive.
Go here to read the full article

MyView
By Andy McNab

When I was a boy in the late Sixties, foodbanks were a valuable source of goods for our family.

My parents weren’t skilled workers and by the end of the month money was very tight. We would go along to the centre in South London and stock up on dented tins of fruit and broken biscuits. It was a lifeline for my mum and dad.

It’s shocking to think people are forced to visit foodbanks in 2012.

Yet the statistics speak for themselves – there is a huge need.

Andy McNab in The Sun about surviving in sub-zero temperatures

The Sun: ‘Snow may be cold but it can keep you warm’ 

The survival of a Swedish man apparently trapped in snow for two months in temperatures as low as -30°C has shocked the world. Peter Skyllberg was found inside a frozen car by snowmobile drivers in Umea on Friday. He claims to have kept alive by sucking on snow.
Here, an SAS legend offers tips for surviving in sub-zero temperatures.

21 February 2012 
By Andy McNab, SAS legend

“This is an incredible tale of survival. This guy should have gone down after about four to five weeks without any food.

I am amazed he was found alive. The biggest things that will kill you are being wet, cold and hungry.

Sort any of those out and you stand a better chance of survival.

The first thing in his favour was being covered in snow. In effect, he was surrounded by a layer of insulation.

Snow may be cold but it can keep you warm.”
Go here and read the full article by Andy

SAS author Andy McNab fixes city roles for military
20 February 2012

Thriller writer Andy McNab is juggling more than one deadline. When the former SAS hardman is not working on his latest novel – a Channel Tunnel thriller starring his new character Tom Buckingham – McNab is fixing jobs in the City for service leavers as a director of military recruitment agency ForceSelect.
Go here to read more

Andy McNab about Prince Harry in Firing Line
26 February 2012

Military top brass are terrified Prince Harry could kill another Brit or Afghan kids if he goes to Afghanistan.

The deadly fears over Top Gun Harry were revealed by SAS hero Andy McNab.
Speaking at a ForceSelect Foundation fundraiser, he said: “Top brass are worried and have discussed how to deal with it. They are worried about a blue on blue. It’s a political situation.”
Go here to read the full article

2012
24.01

In a recent chat with Australia’s PC & Tech Authority, Andy McNab talked about tech in the S.A.S., Battlefield 3, and his own collection of cool toys.

PCA: There’s a lot of tech in the SAS regiment

AM: Everyone’s got a laptop and a smartphone. They all want Powermonkeys because their batteries keep dying. You can easily rig an iPhone up to the internal communications system of a Warrior tank.

PCA: But you can never completely rely on tech

AM: In the military, you have to know what to do when your kit goes down. The Special Forces are often beyond the FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Area), so there’s nobody to help if your sat-nav stops working. You need to be able to read a map or use astronavigation.

PCA: Modern military tech is astonishing

AM: An unmanned aerial vehicle can show you what’s on the ground in a 10-metre square. It might take off in Afghanistan and then get handed over to the control centre in Nevada. Those guys will then fly the mission before handing it back to the team on the ground.

PCA: The sound in Battlefield 3 is incredible

AM: The guys at DICE had a huge catalogue of gunshots that they’d recorded. I’d listen to them and combine different bits to make sure it sounded right for the in-game environment. I also had to ensure the dialogue was accurate, the environments were correct and the characters handled their weapons properly.

PCA: He’s also into surfing, boarding and biking

AM: I’m starting to sound like a cliché now, aren’t I? I’ve got a six-foot, three-fin surfboard, a Burton snowboard and a BMW GS1200 bike. I’ve even got a Bluetooth helmet for phone calls on a ride.

McNab may be getting a little more grey, but he’s definitely staying up-to-date! Check out more great articles at pcauthority.com.au.

2011
29.11

Moscow, 2014

Dima opened his eyes, a second of blankness before he remembered where he was and why. The call could come at any time, they’d said. It was just after three. Bulganov’s voice was thick with fatigue. He told him when and where. He started to give directions, but Dima shut him up.

‘I know where it is.’

‘Just don’t fuck up, okay?’

‘I don’t fuck up. That’s why you hired me.’

You can read the first few chapters of Andy McNab’s novel ‘Battlefield 3 – The Russian’ online:

Go here to read Chapter 1 and 2

and for Chapter 3 Go Here

And here you’ll find a Q & A with Andy McNab by GameSpot