Andy McNab interview: “Keeping my identity secret is a challenge”
The Big Issue – 4 July 2014

The SAS man-turned-author talks surfing, Margaret Thatcher, abstinence – and his love of opera

Keeping my identity secret – commercially, it’s a challenge.
I could do a lot more things – I’ve been asked to do films. But in effect I get the best of both worlds because I can bounce around without getting stopped in the street, all that weird stuff. That’s the downside of fame.

The character in my new series of books initially came from an approach from a film studio to be involved with a franchise.
He was called Tom Mullin at first because that sounded nice and hard. But the studio went, nah, that’s not British enough – we want to call him Tom Buckingham. Fortress is Tom getting involved with the right wing in the UK, in an undercover capacity.

As we’ve seen in the recent European elections, the right wing is extremely organised these days, certainly in mainland Europe.
There’s no bomber jackets any more, these guys have got Armani suits. In the UK we’ve got right-wing light, Ukip and all that. Compared with these guys, Ukip are just playing at it.

As you get older you become more politically aware.
As a 17- or 18-year-old squaddie I didn’t really care. I only became interested in the politics when Thatcher came in and she gave everyone a 24 per cent pay rise. Getting in the SAS I was more politically aware because you’re doing more strategic sort of work – taking direct orders from politicians.

My writing routines vary because I travel a lot.
If I’m at home, chances are I won’t even get dressed – I’ll just be dossing around in a dressing gown or a pair of shorts and flip-flops. Get in, get on with it immediately – I won’t even have a wash. If it’s one of them days, I can’t even be arsed to go and get anything to eat, so I’ll just have a bowl of cornflakes.

I don’t drink alcohol at all.
I drink far too much tea instead. I can drink three cups an hour easy. That comes from the military – if there’s nothing going on, there’s a brew on.

To the point of obsession, I love surfing.
It’s like an addiction – I’m sure there’s surfing anonymous out there or something. For holidays I tend to go where the surfing’s good. Hawaii, Costa Rica, loads on the South West coast in the UK. And certainly when I’m in Los Angeles. A few weeks ago me and my daughter went paragliding.

I’m an absolutely huge opera fan.
Most opera is fantastic – the storylines, the three-act drama, the way the morals are told. We’ve been to the English National, and we’ve also been to La Scala in Milan. I’m trying to get tickets for the Ring Cycle by Wagner but my wife says she’s not coming to that because it goes on for 15 hours.

Because I’m on the board of a private military company I’ve been back to Baghdad loads of times since the events of Bravo Two Zero.
I went back to Abu Ghraib, back to the interrogation centre. What’s going on right now in Iraq with ISIS, it’s interesting because we’re back to square one. It’s really crazy because some of those groups, certainly when they were in Syria, we were supporting them. It’s just history repeating itself. I don’t think we’re going to see British soldiers there because we don’t have the capability any more.

Andy McNab’s latest book Fortress is out now  

Source: The Big Issue



Release Date: 22 May 2014 | Series: Red Notice 2

Book Description:

“The stunning new Tom Buckingham thriller from the bestselling author of Bravo Two Zero.”

Camp Bastion: SAS trooper Tom Buckingham finds himself in deep trouble for taking down a renegade Afghan soldier.
Instead of being proclaimed a hero, he’s made a scapegoat for the incident and drummed out of the regiment.

On his return to Britain, disillusioned and embittered, Tom’s unique services are quickly snapped up by charismatic entrepreneur, Vernon Rolt, a powerful billionaire with political ambitions, very few scruples and a questionable agenda.

With riot on the country’s streets, a government in disarray and a visit from the American president imminent, there has never been a better time to make a play for power.

But, as Tom will soon discover, in the affairs of state, hidden forces are always at work and he is quickly drawn back into the covert world of intelligence and special forces which he knows so well.

He will have to decide where his loyalties lie and who his real friends are, if he is to intervene in a spiralling sequence of events which involve terrorism, insurgency and, ultimately, assassination…

Fortress is Andy McNab’s most topical, hard-hitting and viscerally exciting novel to date.

One man is willing the world into chaos.

One man has the power to stop him and change the fate of nations…

Go here to check the places and dates for the Andy McNab ‘Fortress’ Tour


STOKE-ON-TRENT LITERARY FESTIVAL will be the first of its kind in the area with the aim of giving local people the opportunity to find out more about the art and craft of writing and the joys of reading.

The festival in the factory, also known as Hot Air giving a nod to Stoke-on-Trent’s historic background, will be held at the Emma Bridgewater Factory on Lichfield Street on Friday 20th, Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd June 2014.

Over 15 nationally known and local authors will be present during the weekend including names such as Joanna Trollope, David Starkey, Andy McNab, Melvyn Bragg, Lauren Child and Emma Bridgewater.  Each author event will give festival goers the opportunity to enter into the debate and question the experts in their own fields.

Festival Trustees include Tristram Hunt MP, Matthew Rice and Emma Bridgewater. Andy McNab is also the festival’s patron.

“By any standards, Andy McNab is a phenomenon. A much decorated former SAS soldier, one of the world’s best selling authors, a much in demand lecturer, and a tireless spokesperson and fundraiser for both military and literacy charities. The founding Patron of the Stoke Literary Festival raises the curtain on the first ever festival talking both about his new novel Fortress but also his passionate advocacy of literacy across the generations.”

Andy McNab Stoke Literary Festival 2014

Go here for more information about the Stoke Literary Festival  and book your tickets for Andy here


Tom Buckingham returns in another thrillingly contemporary, action packed adventure…

This title will be released on May 22, 2014

Andy will do a talk and book signing in York:

An evening with Andy McNab

Memorial Hall, St. Peter’s school, York
Thursday, 22 May 2014, 7:00PM
FREE. On a first come first served basis by e-mail to: events@stpetersyork.org.uk or by telephoning 01904 527300

“We are working with St. Peter’s school to bring you the opportunity to meet bestselling novelist and former SAS soldier, Andy McNab. Andy will talk about his work, including his book published the day of the event – FORTRESS, the second Tom Buckingham novel. The event will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. We will have a bookstall open before and after the event. This event will take place in The Memorial Hall at St Peter’s, which is at the front of the school just off Clifton, with free parking behind the Hall.”

More dates:

Tuesday, 3 June 2014, 2:00PM

Tuesday, 3 June 2014, 7:00PM

Friday, 6 June 2014, 7:00PM

TB2 Fortress kl