2017
27.08

Happy to show you the answers Andy gave to YOUR questions! We thought Roy Jones did a lot of thinking to come up with his question so he’ll get send the new Sean Harker Silent Weapon by Andy McNab, signed and all! Congratulations Roy.

We’ll start with his intriguing ‘case study’ and we’re curious to see what Andy made of it.

Yourself and your closest squad mate are offered work. The first placement is CP for a high level VIP, the second placement is to take out the CP of the high level VIP. Whichever one you take, your squad mate gets the other placement. Which placement would you take? ~Roy Jones

Andy: “It would be to take the VIP protection job and my mate to take the job of trying to drop me. There are two reasons why: Firstly, I have got the easier job. Secondly, there is always the chance that my mate simply couldn’t carry out the job because of our friendship. Thirdly, if he does attack I then have no other option but to fight and then we see who comes out still breathing at the end.”

Do you have any plans in writing your 4th autobiography? Considering you most definitely have plenty enough material for it. ~Bhakti Dave

“If my publishers are reading this and want to pay me to write autobiography number four, I am on it!”

I’d like to ask Andy if he is knowledgeable about Blair Mayne, otherwise known as Paddy from my hometown of Newtownards. I’d love to know what he thinks of him. ~Kindest regards, Georgie Davidson

“Yes, I do know the Paddy Mayne (SAS) story and have read the accounts of both his exploits during World War II and what I can only call the political stitch up in not awarding him the Victoria Cross. Paddy clearly deserved the decoration and I have seen the recommendation document that was later amended by people who were jealous or simply didn’t like the idea of somebody like him being awarded such a high decoration. There have been attempts in the past to try and have a posthumous VC awarded to Paddy but unfortunately I don’t think that it will ever happen.”

Now you have a CBE – which medal means the most to you? ~Richard Lister

“A great and at the same time an annoying question because I haven’t really thought about it until now. I guess it is the ACSM (Accumulated Campaign Service Medal). It’s awarded to anyone who has served over 1080 days of active service. I was awarded it as a young infantryman and even having won the Military Medal a couple of years before, this award made me feel like a true professional soldier.”

My question is: what is Andy’s favourite book he has written, and by another author? ~Kind regards, Richard Joyce

“My favourite written book is always the last one, so it has to be Line of Fire. [Published later this year ~GML]
It certainly was the quickest (five months), easiest and most fun to write. Maybe because Nick is working with two ex military guys and I could play about with the piss takes and general mate stuff that felt authentic and how I would be with my mates. The best book by another author is Touching the Void by Joe Simpson. it’s short, sharp and so straight to the point. At the same time, it gives you an incredible sense of environment. In the case of Touching the Void, that environment is ice, snow and mountains, and you definitely feel you are there and experiencing all that with him. It also gives you more than that – you can feel the cold but you can also understand the fear, anxiety and pain of the two men involved because it’s a story of a mountain climb that goes very wrong.”

What further actions will you be taking to increase awareness regarding literacy, and what demonstrable success stories can you share?

“I intend to really tear the arse out of my award of a CBE and I hope it can open a few more doors and that there are people on the other side of those doors who are able to help. Because I’ll talk to anyone who will listen about reading and about the fact that reading has the power to change lives. Noone is thick, they are just uneducated and if I can do it and change my life, frankly anyone can.”

Did ‘Brand McNab’ follow a particular business model, or was it an organic growth?

“No brand planning at all, it just got a life of its own. My intention was just to write one book and that was Bravo Two Zero. But because of its success the publishers asked if I wanted to write another one, so I thought yeah why not? And that system carried on for years, every book was a punt because maybe readers would like it or maybe not. But that has changed now and its all a bit more formal.”

Last year Chris Ryan’s family was targeted by a terrorist cell. What is the likelihood of something like this happening to you, and how does this affect you professionally, as well as personally?~Jan Radovic

“This is a constant problem and one that all members of the Special Air Service are aware of. Over the years I’ve had a number of threats, the most recent was when I was in Northern Ireland taking part in some fundraising events for the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Soldiers will not be only ones that were killed and lost limbs during that war. I’ve also been vocal about the rise of Islamic terrorism and could be thought of as a headline grabbing victim. That is why I try my best to keep a low profile and not show my face. Because it’s just not me that I have to think about but also the the safety of my family. It’s not about hiding in doorways, just trying to be as low-profile as possible yet at the same time carrying out my job and living life.”

Have you caught up with any ex members of Bravo 20? ~ Mark Heelas

“Not for quite a few years. Everyone has now zoomed off to different parts of the world. But it’s just life. People are brought together for work, friendship or just circumstances, but we all move on to other things. I’m not that emotional about this kind of stuff.”

Thanks so much Andy for taking the time to answer all our questions! 

Silent Weapon is published 10 August by Doubleday Childrens.

Product details: 

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085753467X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857534675
  • 2017
    12.07

    UPDATE: And the winner is… Roy Jones. Congrats Roy!! We hope you enjoy the book 🙂 Our selection of questions was sent to Andy and we’ll publish them – of course – when he’s answered and returned them. So keep checking here from time to time!

    We’re very happy to be able to offer one of Sean Harkers fans a copy of the new ‘Street Soldier’ book ‘Silent Weapon’ – signed by Andy no less!!

    There’s more good news… if you have a prying question for Andy you may be lucky – he will answer 10 questions and one could be yours! The book will go to the creator of the most original question.

    So think of a good one and send to lynn@greymansland.com before 1 August!!

    ‘Silent Weapon’ is published mid August and will be send to the lucky person after Andy has signed it for you.

    Good luck!!
    Silent Weapon by Andy McNab

    2016
    07.08

    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

    2016
    04.03

    A new ‘Young Adult’ series by Andy McNab is coming up. Never mind ‘young adult’ though… these books are an awesome read at any age!!

    Synopsis:

    Sean Harker is good at two things: stealing cars and fighting. One earns him money, the other earns him respect from the gang that he calls family.

    A police chase through the city streets is just another rite of passage for Sean . . . as is getting nicked. But a brutal event behind bars convinces him to take charge, and turn his life around.

    Now he must put his street skills to the ultimate test: as a soldier in the British army. And the battlefield is London, where innocent people are being targeted by a new and terrifying enemy.

    Undercover, under threat – only Sean Harker can save the streets from all-out war.

    Exited yet?!?! I know I am! We’ll have to wait until August though:

    Product details
    Hardcover: 384 pages
    Publisher: Doubleday Childrens (11 Aug. 2016)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0857534696

    Andy McNab's Street Soldier