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As part of my ongoing author interviews, I emailed Andrew Watts, to learn a little more about him and his two very popular military technothriller series Max Fend and War Planners.

How much does your US Navy experience shape your writing?

My knowledge of flying and experience in the military allow me to create more realistic scenarios. I know what it feels like to be drenched in sweat, muscles aching, coming out of a helicopter flight at two a.m. after landing on a destroyer off the coast of Somalia. I know what people in the military talk and act like. I know the types of personalities. I’ve fired a variety of weapons: a 9mm handgun, an MP-5, a MK-19 automatic grenade launcher, a Hellfire missile, and exercise torpedoes. My great-grandfather was at the battle of Belleau Wood. My grandfather was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed, and at the battle of Leyte Gulf. My father is a Vietnam vet. I have a great respect for the military, intelligence community, and law enforcement.


Max Fend is a great character. Where did you draw your inspiration for him?

Hmm. Jamie Lannister’s wit, my wife’s colleges, Ironman as the rich aerospace super hero, James Bond as the secret agent that could get out of any sticky situation, Jack Ryan’s intelligence and integrity, James Lowell (WEB Griffin character) as another wealthy character that wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty to do the right thing.


You’re trapped on a desert island with the complete works of one author. Who is it?

This is tough. Right now I’m tearing through a lot of Daniel Silva. He’s incredible. But Jason Matthews (author of The Red Sparrow) is also one of my new favorites.


How is War Planners Book #4 going?

Very well, it just launched! Several thousand books sold in the first few days.


What’s next for the Max Fend Series?

Right now I’m still outlining and writing the first draft. I’m planning to have the novel take place mostly at the Oshkosh air show in Wisconsin. I’ve been several times and I think it would be a pretty cool setting for a thriller. The “bad guys” will be tied to the global drug trade. There will be an assassin who served in US special operations. But there will be some unexpected twists there. Don’t hold me to any of this! Like I said, I’m still creating the first draft. I’ll know more in about six weeks. I hope to have this out in the spring of 2018.


Andrew Watts graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2003 and served as a naval officer and helicopter pilot until 2013. During that time, he flew counter-narcotic missions in the Eastern Pacific and counter-piracy missions off the Horn of Africa. He was a flight instructor in Pensacola, FL, and helped to run ship and flight operations while embarked on a nuclear aircraft carrier deployed in the Middle East.

Today, he lives with his family in Ohio.


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