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Feb 15, 2016

Don’t you just hate when you become totally engrossed in a thriller or mystery novel and then it just ends? I always wanna scream, “NOOOOOO!” and beg the author to make it go on a little longer. That’s probably the lure of stories with continuing characters, whether it’s Harry Potter or Harry Bosch. We get to know them, their characteristics good and bad, their inflection points, their weaknesses, and more. Once we inhabit their world—from a safe distance, of course—we never want to leave.

DREW CHAPMAN podcast excerpt: "'Homeland,' to me, is the gold standard of television spy stories. Last season was the best yet -- so complicated and detailed and emotional. It felt grounded in reality. I looked to 'Homeland' for character and plot inspiration and how they go about telling their stories."

I felt that way about Drew Chapman’s first novel, The Ascendant, which introduced us to a certified genius, Garrett Reilly, a man who sees patterns in places the rest of us simply don’t see anything at all. He puts his talents to work in the financial markets but soon finds himself wrapped up in international intrigue and government conspiracy theories. When that book was done, I wanted more Reilly. And I told Chapman as much.

DREW CHAPMAN podcast excerpt: "I totally cut my teeth in television. In a way, when I'm writing a book, I have to slow myself down. I have to take a breath, describe more. Let the story blossom. Because I always have the words of a showrunner in my head; I hear him editing my script, and saying, 'Jesus Christ, Chapman, do they pay you by the word?'"

I’m thrilled to report that Chapman is back with more mind-numbing and terrifying Reilly adventures in The King of Fear, which I made the mistake of taking on a business trip to London and then couldn’t put it down until the end. Thank you—and damn you, Drew!

Key interview moments:

• 11:15 Drew Chapman, who interviewed for a staff writer position on Showtime's "Homeland" series recently, talks about the show's influence on his Garrett Reilly spy thrillers;

• 22:45 There is a significant difference in the pacing of TV and novels and Chapman addresses how he writes for one vs. the other;

• 41:15 Chapman loves getting insight for his work from real spies.

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