Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Interview with thriller author Glenn Dyer

Novelist Glenn Dyer is here today and we’re chatting about his new thriller, The Torch Betrayal.

Long captivated by the events of World War II, Glenn Dyer couples this fascination with his passion for historical thrillers with the publication of The Torch Betrayal, the first in the Conor Thorn Series. He resides in Park City, Utah with his wife Chris. They have three children, all of whom live too far away.

Welcome, Glenn. Please tell us about your current release.
A disgraced agent. A missing battle plan. Will he find redemption or damage the Allies beyond repair? 

London, 1942. OSS Agent Conor Thorn is desperate for a second chance. After a botched mission in Tangier, Thorn knows failure is not an option. When confidential directives for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa, go missing, the agent must recover the plans before the Nazis thwart the crucial mission.

Thorn teams up with MI6 agent Emily Bright to seek out the traitor in their midst. Untangling the web of suspects leads them to Nazi sympathizers, double-crossing Soviet spies, and Vatican clergymen with motives of their own. As their mission grows more and more dangerous, Thorn and Bright have one chance to retrieve the document before it falls into enemy hands, leaving countless Allied troops in danger. 

The Torch Betrayal is a high-stakes World War II thriller inspired by true events.

What inspired you to write this book?
The Torch Betrayal, is inspired by an actual event that I uncovered while doing research for a World War II set novel that I wanted to write. In Harry C. Butcher’s book, My Three Years with Eisenhower (1946), he revealed that a top-secret document that contained key directives of the invasion f North Africa, Operation Torch, had gone missing. Nowhere in his fascinating book does he mention that the page was recovered. Given that the invasion did, in fact, occur, I had to assume that the page must have been recovered because to have launched the invasion as it was originally scheduled with the knowledge that the missing document might have fallen into the hands of the Nazis would have been potentially disastrous. The Torch Betrayal is my story as to what happened to that top-secret document.

Excerpt from The Torch Betrayal:


1040 Hours, Thursday, October 15, 1942
No. 28 Queen Anne’s Gate, London

Thorn and Bright parked several doors down from No. 28. They were twenty minutes early, giving them some time to coordinate with the backup team. He was nervously looking out his side and rearview mirrors for that very team. Bright peeked at her watch
for the second time.
“Well, well, would you look at that?” Thorn was the first to spot Toulouse heading down Queen Anne’s Gate toward them and No. 28. Dressed in dark-colored civilian clothes, he was walking at a brisk pace. Two steps behind him and to the side was the Asian
woman from the Spanish embassy.
“Not who I expected to see,” Bright said, sliding down farther into her seat. “What’s your guess as to why he’s in the vicinity?”
“Could only be two reasons. Our drug-dealing murder suspect is here to collect from Montgomery, assuming he’s inside with Longworth, or to make a delivery. Maybe both. But, even from this distance, he doesn’t look too happy.”
Toulouse stopped suddenly and turned around as the Asian woman caught up to him. He flicked a cigarette into the street. Thorn saw the woman’s mouth move rapidly. She reached out and shoved him backward. Toulouse responded with a backhanded
slap to her face. The force of it caused her to stumble.
“Good God,” Bright said. “He’s such a brute. Should we do—”
“Nothing. Not now.”
The woman regained her composure and dabbed at the corner of her mouth with the tips of her fingers. She examined her fingers, then, without looking at him, turned and walked away from
Toulouse and No. 28.
“There’s more to that lover’s spat than we know,” Thorn said.
An indifferent-looking Toulouse turned and headed toward No. 28. Reaching the front door, he ignored the brass doorknocker and banged on the door with a fist. The door opened slowly, creating a narrow opening of several inches. Toulouse shouldered the
door open and went in.
Thorn looked at his watch. “Eight minutes to the hour. That team should be here by now.” He pounded the steering wheel with his fist, which made Bright flinch. “Jesus, Bruce had one job—to get the backup team here early so we could brief them.” He pulled out his 1911A1. He pulled back the slide and released it, letting it click back into place. Seconds later, a single gunshot rang out.
“Son . . . of . . . a . . . bitch,” Thorn said. “Damn it! We can’t wait
any longer. We’ve got to get in there.”
“Conor, let’s leave. There’s no backup team in sight—this just doesn’t feel right.”
“No, we can’t. Not now. Listen, the task forces sail ten days from today. If I’m wrong and this Longworth lead points to nothing but a drug ring, then we’re back to square one. And if that happens, we need as much time as possible to regroup.” Thorn’s adrenaline was
pumping. He grabbed her forearm. “You OK?”
“I . . . Yes, I believe so.” Her voice trembled.
“Then let’s go.” Don’t worry. I won’t let anything happen to you.
Thorn released his hold on her arm.

What exciting story are you working on next?
The next novel in the Conor Thorn Series will center around the Allied effort to crack the German cypher codes – Ultra. It is also inspired on information uncovered in a excellent book written by Anthony Cave Brown titled Bodyguard of Lies. Brown writes about a Polish engineer that was smuggled out of Poland to Paris where he built a replica of the German Enigma machine that was critical in the British efforts to break German codes. When the Nazis invaded France in 1940, the engineer and his wife were brought to England for safety. Shortly after his arrival, he went missing and was never found.

This engineer had a great secret – the British had broken German codes. If this information ever reached the Germans, they would have changed their codes, which, many believe, would have added two to four years to the war.

The Enigma Betrayal (working title) is my story as to what happened to that Polish engineer.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After I completed my first draft of The Torch Betrayal.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
After retiring from a thirty-five plus year career in commercial television, my wife and I moved back to Park City, Utah and I began writing full time. Prior to that, I was an incredibly undisciplined writer who would write consistently for a few months than take a long vacation from writing that might last six months! Not good.

I put in anywhere from two to five hours a day working on book marketing, engaging readers on social media, researching and writing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can’t help sometimes stopping the writing process to do a little more research. The habit torpedoes any momentum but it often adds some credibility to the story. Thank god for Google and Wikipedia!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A professional football player.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If you’re thinking of writing a book, don’t wait until your sixty years old like I did. Life is too short.


Thanks for joining me today!

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