Talking Thrillers with Andrews & Wilson: Dempsey

Andrews & Wilson are bestselling coauthor team of multiple covert ops and action-adventure thriller series: TIER ONE, SONS of VALOR, and THE SHEPHERDS. 

Their bestselling Tier One series continues in the latest release, DEMPSEY, out now in Kindle Unlimited, and also on Audible narrated by Ray Porter.

We sat down with the author duo to talk about the making of DEMPSEY, and what's next for the series.

TFx: Where did you come up with the idea for this book, and what can you tell us about the plot?

Andrews & Wilson: DEMPSEY is the seventh book in the Tier One Series, so the inspiration is driven by the previous three novels in which Dempsey and Task Force Ember have been battling the Russian mastermind Arkady Zuhkov and his team of Zeta operators. In the last book, COLLATERAL, Dempsey and Team Ember were instrumental in stopping a Russian invasion of Ukraine (a story written before the current events in Ukraine with an insane number of eerie similarities). But, the real threat remained—an increasingly unstable Russian President with a mind for world war. In this book, Dempsey is tasked with his most dangerous mission ever, and one where he must embrace the adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

TFx: How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

Andrews & Wilson: Including our solo works, Andrews & Wilson have two dozen books. Asking us to pick our favorite is like asking us to pick a favorite child. That being said, the TIER ONE series is very special to us, as they are not only the books that brought us into the spotlight but the series (including the spinoff books of SONS OF VALOR) where we most get to honor the great men and women we have served with in the past. We do feel that DEMPSEY is a book that brings that all together.

TFx: What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with this work?

Andrews & Wilson: DEMPSEY asks the question “What is truth?” Unlike in English, in Russian there are two words for truth: Istina and Pravda. Istina is sometimes called God’s truth—incorruptible truth. The truth of mathematics and science. Higher truth that is supposed to transcend politics and opinion. Whereas Pravda is relative truth. In Russia, pravda is rhetorical truth, propaganda, the truth of the state…the truth that rules the land.

In America, we’ve only recently begun to wrestle with a “Pravda” mindset infiltrating our lives. Divisive partisan politics is an example where people believe that “their own truth” is somehow more true than another person’s truth. What are the dangers of trading Istina for Pravda? How does it impact global geopolitics and the world order? DEMPSEY endeavors to tackle this question.

TFx: What draws you to writing in the thriller genre?

Andrews & Wilson: Like so many of our friends within the genre, we grew up reading Clancy, Le Carre, Ludlum, etc. Most writers tend to write in the space they most enjoy reading, I think. For us, what is most special about the genre is the incredible diversity in the subgenre where we are allowed to explore and grow creatively. We have been blessed to write in the military thriller genre, but also the world of geopolitical covert ops, thrillers within the faith-based space with SHPEHERDS, and now the world of techno-thrillers and near-future sci-fi. It's been hugely exciting. And of course, it feels like a full circle to now be able to write in the Clancy universe. With our first book in Clancy's Jack Ryan Sr. series, we get the amazing opportunity to honor a writer and series that inspired us to serve our nation and become authors in the first place.

TFx: How much research went into the writing of this book?

Andrews & Wilson: Like all of our books, this one is a result of ongoing and never-ending research. Together we stay connected to members of the communities we served in, research constantly by staying up on defense and geopolitical current events, and of course, reach out when needed to gain more insight from subject matter experts we’ve had the honor connecting with over the years. DEMPSEY is a result of all that as well as a little bit of reading the tea leaves, so to speak. Unfortunately, given the current geopolitical situation, we were not able to travel to Russia to research this novel, but how cool would have that been!

TFx: Which actor can you imagine playing the main character in the movie version of your book?

Andrews & Wilson: For John Dempsey: Pablo Schreiber, Rob McElhenney, Cole Hauser, Michiel Huisman, and Jeff Bosley all come to mind.

TFx: What is the significance of the title?

Andrews & Wilson: We named this book DEMPSEY because this, more than any of the preceding books, showcases John Dempsey the operator, rather than Dempsey as the leader of SAD for Task Force Ember. Alone, behind enemy lines, and disavowed, Dempsey has no one to count on but himself. In this solitude and pressure, his metamorphosis from Tier One operator to covert operative is finally complete.

Get Andrews & Wilson’s latest release, Dempsey, out now on Amazon

The world is more volatile, unpredictable, and dangerous than ever before. To stop the architect of this chaos, Dempsey is given the most dangerous tasking of his career … a mission only he can complete against an adversary he must face alone.

After Task Force Ember’s successful intervention in Ukraine, John Dempsey disappears without a trace—with no notice or explanation given to his teammates. Spotty intelligence eventually places him in Russia where he is rumored to have been captured by the Russian FSB and is now presumed dead. Mourning his loss, Ember is forced to pick up the pieces, restructure, and continue their mission of keeping America safe. As the president’s “go-to” black ops asset, Ember is directed to find and finish off the Russian spymaster Arkady Zhukov and any last remnants of Zeta cell.

Unbeknownst to his teammates, Dempsey is very much alive and on mission. At the behest of Vice President Jarvis, he is deep undercover—in the heart of Russia’s nexus of organized crime and politics. For his mission to succeed, he will have to team up with a man who has been his adversary—the one man in all the world he most wants dead. The risks are higher than ever, as Dempsey pursues a high-stakes plot of Russian regime change. And if he fails, the Kremlin’s retribution will be swift and terrible and certain to drag the world into World War III.

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