Talking Thrillers with Author Steven Konkoly: The Raid

meet steven konkoly

Author biography: Steven graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1993, with a bachelor of science in English literature. He served the next eight years on active duty, as a naval officer assigned to various Navy and Marine Corps units. His extensive journey spanned the globe, including a two-year tour of duty in Japan and travel to more than twenty countries throughout Asia and the Middle East.

From enforcing United Nations sanctions against Iraq, as a maritime boarding officer in the Arabian Gulf, to directing aircraft bombing runs and naval gunfire strikes as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) with a specialized Marine Corps unit—Steven's "in-house" experience with a wide range of regular and elite military units brings a unique authenticity to his thrillers.

Today, he lives with his family in central Indiana, where he still wakes up at "zero dark thirty" to write for most of the day. When "off duty," he spends as much time as possible outdoors or travelling with his family--and dog.

Steven is an active member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) organizations.

You can contact Steven directly by email (stevekonkoly@striblingmedia.com) or through his blog (www.stevenkonkoly.com). He is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels and novellas.

His canon of THRILLERS includes:

--THE RYAN DECKER BOOKS (Book 2 to be released in October 2019), a heart-pumping thriller of betrayal, revenge, and conspiracy for fans of Tom Clancy and Lee Child.
--THE BLACK FLAGGED SERIES (5 books and 2 novellas), a gritty, no-holds barred covert operations and espionage saga.
--THE ALEX FLETCHER BOOKS (5 books), a tense, thriller epic, chronicling the aftermath of an inconceivable attack on the United States.
--THE FRACTURED STATE trilogy, a "24-style," near future conspiracy series set in the southwest United States.
--THE ZULU VIRUS CHRONICLES (3 books), a modern thriller series based on the events surrounding a bioweapons attack against the United States.


TFx: Where did you come up with the idea for The Raid?

Konkoly:THE RAID came to me in a dream one night, like the rest of my novels. Just kidding. I sincerely wish the answer was that simple. How did it really happen? Like all of my stories, THE RAID materialized over an extended period of time, with several ideas coming together in the right combination and at the right time to form a viable plot.


First and foremost, THE RAID is book two in the Ryan Decker series, which gave me a solid head start on the process. I hate to use the word formula, but the first book pretty much set the stage for rest of the series, by establishing the primary characters and building the “arrangement” that would define their world for follow-on books. Let’s call that a loose formula, saving me weeks or months of brainstorming.


Current events also (over a year ago) played a significant role in the story’s development. Like today, issues surrounding the U.S-Mexico border dominated headlines, which got me thinking about a wider conspiracy centered on the border. The idea snowballed from there into a messy tangle of drug cartels, human smugglers, gunrunners, dirty politicians and dubiously patriotic Army leaders—all with one thing in common. They’ve just popped up on Ryan Decker’s radar.


Instead of recreating the plot in my own words, which would be a disaster, I’ll share the “official” blurb for THE RAID:

A Border Patrol murder exposes a high-level conspiracy in USA Today bestselling author Steven Konkoly’s explosive thriller.


After exposing and dismantling a deep-state conspiracy that nearly destroyed his life, Ryan Decker finds his covert skills have put him on the radar of influential Senator Steele. Now Steele needs his help. Two patrol agents were killed in a bizarre explosion near the US-Mexico border—and the evidence doesn’t line up with the official story.


Enlisted by Steele to run an undercover, off-the-books investigation, Decker and his partner, Harlow, head to the border town of Tecate. But when they’re caught in an ambush, Decker realizes they’ve stumbled onto something far more dangerous than any of them understood.


The cover-up is rooted deep in the Department of Defense itself. Fearful for their own lives and unable to trust anyone outside their small circle of skilled associates, Decker and Harlow set in motion a risky plan to stop a criminal conspiracy.”

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TFx: What can you tell us about the book's setting?

Konkoly: “I’d like to say that the plot drove the setting, but I’ve been drawn to the U.S.-Mexico border in the last four books I’ve written, so maybe it’s the other way around. I did extensive research on the border, Mexico and the U.S. Southwest for my Fractured State series, more or less falling in love with the greater Southwest border area as a setting. The desolation and harsh environment gives it a lawless feel, which I’ve reflected in my books. I also lived within sight of the border (from my backyard), for a number of years, and travelled the Baja Peninsula extensively with my wife. In fact, we got married along the coast, just south of Tijuana. So, I suppose you could say I’m especially drawn to the area.”


TFx: What are you reading now, and what good books have you read lately?

Konkoly: “I am the absolute worst author to answer this question. I probably went from reading a book a week, prior to becoming an author, to a book a month—if I’m lucky. That said, I won’t leave you hanging. I’ve very recently read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. 2019 marks the book’s 50th anniversary, and my daughter’s entire school read the book over the summer. I’d never read it and figured it was high time I do so. I absolutely loved it, but can understand why high school students groan en masse when assigned Vonnegut’s novel. It’s a rewarding, but complicated read. And it’s laugh out loud hilarious, in a dark, Vonnegut kind of way. My kind of book.”


TFx: What’s next for the Ryan Decker series?

Konkoly: “I’m currently working on Ryan Decker 3, tentatively titled THE MOUNTAIN. Ryan Decker and his crew are back, unexpectedly thrust into the middle of a rather unique conspiracy set in California’s Emerald Triangle, where the vast majority of the nation’s unregulated (illegal) marijuana is grown. The book will be released in June of 2020. Here’s what I can share right now:

When the enterprising, but reckless son of Senator Steele’s friend abruptly vanishes during an ill-advised trip to the infamous “murder mountain” region of the Emerald Triangle—looking to invest in the rapidly growing marijuana industry—the family turns to Senator Steele for help. Decker and Harlow agree to look into the disappearance, setting in motion a lethal showdown between a secret cabal of D.C. puppet-masters and Decker’s allies.


A Border Patrol murder exposes a high-level conspiracy in USA Today bestselling author Steven Konkoly’s explosive thriller.


After exposing and dismantling a deep-state conspiracy that nearly destroyed his life, Ryan Decker finds his covert skills have put him on the radar of influential Senator Steele. Now Steele needs his help. Two patrol agents were killed in a bizarre explosion near the US-Mexico border—and the evidence doesn’t line up with the official story.


Enlisted by Steele to run an undercover, off-the-books investigation, Decker and his partner, Harlow, head to the border town of Tecate. But when they’re caught in an ambush, Decker realizes they’ve stumbled onto something far more dangerous than any of them understood.


The cover-up is rooted deep in the Department of Defense itself. Fearful for their own lives and unable to trust anyone outside their small circle of skilled associates, Decker and Harlow set in motion a risky plan to stop a criminal conspiracy.


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