It’s day two of the blog tour for The Green Viper by Rob Sinclair and I’m delighted have Rob join me to talk about his character, James Ryker.
I’m sharing today with the lovely Shell Baker over at Chell’s Book Reviews so do pop over and see what she thinks about the book.
Thanks for joining me, Rob, please introduce your character in terms of job, relationships, family etc. just in case my readers haven’t heard about him yet …
James Ryker is an ex-intelligence agent with a dark past. Working for many years as a clandestine operative under a different name, he first broke away from that life in events prior to the first James Ryker book, The Red Cobra. Since then his old life has kept drawing him back into deadly games, one way or another.
He currently has no job, officially, was married for a short time until his poor wife was killed in a previous book, has no particular friends and no family. Poor guy!
When did you create him?
James Ryker, and the man he was originally in the Enemy series books (Carl Logan) came about because of my desire to create a new action thriller hero to rival those at the top of the genre – the likes of Mitch Rapp, Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne. Those are the type of characters that I love to read myself and I created Logan back for my first book which was released in 2014.
Did you write the book to accommodate Ryker or Ryker to accommodate the book?
It was a bit of both really! My initial inspiration for my first book was little more than an idea for a heist scene, which eventually formed the critical opening of Dance with the Enemy, and the Logan character became the man I needed to take the rest of that book forward.
As for Ryker, as Logan later became, when I got to the end of the third Enemy book, Hunt for the Enemy, it was clear that the character needed a new direction in life – he’d come to an end of his time at the Joint Intelligence Agency, so he was no longer an official operative, and it felt right to me that – being the man he was – he’d assume a new identity and try to get as far away from his old life as he could. Ever since then I’ve been finding ways to draw him back to that old life, much to my satisfaction and little to his, I imagine!
What do you like most about him?
I’ve always set out to give Ryker a really clear moral compass – and one that most of us would feel affinity too – and I love that he sees life how he does; black and white, good and bad. He’ll do everything in his power to protect things and people that are good, and he has no limits as to what he’ll do to overcome and defeat things and people that are bad. The problems for Ryker arise from the fact that in reality there are so many grey areas in between and it’s a constant battle for him in dealing with that juxtaposition.
What do you like least about him?
I can’t think of anything in particular I dislike about him, other than from a characterisation point of view I feel really sorry for him! With his wife dead and no friends or family, he’s undoubtedly lonely, and has little happiness or satisfaction in his life, yet I’m always making things even harder for him. Like I said, poor guy!
Did your early readers/editorial team like him to start with or did you have to change Ryker in any way?
Yes, I think that’s why I’ve been so lucky to have gained a loyal fan following now. It’s not due to me, as a person, it’s due to Logan/Ryker, who many readers warmed to right from the start. He’s just such a dependable guy, but, like me, readers have a lot of empathy for him too given the rough life he’s had and the vulnerability that he shows on an emotional and mental level, from time to time.
Does he have any similarities with anyone real?
Although I’m far from an all-guns-blazing action guy in real life, I think many aspects of his personality do come from me, particularly in some of the ways that he sees life, and the way he interacts with people at times. Of course, that can be said for all of my characters, even the bad ones, given I’ve thought them all up, but it’s particularly true for Ryker. But other than that, I can’t think of any other real person who I consciously tried to base him on.
What are your plans for him?
I really enjoy writing Ryker, so my only plans for him are to keep him going as long as I’ve got good ideas for him, and as long as readers are asking me for more. Unfortunately, that means I’ve got to keep on messing up his desire for a quiet and simple life!
Would you be friends in real life?
I think I’d admire him and like him in real life, though whether or not he’d be someone you’d have fun drinking with down the pub I’m really not sure!
Thank you, Rob, he certainly sounds like a great character and I can’t wait to catch up on what he’s been up to!
The Green Viper is out now folks, here’s the blurb …
Bloodhound Books (22 Oct. 2018)
I need your help. Call me.
Ex-intelligence agent James Ryker receives a coded message through a secret drop point, a means of communication known only to him and one other person. The problem is, that person is his ex-boss, Mackie… and he’s already dead.
But the cry for help is real, and it’s a request Ryker can’t refuse.
Travelling to New York alone and without official sanction, Ryker has a single goal in mind, yet even he couldn’t have bargained for the violent world he’s soon embroiled in. Caught in the middle of a spiraling chaos, with the FBI on one side and warring underworld bosses on the other, Ryker must put all of his skills to the test in order to come out on top and keep his word.
In a world full of lies and deceit, loyalty is everything, and it’s time for James Ryker to pay his dues.
Sounds bloody brilliant and you can get your copy over at:
Keep up with the rest of the tour:
About the author …
Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series and James Ryker series of espionage thrillers. His books have sold over half a million copies to date with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.
Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.
Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons
You can keep up with all Rob’s news by following him on the following platforms:
Twitter: @rsinclairauthor / https://twitter.com/RSinclairAuthor