And Never Looked Back

Marcus F. Fair Author Interview

The Mongoose Crew follows a military veteran that wants to keep his past in the past, but everything he built starts to fall apart when his former crew starts looking for him. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?​

The inspiration behind the “Mongoose Crew” started with my own tour in the United States Army, where I served on active duty, of which a portion of that time was spent in Somalia from August of 1993 through December of that same year. Like the main character, “Mickey Frank,” I was a member of a team of five soldiers who provided mobile security for military personnel throughout our entire tour in country. The words “Mongoose,” was stenciled on our modified gun ship (vehicle), and other soldiers in the area began referring to us as the Mongoose Crew. About a year later, my Army tour was over, and I returned home to begin a new chapter. As the years passed, I started noticing that I had some internal difficulties as I tried to adjust to civilian life. I didn’t know it at that time, but like many other military veterans, I was suffering from trauma due to my experiences in the military, and self-medicating with alcohol to manage my mental health. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I tried to discover healthier ways to manage the emotions, and writing my thoughts on my laptop served as effective therapy for me, and still does. Of course, the story I create in “The Mongoose Crew” is fiction, but the guts of the story came from our deployment to Somalia in 1993, and the memories I have of the four other members of my crew, all of whom were wonderful people when I served with them, and nothing like the sadistic characters portrayed in my novel.

Mickey is a good guy that ended up in the wrong place in Somalia. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The main character, “Mickey,” is a guy who was very gung-ho throughout his time in the Army, and clearly identified with the gritty and tough-minded American Soldier mentality. He embodied all of the characteristics of a tough soldier, but Mickey also had a conscientious side to him. He was well read with a passion for political issues and social justice, not only in America, but around the world. His buddies joked with him about being an intellectual because Mickey would often challenge his buddies on the politics and business of war, and the motivations of the power elite in our government. Mickey loved America and would be the first to fight for her, but he was not naive when analyzing the history and policies of his own government. Once he’s in Somalia, and is able to witness the level of poverty and the inhumanity happening around him, he comes to the conclusion that the civil war among the Somali clans were about basic human survival and power, survival of the fittest. Mickey saw it as the poor vs. poor, fighting a civil war in one of the poorest nations on earth. Perhaps he was still a bit naive at age 22, but Mickey wondered how the world would be if the power elite around the world, could share a small portion of what they have with the poorest among us. He grew up plenty during his deployment, and when he was primed and groomed by superiors to accept his next promotion, the conscientious Mickey Frank chose to decline the promotion and chose to leave the Army. He loved his time in the Army, but he was ready for the next chapter in his life, and never looked back.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

When focusing on the strong antagonist in the story, “Tommy Cuttler,” I wanted to explore the theme of power and privilege in our society. If you have the political muscle and financial fortune behind you, a person can get away with almost anything, especially when those very influential elite are being provided cover by their wealthy and powerful friends. That theme could not ring truer after analyzing Cuttler and the influential people in his life. A second theme that I was not aware of until already in the midst of the project, was the conviction and trust that all the characters in the story had in one another. Mickey and Jimmy Ortega were always close when serving together on active duty, but the two had to re-establish that trust in one another if they were going to accomplish their mission. They had not spoken or kept in touch since Mickey left the Army many years ago, so you can only imagine the doubt that each man had when teaming up again. How had the other changed over the years? Would each man be committed to the other in their mission? The same applies to all three antagonists in this story. “The Stooges,” as they are often referred, had the clear advantage of remaining inseparable over the many years, but when people can do the evil deeds as they have over a long period, there is no conviction or bond stronger than those three individuals. The three men were really an extension of one another, with the same conviction and purpose, which was to kill.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m currently working on a single book of short novels, which will be my first volume, and I hope to have it completed this summer. Some stories revolve around social justice themes, so I’m basically writing often, taking breaks on some projects and tackling others with a bit more vigor. I do plan to link my work to the social media platforms that you mentioned, so that’s coming. Thank you again for this opportunity to share my thoughts on my book, as well as my future plans.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

Mickey Frank is an ex-solider finally returned home to live a normal and peaceful family life in Northern California. Mickey has cut contact with the four other members of his August 1993 mobile security team in Somalia, The Mongoose Crew, in an attempt to hide the dark secret they have been hiding.

As the years passed, Mickey has grown comfortable in his family life, until he is shaken to the core by the knowledge that members of his past life are searching for him. He believes he knows why the army is after him, but he is not prepared for the even darker secrets three members of his crew hold.

The Mongoose Crew is a deep dive into the complexity of a soldier’s experience in a land thousands of miles away from home and the trauma many veterans experience when they return.

About the Author

Marcus F. Fair is a social worker and has enjoyed a twenty-five-year career in the field as an investigator, along with several other titles over the years. He has been blessed with a wonderful woman and life partner to be by his side for the past twenty years, whom he owes his life.

Fair finds family to be essential in his life and always tries to remember this face through the good times and the bad. In the community, he dedicates himself to aid those who are underprivileged and families in need. In his spare time, he enjoys playing chess, shooting at the gun range, reading a good novel, and anything involving outdoor activities. However, spending time with his family is what he enjoys the most.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 19, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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