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A Different Type of Spy

Matthew Taylor
Matt Taylor Author Interview

Skies of Red Dawn follows a CIA agent looking at retirement but finds himself framed and running from his own agency while trying to clear his name. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

I took a lot of inspiration from James Bond and Jason Bourne, I got the inspiration for the plot as I watched one of the Bond films with having something stolen, but I didn’t want to do a normal run of the mill spy galivanting across the globe. This is where Bourne helped me with inspiration by having Robert Johnathan be chased by his own comrades adding that twist in as well having that character development for Robert Johnathan too. Ideas in the plot simply came from my own mind I have always been interested in the cold war and the world wars era, so they played a lot for when I was crafting out the plot.

Robert Johnathan is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

With Robert Johnathan his character development is different, his character came from my own mind I wanted a different type of spy. I didn’t want to write another cheesy James Bond-esque nor a gritty serious Jason Bourne. I wanted to add a family connection to him, make him look and feel human, to have his own quirks, strengths and weakness. Bond and Bourne did play some inspiration in his character development but nothing tremendous it was about making a human more than it was making a character. But I wanted a character that was past his glory days and had endured a lot of pain and trauma, the idea of having him loose those closest to him was the best way as it truly shows how through the book he has less and less to personally fight for and showing the depths of his character as he continues to fight on regardless of his own loss.

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

There was a lot of themes that I wanted in the book family was one I wanted but I wanted the theme of loyalty and duty, good and evil as well as history was never forgotten. Most themes in the book are there by my choice or to use as a reflection for the location they are in. But the most important theme for me was age vs experience, which is portrayed through the two main characters, Sterling is younger and in his prime, whereas Johnathan is older but has more experience than his younger counterpart.

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

Since writing Skies of Red Dawn, I have written a horror novel revolving around paranormal entities, The Hellish Man is already out and available to buy on Amazon. But I am currently writing another horror novel, ‘The Sleepwalker’ set around dreams and sleeping which will be coming out sometime after the new year.

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When a team of CIA operatives are found dead on the streets of America, the trail leads to a fellow CIA agent, Robert J Johnathan, a man who simply wishes to retire, now framed for the killings he hinds himself hunted by his former comrades, his only ally, British Secret Service agent, James Sterling. As Johnathan tries to clear his name he finds the trail of a sinister plot at hand. From the streets of America to the sands of Cuba and beyond, Johnathan must follow the trail as the CIA hunts from him, dodging terrorists, mercenaries as well as assassins trained to kill agents.

Skies of Red Dawn

Skies of Red Dawn by [Matthew Taylor]

Matt Taylor’s Skies of Red Dawn follows Robert J. Johnathan, a retired CIA agent who is framed for traitorous actions that result in a team of comrades dying during a mission. With his own team going after him he enlists his ally, British MI6 agent Captain Liam Thomas James Sterling, on a personal mission to uncover the source of the ambush, only to find himself tangled in the midst of a dangerous terrorist plot.

Skies of Red Dawn has all the makings of a great spy thriller. It has a fast-paced narrative that keeps readers engaged, and the characters are dynamic and likable. The references to weaponry, reconnaissance language, and battleground tactics also imply that the author completed the necessary research to make this story believable.

While I enjoyed this compelling novel, I felt that there were a few punctuation and spelling errors that distracted from an otherwise stimulating read. If this book had a good proofreading, I have no doubt that this will be a top-notch book.

The story takes Johnathan and Sterling from English-speaking America to Cuba and Cyprus, where both agents encounter other individuals who speak non-English languages. As a Spanish speaker, I was able to fully understand the exchanges in Spanish. However, the exchanges in Greek left me feeling lost since I am unfamiliar with the language. The story keeps an air of authenticity in this way, but I do not feel as though I got a full understanding of each scene due to the lack of translation

Matt Taylor has written a story with action-packed narration, an intriguing spy theme, and a solid plot along with engrossing character development. With some helpful translation and proofreading I think the focus will remain on these solid pieces of storytelling. Skies of Red Dawn will be welcomed by readers that enjoy spy thrillers with an authentic feel.

Pages: 269 | ASIN: B08GM98LMB

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