Posted by Literary Titan
Serpents Underfoot finds JD Cordell facing a terrorist group that plans to detonate nukes on US soil. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?
This story grew out of thoughts I have had about what it would be like to be a Spec Ops warrior. I served in the military and spent most of my time overseas. I served in the Army infantry, and when I enlisted, I scored high enough on the ASVAB test to get Ranger School in my contract. Unfortunately, when they discovered I had a slight speech impediment, they would not send me to Ranger School. There were going to let me out because they couldn’t honor their end of the deal, but I asked to stay. Hell, I could still shoot pretty darn well. So, I guess it is, at least in part, a fantasy about what might have been.
Combine that with a lifetime study of martial arts, the political climate at the time, my interest in Asian culture, and you have the birth of this story.
The rest is simply a bunch of “what if” questions. For instance, what if a soldier in Vietnam married a Vietnamese girl who saved his life? What if their son became a Navy SEAL, and what if his team uncovered a major terrorist plot? What if it involved high-ranking US government officials? You get the idea …
JD Cordell is essentially a composite of several people I have known and respected. While I was a bit too young to serve in Vietnam, I was old enough to have several good friends who did. One friend, in particular, served as a medic on long-range reconnaissance patrols in the region the first few chapters of Serpents Underfoot is set in. I also know a couple of former Navy SEALS, one of which recently passed away. He was actually an Underwater Demolition Team member and served in the Mekong Delta region during the Vietnam War. The UDT teams were essentially forerunners of the Navy SEALs.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
I guess you could say the writing challenges were pretty extensive, and they essentially set themselves. Serpents Underfoot was my first serious attempt at a book. I am still amazed that I finished it, published it, and have gotten some pretty rave reviews, including Literary Titan’s excellent review and many great reader reviews. It even got a good review from Kirkus.
And I did make a lot of newbie mistakes. It was self-edited, which I learned right away is not a good idea. I used an editor, Beth Kallman Werner, for my second book, Montagnard. She was a great help and worth the investment. But for Serpents Underfoot, there were several frantic re-edits and uploads of the book’s interior as readers pointed out problems or typos to me. I knew nothing about launching a book release or marketing. I mean, in reality, writing it was probably the easy part. It has even gone through four different cover revisions.
All that being said, I wouldn’t trade anything for the experience. I grew so much as an author during that process. We learn so much more from our mistakes than our successes.
What draws you to the military action-thriller genre?
It is a genre I have always enjoyed reading. I like action thrillers of all kinds and have read a great deal by authors like Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, W.E.B. Griffin, Ken Follett, Greg Iles, Vince Flynn, and Ian Fleming, to name just a few.
I was also a huge Louis L’Amour western fan, so I guess this kind of thing comes naturally. I like stories where despite terrible odds, the good guys win. Louis L’Amour had a great quote I’ve always loved, “There’s no stopping a man who knows he’s in the right and keeps a-coming.” I think JD Cordell personifies that quote.
And I also love reading military history, especially World War II and the Vietnam War. As I mentioned, I have had several friends over the years who were Vietnam Veterans, and I was appalled by how this country treated them on their return to the US. So, I like to write stories that cast American military members in a positive light; who stand on principle and won’t back down.
Serpents Underfoot is the first book in The JD Cordell Action Series. What can readers expect in book two?
Book two, titled Montagnard, is already out. I sort of did this “review thing” out of order. Montagnard also received a 5-Star review from Literary Titan and even won your Literary Titan Gold Book Award for August 2020. I was shocked but very thrilled. I have to give a lot of credit for that to my editor. Beth told me it was good and that I should submit it for review. It was that success that prompted me to submit Serpents Underfoot as well.
In Montagnard, JD Cordell and a few buddies try to rescue his mother, who disappears into Vietnam after traveling there to find her adopted brother. Dish, of course, played a significant role in Serpents Underfoot. JD’s mother, Mai, inadvertently falls victim to an old feud between her adopted brother and a former Viet Cong colonel. During the rescue mission, JD also receives assistance from a half-Thai, half-American nightclub owner, a great character full of surprises.
I am currently working on book three, titled Reciprocity. This tale picks up where Montagnard leaves off. In Reciprocity, JD finds himself drawn into a deadly conflict with a criminal gang trafficking young women forced into lives of prostitution. In this case, two young women you meet in Montagnard. It is a dark topic but, sadly, all too relevant in today’s world. I hope this book, while fiction, will help bring this topic to more people’s attention.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
If you are a fan of thrilling action adventure novels, you are going to enjoy reading Serpents Underfoot, by DC Gilbert. The story follows our hero, JD, who is a Navy SEAL K9 Handler. He and his team go to various locations during their missions in areas such as the Middle East and Asia. JD is on the trail of an international terrorist organization. His mission is to try and put a stop to their devious plans. His strategy is to use a mix of Spy Optics and martial arts .
Author DC Gilbert is an artist when it comes to leaving the reader captivated and yearning for more at the end of every chapter. Readers are treated to a good dose of action, but always with a unique buildup that always ensures the action oriented pieces have a reason, and because of this the novel feels a lot more authentic, even though it can be over the top.
The book is relatively a short but none the less engaging. I enjoyed the military jargon in the book to be spot on, never overwhelming, but enough to make you feel like you were in the middle of an actual operation. I was in the military myself, and I appreciated the descriptions of the way operations are handled in this book. They are very similar to the way operations are conducted in the military. I don’t have as much experience with K9 units, but I still felt that that aspect of the book felt authentic, and occasionally even provided some comic relief in this otherwise tense novel. Any fan of the action thriller genre will be impressed by the vivid and kinetic action within this novel.
As JD, his K9 comrade, and his Navy SEAL unit goes deep undercover to discover the secrets of this horrible terrorist organization, the story never loses focus on its characters who are consistently engaging. With multiple exotic locations throughout the novel, I always felt like the team, and the story, was on the move.
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, D.C. Gilbert, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, military, military fiction, military thriller, nook, novel, political thriller, read, reader, reading, Serpents Underfoot, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing