Vince Flynn Talks 'The Last Man,' His Newest Mitch Rapp Bestseller (Q&A)
Vince Flynn Talks 'The Last Man,' His Newest Mitch Rapp Best-Seller (Q&A)
Vince Flynn’s latest Mitch Rapp novel (the 14th featuring the character), The Last Man recently went on sale, debuting in the no. 1 slot on The New York Times list and no. 2 on the USA Today list.
It is currently no. 8 on the Times list and no. 12 on USA Today.
The writer talked with The Hollywood Reporter about the book, his views on the evolving fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, the toll it is taking on those involved, the status of a potential Mitch Rapp movie starring Chris Hemsworth and Bruce Willis and his unusual start as a bestselling author.
A Minnesota native, Flynn took up writing after he was medically disqualified from becoming a Marine aviator.
He self-published his first novel Term Limits—in 1997 long before the internet, e-readers and Amazon made self-publishing a viable route—and by going bookseller-to-bookseller he turned it into a local bestseller in the Twin Cities.
Pocket Books picked up the book the next year and in 1999 it hit The New York Times bestseller list, beginning a streak that has seen every one of his books make the list.
In 2003 Flynn switched publishers to Atria for his fifth novel, Executive Power.
Since then Flynn has written nine more Rapp novels, selling millions of books and becoming one of the most popular writers of military thrillers.
He was also a consultant on the fifth season of Fox’s 24 and a frequent guest on Glenn Beck’s show.
Read THR’s interview with Flynn below.
The Hollywood Reporter: What’s the Last Man about?
Vince Flynn: Last Man is a double entendre. Mitch Rapp is kind of the last man you want to piss off. The other thing is when you’re pulling out of a country in a military struggle especially with a strategic withdrawal you don’t want to be the last guy.
I wanted to write about Afghanistan this time, because we are going to see an acceleration of that country falling apart. I wanted to delve into the politics of it and the corruption and how its affected the men and women of the CIA, the State Department and the Pentagon. The ISI over in Pakistan (the country’s security and spy agency) has really played the U.S. and really meddled in Afghanistan. Its not been a very good ally at times.
I think most people would agree that the ISI knew Osama Bin Laden was being hidden in their country. If we can’t get together and agree that Osama Bin Laden deserves to die we’ve got a real problem. So its going to be really interesting. This isn’t going to happen overnight. This is a subject that I’m probably going to continue to return to because I think it is fascinating.
What makes Mitch Rapp distinct?
I think the main thing with Rapp is that you’ve got a guy who is not very tolerant. He doesn’t see the world in politically-correct glasses. He has understood since his mid-twenties that he’s really left with two alternatives: He can either go kill these guys or they come kill you and you go back to the 90s and Osama Bin Laden, those guys fire their rifles in the air and say death to America, Rapp is the guy that took them at their word and said we need to kill these guys before they come and kill us.