JTP: I am a former counterterrorism intelligence specialist who was heavily involved in mission support collection and analysis for both the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.
BBB: What inspired your book, Buried in Black?
JTP: I was sitting with my youngest child one night. He’s really a kind and sweet boy with such an appetite for knowledge and understanding. A small side of him likes things a certain way like a very minor OCD. So, I started thinking, what if such a kind and caring kid lost innocence and was thrown into a horrific life that was scary in and of itself, but what if that person also had other neurological issues going on that completely created something that could be used as a weapon yet could also backfire. And thus inspired the man from Orange, Drake Woolf.
JTP: The main character, Drake Woolf is rather unique in that his pathway to the special operations community came as a Signals Intelligence specialist who later qualified for the Tier One Special Mission Units. This differs from many of the Navy SEAL and Delta Force types since his focus has primarily been intelligence collection first, lethal action second. Further, he hails from the highly secretive Joint Special Operations Command’s Intelligence Support Activity, which many authors have not attempted due to the unit’s highly technical capabilities and mission.
But within all of this training, Drake Woolf is a warrior who lost his childhood and professional freewill. Some of which is due to the fact that he has a serious mental illness that he has had to hide to stay in the military. Most readers will see glimpses of a very sad child stolen by the ravages of war who longs to be normal and have the security of being surrounded by family and friends, which he ironically avoids to he won’t later lose them.
BBB: What other books have you written?
JTP: I have two self-published novels in the Safe Havens series. The main character, Sean Havens is also in the new Task Force Orange thriller series as a mentor and friend to the lost and distressed Drake Woolf, in Buried in Black.
BBB: What do you think readers will find most appealing about your book?
JTP: I think it is the same thing that will shun some readers. My writing is very dark and the world that I depict has a lot of gray and moral ambiguity. At one point, the reader may be rooting for the hero, the next, they may have empathy for the antagonist. I like to think of myself as one who isn’t glamorizing or sugar-coating war and the demons it summons. War is horrible and can destroy from the insides soldiers and families that it does not directly kill. That said, fans of my books like the twists and pure heart that can emerge from such a dark place. Just like some readers love a real tear-jerker romance novel, mine like to have their chest compressed and their scruples questioned.
BBB: How did you come up with the idea for your book cover?
JTP: Just like the title, Buried in Black, I wanted to evoke the feeling of black ops warriors obviously losing their lives under clandestine auspices but also played on the words of being buried in black ops programs that will never see the light of day with the general public. Obviously, both happen in the book.
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J.T. Patten's books are available on Amazon.