Our own Brian Andrews and Jeff Wilson, the bestselling co-authors of the TIER ONE series celebrate the release of ACT OF DEFIANCE, their first novel in the Tom Clancy – Jack Ryan series. Set 40 years after THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, in their latest collaboration, Andrews & Wilson recapture the nostalgia of the epic submarine thriller that created the military thriller genre in 1984.

What’s the title of your book—and was that always the title?

The book’s title is ACT OF DEFIANCE and was decided while we were writing the novel. For Clancy books, there’s a definite feel and thematic congruence required for every book in the series (e.g., CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, COMMAND AUTHORITY, EXECUTIVE DECISION, etc). Along with our editor, Tom Colgan, we generate a list of possible titles and send them to the Clancy estate for consideration. Assuming they like the list, the team at PRH picks the best one and that’s that.

Who’s the main character of your book—and was that always their name?

The main character is Jack Ryan, who is probably the most iconic American fictional hero of all time. He was first introduced in THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER in 1984 and he’s been the star of the Jack Ryan series for 24 novels since. In this novel, however, we also bring a new “Ryan” forward, Jack’s daughter Katie Ryan who follows in her famous father’s footsteps.

At the start of the book, what’s the character’s goal?

At the beginning of the book, Jack’s goal is the same as it is in every book—to keep America safe. At this point in the series, Ryan is the President Of The United States (POTUS), which means the security of the nation and the lives of 335 million Americans are his responsibility.

What was the core idea for this novel—a plot point? A theme? And where did it come from?

The core idea of this novel was to recapture all the nostalgia and wonderful cat-and-mouse submarine action and mystic from THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER but reimagined for today’s geopolitical climate and today’s US Navy. We wanted to achieve what Top Gun Maverick did in film for HUNT in print!

At what point did you come up with the final version of the first line? What is it?

The book opens with: “Dimitri Gorov resisted the compulsion to shove his hands into his overcoat pockets. It wasn’t just the bitter cold making him tremble. Fear was the true culprit.” That opening is set in Leningrad USSR on 21 DEC 1984, about a week after the RED OCTOBER was handed over to the Americans in a masterful bit of trickery concocted by Captain Ramius and Jack Ryan. This opening concerns a different Russian who suffers a negative fate because of what happened with Red October and it sets the stage for events 40 years later.

Did you know the ending of the book when you started?

We knew we wanted the novel to end with a wonderful “full circle” element, but we were not exactly sure what that full circle element would look like until we got to the end of the story. When we got to the end, the perfect opportunity presented itself with Katie and Jack and we loved how it turned out.

What’s something in this book that you’ve never done before?

We’ve never written a sequel to an iconic American work of fiction. ACT OF DEFIANCE is our love letter to Tom Clancy and THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER…the book that inspired both of us to join the Navy and serve. Hopefully, the fans will feel our enthusiasm and admiration in the pages as we try to pay homage to one of the greatest submarine thrillers of all time.

What part of your tour (or launch week) are you most excited about?

We launched the book at the Nauticus Maritime Museum in Norfolk on the waterfront near the world’s largest Naval base. The venue and location allowed us to celebrate with the officers, sailors, and spouses of the two “hero” platforms we featured in the book: The USS Washington and the USS Indiana, which are both Virginia class fast attack nuclear submarines.

Who in your #WritingCommunity deserves a special shout-out for supporting you in writing this story? Why?

The United States Navy! We had unbelievable backing from the Navy throughout the entire research and writing process. They supported us with access to the ships and sailors which we featured in the novel.

How do you want readers to feel when they close the book? 

Great question…We want our readers to close the book and feel like they did after reading THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. We want the readers to be transported underwater so they feel like they are standing on the conn of the USS Washington during a sub-on-sub battle to save America from a rogue Russian submarine attack. If readers finish ACT OF DEFIANCE with their heart racing and a smile on their faces, then it’s mission accomplished!!

What did you learn from this book? About writing, or life, or the writing life?

We learned that sometimes you just have to go for it. Writing a sequel to HUNT was risky. Lots of people said it couldn’t be done, but we decided to take a chance and just do it. Boy are we glad we did, because it’s the best book we’ve ever written!


Learn more at Brian & Jeff’s website, and sign up for their newsletter here!

Navy veterans Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson (Andrews & Wilson) are the writing team behind the WSJ, Audible, and #1 Amazon bestselling TIER ONE series which has been optioned for television. Brian is a nuclear engineer and Park Leadership Fellow who served as an officer on a fast-attack submarine. Jeff is a vascular surgeon and jet pilot who conducted combat operations with an East Coast-based SEAL team and worked in covert government task forces.

They have 20+ published novels and have sold over a million copies across media channels. Their other works include the SONS OF VALOR series, the SHEPHERDS series, and ROGUE ASSET for the WEB Griffin estate. Their latest book ACT OF DEFIANCE, a sequel to THE HUNT OF RED OCTOBER in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novel series by Penguin Random House. In addition to their novels, Andrews & Wilson has a half dozen original works in development for film and television with the following studios: Legendary Entertainment, Endeavor Content/Fifth Season, Imagine Entertainment, PictureStart, Skydance, Sony, and Walden Media.