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From Navy Seal to Novelist – The story behind a Utah man’s new military thriller

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SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) From Navy Seal to a novel writer. After twenty years in the Navy – Jack Carr has started a second career as an author. His first book – a political-military thriller – is now out and next year it’s slated to become a Hollywood movie. Here’s this weeks Behind the Badge.

 “…his only sensation of recoil was the scope image jolting into a blur as the rifle rocketed skyward.” Author Jack Carr reads from his recently released novel – “The Terminal List.” “So, as I was coming out of the military I wrote down like five ideas for books.” “I chose the one that is really about revenge without constraint,” Carr says he started writing the fictional work while he was still serving in the Navy and finished shortly after his retirement. “Got it to Simon Schuster a few months after I got out and here we are today.”

That, of course, is the Cliff notes version of this story. The real story started three decades ago when Carr learned about his grandfather’s service during World War II. “I grew up with his medals. Pictures of his squadron – that kind of thing. So, I always knew I was going to go in the military.”  Then the seven-year-old learned about the Navy Seals. “As soon as I found out what Seals were – at a very early age – I was sold.”  “So, kept my eye on that goal through junior high, high school, college.”  

After earning his degree – he joined the Navy. Shortly after that – terrorists attacked the U.S. “Watched the twin towers fall on TV and a few days later we were on planes to the middle east.” He soon found himself stopping Iranian tankers in the Persian Gulf. “Our job was to take those ships down before they got to Iranian waters. It was pretty dicey actually.” And his sniper team helped capture a city in Iraq. “11 days pitch street battles just constant for 11 days – day and night. RPGs, mortars, air support the whole thing.” “Urban warfare – the chaos. The echoing of gunfire – not being able to tell exactly where it is coming from.”   
Carr says he loved his Navy service, but after two decades it was time to move on. And he decided he could use all his military experiences and emotions to write books. “…his ears heard the shot, but his brain barely registered the sound…” While Carr says ‘The Terminal List’ is fiction, he admits the emotions and thoughts of his lead character are very personal. “The protagonist of this story has a background similar to mine – he was a prior enlisted Seal sniper.” And even though its fiction – the Pentagon – which has to sign off on the writings of former military members – actually redacted a half dozen lines from his book. “I was so careful not to give anything away writing this, that’s why I was so surprised about what they did take out.” While the Pentagon took out a few words in the novel – Carr says – the right stuff was left in. “…but this time pulling the trigger meant breaking the most sacred bound in society…”

A movie deal will be announced in a few weeks and supposed to start filming next year with a Hollywood heavyweight set as the lead character. Carr’s 2nd novel – ‘True Believer’ was just finished. It now goes to editing and will hit shelves Spring 2019.

Carr says writing novels is really just going back to his roots. His mother was a librarian and he loved to read and military/political thrillers were some of his favorite types of books. “Growing up books and movies I liked always had this theme of revenge – So, for whatever reasons. I gravitated toward those books.” 

‘The Terminal List’ is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other sites.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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