The Tom Clancy universe, one of the most popular fiction franchises in print today, will be undergoing huge changes in 2017.
Mark Greaney, who since 2011 has written seven Jack Ryan novels (three of which he co-authored with Clancy himself), including last December’s True Faith and Allegiance, will exit the franchise this year. So too will Grant Blackwood, who has penned three novels in the Jack Ryan Jr. series, most recently last summer’s Duty and Honor.
With both long-time authors stepping aside, two new writers have been selected to continue both series within the Clancy universe and each will release a new book this year.
Taking over for Mark Greaney will be veteran New York Times bestselling author Marc Cameron, most famous for writing his long-running Jericho Quinn series (Field of Fire, etc.). Cameron will continue the Jack Ryan Sr. franchise with a new, still untitled, novel scheduled to be released sometime this fall.
Stepping in for Blackwood is Mike Maden, a relatively new author who has written four novels as part of his own Troy Pearce series, including last year’s Drone Threat. Maden’s first Jack Jr. novel, Tom Clancy Point of Contact, the twenty-third book set in the Clancy-created universe, will hit bookstores on June 13, 2017.
Tom Clancy’s longtime editor, Tom Colgan, Vice President and Editorial Director, Berkley Publishing Group, told us exclusively: “We have been thrilled to have Mark Greaney and Grant Blackwood helming the Clancy books, and while I know they both enjoyed this work immensely, it’s hard to keep up on your own writing when you’re putting in the kind of effort that a Clancy book requires. So both Grant and Mark chose to step away from the Clancy books.”
“I had read and loved Mike Maden’s Troy Pearce series,” continued Colgan, “so he was the first person I thought of for the Jack Jr. books and I have to say that it’s been a blast working with him on Tom Clancy Point of Contact.”
As for how Marc Cameron came to replace Mark Greaney, Colgan says it was Greaney himself who recommended Cameron from the get-go.
“I wish I could take credit for thinking of Marc Cameron for the Jack Sr. book but it was actually Mark Greaney who suggested him. He had just read Marc Cameron’s most recent book and thought he would be a good fit. Boy, was he right. From the start, Marc Cameron just really got Jack Ryan and John Clark and all the rest of the characters. I’m excited to see Mike and Marc continue the Clancy tradition.”
Mark Greaney also provided The Real Book Spy with an exclusive statement:
“As lucky as I’ve been to have the opportunity to write or co-write seven Tom Clancy novels in six years, I had developed a growing stack of my own story ideas that I wanted to work on, and not enough time to pursue them. After the release of Tom Clancy True Faith and Allegiance, I felt the time was right to step away to work on some of my projects and let another capable writer step into the Ryanverse.”
“I just happened to be reading Marc Cameron’s latest release,” said Greaney, “when Tom Colgan asked me if I had any suggestions for a replacement. Marc was the first and only name I gave him. His writing is both intelligent and action-packed, and Marc has an impressive personal resume that I am sure he will work into the novels to great effect.”
Greaney–whose latest Gray Man thriller, Gunmetal Gray, just came out last week–wasn’t able to provide any additional details on future projects at this time, though he has confirmed that he’s currently hard at work on the next Gray Man book, Weaponized, which should find its way onto bookstore shelves early next year.
While the shakeup of authors will no doubt garnish headlines and attention from readers, fans should feel good about who has been brought in to continue both series.
Other than last year’s Duty and Honor, which was a solid thriller, the Jack Ryan Jr. books have needed a shot in the arm for years. Maden is, in my opinion, the perfect choice to breathe new life into those characters. Drone Threat was an underrated, hard-hitting and action-packed novel, and it’s easy to see how Maden’s style will translate well to the Clancy universe. Personally, I couldn’t be more excited about him getting the gig.
As for the Jack Ryan Sr. books, it obviously hurts to lose Mark Greaney, who recently cemented himself as one of the best thriller authors on the planet. Since the very beginning, Greaney has done an incredible job preserving the integrity and authenticity of Tom Clancy’s most beloved character, and he deserves a ton of credit for that.
However, this isn’t Marc Cameron’s first rodeo. He’s a veteran author with numerous high-octane thrillers under his belt. More importantly, at least in regards to the Clancy universe, Cameron has always written thrillers that feature intelligent stories–something Jack Ryan fans will appreciate. A true pro and crafty writer, Cameron understands how to balance action with conspiracy-driven plots and relentless pacing.
I think Cameron is a brilliant choice to replace Greaney, and fully expect him to deliver in a big way this fall.
Fans chomping at the bit to get their hands on Maden’s first Clancy novel, Point of Contact, can pre-order it here. (Marc Cameron’s forthcoming Clancy novel is not yet available for pre-order, but we’ll update this article as soon as it is.)
Called “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck is currently the Editor-in-Chief of The Real Book Spy website, and one of the thriller genre’s most well-recognized critics. Having assembled a dedicated following, Steck has helped connect thousands of diehard readers with great books since launching The Real Book Spy in December of 2015. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their five children.