RED SWAN: Five Questions with P.T. Deutermann



P.T. Deutermann is no stranger to cranking out top-notch spy thrillers. He’s already delivered some really well-written, underrated novels–none of which are better than his latest book, Red Swan

For spy thriller purists, this book checks all the boxes. It’s written in a similar vein as Jason Matthew’s Red Sparrow but features a faster plot and a tad more action. The characters are developed nicely, and the story itself feels almost too real to be considered strictly fiction. There are twists, turns, and plenty of suspense–all of which combine to make for a rich reading adventure that spy fans will love. 

Ahead of the book’s release, Deutermann agreed to take part in our Five Questions segment, offering a lot of great insight into the plot of Red Saw and the characters he created for this story. He also touched, briefly, on his next project, and listed some of his favorite authors. See the full Q&A below, then head out and pick up a copy of Red Swan today! 


TRBS: From beginning to end, this book is absolutely unputdownable. Parts of the plot are very timely and current in today’s world. Where did the story idea for Red Swan come from?

Deutermann: “It arose as the answer to a question I put to myself: how could a foreign intelligence organization gain influence in high places in the Agency without actually planting a mole? Where would they start?”

TRBS: Doctor Allender and Melanie Sloan are both really terrific characters. Which one was more fun to write? 

Deutermann: “Allender, hands down. Just building his background was really interesting.”

TRBS: There are so many twists and turns to this book. Do you have all those twists figured out ahead of time and know exactly where the story will go when you sit down to start it, or is that something that you come up with as your writing? 

Deutermann: “No. I create the characters, throw them into a situation, and then imagine how they would react. If they end up doing something different from what I might have planned, then that means they’re alive and realistic. If not, I rewrite until they’re ready to declare independence from whatever I had planned.”

TRBS: Which authors do you enjoy reading, and which books are currently on your nightstand?

Deutermann: “Unfortunately, since I’ve been writing fiction, I’ve pretty much given up reading fiction. I don’t want to unconsciously lift somebody else’s stuff. One current exception is Geraldine Brooks, whose writing I find almost painfully beautiful. Other than that, I read (and re-read) history – Shelby Foote for the civil war; Clay Blair for WWII submarine history; Hornfischer for spectacular naval battle history; and Abraham Lincoln’s speeches and correspondence to improve my vocabulary.”

TRBS: Lastly, with Red Swan hitting bookstores, what’s next for you?

Deutermann: “Next one is called The Iceman, a WWII story about the skipper of a submarine who defies conventional traditions, tactics, and policies within the badly bruised Pacific submarine force in the early years of the war – 1942-43. Tactically, he scares the hell out of his crew while racking up some spectacular Japanese ship sinkings, which galls his bosses no end. Set at sea in the southwest Pacific, and ashore in Perth-Fremantle, Australia, there comes a reckoning that has even the Iceman wondering if he’s going to survive the efforts of the infuriated Japanese destroyers to kill him – or his admiral boss, who wants to cashier him. Or, for that matter, the millionaire father of a young woman who’s supposed to marry into Australian upper crust, but who has taken an intense personal interest in this firebrand of a submarine captain. Out in August, 2018.”

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