The Big Thrill Behavioral Analysis Unit: Kyle Mills
Interview by Eric P. Bishop
Kyle Mills had big shoes to fill when he accepted the offer to take over the Mitch Rapp novels after the untimely death of beloved author Vince Flynn. For many fans (myself included), Flynn’s death led his faithful readers to believe the characters he’d crafted for 13 novels would cease to exist.
Fortunately, Mills stepped in and not only continued the legacy started by Flynn but expanded the universe and grew the readership—Flynn’s stories now reach an even wider audience. The franchise Flynn started in 1999 looks to be in excellent hands as Mills continues to put out one bestseller after another, year over year.
OATH OF LOYALTY is the eighth novel penned by Mills in the Mitch Rapp series of thrillers and the 21st in the series. Thanks to the phenomenal storytelling and intertwining plots, you best believe it won’t be his last.
I had the good fortune of spending some time with Mills recently in Minneapolis; he was even kind enough to take a picture with a stuffed animal/llama I brought to Bouchercon 2022 at the behest of my daughter.
Let’s see what Mills really thinks about writing, life, and more as he answers 20 questions for The Big Thrill’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A tough goal and a solid plan for achieving it.
What is your greatest fear?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I have a talent for getting very frustrated very quickly.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Hypocrisy? Intellectual dishonesty? It’s hard to choose…
What is your favorite way to waste time?
Studying Spanish. For some twisted reason, I really enjoy it. I doubt I’ll live long enough to get good at it, though.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
Maybe an economist. I love trying to predict the future, and “economist” sounds more respectable than “fortune teller.”
What is your most embarrassing moment?
When an interviewer asks me about one of my books and I can’t remember the title. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve written a lot of books or lived a lot of years.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I once flashed a 5.12b. Google it!
What’s your favorite place in the world?
Such a hard question to answer without categories. As a writer, I can live anywhere I want, and I’ve chosen Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Granada, Spain. So maybe those? But honorable mentions to Cape Town, South Africa, and Istanbul, Turkey.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
I think Nora Roberts once said, “You can fix a bad page, but you can’t fix a blank page.”
What’s your favorite drink?
Sadly, I’m fond of pretty much all of them.
Plotter or pantser?
I may be the ultimate plotter. For a 100,000-word novel, I’ll typically write a 35,000-word outline.
What is your favorite word?
It’s Spanish. Nevera. A kind of uncommon way of saying refrigerator that I’m doing my best to bring back into vogue. Mostly because I can’t pronounce refrigerador, and frigorifico sounds weird.
What is your motto?
Get the easy stuff right.
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