Last week on LIFE Edge, Rick Zanotti interviewed Marc Cameron, author of the Jericho Quinn series. We discussed his books, outdoor life, bikes, and more. Marc is a New York Times-bestselling author known for both his Jericho Quinn series and his books featuring Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan.
Follow this link to watch our interview, or view it below.
How Marc Cameron Started Writing
Marc says, "I started like most writers do, I think. Discovering, mimicking other writers and kind of writing fanfiction before we knew what fanfiction was. I started writing short stories when I was quite young, you know, eight, nine, ten years old, and then slowly morphed into trying to get published."
"I really liked Old Yeller," he recalls. "I grew up in north-central Texas, so I liked books about boys and dogs and horses. Fred Gipson, Wilson Rawls, I devoured all the Hardy Boys books. It probably had a lot to do with why I went into law enforcement later on."
Around the time Marc started writing the Jericho Quinn series, his son joined the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. "Oddly, though," Marc says, "I started writing about OSI agents about the time he was getting in. He wasn't in yet [when] I started the Jericho books."
You can find the Jericho Quinn series on Marc's Amazon author page.
Was Marc Cameron A U.S. Marshal?
Though Marc draws from his experience when creating his stories, he couldn't write about the Marshals at the time.
This is because he was still in the U.S. Marshals, and was forbidden to write about either the Marshals or the Justice Department. Later on, Marc retired from the Marshals to pursue writing full-time. That's why August Bowen, the U.S. Marshal character, doesn't appear until book 4, Time of Attack.
Time of Attack on Amazon
According to Marc, "I like the character of August Bowen, and I think the new series that is out, the Arliss Cutter series, is really kind of a mirror of our August Bowen. In fact, in my mind, I figure that Arliss Cutter and August Bowen probably served in the same unit."
Open Carry on Amazon
Marc's Alaskan Inspiration
Although he's worked across the United States and traveled the world, Marc Cameron is a longtime Alaska resident. Among other reasons, Marc and his wife enjoy the huge outdoor expanses, which allow people to use and hone traditional skills.
"It doesn't take very long to leave civilization behind," Marc says of living in Alaska. "I think there's a lot of value in getting back to our roots, you know? We have a freezer full of meat that we harvested. My wife's a fisherwoman, and we have an entire upright freezer full of her salmon and halibut."
This extends to the U.S. Marshals. "We talk about man-trackers. U.S. Marshals are known for hunting down fugitives, but in certain parts of the United States, we're still tracking, step-by-step kind of tracking. We can't rely on just technology. I think there's a lot of value in that, for our daily lives as well."
Marc Cameron was a police officer in Texas for nearly 7 years, and got into the U.S. Marshals after a 2-year process. He worked in Texas, Idaho, and then 15 years in Alaska. Because there aren't very many Marshals, he explains that a Texas marshal might end up assigned to New York or California.
Marc & Martial Arts: Putting The Fighting Into Writing
Over the course of his law enforcement career, Marc studied aikido and jujitsu. However, his aikido instructor taught him a specialized style of aikido outside of the normal classes. "Since he knew I was in law enforcement," Marc explains, "he would give me extra teaching on the side [and] basically turned my aikido class into aikijujutsu." Marc draws from this and his previous experience fencing to inform the fight scenes in his writing.
Even though the Jericho Quinn books draw from Marc's experience, he says, "Jericho's way tougher than me!" Jericho, like the other characters, is a mix of many people the author has known over the years.
Jericho & His Motorcycle: That Death Dealer Look
Jericho rides the same motorcycle as Marc, his beloved BMW GS 1200.
Marc tells us, "They're very aggressive looking. One of my friends online teaches Krav Maga down in the southeast part of the United States. He's got a bike like that, and he calls it Helga the Schnellpanzer, or something like that. It's just got that kind of a look to it."
Marc likens the bike to the big black horse the Death Dealer sits on in Frank Frazetta's painting. Marc is a fan of Frazetta's work; he says, "I always think that if my books would have been written back in the 70's, I would have liked Frazetta to do the covers. That's the vision I have in my head."
Upcoming Releases & Closing Comments
Marc talks about his upcoming releases. The next two, in November, will be Jericho Quinn's Active Measures and Code of Honor in the Jack Ryan series. After that, Stone Cross, the next Arliss Cutter book, will come out.
On LIFE Edge, we ask all of our guests: "What is it that gives you an edge in life?" Marc considers his edge to be a piece of advice a college professor gave him. During Marc's freshman year in college, his theater drama professor told him, "Marc, you will never amount to your full potential unless you learn to utilize those 15-minute segments of time that other people waste." Marc says, "I really took that to heart. I think a lot of people spend time thinking they don't have enough time to get anything done, so they'll play a game of Angry Birds, or whatever the fashionable game is on their phone today, or just read something on Reddit, being a consumer. I prefer to create instead of consume; I love watching shows and movies and such, but I would much rather put something out for other people to consume. And in order to do that, especially at the pace that I do now, I can't waste time—at all."
You can visit Marc's website for news on his latest books at:https://www.marccameronbooks.com