First it was the movie, now it’s a series. Scott McEwen was the co-author with the late Chris Kyle of “American Sniper,” the best selling book that became an Oscar-winning film directed by Clint Eastwood. But Mr. McEwen is not done yet. Now in bookstores, it’s “The Sniper and the Wolf,” a novel — and part of a fictional series titled “Sniper Elite,” which adapts real stories of American warriors into what the trade calls military thrillers. The genre is pretty ferocious.
“Members of the Riyad us-Saliheyn Martyrs’ Brigade are smuggling a Russian RA-115 suitcase nuke through a tunnel underneath the border between Mexico and the U.S.,” publisher Simon & Schuster advises. “The mission doesn’t go as planned, and the American government learns that another RA-115 is already somewhere within the country. The CIA turns for help to Navy SEAL Gil Shannon, recently pulled out of retirement.”
Mr. McEwen, a California trial attorney, takes care with his craft.
“It is important in writing about a ‘character’ such as a Gil Shannon - SEAL Team VI Sniper — that one brings as much reality as possible into the world in which the sniper must operate. My job is to immerse the audience in that world, and the totality of the training, emotions, fears and skill set necessary to survive and accomplish the mission. For example, every weapon system (rifle model, caliber and load-out) that a sniper may choose to accomplish his/her mission has its inherent pros and cons, including accurate distance, weight, portability, range and ammunition,” Mr. McEwen tells The Washington Times.
“Given the typical lack of back-up for a sniper, it is crucial that the operator choose correctly at the beginning of the mission what he/she best estimates it will take to accomplish the same. It is one thing to get to the target zone, it is another entirely to get home. As with most things in life, the reader must understand that the devil is in the details. With snipers, the details spell the difference between life and death,” the author observes.
And that’s how it’s done. And yes, Sony Pictures has picked up the Sniper Elite series in a movie deal, details forthcoming.