Today I am interviewing William C. Dietz, New York Times best selling author of the new alt. history novel, RED ICE, first book in the Winds of War series.
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DJ: Hi Bill! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
William C. Dietz: I’m the author of more than 50 mostly military science fiction novels, a well trained husband, and an avid traveler. My wife and I have been to six of the seven continents. Antarctica is too damned cold.
DJ: What is RED ICE about?
Bill: RED ICE is a near-future alternate-history military thriller, set shortly after the start of the WWIII. The story begins with a battle in the South China Sea, moves to the conflict in Afghanistan, and winds up in the Bering Strait where the Russians are trying to invade Alaska.
If that seems improbable, remember that the strait is only 51 miles wide, wars run on oil, and Alaska has 26.5 billion barrels of the good stuff in the ground.
DJ: What were some of your influences RED ICE and the series?
Bill: The plot has a Tom Clancy feel, some Dale Brown elements, and was heavily influenced by that William Dietz guy.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
Bill: There are two lead characters. Dan Falco is an air force combat control officer, whose job is to provide close air support to American soldiers and marines in the field. The U.S. Air Force Combat Control Team motto is “First There,” and for good reason. It’s a very dangerous job.
Falco is a straight arrow in many ways, but strays occasionally, as when he leaves his duty station to rescue a downed fighter pilot. A rather attractive fighter pilot named Kathy Parker, better known by the call sign: Stripper.
Parker has a history, plus orders to find the best pilot the Russians have, and kill the bastard. Something no one else has been able to do.
DJ: What is the world and setting of the Winds of War series like?
Bill: RED ICE is the first book in a series called, the Winds of War, but subsequent novels will feature different characters, fighting in different parts of the world. Like RED ICE all of the books will be set in a near-future alternate history, where the environment is identical to our own, except that WWIII is raging, which means that most of our young people are fighting overseas, seniors are working in factories, and strict rationing makes life difficult.
More than that, the possibility of nuclear war hangs over the world, and there’s no end in sight.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing RED ICE?
Bill: I’m known for writing books which have strong protagonists, who hog most of the plot, but secondary points of view as well. One of my favorite subplots in RED ICE has to do with a Coast Guard icebreaker Northern Dawn, her Captain Marvin Soto, and his normally peaceful crew. But when called upon to fight, Soto and his people risk everything for each other, and their country.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Bill: Well, I don’t want to provide any spoilers, but the Russians have a very clever plan up their sleeves. I will leave it at that.
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began the Winds of War series? RED ICE is only the first book, but is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
Bill: All of my books are meant to entertain. That’s first and foremost. But beyond that I enjoy writing about military people, their many virtues, and yes, their foibles as well.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Red Ice that you can share with us?
Bill: Here’s a passage related to the Coast Guard Captain mentioned earlier:
“Soto’s final stop was in what had previously been designated as the ship’s science section. But rather than the marine oceanographers, biologists, and climate scholars of the past the Dawn was now host to a navy chief petty officer, and his band of piratical gunners mates.
Chief Wright and his men were convened in a large work room which was serving as a makeshift armory. A sailor shouted “Attention on deck!” as Soto entered, and all of them came to attention. Soto didn’t get that level of respect from his own crew, nor did he feel a need to. A partially disassembled fifty-caliber machine gun was laid out on a stainless steel table like a patient in surgery. “As you were. What are you people up to?”
Chief Wright had dark slicked-back hair, a pencil thin mustache, and a square jaw. He radiated physicality. “We’re going over all of the ship’s small arms, sir. And, because regular lubricants can’t retain the level of viscosity required in subzero temperatures, we’re applying a product called ‘Bio Artic.’ It’s a blend of synthetic materials and vegetable oil. Then, after lunch, we’re going to do an hour of PT, and run drills on the five. Sir.”
Soto assumed that “the five” was a reference to the abomination that was bolted onto the forward deck. As Soto scanned the faces around him he saw that the sailors were staring at him like a band of inquisitive meerkats. And every single one of them had a mustache! Was that a sign of solidarity? A navy thing? There was no way to know. “Yes, well,” Soto said awkwardly. “That sounds like a full day.”
DJ: Now that Red Ice is released, what is next for you?
William: Book two! RED FLOOD.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Twitter: William C. Dietz @wcdietz
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about RED ICE and the Winds of War series that we haven’t talked about yet?
Bill: Due to the nature of the story a great deal of research was required having to do with air combat control, air combat, and submarine warfare. Many thanks to my subject matter experts.
DJ: Is there anything else you would like add?
Bill: Nope… Thank you very much for the opportunity to share on MyLifeMy BooksMyEscape.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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Buy the Book:
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From William C. Dietz, the New York Times bestselling author of the America Rising novels, comes RED ICE. A military thriller so believable the story could be ripped from tomorrow’s headlines.
World War III is a month old. After attacking, and sinking the Destroyer USS Stacy Heath, the Chinese invade Tibet, and India counterattacks.
Rather than allow the Chinese to seize control of the subcontinent the U.S. sends 20,000 U.S. soldiers and marines in to join the fight.
The Russians use the opportunity to invade Ukraine, which leaves NATO with no choice but to respond. A full fledged ground war begins.
American forces are spread thin, and the decision is made to evacuate all personnel from Afghanistan. Troops have already begun to pull out, when Air Force JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) Dan Falco, receives orders to kill a ruthless Taliban leader named Noor Mohammad Hashemi. But it won’t be easy.
Falco must enter enemy territory with a guide who may, or may not be a member of the Taliban, take up a position above an enemy held town, and call in a targeted air strike on a man standing in the middle of a populated area.
Meanwhile 7,000 miles to north, the Russians are holding a training exercise called RED ICE. Except that it isn’t a training exercise and, if American forces fail to stop the enemy, the Russians will land on American soil. An accomplishment that would be a tremendous blow to American morale, and would suck much needed resources away from the conflicts in Europe and Asia.
Army Air Force and even Coast Guard personnel will do their best to push the Russians back.
But will their best be good enough?
New York Times bestselling author William C. Dietz has published more than fifty novels some of which have been translated into German, French, Russian, Korean and Japanese. Dietz also wrote the script for the Legion of the Damned game (i-Phone, i-Touch, & i-Pad) based on his book of the same name–and co-wrote SONY’s Resistance: Burning Skies game for the PS Vita.
Dietz grew up in the Seattle area, spent time with the Navy and Marine Corps as a medic, graduated from the University of Washington, lived in Africa for half a year, and has traveled to six continents.
Dietz has been employed as a surgical technician, college instructor, news writer, television producer and Director of Public Relations and Marketing for an international telephone company. Dietz is a member of the Writer’s Guild and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.
He and his wife live near Gig Harbor Washington where they enjoy traveling, kayaking, and reading books. For more information about William C. Dietz and his work visit: williamcdietz.com