Novelist Brad Thor, What's in Your EDC?

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Brad Thor is an American novelist and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over 20 military and spy-themed thrillers. Today marks the release of his latest work, BLACK ICE. In this interview, Brad shows off another EDC setup themed after his new book, shares his personal favorite gear, and gives advice for new and aspiring writers and novelists.

What’s in your everyday carry?

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View Brad Thor’s Full Everyday Carry

My EDC starts with the weapon I am carrying (and that depends on what the demands of my day will be). I love my custom Accuracy X 1911. It’s a .45 and admittedly a big gun. It can get heavy. Sometimes, I will swap it out for my SIG SAUER p365. I’ll carry multiple spare mags, as well as a tactical flashlight. My choice on the flashlight side is the CRKT Williams Tactical Applications Flashlight. I have gotten to know James Williams and am a fan of everything he designs – especially his knives. I love his Osoraku Zukuri folder. It is super lightweight, an easy everyday carry, and very good looking.

I’m also a big sunglasses guy. The most expensive ones I own (and they’re not that pricey) are my Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarers in tortoise. I’ve also become a big fan of the Shady Ray’s brand – with my favorite pair being their Emerald Ice frames. No matter what you’re wearing, you can always take it up a notch with a great pair of sunglasses.

This year I’ve fallen into the rubber watch strap trend. I have a Rolex Explorer II with a white face and have been mixing it up with all different kinds of bands – white, blue, tangerine, lime…. My two favorite companies to buy from are Horus Watch Straps and Rubber B.

For our readers who might not be familiar, could you explain what you do and what your day on the job is like?

I am an author of international thrillers. Getting each and every detail right is critical – especially when it comes to weapons, tactics, and tradecraft. My research has taken me around the world – from Afghanistan, Hong Kong, and Egypt to Switzerland, Scotland, and Greece.

Where do you find the inspiration to sit down and write?

I believe that you should write what you love to read. I grew up loving the novels of Tom Clancy, Freddy Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, and John le Carré. As the son of a United States Marine, I set the bar very high for myself. 

I like to say that I don’t work for Simon & Schuster, but rather, I work for the readers – they are my employers. It is incumbent upon me to give them a white-knuckle thrill ride every time and to get better with every book. When they post on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, etc. – that’s my annual performance review. I want to make certain that I earn 5 stars.

Other than writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about history, politics, tech and shooting. As I get older, my tastes are running toward owning fewer, better things. I have a firearms collection that I’m very proud of. Many of my pieces are custom, or were made in extremely limited runs. 

Whenever possible, I ask the owner/manufacturer if they can do something special to make the purchase stand out. Mark LaRue of LaRue Tactical, for instance, laser-engraved the magazine wells of rifles with the hammer of Thor. Steve Huff of Accuracy X engraved the slide of my custom 1911 with “Norseman,” the call sign of my series protagonist.

Why do you EDC?

As the son of a United States Marine, I was taught to be prepared. Being ready is something I take pride in. Also, as a writer, I never know when a good idea is going to strike. And when it does, I don’t trust it to my iPhone – I have to write it down; ink on paper. 

If I have my briefcase with me or am wearing a suit or a blazer, I’ll be carrying a nice pen like the classic gold-coated Montblanc Meisterstück (given to me long ago by my godfather) or the yellow Waterman Charleston given to me by my wife. If I’m rolling casual, it’ll be a black Fisher Space Pen. I normally carry a Field Notes 48-Page Memo Book or a Classic Moleskine Soft Cover notebook.

Is there a particular everyday product you’ve been meaning to add to your EDC? If not, what’s your favorite item out of all your daily essentials?

My favorite item is my latest addition. Native Union came out with an all-leather wrap for the AirPods Pro case.  It matches all my leather travel gear – as if it was designed to go with it. I really like the continuity.

Tell us about your new book that you just published, BLACK ICE.

I tell people that my books are a lot like the James Bond movies. You don’t need to have seen any of the earlier films to enjoy the latest. BLACK ICE is a twisty tale of espionage and danger set high above the Arctic Circle. It is my 21st novel overall and the 20th to feature Navy SEAL turned intelligence operative, Scot Harvath. In it, Harvath is assisted by a stunning Norwegian spy named Sølvi Kolstad. She’s just as broken and badass as Harvath, with a cutting sense of humor to match. I introduced Sølvi in last summer’s book, NEAR DARK, hoping my female readers would love her. They did, but my male readers went crazy for her. They all want me to give Sølvi her own stand-alone book. Maybe I’ll have to consider that for summer 2022.

Given your success as a novelist, do you have any secret tips for other writers trying to make it?

My biggest tip is when it comes to looking for an agent. THE GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS is one of the best resources out there.  It’s a directory that breaks down, by genre, what agents are looking for new writers. 

Here’s my tip – agents will tell you to query (a fancy word for approaching/making your pitch) only one agent at a time. But if it takes an agent three months to get back to you and you have to go through twelve agents before you finally land one, that’s three years out of your life. I tell writers to go with a shotgun approach. Pick the five to ten you are really interested in and query them all at the same time.

See more of Brad’s work at his website, and keep up with him on Twitter.

Photos courtesy of Brad Thor

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