Getting To Know The Character Interview with James Ryker
Rob Sinclair joins me today to take part in my Getting to know the character interview with James Ryker
Can you describe your character?
James Ryker is the hero of my James Ryker series of espionage thrillers. The most straightforward way to describe him is that he’s a mix of both Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne. He’s brooding and no-nonsense like Reacher, but his skills and his job as an elite intelligence agent are more akin to Bourne. That said, there’s a vulnerability to Ryker, largely from his traumatic past, which I think you don’t get with those two other heavy hitters.
What is his job role and where does he work?
He doesn’t have a job anymore! For 20 years Ryker (under his previous name of Carl Logan - check out the Enemy series!) worked for a secretive intelligence agency run jointly by the US and UK called the Joint Intelligence Agency. Working under the radar, Ryker was sent on missions to do the dirty work of those governments, working undercover to infiltrate and destroy criminal networks. At the end of the Enemy books Ryker turned his back on that career for good, assuming a new identity in a secret location to keep the wolves of his past at bay.
Where did the original idea of James come about?
The original idea was to create an action hero to match those at the very top of the genre (again, Reacher and Bourne spring to mind) as those are just the books (and types of film) that I enjoy the most. But I needed a way to differentiate my character from those others. At the start of the Enemy books Ryker (as Carl Logan) is suffering PTSD, and really struggling to come to terms with who he is and what he does (and what he’s done in the past). Although he’s stronger mentally by the start of the Ryker books (The Red Cobra), his past still haunts him and its that vulnerable side of Ryker that I think helps to distinguish him and also creates empathy for him from readers.
What makes him original?
What makes him tick?
That’s a hard question to answer because Ryker is really quite a complex and in many ways messed up character. There is a love story that runs through the series, though it’s far from romantic - in the end it’s little more than a complete mess and a tragedy. For much of the series it’s that love and the loyalty attached which drives Ryker, but again and again he hits stumbling blocks and never reaches a true point of happiness or satisfaction. But, all of those things that go wrong in his love life do push him forward to take action. Ultimately then, the answer to the question as to what makes him tick, I would say, is that it nearly always come down to revenge! - the thought of punishing those people who have wronged him.
What is his biggest fear?
The bad guys winning.
If you and your character met in real life, do you think you’d get on?
I’m not sure he’s a particularly fun guy. He’s had a horribly tough life, and it shows. You wouldn’t typically find him down the pub socialising. Would we get on? I’m not sure, but you can be damn sure that if you got him on your side he’d be incredibly loyal, and would watch your back relentlessly and ruthlessly, so undoubtedly many people would like him as a friend for those qualities!
Who would you like to see play James if your books were made into a film or TV show?
There are a lot of people who could play Ryker and I quite often change my mind when asked this. Current top choices would be Leo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman or Idris Elba.
How many books do you have in the series so far?
There are three Enemy books with Carl Logan (Dance with the Enemy, Rise of the Enemy and Hunt for the Enemy), and three books (so far!) in the James Ryker series (The Red Cobra, The Black Hornet and The Silver Wolf).
What’s in store for him next?
Ryker is on a short break! He’s feeling pretty beaten up after The Silver Wolf, and has a lot of contemplating to do. But he’s still breathing, and he’s still got a lot of enemies out there, plus there are always plenty of bad guys who need stopping, so........
Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series and James Ryker series of espionage thrillers. His books have sold nearly half a million copies to date with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob's work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.
Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.
Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.
Rob's website is www.robsinclairauthor.com and he can be followed on twitter at @rsinclairauthor and facebook at https://www.facebook.com/robsinclairauthor/