An Astounding Story About A Military Dog

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Tucker Wayne Author of The Kill Switch
James Rollins – Author of The Kill Switch

If you are looking for a new book to read, we highly recommend checking out The Kill Switch. In case you have never heard of it before, the novel focuses on former Army Ranger Tucker Wayne, who works alongside his military dog Kane. Of course, the two get themselves into quite an adventure when The Sigma Force requests that Tucker helps the scientist escape Russia. That’s because this scientist has discovered a dark cavern full of history. In fact, in that very cave during 1900, the Boers were battling British troops. Throughout this fight, the Boers were forced to hide themselves in caves. While it should be easy to get the scientist out of Russia, that is far from the case. There are cruel individuals in the country that will stop at nothing to keep the scientist’s discovery all to themselves. It becomes Tucker and Kane’s mission to keep the scientist and his secret safe.

James Rollins Speaks With Huffington Post

The Huffington Post spoke with James Rollins about the dog character Kane and asked him about his knowledge on military dogs.  James Rollins explained, “My first exposure to military dogs was when I toured Iraq and Kuwait in 2010. As a veterinarian, I watched some dogs being worked in the field. I talked to the handlers because I was curious about the relationship between man and dog. Was the dog simply treated as a weapon? Or was there a real relationship? The phrase I heard was “It runs down the lead” meaning there’s intense communication and real emotion between the dog and handler. I loved the phrase and used it in the novel.

I learned that over time, the handler and dog could read each other without even using hand or verbal signals. One fellow said, “My dog understands me better than my wife.” I wanted to capture that relationship, but not in a Disney version of the war dog. I also went to Lackland Air Force Base and watched the dogs in training. I wanted to create a realistic portrayal of these dogs by showing their abilities. Some people who’ve read the book simply cannot believe dogs can do the things Kane does; but some of the handlers said that if anything, I was too conservative in describing what these dogs are capable of actually achieving.”

James Rollins also shared how he was inspired by Jack London’s books and tried to capture that type of storytelling. “I wanted my readers to be in the paws of those dogs in a realistic manner. I wrote those scenes in the present tense because that’s the way dogs experience the world — in the moment. Dogs focus on what’s going on in front of them. I tried to capture the way a dog’s enhanced senses of sight, smell and hearing impact his reality. I also wanted to capture the bond between dog and man.How Did These Co-Writers Come Together?” said James.

Combined Authors

The thriller novel was co-written by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood. This collaboration came about when Rollins decided he wanted to write a spin-off on the Sigma Force novel, “Bloodline”. From there, he decided to contact Blackwood, someone he has known for years. Actually, Blackwood is a navy veteran, so Rollins knew he would be able to perfectly capture the military mindset.  Plus, Blackwood knew the military hardware and weaponry inside and out. Then, Rollins could instead focus on his area of expertise which was animals, science and medicine.

After the plot-driven novel was outlined, Rollins would assign out who had to write what. Of course, he would give Blackwood material that catered towards the military side of the story, while he would stick to the science or animal-oriented chapters. However, unlike other co-writers, here the two were not constantly together writing. They would only talk about once a week to discuss the plot and character, figuring out the direction of the story together. Most of the time they would see eye-to-eye on where the plot needed to go, which only helped them deliver a really strong, well-written book in the process.

What Can You Expect From The Kill Switch?

The Kill Switch is definitely a page turner, as you will want to drop all other plans to learn what happens next for Tucker and Kane. That’s because Rollins and Blackwood are pros in the book industry. While Rollins is known for “Bloodline”, Blackwood has gained wide praise for his work on novels with Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy. With this novel in particular, though, you will come to feel a deep connection with both Tucker and Kane. In fact, it has been said over and over again that Kane is one of the best dogs in thriller literature.  We have good news to deliver for those who come to love this novel as much as we do.  Rollins has already stated that The Kill Switch is only the beginning of a new series, so there will be much more books revolving around Tucker and Kane to come.

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WagBrag’s co-founder, Russ Boles, has a deep history in animal rescue and welfare. For the past 12 years, Russ has served in various roles with Atlanta-based animal advocacy organizations focused on rescue, training and education. In addition, Russ led a local rescue volunteer team into New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina, assisting in efforts to rescue and care for stranded animals. This experience changed his life, and animal rescue and advocacy will always be a part of everything he does.

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