The reviews are coming in for The Black Eagle Force series by Buck Stienke and Ken Farmer, and by grassroots acclaim rates 5 out of 5 stars for it’s authenticity and gripping storyline. Currently rated #8 on Amazon Action Adventure War Books list, it hooks you on the first page and you will not want to stop until the last word is read. The 4 million-member strong Goodreads website has just posted the series at #1 on the Action-Adventure list, and #1 Best Military Writers Society Favorites. The series is drawing rave reviews from both ex-military as well as writers like NY Times Best Selling author Jim DeFelice.
More than one comparison has been drawn between the author Tom Clancy and the Stienke/Farmer team. Comments from actual ex-military like “Leaves you on the edge of your chair sometimes laughing, sometimes cheering and sometimes it will actually even bring a tear,” (Richard Peck USAF, retired) are the norm, not the exception.
High-Tech Special Ops Force Defends American Shores in New Military Action Thriller novel. Black Eagle Force is a top-secret, Special Ops unit of ex-military men and women created for its ultra-rapid-deployment capabilities and intended to operate outside of governmental restrictions. In Eye of the Storm, a fast-paced new military thriller novel by Buck Stienke and Ken Farmer, a border skirmish on a Texas ranch catches the attention of the DoD, and within minutes, the BEF is scrambled in their high-tech VTOL aircraft to investigate and to protect the United States border. Joining forces with the former Marine family that owns the Texas ranch, their mission deepens to preventing suitcase nuclear weapons from being detonated by terrorists in the United States, while struggling to penetrate a criminal empire on a remote, heavily defended island in the Gulf of Mexico. They are tasked by President Annette Henry Thompson to sanction with extreme prejudice the mastermind behind the acquisition of the nuclear devices, also a trafficker in drugs and human lives, and in the quest to accomplish this before Hurricane Ellen hits the island fortress, BEF finds itself challenged to live up to its motto: Semper Paro Bellum
Buck Stienke and Ken Farmer take an intriguing premise and run hard with it in their new novel, Black Eagle Force: Eye of the Storm. From the rattle of 50s to the smooth whine of the engines on their near-future aircraft, the book sings with authenticity and action. Readers will lose sleep with this one – I know I did. – Jim DeFelice
INTERVIEW WITH BUCK STIENKE AND KEN FARMER:
AMFM: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START WRITING THE SERIES?
Ken and Buck We were asked by John Eastman, an author friend and retired Major, USMC from Pennsylvania, to write a screen play for his 350,000 word novel Verdict! In Search of a Crime. We were able to do so in about six weeks and had positive feedback from a Disney Script analyst with 30 years experience in the business. We looked at each other and said “Hell, we can write a novel!” We had years of previous experience in writing screen and teleplays, and considered the process one of fleshing out rather than removing details. Both of us liked the old Black Hawk comics of the 40’s and 50’s where a group of daring men, WWII veterans, in futuristic planes and other vehicles fought evil doers. (Mostly Nazis!) The Black Eagle Force was born! In the BEF series, we take existing military, historical, political and scientific facts, and weave them into a plausible, fast moving story with interesting characters. Our goal is to create an exciting roller coaster ride of emotions for the reader.
AMFM: THE BOOKS ARE TECHNICALLY PROFICIENT IN MILITARY JARGON AND EQUIPMENT, AS WELL AS BELIEVABLE MILITARY STRATEGY. ARE YOU DRAWING FROM ANY REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCES AND/OR CHARACTERS FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY?
Buck graduated from the USAF Academy and had an eight year career in the USAF as a fighter pilot (5041st Tactical Operation Squadron, Elmendorf AFB Alaska). Later, he served as Chief Airfield Management and HQ 12AF Air Operations Staff Officer at Bergstrom AFB, Texas. He followed that with 25 years flying commercial with Delta Air Lines. He also was a competitive shooter on the USAF Academy Rifle Team and was a starter on the Rugby Team. He currently owns a gun store in Gainesville, Texas and is a both a seasoned gunsmith and expert long range shooter. Ken trained as a Marine Corps helicopter pilot, in HMM 777 Rescue Squadron. A neck injury from too many years of football, both in college and the Marine Corps, cut his career short. He did manage to get a multi-engine pilot license, and spent almost forty years in front the camera in feature films and commercials as a professional actor. Many BEF characters are named for friends, family and college buddies. Characters are often a composite of the actual friends or enemies we have known.
Ken had seen a working coil gun in a physics lab while in avionics training at NAS Jacksonville, Florida in 1961. Actual flying sequences are drawn from years of air to air intercepts and ground attack missions. Both writers have experience in martial arts. Ken passed Marine Corps Boot camp and avionics, while Buck was trained by both Air Force and US Army personnel in the use of hand-held and crew served weapons and directing artillery fire. Buck had a BS degree in Engineering Management which helps in the description of the development and design of cutting edge science based weaponry used by both the Raptors on the ground and the various craft of the Black Eagle Force. Ken earned Bachelor’s degrees in Business as well as Speech & Drama. His 40 years as a professional actor serves him well in writing believable dialogue.
If you’re a fan of one-stop shopping, you’ll love Black Eagle Force: Eye of the Storm, because this novel has it all: Nail-biting excitement, edge-of-your-seat action, fast-paced drama, and even laugh-out-loud humor. Believable characters, gritty, realistic dialog, and picturesque descriptions that provide a “you are there” sensation that will leave you wanting more. – Loree Lough – author of 80+ award-winning novels, including From Ashes to Honor [#1 in the First Responders series].
AMFM: WHAT IS THE CREATIVE PROCESS BETWEEN YOU TWO? HOW DOES IT WORK? CO-WRITING IS NOT AN EASY TASK.
We write in very similar styles, and often assign passages of a work in progress to each other. Sometimes sounds something like this: “You do the President, the SecDef and NSC in the Situation Room, and I’ll have the Ugandan poachers wipe out a herd of elephants. All except three calves.” On more than one occasion, one of us will leap to another section and begin writing, only to find out the next day the other had done the same thing, often using almost identical verbiage. (That’s spooky!) We do not write with an outline, rather set some basic story plot points and go at it individually. We send the files back and forth as Buck likes to work late at night and Ken is an early riser. The actual process is almost what could be considered ‘stream of consciousness’. We visualize the scene, and try to bring the audience into the story by having them see, hear, feel, taste, smell and touch the same environmental factors the characters do. We work to have the character’s dialogue match the way real people talk. Not all sentences are complete. Our characters would never say, for example “James! Watch out! There is a ball coming at your head!” They would simply yell, “Duck!” One thing we learned early on is not to “fall in love” with our own work. We constantly rewrite each others material as well as our own. Good enough never is. The idea is to make the final product the best we can do. Thank God for the Internet and computers! We can polish, cut and paste and add a couple lines here and there and do it in minutes. Then, using a tool available though our software (we prefer Lotus Word Pro) we can easily check the actual word count in the text and assign an up-to-date file name to the novel. For example, Black Eagle Force: Bloody Ivory become BI 64,135 with the latest word count of the text. As we add new text, the word count climbs. BTW, Lotus Word Pro allows us to set the exact chapters, graphics, heading, footers, margins, pagination and Chicago Rules punctuation for either print publication or e-book format.
One of the best things about co-writing is that we can spread out the “grunt work”, massive amounts of research, editing and having another set of eyes look at one’s work. Spell check is great, but obviously no substitute for editing. Four, Fore, For, Hear, Here. English! What would we do without it? It is often as easy to miss type a word such as form instead of from. And those are difficult for the original writer to catch. We read whole sentences when we are speeding through a passage. It’s tough to force ourselves to slow down and really be deliberate, particularly if we wrote it ourselves. Another thing we try to do is check for redundancies in our narrative. Therefore, a Huey could be referred to as a chopper, whirly bird, craft, helicopter, helo, aircraft, bird – anything but Huey five times in a single paragraph. Together, we have written four and a half novels in less than twenty-two months. Average words per novel – 108,000.
AMFM: BLACK EAGLE FORCE HANDLES CURRENTLY POLITICALLY CHARGED SUBJECTS OF CLASHING CULTURES AND COUNTRY BOUNDARIES AS WELL AS TOUCHES ON THE REAL-LIFE TROUBLES NEAR THE UNITED STATE’S SOUTHERN BORDERS. WHAT DO YOU HOPE THE LESSON WILL BE FROM THIS BOOK?
We have a definite point of view in our books, but they are designed to entertain rather than preach to the reader. Our characters might quote a famous politician, but we would rather let the characters tell about their actual experiences on the ground—which might occur as a result of policies adopted by both past and current administrations. An example of this is a character making passing reference to the man that was killed by the Mexican cartel while riding a jet ski on Falcon Lake. It is geographically close to the setting of our novel. Our first novel, Back Eagle Force : Eye of the Storm does not cast a bad light on all Hispanics, for example. The Eagle Nest Ranch Manager is a Hispanic as are several members of the BEF and CIA. But it cuts no slack to Mexican drug smugglers, gun runners, cartel members and Mexican gangs along the border; or evil doers, where ever they might exist. Direct action by the landowners with timely help from the Black Eagle Force deals directly and effectively with one type of threat encountered in the book. While I’m certain direct military action would be a huge factor in effectively dealing with the Gulf Cartels, the Zetas and MS-13, we have no illusions the current political leaders of either
country would take such actions. Perhaps the creation of a real Black Eagle Force would be a politically acceptable alternative! In a way, our fictional story could help shape public opinion on what is actually needed to address an exponentially violent problem with narco-terrorism.
AMFM: ANY PLAN IN THE WORKS FOR A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE?
We have completed a 120 page screen play of the first novel (naturally!) Additionally, we have sent copies of the novel to several A-list actors and producers/directors. Eye of the Storm won Best Adult Fiction at the recent North Texas Book Festival (held in Denton on April 2012). It is currently ranked number 9 on the Amazon.com Top 100 War Fiction Category and number 28th in the Top 100 Action Adventure category. Black Eagle Force: Sacred Mountain released in e-book form this month, has already climbed to number 57 in the Amazon Top War Fiction. In this follow-up novel, President Annette Henry Thompson is captured in New Mexico by combined forces of international arms dealers and Al Qaeda and taken to a secret hideout deep in the Sierra Madre Mountains. The BEF is tasked to find her and affect her rescue. May God have mercy on the terrorist’s souls, for the Black Eagle Force will not.
For more information: BLACK EAGLE FORCE WEBSITE