Jack Murphy recently had a chance to sit with Chris Martin, author of the Beyond Neptune Spear and Shaping the World from the Shadows series. Jack and Chris talk about the book, Modern American Snipers.

Some would say that the military non-fiction genre is over-saturated, but you managed to write a book that is filled with unique and interesting information about Special Operations snipers. What motivated you to wade into such a crowded genre in the first place?

You can definitely make an argument that the military non-fiction genre is oversaturated, particularly in special operations and snipers sub-genres. But there also seems to be a near-bottomless appetite among readers for those two topics.

But even if there wasn’t, I think what helps Modern American Snipers remain relevant is the combination of the two — SOF and snipers — as well as the particular angle I approached the topic from, which is a step away from the typical notions of snipers.

While the book may seem to be a rather natural evolution following my ebooks about Delta Force (Shaping the World from the Shadows) and SEAL Team Six (Beyond Neptune Spear) that previously ran here at SOFREP, it actually sprang out of the research I had been conducting for a really ambitious fiction series I’ve been working on quite extensively now for a couple years (plus) that is finally close to release.

That series — Engines of Extinction — is set in the present day and deeply rooted in the real world — a military/spy thriller in a sense. But it also revolves around, and extrapolates upon, cutting-edge technological developments, which firmly pushes into sci-fi. It’s sort of a modern-day take on the Manhattan Project that explores a transitionary state somewhere between, say, Zero Dark Thirty and Ghost in the Shell… the former becoming the latter, which we’re starting to see occur in reality as well.

Anyway, the protagonist has a background as a Delta Force recce operator. The more research I did in that area, the more obvious it became that this was something I should also seriously consider as a topic for its own nonfiction title as well.

And the more I looked into it, the more it dawned on me just how critical the contributions of these guys — and other special operations snipers — have been since 9/11, and in ways that go well beyond what most consider the traditional sniper role.