MA: Today’s guest is George Mavro, author of the thrillers Operation Medina: Jihad and Operation Medina: Crusade. George and I are kindred Air Force veterans, both of us having worked in the security field within the USAF. Welcome, George. Please tell us about your background.
GM: I served in the Air Force for 24 years, 22 of those in various Security Force assignments in Europe and the Balkans, which gave me a great background for writing my first novels. I also hold advance degrees in History and International Relations specializing in the Balkans where my novels take place. Knowing the history of a region is a plus when trying to write a war and political thriller. I have also held teaching positions at the university level. I currently teach part time for a junior college. I also work as an Information Security Officer for a major financial institution. I presently reside in Florida with my wife and two sons.
MA: With that background, I can understand why you would want to write political/military thrillers. I imagine you must also enjoy reading that genre.
GM: I always enjoyed reading historical and action adventure war novels so I finally decided to try my hand at it.
MA: Excellent. So tell us about your novels.
GM: My debut novel is a military action adventure war thriller called Operation Medina: Jihad. My second novel is Operation Medina: Crusade which is the grand finale to the Jihad. Both go hand in hand. Both are about an attack against a US ally and terrorist attacks against US forces.
MA: How did you develop your main characters, your protagonist?
GM: I had a basic idea of what I wanted the protagonist to be when I started the story. As the story developed he developed and matured around it. Because my book encompasses a war on several fronts involving several nations there are a couple of characters that could be called heroes. But my main hero, Colonel Jack Logan, is a professional and combat skilled pilot. His strengths are that he is very sure of himself and good at what he does. His weakness would be under estimating the enemy, which causes him to get shot down, and falling in love with one of his pilots/subordinates which will play a major part at the end of the story.
MA: Terrorists, huh? So is there one main bad guy?
GM: Yes there is. General Muhammid Kemal, the dictator of Turkey, who wants to replicate the old Ottoman empire at his neighbor’s expense.
MA: With your background in the USAF, and your education in International Relations, did your real-life career or experiences influence your fiction writing?
GM: Yes my military career did and through my experience I am trying to convey military life and operations as accurately as possible. The characters in my novels are original, but I have pulled from my life experiences with the many people I encountered and some characters may be a slight medley from the people I shared experiences and worked with.
My career as a Law Enforcement and Force protection professional did play a role as it provided me with the knowledge and insight to write my story and accurately portray the role that a security Force Shift Commander and an airbase ground defense team could take in time of war.
MA: Will there be a follow-on story to the Medina series, or will you write something new, different?
GM: I am presently working on an adventure novel that takes place during WW II starting with the Nazi invasion of the island of Crete in 1941. I am developing a whole new set of characters. It is possible that a couple of my current day character’s grand dads may be in it since they did fight and meet in Greece during WW II as allied agents.
MA: Thanks, George. My very best to you for a successful writing career. My readers can learn more about George Mavro by visiting: https://sites.google.com/site/operationmedina/home