Author Interview: Scott Zastrow – The Deguello

February 7, 2012

The DegüelloWe have an entertaining author interview with Scott Zastrow and his book The Deguello which is rated 5.0 stars on 13 reviews.  The Deguello is not your typical military fiction book. It is based on an incredible true story. We simply call it 9/11 now. That day means something different to so many people, but for ten Green Berets, it means even more. Just days after the horrific attacks in New York, a handful of Green Berets from the decorated 5th Special Forces Group were secretly inserted deep behind enemy lines in Northern Afghanistan to set the stage for the upcoming War on Terror. Their mission was to seek out and kill as many Taliban and Al Qaida forces as they could find. Go inside the legend of one of Americas most elite units in this exciting and sometimes humorous account of their avenging the most horrific terrorist attack we have ever experienced.

Interview with Scott Zastrow:

1. What was unique about the setting of the bookand how did it enhance or take away from the story?

The book is split into a Part I and Part II with Part I being in Ft Campbell, KY, the home to the 5th Special Forces Group and is about what this particular A-Team was doing on 9/11 when they got the call. It then follows them through the isolation process where they prepare to go on the “mission of a lifetime” Part II takes place in Afghanistan itself and follows the A-Team while they conduct combat operations. Both settings enhance the story because of the importance of the event. This is not a documentary Non-Fiction book. It is written like a movie to actually give the reader the view from inside the Team while the events occurred. I have gotten great feedback on the few hundred I have sold so far, now if I can only get those readers to put their reviews on Amazon!! Not an easy task.

2. What specific themes did the author emphasizethroughout the novel? What do you think he or she is trying to get across tothe reader?

The theme throughout the book, unlike other military fiction novels, is not only the emphasis on the mission itself, but the interactions of the actual men on the A-Team. These are real men; not stereotyped tough-guy robots like all the books on Special Forces/SEALs. These are just a normal group of men who chose this particular path in life and were put in a very difficult situation because of the magnitude of the 9/11 attacks.

3. Do the characters seem real and believable? Canyou relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourselfor someone you know?

The characters seem much more believable and real than the “look at me, I won the War by myself” books we are flooded with daily. Its hard for them NOT to remind me of people I know because I work with men like this on a daily basis in Special Forces. They are a group of guys from the “Isle of Misfit Toys” who can go from Jackass to Professional at the drop of a hat when the situation calls for it. Each character is based on the actual men from this mission with names changed to protect their active duty status. But the guys on the Team know exactly who is who in the book. I tried to show the reader that these men are not the robot killing machines that they are viewed as by the public, but people with whom the reader can relate. I have readers tell me all the time, “I know a guy just like that” Not wanting to go into a long drawn out back-story on each character, I used CH 5 to show the typical ‘single guy’ scene and CH 6 to show the typical ‘married guy’ scene. The wife in CH 6 represents all Team spouses saying goodbye and is an extremely important character in Part I of the book.

4. How do characters change or evolve throughoutthe course of the story? What events trigger such changes?

The characters show their human sides throughout the book based on the events that transpire

5. In what ways do the events in the books revealevidence of the author’s world view?

The characters are soldiers, and are also extremely intelligent, fit, and professional. I tried to give the reader a little more with anecdotes between the characters to show their human sides outside of their soldier-like persona’s.

6. Did certain parts of the book make youuncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a newunderstanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not havethought about before?

No, because I was there.

7. Was there a basis for your story? A previousexperience? Something else?

Yes, this is ‘based on a true story” and sensitive events and names were change to protect tactics and active duty members. But the story follows pretty close to what we did, condensed to not overload the reader with too many combat situations, unnecessary/forgettable explosions, battles and jargon to lose them.

8. What research did you have to perform to backup your story? Any research which really opened your eyes or gave you newrespect for a topic or profession?

Its my profession.

9. What is your method for writing a book? Acertain amount of hours every day? A certain routine? Are you character/storybuilder or an outliner or some other method?

I tried to get into a routine and spend a little time everyday working on it. Reading the story from the beginning each time I sit down to add to it. This helped me add/delete to the existing manuscript along with knowing where it should go from there. I began with a long Timeline on a sheet of paper with a beginning and and end, and just recalled things that happened and penciled them into the timeline where they occurred. Writing about one scene would clue me in to add another somewhere in the timeline. I started with a few things on the line but by the time I was through, the line was full of additions that I had to rank in order of importance or else the book would have been 1000 pgs. Using the actual guys on the Team made it easy to write about them because they are all extreme characters in real life, it made it easy to work with what I already had.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this blabber. I’d love to get your feedback on my story. Let me know if you need anything else from me. I’d be happy to send you a copy as well if you’d like for you or anyone you know who is in the Military now that might like a signed copy. Thanks for what you do!

Scott A. Zastrow

Digital Book Today: First, thank you to all the men and women who serve our country. They don’t hear “Thank You” enough. Listed below are some ways to communicate with Scott.

Visit – The Deguello Website

Facebook –

Twitter @TheDeguello

Find The Deguello on Amazon.

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