About Rian Patrick

They say, ‘it’s better to have a plan and deviate from it than to have no plan at all.’

The exception might be when you’re 18, fresh out of high school and not digging college in the least. Some of us just have to learn the hard way, I guess.

I joined the Navy in the 80’s and before I was out of bootcamp I’d signed up to go to SEAL training. One of the first questions I get asked is whether or not Basic Underwater Demolition-SEAL or BUD/S is as hard as they say it is. My short answer is, yes. It challenged me in ways I had never been challenged before.

Everything I’d done prior to BUD/S, big wave surfing, competitive swimming, moto-cross, long-distance running had prepared me for the physical challenges. It was the mental challenges that required me to dig deep and push to make it through. I made it through and graduated with my original class.

Not knowing much about the ‘Teams’ and even less about BUD/S before I joined, made the years following graduation the most interesting of all. I like to say I grew up in the Teams. I not only learned who I was but learned what it meant to put my trust and faith in others – to work as a team. To serve without acknowledgment. To give willingly and receive humbly. To sacrifice and to make a difference from the shadows not the limelight.

When I really started writing, a couple years after I retired from the Navy, it was what I’d learned and witnessed in the Teams that I wanted to convey. My desire to be a storyteller, that I’d originally inherited from my father and grandfather, was fostered and stoked while in the SEALs. I’d learned, ‘you can’t bullshit a bullshitter, but you can certainly try. A lesson that was reinforced over and over in my 20 plus years in the SEALs. What are great storytellers if not great bullshitters.
I wasn’t as interested in the battles and the gunfights and the missions as you might have imagined. That was not what I saw as the primary material for my stories. It was the men (and women) I served with, the kind of people they were – deep down inside, that intrigued me. And although war is fascinating and certainly can make for great storytelling it was these very same men and women and my image of who they would ‘become’ after their service that aroused my curiosity, my desire and my passion to write.

One of my main characters was a support person at a SEAL Team during his time in the Navy. Another became an amputee only a few years into his time in the Teams. And yet another had spent nearly twenty years in the SEALs. All three characters are hard and gritty and race off the page at breakneck speed, but it is their time in the service of their country that gives them their depth of character and their capacity to overcome the challenges they encounter in each one of their stories.

A strong and complex, if not somewhat flawed, main character that interacts with the world in fun, meaningful and exciting ways has always been what has kept me reading to the last page – I hope that my characters do the same for you. Happy reading.


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