The inspiration for creating Nathan McBride has its roots in my admiration of our nation’s veterans. I wanted Nathan’s adult history to begin as a Marine Corps scout sniper before serving as a CIA operations officer.Andrew Peterson
So who is Nathan McBride at the core?
In a single word; Conflicted. Nathan is compassionate, disciplined, and honorable, but he’s also capable of being brutal, out-of-control, and at times, unethical. There is no definitive book of rules in Nathan McBride’s life. He adjusts his mindset to fit the situation. He knows all too well that the good guys can’t win if they always play by the rules. Imagine the outcome of a football game if only one team had to adhere to the rules.
Why did I make him a sniper?
When I began my career as a novelist, I was actively involved with the NRA’s high-power rifle competitions and I became a precision target shooter. My friends and I would shoot out to 1,000 yards with match-conditioned M1As and M1 Garands. We didn’t use optics, only iron sights. Often, we’d be shooting in high-wind conditions, so I learned to make exact wind corrections – which I believe is the hardest part of long distance marksmanship.
Making Nathan a scout sniper seemed like a good way to merge what I’d learned about shooting into a interesting thriller hero, and since I really admired the Marines, especially the recon units, Nathan McBride was born.
I made him an officer, which is quite rare for snipers. Most, if not all of the Corps’ shooters are enlisted, but I wanted to make him unique in more than one way. He and his spotter, Harvey Fontana, served in the 1/8 (First Battalion, Eighth Marines, the Beirut Battalion.) They lost many friends in the Beirut embassy bombing and they both swore personal oaths to avenge their fallen brothers.
They approached the CIA and were summarily recruited on the spot. Although they loved the Marines, the CIA became a perfect fit for their skill set. Before long, they were conducting covert ops all over the world. Nathan and Harvey speak six languages, including Arabic and Russian. Most of their ops were conducted in Central and South America.
What does Nathan look like?
At 6’-5” Nathan represents less than one tenth of one percent of Earth’s population. He’s lean and athletic and tips the scale at 240 pounds. He has deep blue eyes and graying reddish-brown hair that he keeps cropped short in the classic “high and tight” Marine Corps cut. He doesn’t think of himself as handsome—even though everyone else does.
He’s physically intimidating from three long scars that mar his face—grisly souvenirs from a botched mission. At the end of his career when he and Harvey were serving as “advisors” to the Contras in Nicaragua, Nathan allowed himself to be captured to ensure Harvey escaped. But that selfless act of heroism had a very high price. He endured three weeks of brutal interrogation at the hands of a sadistic madman before Harvey was able to locate and rescue him.
He’s never fully recovered, and knows he never will. Some things can’t be fixed, they just have to be accepted. Nathan has issues with trusting people. He’s got a short fuse, and he’s constantly fighting a battle to control his darker nature. Despite all he endured, he’s got a kind heart and sticks up for the little guy. He hates bullies and won’t stand idly by if someone’s being rude or abusive. If you want to ring Nathan McBride’s bell and see what he’s capable of, kick a dog in front of him!