Monday, September 3, 2018

Interview with 'Three Brothers' Joerg H. Trauboth @jorg2dots

Joerg H. Trauboth (Wikipedia) was born just outside of Berlin in 1943 during an air-raid. He discovered his love for writing early in his career as an officer and was awarded top honors by the General Inspector of the German Bundeswehr. Along the way, he flew over two thousand flight hours as a Weapons Systems Officer and instructor in the Phantom RF4E (in which he survived two critical lightening strikes). After a training in George AFB (CA), Major Joerg H. Trauboth flew the  Phantom F4F  and finally – followed by another conversion training in Cottesmore (UK) –  the Tornado aircrafts. Trauboth became a General Staff Officer in the Military Academy of the German Armed Forces in Hamburg-Blankenese and enrolled as LtCol  in the NATO Defense College in Rome. He has served in the German national operational headquarters as well as in the NATO Headquarters in Brussels as the German representative in the areas of Crisis Management, Operations, and Intelligence.

At the age of fifty, he retired early from his post as a Colonel in the German Air Force to become a Special Risk Consultant at the Control Risk Group in London. He was trained and engaged in negotiating extortion and kidnapping situations in South America and Eastern Europe.
The former Colonel, eager to start making money on his own soon founded the Trauboth Risk Management company. He received a startup award and quickly made a reputation for himself internationally as an top-notch crisis manager in Europe. During his time as CEO, he conceptualized crisis prevention strategies for a number of European companies and employed a 24-hour task force to protect them from product tampering, product recalls, kidnappings, and image crises. He was also a co-founder and the first president of the European Crisis Management Academy in Vienna and wrote a standard reference book on the subject of crisis management for companies at risk of threat.
Today Joerg H. Trauboth is an author, filmmaker with more than 75.000 youtube clicks, and an enthusiastic Grumman Tiger pilot. (See this latest night flight-video here. And if you want to know who his favorite Co-Pilot is, have a look here.)  The crisis manager and active pilot has served as the European Director and President of the US – based international American Yankee Pilots Organization.

His advice on crisis management is continually sought after and he is present as expert in radio and television interviews regarding his opinion on  international crisis situations.

Joerg H. Trauboth has been  53 years married with Martina. They have two sons, three grandchildren, and both live near Bonn, Germany. In addition, Trauboth voluntarily contributes his expertise to the Crisis Invention Team of the German Federal Foreign Office in Bonn and reads from his fiction and non fiction books on readers’ tours followed by discussions with his readers about the dramatically changing world.

Joerg’s latest book is the thriller, Three Brothers.



About the Book:

Author: Joerg H. Trauboth
Publisher: Ratio Books
Pages: 581
Genre: Thriller

Marc Anderson and his two commando brothers Thomas and Tim are highly respected elite soldiers in the secretive German Commando Special Forces, the KSK. Together with the American Navy Seals, they successfully rescue the crew of a downed American F-15 tactical fighter jet in the Hindu Kusch Mountains under a barrage of heavy fire from the Taliban. However, their next mission – in Northern Iraq – to save two German hostages taken captive by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ends in disaster for the three brothers in arms. The perfectly laid-out strategy of Operation Eagle is betrayed, causes Marc, Thomas, and Tim to narrowly escape death. The German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) starts the hunt for the informant.

The devoted commando brothers decide to leave the KSK and start a new career together as security advisors with a family-owned company based in Cologne. But the terrorist activities of ISIS continue to determine their fate. The brothers are faced with one of their greatest challenges when ISIS kidnaps company heir Johannes Ericson and his partner Karina Marie. Moreover, the terrorists demand a ransom and extort the German government to immediately suspend its military intervention in the fight against ISIS. It is a race against time to save the couple from assassination.
Joerg H. Trauboth has written more than just an exhilarating novel. Three Brothers unites the current omnipresent threat of terrorism with the author’s first-hand experience as a crisis manager and a military and terrorism expert. The result is an unrivaled political thriller. In this gripping novel, Trauboth foretells possible scenarios for our society in light of the rise of radical Islamic terrorism. Read the full chapter 1 here …

Three Brothers is the English translation of the successful German thriller Drei Brüder (ratio-books), highly appreciated by thousands of readers, as well as military organizations and government officials alike. Jörg H. Trauboth’s storytelling skills can be compared to those of Tom Clancy and similar authors as James Patterson. The German version of the novel will also soon be available as an audio book.
Drei Brüder has been translated into English by (US native) Leanne Cvetan.



Thanks for this interview, Joerg. Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

I always loved writing. But due to my 29-year military service, the results were seen only by very few people - if not shredded. My dream was to write for a big audience. I started writing as author at the age of 50 after my retirement. I have produced 2 non-fiction books about Crisis Management and now my first thriller, Three Brothers. Today, I am 75 years old and already in the middle of my next political thriller. Writing keeps you young. A well-written thriller with the perfect plot is an unbelievable challenge. And translating that into another language is an additional one – for the translator, the publisher and the author.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

Fly my Grumman Tiger airplane and go for rides on my Russian Ural Tourist motorcycle, both with my little dog Carla who comes from Mallorca, Spain. The dog gets to sit on the Co-pilot seat and in the sidecar!

Congratulations on your new book “Three Brothers”! Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?

Chapter 1 Afghanistan

For the last five hours, a group of six men have been trudging through the dark, barren landscape of the vast Hindu Kush Mountains. The distant howling of a lone wolf accompanies them as does the cold wind, but the men don’t seem to feel the sting.

One of them stops abruptly. Marc Anderson, captain of the German KSK Special Forces Commando, raises his hand to his neck and decisively whispers into his throat mic.

“George, I see her. The nose of the aircraft is at eleven o’clock, the tail at two.”

George, the short, wiry Navy Seal One squad leader from Ohio, folds down the night vision lens mounted on his helmet. For whatever reason, the fighter jet did not explode, but the debris is still smoldering.

“Copy that, I’ll inform Bagram Air Base.”

“Charlie Force from Echo Force – over.”

“Echo Team – go ahead – over.”

“We found the jet – now searching for the crew – over.” “Roger Echo Team – we’re waiting for your response – over.”

As unorthodox as it is, the Navy Seals insisted on having German elite soldier Marc Anderson with them on the mission. He is one of the few soldiers who knows the area, located deep in the hinterlands of Afghanistan, better than anyone else on account of a number of earlier missions in the region. At only 27 years old, the tall, slender soldier from the southern German town of Calw has already achieved legendary status among the American and British Special Forces.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

Not a rocky road at all, if you feel that the story is already in your head.  As former crisis management consultant I was consulting a family whose daughter and her partner were kidnapped from a sailing boat in the Philippines by the terrorist organization Aba Sayyaf. The couple were captured six months and survived unbelievable physical and psychological pains. Her family as well since the received nearly no information about the negotiation process by the German government. Normally a professional kidnap consultant who takes care of family, police, media and negotiations is being exchanged after 4-6 weeks to recover also from own emotions. The family insisted that I stay. I agreed. I couldn’t let the 81 years old lovely mother alone. And also not because my ethic standards as social crisis advisor person for the church in my hometown Bonn called for staying with the family.
I felt okay but here I did something new which helped me to create more distance to the case. I started as a kind of own supervision a political kidnap thriller but used only few points of the real case.  I created my own heroes in a 570 pages story which my readers name as an “incredible page-turner”. Between the lines you learn about the management in a kidnap case which is often a dirty and always dangerous business “life against money”, about the brutal terrorist organization ISIS and the difficult governmental crisis management which officially does not allow to pay ransom.  Seventy percent of the drama in “Three Brothers” is a part of my life, the rest is fiction. After that, I felt much, much better. And last but not least: the couple was released and I will never forget how Mam embraced her daughter upon her arrival at the Frankfurt airport coming suddenly through a secret door. I sat down and continued to write, sometimes day and night.

Since the investigations did not take too much time and the plot has been more or less in my head this book was written in about 6 months. But don’t ask me how much effort was needed to find the publisher, the lector and to correct and adjust it. To translate it into another language and to recheck this required another 5 months, and this was fast. I learned that it takes 30 % to write a book and 70  % to make it well and aware.

The follow-up book to Three Brothers will be just as much work. I know what my readers expect and my aim is to maintain at least the same level of a well-written page-turner.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

The exciting mission of three young elite soldier finding themselves

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

The storytelling is set in the real world and it is a page-turning thriller up to the end. 

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

This 570-page book does not need a holiday. Several readers reviewed that they needed 48 hours and forgot the world round them. But if I really have to choose, I would say, it’s a great summer read.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

With protagonist Marc Anderson, I have created the perfect star for the next book which will be a political thriller as well. But not in Berlin this time. It will be an international White House thriller. The investigation has already started.

What’s next for you?

Going flying with my dog Carla and searching for a movie producer for Three Brothers. My readers can’t wait to see the brothers-in-arms and my Madame Chancellor on screen!

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