Taylor Moore- Former CIA Intelligence Officer and Author of Down Range (#39)

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Taylor Moore (@rtaylormoore97) is an incredibly interesting guy, but we've got to get the hook out there first. Taylor is a former CIA Intelligence Officer turned author whose book, Down Range, has just been released! It's a great thriller set in the Panhandle of Texas.

We cover a lot of great stuff in here. Gun nuts, book lovers, and writers alike will love this episode.

Show Notes


Go start, and more importantly, finish a goal you have. If you can think of anything, we suggest starting and writing a book.

Down Range by Taylor Moore:

Down Range Cover via Taylor Moore

"n this action-packed debut thriller for fans of C. J. Box and Jack Carr, DEA agent Garrett Kohl fights to protect his home on the Texas High Plains when a vicious criminal enterprise comes after his family.

As a decorated undercover DEA special agent, Garrett Kohl has traveled the world—and fought in most of it—but it’s the High Plains of northwest Texas he calls home and dreams of returning to one day. Kohl is in the middle of an assignment in Afghanistan when his commander orders him back to Texas on a short mission expected to take a week at most. But Kohl is unsettled to discover that he’s moving from one kind of war to another.

The once-peaceful ranching community he loves is under attack by a band of criminals who have infiltrated law enforcement and corrupted local businesses, and are now terrorizing Kohl’s own family. Hoping to prevent bloodshed, Kohl tries to resolve matters peacefully. But when the group strikes first, he has no choice but to go on the attack.

Unfortunately for the crew of criminals, Garrett Kohl, besides being an elite undercover officer for the DEA, is a battle-hardened Green Beret who spent the better part of his career hunting terrorists. Although outnumbered and outgunned, Kohl knows the wild and forsaken Llano Estacado region of Texas better than anyone. And like so many trespassers before them, these murderers will find out the hard way that the only thing tougher than this land is the people who call it home."

Taylor Moore:

Taylor Moore

Taylor Moore is a sixth-generation Texan who grew up on a farm and ranch northwest of Houston. He is a former CIA Intelligence Officer who worked in both analysis and operations and later consulted for the Department of Defense in Theater Security Cooperation, Force Protection, and Counternarcotics. He now lives in the Texas Panhandle with his wife and two children, where he is a full-time author, screenwriter, and speaker. This is Taylor’s debut novel, and the first in a series featuring Garrett Kohl.




Harper Collins:


Jason Abraham with Rotor Recoil:

Nothing sounds more fun than shooting beautilful AR's from a fast moving helicopter. If you're in the panhandle, or willing to travel, come check these guys out.

Atacama Desert:

"The Atacama Desert (Spanish: Desierto de Atacama) is a desert plateau in South America covering a 1,600 km (990 mi) strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is the driest nonpolar desert in the world,[A] as well as the only true desert to receive less precipitation than the polar deserts and the largest fog desert in the world. Both regions have been used as experimentation sites on Earth for Mars expedition simulations. According to estimates, the Atacama Desert occupies 105,000 km2 (41,000 sq mi),[6] or 128,000 km2 (49,000 sq mi) if the barren lower slopes of the Andes are included.[7] Most of the desert is composed of stony terrain, salt lakes (salares), sand, and felsic lava that flows towards the Andes. "

John Talbot (Agent):

"John Talbot has over twenty-five years of book publishing experience as an editor and literary agent. As an agent, he has placed books at all of the major publishers and their imprints. His clients include New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and ABA Indiebound bestsellers, as well as several winners of national literary awards. He is a member of the AAR/AALA."

Episode Transcript

Andrew: [00:00:20]Hello, everybody. We are back with another episode. Hope you're ready. We havea super exciting guest today and we've talked about all of our guests are superexciting, but this one, this might be our next most famous guest. We'll seewhat happens. We're really hopeful though, that Taylor Moore, the author and exCIA agent will be the next big thing.

On today's episode,I'll give you a little bit of a bio on Taylor, because he really is aninteresting guy. And we're just going to read it off of his website and saveyou the time. So Taylor is a former CIA intelligence officer. He's a sixthgeneration Texan who grew up on a farm and ranch Northwest of Houston.

He received a degree in journalism from Texas a and M universityfollowed by a master's in public policy from Pepperdine university, where hestudied international relations and economics after traveling extensively andLatin America and completing a graduate level internship at the us mission tothe European union, Taylor went to work for the city.

He began his career in the directorate of analysis, whichincluded a rotation in its 24 hour operations center. And then moved on to thedirectorate of operations. The agency's branch charged with collection of humanintelligence and conducting covert action upon leaving the agency. Taylorbecame a consultant for the department of defense, utilizing his intelligentexpertise to assist the military and theater security cooperation forceprotection and encounter illicit traffic.

He now resides in the Texas panhandle out Amarillo with hiswife and two children where he is a full-time author, screenwriter and speaker.So that's, Taylor's official bio and man, is it cool now with that said, I wantto add my own spin on it. Taylor and I met because he drinks a lot of coffee atpalace and you see, in this guy, he looks interesting.

Like Taylor just has this look that. He's definitely a coolcat. I'm really excited to get into this. Personally. I've been very excited totalk to Taylor about this, and I've tried to hold back for, what's been goingon like two years now of seeing him working on his book and all this differentstuff with it.

Daniel, I'm sorry if I kick you out of this interview andjust gush over Taylor on this one. I've been holding it in for a while, soTaylor, welcome to dead by tomorrow. How's it going? How is your day? What haveyou been up to.

Taylor Moore: [00:02:27]Man. Everything's great. So first of all, thanks for the fantasticintroduction. I really appreciate that. Anne Andrew, Daniel, thank you for having me on the show. It's honor tobe here. Um, And things are going great. Just a lot of buzz in the run-up topub date, August 3rd. So, busy as can be, but happy and excited and just readyto do that.

Andrew: [00:02:47]That's awesome, man.  

Okay, Taylor,  we've got to get the exciting, really coolnews out of the way first. So everybody really knows why we brought you on,besides you being a really cool guy.

Taylor has written a book called downrange. And it ispublishing August 3rd, which is going to be right around when this episodereleases. So if you're hearing this episode, you need to go to Amazon. You needto go anywhere, you find books and go pick up a copy of Taylor Moore's bookdownrange. Now that sounds like marketing, and it sounds like an advertisement,but.

I got lucky enough to pick up a copy of Taylor's book fromhis publicist. I got an advanced reader copy, and I just finished it a few daysago and it is great. It is kind of based in the panhandle. And it's about thisguy named Garrett Cole, who is a. Drug trafficking enforcement, DEA guy, andI'm going to leave it there.

And that's, that's all I'm going to say on the plot but it'sgreat. It's totally worth a read, especially since a lot of our listeners arefrom that area. Yeah. You totally got to check out this book. Taylor's done alot of research he's from the area it's like living that life.

You always thought would happen when you were a kid. SoTaylor, no, that this book is finally done and you're finally about to releaseit in the way. Are you nervous?

Taylor Moore: [00:04:00] I'm a little nervous.I think I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit nervous? about it, butthe, you know, we've had quite a few bands. Copies go out and the feedback hasbeen overwhelmingly very positive. Um, So that makes me feel good. It makes myagent feel good and my editor too. so we're all pretty positive at this point,but yeah, you can't help, but be a little nervous, you know, because it all somuch work goes into this this endeavor and you just, you want people to likeit, you know, not just for the fact that I do this for a living, but when youwrite a book and, and you know, Andrew, because you're a writer.

Your whole heart, everything, your blood, sweat tears goesinto this work. And so it's not just a job. It is writing a book is who youare. And so, Yeah. I'm nervous that people won't like it, but, but like I said,yeah, I think so far we've had. Positive feedback on what people are reading.And again, appreciate your kind words about the book.

That means a lot to have a fellow writer enjoyed it and tosay such good thing. So I appreciate that, but yeah, , I'm a little bitnervous, but I'd say I'm more excited. I'm just ready to get it. out there.And,  you know, I've been doing thepromotion for the past few weeks to,  Youknow, kind of get the word out there and everything's positive. So I'm just,I'm, I'm happy. I'm nervous. And I'm here.

Andrew: [00:05:13] I get it. It really is afun book. There shouldn't be anything you're actually nervous about. I thinkpeople are going to love it. I thought it was great. And I'm not even usually athriller kind of guy, but it was a fun book. You really captured to me somemore of The nitty and gritty that some people probably don't get right onthrillers.

You got gun types, you've got kind of how the guns wouldwork. You got kind of strategy and combatives in there that felt more real tolife than maybe a traditional Tom Clancy novel or something else like that. Theauthor might be a little further away from the action and maybe watch too manyaction movies while he was writing.

I think people are going to love it. It's definitely a freshtake on thrillers and I've never read a thriller based in even Texas. So that'scool.

Taylor Moore: [00:05:55]Yeah.

Let, let me sort of address something really quick because Ithink it's important for people to know, particularly given the type of podcastthat we're doing. Getting those action scenes. Took a lot of work, but, but notonly that they were pretty bad. I don't want to say they were bad, but, but myagent, before we even submitted this thing, he really had me go back and andrework the action scenes.

They weren't that great when they started. And I've got alot of great feedback from people on those scenes, but it took a little, ittook a lot to get there. And and so basically what he told me to do, he gave meseveral exercises to. What a moment just basically, you know, find some of thegreat writers and, uh, you know, military thriller writers and just kind of seewhat they were doing.

So I would find these guys that, I have the same agentpublisher and editor as Brian Taylor who's former Delta force and who betterto, you know, who better to learn from than a guy like that. Who's been there.Then that bought the t-shirt and and so I've really studied some of these guysthat do it very well.

So that was one thing. Um, He gave me another exercise to do and I thought this wasinteresting. And I still do this even on book two. I do it. I would hit second,you know, go watch a war movie at a scene. Saving private Ryan and, you know,what's it opening 20 minutes or so. and just like close your eyes and hear thesounds, hear what's going on, then do the opposite, turn off the volume andjust watch the action, just watch what's happening.

And so I started doing these things and so it wasn't byaccident that the, that the scenes that have turned out to be. Part of the bookthat people really enjoy it was something that was not there to begin with andI really had to work and struggle to get there. Now on top of that, I know Ihad friends that are former green Berets, former Navy seals.

You know, I grew up shooting, I know a pretty good bit aboutyou know, weaponry and tactics, but not to the level of some of these guys thatare my friends. You know, I, I would send these chapters, these guys in andghost, you know, they would say like, you know, this is pretty good, but, butin written reality, you would not take out this guy, you'd take out this guyfirst or nobody would really do this thing.

Or you would need a mag change here or whatever it is, or itwasn't by accident again, that these were pretty good. I had I did a lot ofresearch along the way, and it just took a lot of rewrites and to get thosethings just how I wanted them. So, but I'm glad you're pretty.

Daniel: [00:08:09]That's so awesome to hear. And I know that mom, who was an English teacher, I'msure she's going to be taking notes as she hears this episode and will verylikely be. Having her class go through and do some of those same exercises. Imean, probably can't get away with having the class watch saving private Ryan.

It's a middle school,

Taylor Moore: [00:08:26]Yeah. Maybe not, but there's something Yeah. There'll be.

something else out there that they can

track03: [00:08:30]watch.

Taylor Moore: [00:08:30]Yeah.

Daniel: [00:08:31]For sure. And, and one thing that I tend to appreciate when watching movies,when reading books is just the moments where you can tell that the authorreally did do their homework on the little things really took the time to tryto kind of figure out what, what would this actually be like?

And what would a reader who knows what's going on? Whatwould they expect to see here? Lose them, because all I can take is one ofthose moments where I don't know, like you're saying you take out the wrongguy, you were like, okay, does this guy like, does he have a 50 round mag andhis pistol, like what's going on here?

All it takes is one of those moments to kind of break thatreality. And you can kind of lose that reader at the least. And they're kind ofnot paying attention, but then even a reader that doesn't know what's going on.Yeah. They can just, you can just feel it. You can feel it when. This issomething that there's been that care put into.

There's been all those small little details that have beencared for. I think that's great. I definitely applaud all of the effort thatyou put in there and your willingness to accept that feedback.

Taylor Moore: [00:09:32]Well, I appreciate it. And it's it's a skill that's hard to develop, but onceyou do develop it, it's kind of like, I dunno, playing the piano or doingwhatever it takes a while to get there. But once you have it, you have it, youknow? So I just turned in book two and I didn't struggle the way I did in the,in the first book to get those things.

Right. I think they came up more naturally because I've hadso much practice at this point. So just writing the aspiring writers out there,just. Because it's hard the first time it does get better. It does get easier.It is sort of a muscle memory that you'll, that you'll have as a writer. Onceyou get that skill down, you'll be able to do it the next time.

But, but that first line is that first time you're doingthese things is, is very difficult. but again, thanks for, thanks for now.

Daniel: [00:10:14]Yeah, of course. And my question on that is it's somebody who obviously caresso much about all of the little details and getting that right. What was itthat made you decide? Okay. I've, I've been to all over Latin America. I'vebeen to Antarctica. I've been to these crazy places, but I'm going to set mynovel in the Texas panhandle.

What drove that decision?

Taylor Moore: [00:10:38]So that's a great question with a very interesting story behind it. That wasnot my intent. when I first wrote my uh, book that I actually. Submitted to myagent, or I guess I should say got my agent with, it was more of a traditionalCIA that the protagonist was a CIA officer intelligence officer.

It, the whole book took place in south Asia. It was kindamore of, I guess you would call like your Vince Flynn Brad Thor type thrillernovel. So it was, it was very different from what your readers are going to seewhen this comes out.

Andrew: [00:11:07]Yeah,

Taylor Moore: [00:11:07]You know, August 3rd. This was my agents idea. I have an agent John Talbot.

Who's just a phenomenal, guy. He's a phenomenal editor is aphenomenal agent.  and it was really hisidea to maybe kind of change the setting and use a different protagonist.Character was, it was a side character in the, in the first novel and he justgravitated toward Garrett.

And honestly, I kind of did too. And other people, you know,Ida had some early beta. really liked him. He was different from what's outthere. He was likable. And so really it was my agent that, that kind ofsuggests that we'll look, why don't we use this guy? Why don't we bring themback here? And, and and try a story here.

Now, any writers out there who've gone to the trouble ofwriting a book and rewriting it several times only to have your agent. So.Let's just throw this in the trash and start something. well, You know, we'llrealize that that wasn't an easy decision. It wasn't an easy call. but it wasthe right thing to do.

It was a hundred percent the right thing to do. So again,you know, as this podcast on the sort of subject matter that you focus on thatthings that get you to where you want to be you have to. I'm not saying alwaystake every bit of advice, but if you have someone that you trust and someonethat that you admire, somebody that you think is a knowledgeable person and canhelp you to get your goals, get to where you were.

Like, my goal was to get on with a big publishing house andto get a good contract. And I did. Then you got to listen to those people andyou have to do whatever it takes to get there. So really that that's how it allcame about. was a discussion with my literary agent to kind of reset the wholefocus and scope of the book.

Andrew: [00:12:41]Man rewriting a whole book. Sounds rough. And that is such great advice. And we've talked a little bit about this onhere before. Our egos have to be checked at the door. If you want to do greatthings. Hell if you're going to do good things and not just be mediocre. LeBronJames has a coach, every buddy who has done anything impressive has a coach.

People have mentors. I think Warren buffet even has amentor. Like don't be afraid to find someone that knows more than you and dowhat Taylor did listen to them and they get you somewhere. Great. the deal withHarper Collins is no small thing. It many, many people, including Daniel, I. Tohave that opportunity to work with somebody like your editor and agent, that isa great resource and it, you shouldn't throw that opportunity to way because ofeco.

So people listening with hidden on before that isawesome,  

Taylor Moore: [00:13:28]Oh, you know, I was just going to add to that too, because exactly what youjust said, and it goes beyond, you know, book writing. I mean, you could prettymuch You know, in any profession or anything that you want to do and be at thetop of your game, you have to have those mentors.

You have to have those coaches and absolutely check your egoat the door because it will do nothing but hinder that progress. now just absolutely you hit the nail on the head.Everybody has a coach. And I have multiple, you know, I have my agent have myeditor, but I also have local writing mentors that have helped me along theway.

So I'm a big believer in the whole the idea of mentoring. Ithink it's wonderful. I think it's great. I wish there were more people outthere willing to do it. But absolutely if you're out there, no matter what, ifit's, it might not be in writing, it might be something else, but find someone.That that you admire, that you want to be like, that you want to get to thatlevel and seek out that person and ask for help.

Don't never be too proud or too scared or whatever it is. Ittake that time to reach out at least ask, all they can do is say no, but ifthey say yes, then the sky's the limit.

Andrew: [00:14:27]That's awesome. That is beautifully said.


So you worked for theCIA and you know what, we'll probably won't go into too much of that becauseone of the mystery of just the guy who worked at CA is a pretty cool topic andwe just want people to leave it up to their imagination and all that kind ofjazz.

But I do. Have a fairly soft spot for guns and your bookreally covered a lot of guns and a lot of different stuff there. And it showedthat you had a wide range of probably research experience with and all thatkind of jazz. So if I'm not overstepping, do you have a favorite firearm or two?And what is it and why?

Taylor Moore: [00:15:05] Well, So it'sinteresting you pick up on that because there was something I wanted to do in the book. Uh, That's a little bitdifferent. You'll notice, you know, Gary has sorta his go-to rifle. His go-topistol is his go-to knife and there's smaller companies. They're more maybeslightly more boutique than say, like a Smith and Wesson or a cult or somethinglike that.

Um, You know, he has this Nighthawk festival.  his, uh, lone star armory AR 15 is more makers,booty knife and all that. And so I like things that are sorta niche. You know,I like things that are a little bit different. And these, these the, theweapons that he uses are not Inexpensive weapons.

I don't necessarily own them myself, although I wish I did.There are definitely on a wishlist. But so my, you know, I have to, you know,for just personal protection, I had two Glocks that I use and, and, you know,Glock is just There's a, there's a lot to, not like about Glocks they'rethey're not very comfortable.

They're not very beautiful. But man, do they work? and, andthat's what, in a situation where you actually need them. That's what you want.So I own two blocks that I probably shoot the most in terms of pistols. And um,and I have an AR 15, that's kind of a Frankenstein. I don't even know.

That's a little bit of parts from everything that had beenput together, but it's fun. So when I do get to shoot, I've been so busylately. I do like to take my Glocks out or my uh, or my outfit.

 Andrew: [00:16:24] That's awesome. And all yougo out, caters out there. Don't hold it against Taylor here. I mean,

Daniel: [00:16:30]So I want to take a little time and. Dive into some of your own experiences,Taylor, and we can certainly circle back around to the book. And I, I wouldexpect that some of your own life experiences probably play into your writing,but on a personal level, I am an a and M grad. I see that you went there andthere's a lot of buzz right now with, a and M sec, I don't know if you keep upwith that.

So I'm curious, is that something, where do you keep up muchwith a and M traditions football, anything like that? Is it more, Pepperdine oris it you got your degree and then went on to bigger and better things fromthere?

Taylor Moore: [00:17:07]You know, it's funny. I really don't. and I, pretty much am an advocate. Ihave, let's see now one, two two nephews and a niece that are on their way to,or either they are on their way. And so I've always been a huge advocate forTexas a and M because I love the school, got a great education, but it's morethan that.

It's the people. and people all the time telling me thateven, even that didn't go to H and M. know, they, they like Aggies. I mean, youknow, just because I've worked with them or, you know, their friends orwhatever, and there's something different about the school there just really isit's, it's something that's I don't know.

It's just different as all I can say. And always, I kind ofjokes. One of my good friends uh, years ago was the biggest Longhorn thatyou'll ever meet.  and he used to say, Iremember one time he told me, he said, you know, if I had sons, I want them togo to UT. If I have daughters, I want them to go to HANA.

And I thought that's weird. I said well, why? And he said,because I wanted to marry Aggie guys, you know? And um, and so I took that as areally big compliment because he's the, the hugest Longhorn fan that you'veever seen. So now I'm a big fan of a and M but I'll be honest. I don't reallykeep up with sports that much.

You know, when I did kind of, you know, after I got out ofsomething that, you know, we just don't go to the games or watch them. And thenafter awhile, you know, of course I've lived in all these different places overtime. I just sorta got out of the habit and then once we started having my, I have a nine and seven, so like essentially a decade, my whole life hasrevolved around kids, you know?

So they don't give you time. You know, they don't give youthat three hours. You need the light, you know, sit there and watch a game. SoI've kind of gotten out of it. But yeah, I recognize, I guess I heard that. Youdidn't know you were going to join the sec and that's a big deal now, but I,other than just sort of people telling me about it, I really don't keep up withit.

um, but I, I get back a lot in my parents live in collegestation and so I get back there for a pretty good bit. So it was just amazingto see how much the school has grown and everything that's going on. And I onlysay, thank God I got in when I did, because I don't think I could get into it.It just gets harder and harder.

Daniel: [00:19:04]it's so different.

Taylor Moore: [00:19:05]It's, just, it's just totally different. So, but anyhow, no, no, definitelyloving. And I loved the experience that I had there.

Daniel: [00:19:11]All right. I love to hear that my wife's parents also live in college station,so I, I get over there a little bit as well. And I can totally relate on the, Iwas real close to all of the traditions in sports right after graduating. Yeah.As time goes on, we're going to have a good season, I'll pay a lot moreattention, but I can't do what I did before, where it's like, I'm going towatch this game, even if we're terrible and I'm going to still watch the wholething.

It's like, I have got some better things to do.

Taylor Moore: [00:19:37]Yeah. It kind of all that kind of changes over time. And, and again, I don'tknow if you have kids or anything yet, but once that happens there, just otherthings pop up and just sort of take over. So that's kind of what's happening.

Daniel: [00:19:49]Yeah, no doubt.


You mentioned thatyou've kind of gone and lived some other places. And so one is being in kind ofthe Latin America area. So I'd love to hear is that, was that primarily focusedin a specific country, a specific region? Cause I know a lot of times. When peoplepicture Latin America, they're probably picturing something like Narcos isprobably thinking like drugs, maybe thinking Rio.

But most of us haven't gone much further south than probablylike can tune in Mexico. So, so what is your experience?

Taylor Moore: [00:20:28]that's a great observation because. It's exactly like you just said. I thinkmost people, because we grew up in Texas, you know, there's a, there's a, youknow, we're we share a border with Mexico, so that's the influence that weknow. And we just kind of, a lot of people just sort of assume that everythingsouth of the border you know, for thousands upon thousands of miles, it's justlike Mexico and it's actually not, it's nothing like Mexico when you get downto south America, other than maybe the fact that they speak Spanish.

I spent, you know, so you asked the question, which country,so it was mostly Argentina and I did this pretty much about a year. I workedfor a year in Austin. I was my, I had my first job in the Texas state Senate.And then I ended up moving to Argentina because I wanted to improve my Spanish.I'd taken a bit while I was in college and did a study abroad in Mexico.

But my mom had grown up in south America because her dad wasin the oil business. And and so anyhow, I wanted to go to Argentina because I'dalways heard these wonderful things. Now the funny thing about Argentina, whenyou get down there uh, their Spanish is nothing like what you might speak inMexico.

I mean, absolutely nothing to the point. When I got off theplane and people started talking to me, I literally laughed at one point whensomebody said something because I had no idea what they were saying. And thenof course, you know, it was down there for about six months and, you know,mostly in Argentina, but I backpacked around to Chile or let's see where thekind of Southern part of Brazil Peru just kinda all over.

And that was when I, when I did the Antarctic, I think. So Ihad this sort of hodgepodge of Spanish by the time I'd made it across there becausethey're all very different, but yeah, it ended up with more of a, probably a,an Arjun time sort of accent. Crazy words because there's a heavy Italianinfluence and Argentina.

And so they've thrown a lot of these words that were reallyItalian. And so, yeah, it was, it was a kind of a wild experience, but that'smostly were where I spent my time, but I went a little bit all over. And Ithink I was going to go is improve Bolivia. I was going to go up to Ecuador andI think there might've been a coup or something.

So I turned around and Just backpack down. The other one waslike maybe next time, you know, probably not a good idea. So there were

Andrew: [00:22:31]as they do.

Taylor Moore: [00:22:32]yeah, yeah. It was kind of a I remember one night I was in and I was by myself,a lot of that, just backpacking. And I remember being in Bolivia and I rememberhearing all this like crazy stuff going on.

I thought it was like fireworks and I could hear peopleyelling and I was sitting in my little like crummy hotel room and I was like,man, maybe I should go check it out. Maybe it's like, cause I thought it waslike a poverty. No, it was like a riot and people were shooting and all thisstuff was going on and I could hear like cheery.

I thought it was cheering, but I guess people were justyelling. So it was a good thing. I didn't venture down there, but but yeah,there were some pretty wild experiences while I was there.

 Daniel: [00:23:04] barring Ecuador. You know,since you haven't been there cause they had a coup you spend a lot of time in RD Argentina. Is that the place that you would say to a listener who's wantingto go check out somewhere in south America. Would you say Argentina is a greatplace to go? Or would you say, Hey, yeah, maybe go, but like make sure you'rebringing a couple of those Glocks, like you mention.

Taylor Moore: [00:23:23]Yeah. You know, I have, so it's been years since I've been to Argentina. Let mejust say, it depends on what kind of experience you want, because Argentina isa lot like Europe. I mean, if you go down there if somebody, you know, pluckedyou into Argentina, but you know, said you were in Italy or something, you'd belike, Okay. yeah.

Or, you know, Spain, I mean, it's a lot like Europe  but I absolutely loved it in the, in thefood. I mean, it's not that there's a lot of beef down there because they havethese big cattle ranches. And there's a lot. I mean, the food is more Italiantroops, a lot of pasta and things like that. So it just depends on what kind ofexperience you're looking for.

But I absolutely loved Argentina and it was a place I couldlive. I could, I could still live there. And there's a, the kind of Northernregion and I spent a good bit of time there on tobacco plantation. Gavel Ridgeuh, it reminded me a lot of Texas that are reminding me of where I grew up andthe people were just kind of, it's just kinda more rural and the people werejust sort of friendly and nice, and it was a slower pace and but every, everyplace has something good about it, you know?

So it was, you know, again, like I said, it was kinda like.As an American, you're not going to really miss a beat that much, going toArgentina, maybe even chili. I saw like more chili than probably 99% of theChileans. Cause I started at the very bottom. Took a cattle boat through thoseislands. If you look at a map of chili, it's all, islands at the bottom.

And I took this cattle boat, for like three days to get tosort of the mid middle part of chili. And it's spending the,  the millennium. They're at an active volcanoand Buccolam,  and that was just thewildest, most fun experience I've ever had and went to the Atacama desert,which I guess supposedly is the driest desert in the world and went all throughthere.

And then I had some Indian guides that took me over theedge. And to Bolivia and then, kind of made my way around Bolivia. went throughPeru, did the Inca trail. So hike the Inca trail with a guy up to Machu Picchuand then came back down went back through Bolivia again and kind of got trippedonto this.

That was supposed to be a direct trip to back to Argentina.Three days later, I'm, I'm winding around through the jungles of Bolivia, withlike really like Indians. I mean, it was just the craziest thing and, um,gotten tricked on this bus, so it wasn't a great experience.

I really didn't sleep for probably three days. Cause I mean,you literally, at some point. You know, we were having to get out and push thebus through the mud and, you know, that's stuck in the jungle and and it wasjust uh, yeah, I kind of knew that I'd been taken advantage of for whateverreason anyhow, but and then kinda got caught up at the border there.

And that was, that was a wild scene. Cause I, I didn'trealize this at the time, but it was a pretty major cocaine trafficking routein Argentina. So the Argentinian military stuff was at the border. Hold us upfor a while, then pull us over again. And I mean, they, it was the middle ofthe night and they took me to this weird back room and kind of interrogated mea little bit.

And I mean, they could believe it or not this all before myCIA experience,  So, I guess I had alittle bit of, preemptive training or whatever, but it was fun. So as you'reasking, like where should people go pure were like, I never want to go thereafter hearing these stories, but you don't have to do that.

You don't have to do the backpacking thing. Like just stickto the, main path and you'll be fine. I just didn't do that.


Daniel: [00:26:34] So as you're talkingthrough all of this, I almost wonder, like at some point in time, do you expectto write an autobiography, just sharing all of your stories and, or is theintent to sort of weave all of that in, throughout your fiction novel base?

Taylor Moore: [00:26:51]Hmm. You know, I never even thought about like, you know, doing anautobiography, but I don't know. Cause I haven't really done anything. Bemaybe, I guess maybe, maybe there is something worth writing down on, on that.

Daniel: [00:27:01]If you were about to say you haven't done anything interesting. I would have todisagree.

Taylor Moore: [00:27:05]Yeah, I guess, I guess it is interesting, you know, when it's, you, you don'treally think about it. You just sort of, you just do it. You're just doing yourlife. You don't really think that it's interesting, but I guess it is.  Yeah, I don't know, for me it's more we've Iguess we've at this point, weaving them into the stories, you know, because everybody,you know, when you're a writer, Every character is someone, or, you know, as Isay, every one of my characters are about five different people and, um, butyeah, at this point it's more just weaving those, those people into thestories.

And yeah. So th th th those influences, they just make youwho you are and they, and they, and as a storyteller naturally, the people Imet along the way, just, I couldn't create better characters for my books thanthe ones that I actually met in real life. Yeah. Just bonkers, you know?

Andrew: [00:27:47]You have some pretty interesting characters. So I'm glad you're, you're livingthe life to the fulls from the sound of it, because that's how you. I don'tknow where I saw this, but somebody somewhere was like, Hey, if you're notliving a full life, you basically have no business writing

Taylor Moore: [00:28:00]Yeah.

Andrew: [00:28:01]it. You can't write about anything if you haven't experienced anything.

So I will see you on that next dose at keys commercial forthe world's most interesting man, it sounds like

Taylor Moore: [00:28:08]That'd be great. I love those commercials. So that'd be, that'd be wonderful.That'd be a dream

Andrew: [00:28:12]isn't that the dream, that's what we all want in life.


Let me jump again, back to the book a little bit. So like Isaid, I just finished reading up the art pretty recently, and I don't want togive too much away, but was there a scene in there or a particular section ormaybe a part that you wrote that didn't make it into the book that was yourfavorite?

Did you have a favorite part of the book writing or scenethat you wrote or anything like that?

Taylor Moore: [00:28:40]Yeah, so, you know, it's fine. So I'll give you a couple of examples becausethose are both really good questions. And you know, the, the part of the story,I didn't tell you, you know, when, when my agent, you know, wanted me torewrite the book, I always joke around I usually tell this joke along with thatstory, I said, you know, my agent was nice enough to let me, I flung myself ontothe floor and started wailing, you know, and kicking and screaming.

And then he waited around until I got back, pulled myselftogether, you know, and I said, Okay.

Let's do this thing. And and so, you know, obviously thatwasn't an easy thing to do, but I probably woke up next morning, I think atlike three in the morning. Unable to really sleep thinking. Can I really dothis?

Can I really write, because it's not just rewrite a book,it's rewriting a series. I mean, the whole series would be based on this. So asa writer, you're thinking that through like, how am I going to build out theseries and make it hopefully long lasting? So I got a bit three. And so I satdown and said, can I do this?

And the scene that I wrote, and I'm not trying to give toomuch away. It's probably the first chapter that I ever wrote in the book. Andit's probably my favorite. And it was the one where Garrett comes home for thefirst time and meets and sees his dad again. And you may remember it, you know,it goes into the house and has this conversation with his dad and all that.

And when I wrote thatchapter, it was the easiest chapter I've ever written.  and that's when I knew I was onto somethinglike, Yeah.

this works. And somehow this dynamic works.  and there was no fight and getting the wordsdown and my, my fingers couldn't type as fast as I want them to go to get, toget that stone, you know, that storyline and that dialogue out.

And so that's probably one of my favorites, you know,because it was the first and it sort of set the dynamic and the tone for theseries.  You asked about the chaptersthat have been delayed. There's some good, there's some really good ones that Ithink were deleted. And I know why,  butthey're one of my favorite ones was a comical scene where one of the bad guysgoes to buy drugs at a truck stop.

like, it's just a funny thing. Cause we've all been, youknow, on the I 40, you know, we stopped at one of these I 40 truck stops andit's, it's one of those it's the middle of the night. And you always see theseweird, like 18 wheelers, like. Back. And you're going to like, man, what'sgoing on there.

And so it's this guy, you know, race middy, the guy that,weaving his way through and it's just a funny exchange that happens, but thatone got that, that one didn't make it in. And uh, and I had a, at one point atorture scene that I guess was too over the top kill bad, but it was a reallyfun, cool scene what was written in and it didn't make the cut.

So Yeah.

there were two chapters I really liked, but again, Iunderstand why they, took them out.  butthey were fun to write. And maybe, maybe after this, I might have to go rereadthem again. Cause I Just I enjoyed them now.

Andrew: [00:31:14] Just saving that torturescene for book two. It'll it'll make it. I bet.

Taylor Moore: [00:31:17] Book two's already inso, but yeah, so it didn't make it in, but

uh, but maybe Book


Andrew: [00:31:23]maybe 12. What do you know? How far are you

Taylor Moore: [00:31:25]Yeah. Something.


Andrew: [00:31:32]it was interesting getting you onto this podcast because we worked with yourpublicist, which was kind of exciting You know, a lot of our people that come on, it's usually pretty direct.And in your case, you actually have somebody that's in charge of your life. Sowhat has it been like going the traditional published route and, and was itdifficult?

Was it as difficult as everybody says it is? Has it been asrewarding as everybody expects it to be What is the career trajectory feel likeof being a writer on a traditional publishing route? we've talked about writingand I'm sure you've done plenty of episodes elsewhere with other people aboutthe writing experience, but on a career experiences, what I'm looking for, whatis it like having shifted from the CIA of all places to what is a hopefulwriter with, staying at home kind of thing to actually being a career.

have a career now, at least for a little bit, it might notbe forever, but you have officially the careers, a writer now, what is thatlike?

Taylor Moore: [00:32:27]It's really strange, to be honest with you. And Yeah,

you mentioned the publicist and, you know, even these words,like agent and publicist, they sound like something that you would see on TV.Right. You know? You, you would watch someone who has an agent and a publicist.And I never thought I would be one of those people who have that.

I think you almost feel kind of weird and pretentious orsomething even saying it, but it's just the reality of, of being with, youknow, a Harper Collins or, you know, a big publisher. That's how it works. I'llalso say this and this isn't one of those things that people just say.

My wife will in my kids. Good. Could back this up. I havenever, in my entire life, worked this hard work. This many hours work nearly,constantly all the time. Seven days a week uh, sometimes getting up at three,four in the morning. To, to get things done this past. So when I turned in booktwo, which I worked seven days a week on to make my deadline and you're seeingme, you've seen me at the palace, you know, pulling out my hair, you know, allday long, every day, seven days a week.

And and only to turn in that second book to just, to, tothen dig out of all the marketing and publicity and all the things that goalong with selling the book. This last week, I think I was working everymorning from maybe six in the morning to nine o'clock at night, trying to getall that done. And I'm still working and worked all day today, writingarticles, doing all these things that are part of the marketing side of it.

So I, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, but youask what it's like realistically, it's very hard work. It's very time consumingand it's fun. I enjoy it. But it's exhausting and you know, and it's notwithout its drawbacks and time, you know, missing out time with your family.You know, my family, we were all gonna take trip to Florida and the kids we'regoing to go to the beach for the first time.

And they went, I did it, I stayed behind to finish the book.and this is just kind of ramping up as the book comes out, you know, I've gotevents to go to that. I'll be on the road a little bit. And this is still a sortof COVID era  most things are virtual atthis point.

There's a few things I'm doing in first person, but um, butonce things are back going full steam ahead, you know, there's going to be alot of time on the road. so on the one hand, it's very, very rewarding andvery, very cool and surreal to think that I'm doing this as a, you know, forliving.

It's also a lot of hard work and You know, you make decentmoney, but you earn it, man. You know, you really if I, if I probably brokethat in the amount of hours I put in it, it's probably, not as good as youthink it is, but

it's good. It's enjoyable. And yeah. And there is, you know,you know, you've talked about careers and things on this podcast. There's thatold expression always heard and kind of thought was dumb uh, until now. But youknow, there's that one that's like, if you ever find what you're meant to do,you'll never work another day in your life. And. This is what I was meant to dothis. This is honestly what I was meant to do. I guess the reason for that, I, the reason I know is because I'm doingit, you know, like I, I'm putting this this many hours and this much time intoit.

it's not to say it's not exhausting or that, you know, therearen't days that I wake up and go, man, I just love it. Do nothing, you know?And our go go, you know, shoot my guns or do whatever, you know, I have a dayoutside. So it is hard, but, but yes, it's very rewarding.

Daniel: [00:35:33] After that, let me firstsay that again, you so much for just taking the time to come on and talk toAndrew. And I mean, that just really underscores the, value of it. Of thattime. So very appreciative. And earlier you, you mentioned, or you kind of madea comment, like not sure if I have kids yet or not.

I have a nine month old daughter. And so as somebody whohas. A young daughter and has a family. And I'm certainly not working the hoursthat you're working, but I'm staying fairly busy. I'm curious, once you kind ofget to that level where you're having to spend a lot of time, you're having tomake those sacrifices.

What are some of the things that you are doing to still, getthat family time to still kind of make them a priority and try to balancebetween those two things.

Taylor Moore: [00:36:16]Yeah, I think you just have to take your moments when you, when you can getthem. And so it may not be the big, huge, you know, three, four day trip toFlorida or whatever. Um, But it might just be like, Hey, let's go outside andkick the soccer ball for 15 minutes or let's sit in a minute and play with Legos.

Or, you know what I mean? Just like, it's like those littlemoments or let's just, you know, share a meal or do whatever it is and, orwatch cartoons or just something small and something simple, something that Ican, you know, go, sit and sit with the kids and watch a cartoon with them. 20minutes.

And then, you know, as they get engrossed in the cartoon,then you slip off back to the office and start riding again and start doingsome marketing stuff or whatever it is. It's just taking those little momentsand, you know, kind of making them.

Andrew: [00:37:01]That is awesome. And I like it, it sounds like having kids makes you almostappreciate your time more, which makes you probably work harder during thattime that you do have. So I personally run into that all the time where I setaside time for work and I ended up Jack around or, you know, running off.

Doing too many errands because I can just do whatever I wantcause I don't have kids. So I appreciate that. That's a great answer.


  Taylor, I knowwe've gotten some really good stories out of you already. So for everybody thatuh, loves that part of this episode. Then we have more for you. This is theofficial Storytime question. What would you like to share? Do you have anystories you want to put out there?

anything crazy, interesting, boring, mundane, orunbelievable that you want to give our audience?

Taylor Moore: [00:37:52]I don't know. Can you be more specific?

Andrew: [00:37:55]Of course. Uh, we'd like to get specific maybe. So you are, you know, we we'rein Texas. You're doing a book. So let's talk about the book. Was there anythingresearch in the book that you're like, man, this is a great story. Being awriter is so cool because I get to go to these things that are not writing.

Taylor Moore: [00:38:10]Yeah. So, so I think that's a good, yeah, that's perfect question. I thinkthere's so many things that sort of made their way into the book. Uh, You know,people ask me one of the favorite characters that readers have been telling meabout is Bush Colt, you know, Garrett, that, uh, and so people always want toknow like, is he a real person or, you know, whatever.

And I'm like well, you know, it's like everything else. Imean, I say like, everybody's sort of multiple people, but there was thisincident that I had when I was working as an oil and gas land man up here, youknow, in the panhandle, which a lot of those stories sort of. You know, maketheir way into the book at least, you know, just because of the people that Iknew and the things I had done along the way.

At one point I had this guy who he basically you know, I wasdealing with him on this issue and hip called me up and cuss me out, call meup, cuss me out. Uh, And so one day we, we kinda got to the end of this issue.He called me up, pressed me out. I just took it as usual, you know? Yes sir.Yes.


Or whatever, you know, and, and then it kinda got to the endof That And it's like, the world needs more men. Like you. I was like, okay.And he's like, yeah. He said, you know, I'm just like you you've done a reallygood job. I mean, and so he would do this complete, like 180 and just like wentfrom, you know, tearing me up one side down the other, and then we kind ofbecame friends after that, you know?

It's yeah, it started asking me about. Where I was fromwhere I went to school, you know, and we just sort of became friends. And thatwas one of those weird kind of crazy, you know, stories of, of the panhandlethat um, that was a pretty big influence on that Butch Cole character, becauseit was a guy that, you know, even Garrett.

His own son doesn't understand the guy, you know, and healmost gets roped into these arguments or fights with his dad. He's like, Nope,Nope, can't do it. I think this is going to be no win.  uh, it just, you know, as soon as his dadsays something crazy, he'll say something really kind and nice and thoughtful.

And so I guess that's one of the stories that affected thebook. There's another one, you know, As always up there there's, you know,obviously the Barrett's a DEA agent. There's quite a bit of in, in the book,you know, obviously without giving away any spoilers, there's, there's somecrime and drugs and things that are going on.

And that was something that I began to. Here about when Iwould, you know, ask people like what's going on in the drug world up here,everybody had some stories about things that were happening in places wheredrugs were being trafficked, places that weren't safe necessarily, and even,you know, money laundering, schemes, and those kinds of things that were goingon these otherwise in these otherwise pretty quiet communities and the Texaspanhandle, the smaller towns.

And so nothing really specifically You know, story-wise, butit was just, it was just being around and talking to people and getting to knowpeople. And the more they got that, I got to know them, the more they wouldsort of, you know, open up and tell me some, some wild some wild things thatwere happening.

And, and so that was fun. And you know, through, throughdoing my oil and gas work, ended up meeting a guy named Jason, Abraham, whodoes uh, he has a Mendota ranch up there and he has this. A company called arotor recoil. And so he's a helicopter pilot, but he'll he can take youshooting. You go up there and you go shooting targets of, from a helicopterwith an AR 15.

And so is it like fun goes in terms of doing research forthe book? That was probably my all time favorite experience. I mean, there'snothing like from a helicopter. I don't know. It's just, I've had a lot of coolexperiences and a lot of fun. That was probably my first.

Andrew: [00:41:29] That sounds like anabsolute blast. I need to go find that guy and hop up there myself because Ican't imagine anything more fun right now than that.

Taylor Moore: [00:41:37]Is, it is absolutely worth it absolutely worth it. It is beyond fun and, andit's beautiful country. So not only, you know, I went with a friend of mine andwe, as we left we both kind of agreed that the problem with doing that is thatit. Too. It's like sensory overload. You know what I mean? Because it's fun toshoot these real, he's got these really awesome AR fifteens with amazing opticsand all that.

So that alone would be like so much fun to go to shoot thesethings, but then you're up in a helicopter seeing the beauty of it, you know,the cap rock, the Texas panhandle and around Canadian. I mean, it's justabsolutely beautiful. So you're, it's just breathtaking. Seal that, and thenyou're like whizzing around in a helicopter, doing all these deep dives and,you know, spinning around.

there's just so much going on. You kind of leave going whatjust happened here, but, but it it's it's yeah, it's an absolute fantastictime. So I recommend it to anyone. That'd be interesting again. So I'll call itrotor, recoil, just look it up and Jason's such a cool.

fun guy and funny, and just a great guy to spend the day.

Andrew: [00:42:39]That's awesome. We'll definitely throw it on the show notes with all the linksto your book and everything with your website. So that'd be cool. Check it outguys.  one last thing before we wrap up, Taylor,do you have a challenge for the audience?

Taylor Moore: [00:42:50]So I w you know what, I was asked this question before in an interview, and Ithought it was a really good one and it's specifically for writers. So, but,but it doesn't have to apply for writers. It could apply in, in, in you know,an, a variety of different things. people ask for any advice for somebody whowanted to be a professional writer, and I said, start and finish a book.

So what I mean by That is you know, a lot of people, youknow, when I, I I've written several at this point, you know, many of them, Imean, there's only one that's coming up, that'd be published at this point. Youknow, a lot of them are just sitting on my computer. But yeah, when I toldpeople that I finished a book, I can't remember how many writers would say.Like man, that's an accomplishment. A lot of people start a book, but neverfinish it. And that's really the heart of writing a book. Right? I mean,anybody can just create all these problems. The hard part is like bringing itall together in a meaningful way  thatgives the reader satisfaction.

That is clever. Yeah. Like if you're writing a series thatleaves you open for the next book, that's really the hard part. So I would sayto people, you know, if you want to just write to write it, because it's whatyou enjoy and it's fun, then, you know, start a million books. But if youreally think you want to do this for a living and are not even to do it for aliving, if you really think, man, I just want to self publish a book orwhatever.

Um, Make that a goal that you will not only start the book,but you're going to finish it. And again, it sounds very simple, but it'ssomething that not a lot of people do. And, and Andrew, you know, cause you've writtenbooks, there's something to that. There's some, there's a real satisfaction tonot just starting a project, but actually finishing it.

And so I guess the, you know, for people that aren't writersyou could apply this  other endeavors inlife, but if you're going to do something, start it and finish it, even if younever want to do it again, just make sure you've done it that one time. And Iguess that'd be a challenge.

I'm just challenged people, whatever you have with what's onyour plate. If you said I always wanted to run a marathon, don't just like, sayI'm going to go run a few times. I mean, start and finish one thing and, andjust, and just so you can check that box, there's something about checking thatbox.

That's really good. So that'd be my challenge.

Andrew: [00:44:49]That is beautifully said. And I wholeheartedly support that kind of challengebecause I do think that is something that we, we lack as a society we lackfollow through on that kind of thing. And I think it'd be really good. Forpeople, if they start doing that kind of follow through on stuff that they planon doing, especially starting and finishing a book, whether or not it's goingto be.

Right. That's great. That is so good.    Taylor, thank you so much for coming onDaniel and I truly appreciate your time. I know you are. Far more involved inyour day-to-day life than a lot of people, especially right now. Thank you somuch for the opportunity to get in and talk to you for everybody listening.

Please go check out this book. It really is great. It'sreally cool. Having a local author do something so big and so interesting,  you're going to love it. It's really fun.Especially you guys from Amarillo or the people who are curious about thisAmarillo that Daniel and I are always talking about.

It's definitely worth checking out. To everybody listening.Thank you. We look forward to connecting with you soon and Taylor, thank youagain. We really appreciate it.

Taylor Moore: [00:45:47]Hey guys, thank you for having me on seriously. This is an honor to be on andtalk with you guys and a lot of fun. So I don't, I know I'm busy, but I don'tmind at all. cause this is what I enjoy talking about. So this is, this is funfor me. I appreciate it.

Andrew: [00:45:58]Anytime I man, guys they'll have a good one.