The striped towels, deck chairs and palm fronds outside Rockefeller Center lent the Today Show set a distinctive summer vibe as Matt Lauer told viewers, “The Fourth of July weekend’s almost here, that means beaches, barbecues, and books.” The thriller writer Brad Thor, a regular guest, brandished a copy of his own latest volume, “Use of Force.”
“Didn’t ‘Foreign Agent’ just come out?” Mr. Lauer asked.
“That was last summer’s book,” Mr. Thor answered.
“Was it really already last summer?” Mr. Lauer said, a hint of disbelief in his voice.
It was. And it’s a safe bet the next novel featuring Navy SEAL turned intelligence operative Scot Harvath will arrive like clockwork next summer. Only once in the past 16 years has he not published a single book.
That was in 2010, when he published two.
“I was glued to my desk and got two books out that year,” Mr. Thor said in a recent interview at the Manhattan restaurant Oceana. “I suddenly looked and there was my sweet dog, got older, I was like, ‘Wow, this year took a toll on everybody.’” Yet, from his insatiable fans, “the complaint I’m getting is I don’t write fast enough.”
Mr. Thor, 47, has a knack not just for churning out books but for thrusting himself into controversies major and minor. Glenn Beck, a big booster, referred to Mr. Thor’s novel “The Last Patriot” as “the Da Vinci Code for Islam.” The plot, which centered on a secret involving the Prophet Muhammad, earned Mr. Thor death threats as well as accusations of Islamophobia.