J.T. Rogers on In From the Cold ~ Interview

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Title: In From the Cold
Author: J.T. Rogers
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Genre: Historical, Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: 10/04/2016


Robert Flynn abandoned a sterling military career when his best friend and fellow soldier, Wesley Pike, died under his command. More than a decade later, Flynn’s quiet life is disturbed by the troubles of a fledgling CIA and Alexander Grant, a flashy agent with a lot to prove. As the space race between the United States and the Soviets heats up and the body count rises, the two men fight to find common ground. Grant knows Flynn believes in the cause, but all Flynn sees is the opportunity to fail someone like he failed Wes. An attack by a Soviet agent spurs Flynn to action and a reluctant association with the agency, and tilts Flynn’s world on its axis with a shocking discovery: Wesley Pike may be alive and operating as a Soviet assassin.

With Grant to bankroll the operation, his superiors looking the other way, and Flynn’s hard-earned peace officially forfeit, Flynn reunites his old team with the singular goal of finding Wes. But they get more than they bargained for—Wes is amnesiac and dangerous, brainwashed into becoming the perfect weapon. Flynn struggles to reach his friend, lead his team, and navigate his charged relationship with Grant—something neither of them expected and aren’t sure how to parse—while coming to grips with his long-buried feelings for Wes.

Recent Release Spotlight with J.T. Rogers.

We are here today to talk about IN FROM THE COLD.  What can you tell us about it?

IN FROM THE COLD (IFTC) is a historical thriller set in New York during the early days of the space race. My go-to elevator pitch has been “James Bond meets The Dirty Dozen,” but for the younger crowd, think James Bond meets The Avengers instead. If you’re a fan of the Captain America movies, you’ll find a lot to like!

Please tell us more about your main characters.

The story centers on Robert Flynn, who’s recovering from his years in World War II when he was an outstanding soldier and a member of a tight knit group of special forcemen. He lost his best friend, Wes, in combat, really the person he was closest with in the world, who was under his command. Flynn has been carrying around this feeling of responsibility for Wes’s death as well as survivor’s guilt for going on ten years now. He went from being this nothing immigrant kid in Brooklyn to a graduate of West Point to a leader in the field, and then this one loss really wiped him out, and after the war ended he decided he was done and returned to a fairly ascetic civilian existence back in New York.

Then there’s Alexander Grant, who’s an avant-garde, forward thinking spy, one of the early days CIA guys who really believed in the cause. He’s got his own hang ups and relationships with the military, comes from old money, but is constantly toeing this line of breaking convention in a way that creates a lot of tension with Flynn, who is not as much of a people person as he was before the war.

The men Flynn fought with feature heavily in the book- there’s very much a ‘getting the gang back together’, heist-movie sort of feel to the way they’re introduced and assembled- and each of them is frankly a gem.

What do you want to tell those who may be new to the series (if applicable)?

While IN FROM THE COLD is the first book in the series, I currently envision The CASTOFFS as similar in structure to the Discworld books. The second one, currently still in the writing stage, is a direct sequel, but the third and fourth, which are in the process of being outlined, jump around in time and include different POV characters.

What about IN FROM THE COLD makes you the proudest?

Probably the fact that I finished what I started. IFTC is my first novel, and from conception to publication, it took me three years. I hope the next books in the series don’t take me quite so long, but I’m still pretty darn proud.

What is next for these characters?  Is there more to this series?  If so who will we hear from next?

Without giving away any spoilers, the next book will pick up a few months after this one ends. We’ll probably see a bit more from Grant’s perspective in Book Two, but Flynn will still be the main POV. This will mean nothing to anyone at this moment, but Book Two will also feature Cartwright more heavily, and when you get to know him in IFTC, hopefully you will understand why I’m so excited about that.

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?

Keep to a regular writing schedule, outline everything to give yourself a solid framework you can then explore within the boundaries of, and if publication is your ultimate goal, research publishers ahead of time to see who buys what.

What part of a new story comes to you first? Characters? Plot? A scene? A theme? Or does it vary from book to book?

For me, everything starts with the characters and a situation. From there, it becomes an elaborate “what if” game until I hammer out a stream of consciousness plot summary, which then gets refined and broken down into a chapter and scene-by-scene outline.

How do you keep characters consistent through a story? Do you write out extensive character bibles?

I have a terrible memory for names, so one of the most important parts of my prewriting process is creating files for each of my primary and secondary characters. I wouldn’t call these character bibles extensive, necessarily, but I usually include things like a broad backstory, family information, and what they look like. I also keep a master list of characters to keep track of when they first appear in the story.

How important are secondary characters to your story telling? Do you actively try to have women characters in your M/M to balance the male focus of the MCs?

It was extremely important to me that the women in this story were not obstacles to the story, particularly given the time period IFTC is set in. Furthermore, while the women are secondary characters (and outnumbered by the male cast), they still play critical roles to the plot–Dr. Clara Bell especially. Grant’s wife, Vivian, was also key, and though she’s scarce in IFTC she’ll be more prominently featured in Book Two.

If you could be one of your characters who would you be and why?

Well, I’d certainly love Grant’s bank account!

Do you remember a character talking about a particular food and it made you want to eat it RIGHTNOW? and if yes, what was it?

Apple turnovers somehow ended up being a major symbol in IFTC despite my having no real preference for them. Anytime edits came around, though, I started to get the worst cravings for one! I’m hoping to treat myself at a local bakery to celebrate the book’s release!

What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?

Let’s see. I almost always have a history book on the go, and the one I’m about to start now is A Man Called Intrepid by William Stevenson. I’m rereading Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth for work. I’m thirty pages into Mario Puzo’s The Sicilian. And I just received the shipping notification for the third volume of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Velvet, so I’ll be devouring that the moment it arrives.

Rapid Fire Time

Batman or Superman?

Batman. But cartoon or comic Batman. Not Murder Steve Batman.

Hot air balloon or blimp?

Maybe it’s just my love for The Wizard of Oz talking, but there’s just something so magical about a hot air balloon.

Cinnamon or maple?

This question is unfair but if I must- maple.

West Wing or Friday Night Lights?

No. Third option. Tami Taylor and C.J. Cregg power hour where they sit in an office drinking coffee and saying amazing things to each other.

Peanuts or Cashews?


Australia or England?

England’s wildlife isn’t actively out to kill everyone, so England.

Santa Claus or Easter Bunny?

Bunnies are cuter, but my pal St. Nick has better swag.

Music or TV/Movies?

TV/Movies. Music’s easier to write to, though!

Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings?


Hats or Fascinators?

Fascinator’s just more fun to say.

What are you working on?  What is next?

Right now I’m working on Book Two of The CASTOFFS, as well as a fantasy novel that’s still very much in the worldbuilding stages. After that, who knows!


In From the Cold on Goodreads
DSP Publications
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

About the Author


J.T. Rogers grew up wanting to be either a superhero or a spy—but rather than pick one over the other, she chose to become a writer instead so she could be both in her spare time. Her fiction reflects her childhood obsessions, blending together the distrustful, cloak-and-dagger world of spies with the high-octane action and camaraderie of her favorite superheroes.

The product of a bilingual education and an alumna of a handful of universities, J.T.’s passions include history, comic books, and Shakespeare. She has lived all over North America and loves to weave threads of authentic local color into her stories. Just ask her about Lucy the Elephant.

Currently, she’s living the dream of being overworked and underpaid. She writes to stay sane—or that’s the story she likes to tell, at least.

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