Q&A: Jerry B. Jenkins (The Breakthrough)
1. How does it feel to have completed the Precinct 11 series, given that The Breakthrough is the third
and final installment?
I hope it’s not finished. There’s still a lot of life in the character and an unlimited canvas on which to paint more stories. If the market wants more, I’d love to keep telling Boone Drake stories.
2. Who was your inspiration for your main character Boone Drake?
I grew up in a cop family. My father and two older brothers were career law enforcement officers. So I’ve seen the idealistic rookie become either the cynical or hardened veteran. Boone would be a composite of all those men and women who get into police work for all the right, idealistic reasons and then have their values tested by harsh reality.
3. Boone Drake faced many challenges and hardships in his life. He had to make many difficult
decisions. Why was this an important focus in this series?
Yes, my theme here is to investigate the cost of true commitment. He has the right ideals, but when faced with the crucible of the grittiness of everyday reality, and when everything seems to have been pulled out from under him, does he have the character to survive and persevere?
4. Briefly describe your recent trip to China and your exposure to the all too real human trafficking
My wife and I visited Beijing in January of 2011 to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and were fascinated by the exotic culture and the dramatic contrasts between the ancient and modern cultures. Much of that finds its way into this third book. We also visited our soontobe adopted grandson in an orphanage in Bangkok on the way home, so that added another dimension. My exposure to human trafficking has been second hand, but it is an alarming and horrific reality today, so I immersed myself in research to be able to paint a real picture of it.
5. As the son of a police officer, with two brothers in law enforcement, was it natural to write about a
cop and the challenges he faced?
Yes, and with all the books I’ve written, it’s surprising even to me that it’s taken me this long to get to this subject.
6. How has this series helped you to grow as a storyteller?
Every new fiction project helps me grow. I want each to be better than the last, and as much as I write, that forces me to use every writing muscle and concentrate on all the elements that make a story sound true.