Interview with Ralph Sanborn, author of China Red


China RedTitle: China Red
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Author: Ralph Sanborn
Publisher: iUniverse
EBook: 292 pages
Release Date: April 8, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-47598-293-0

Heroin, called “China Red” on the street, is being smuggled into the United States. Zhou Jing—who fancies himself a fifteenth-century Chinese warlord, is using Muslim Uighers in western China to produce the heroin. In exchange, Zhou arms, trains, and provides security from the Chinese government for the Uighers.

Caleb Frost is a professional assassin in a deep cover, black operations team that specializes in wet work. His team includes two ex-Navy SEALs and a Greek beauty and former New York City escort. Funded by the US government, the team operates autonomously in total secrecy. China hires Caleb’s team to destroy, with prejudice, the smuggling operation in the US.

Zhou’s partner is a brilliant, psychopathic killer—a Harvard Business School graduate named Wrath. He founded the Visigoths MC, a hard riding, vicious motorcycle gang which protects, delivers, and collects payment for the heroin shipments. When matters become personal and Caleb’s sister Rebecca is kidnapped, the team’s task gets messier. It becomes more than an “assassination engagement” for Caleb—it becomes a bloodthirsty vendetta.

“This tornado of a thriller drags the reader into a world of guns, bombs, swords and death and won’t let go.”
-Rob Swigart, Author of The Delphi Agenda

“China Red plunges the reader into a world of evil intrigue and high adventure. You won’t be able to put it down.”
-Antoinette May, author of The Sacred Well, Pilate’s Wife,
and Haunted Houses of California



Question1- Use no more than two sentences – why should we read your book

You will be entertained by an exciting and memorable cast of characters and an action driven storyline. The over arcing issues of social injustice in China toward the Uighers and the villainy of the drug business in the United States are current news.

Question2- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Despite the violence I depict in my writing, such as the scene in which Caleb slices a man’s jugular with a serrated bread knife from the inside of the man’s neck outward, I hate violence on TV and in movies.

Question3- Do you have a favorite quote or saying? What is it?

“La rue a l’enfer est pavée avec les bonnes intentions.” The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Question4- Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it? If so, can you share it?

He reviewed the past three weeks. He mentally traced his steps through his confrontation with his target, Amahd al-Tikriti.

He fully believed that he terminated only those who had done little to earn a pass in this life. That qualification was the primary consideration in his decision making process to accept or decline an engagement. He did have the unique right to refuse an assignment. His engagements would always be with individuals or groups who preyed on defenseless people. Al-Tikriti had met the criteria to a “T”. Frost knew that the father and family of the dead boy in Baghdad would learn of al-Tikriti’s long delayed death. It would appear in the Iraqi press. That is all they would ever know. Caleb wanted them to know. It was done. Closure, if that was ever possible, for a greatly bereaved and abused family. Justice for a child whose only mistake was being born into Hell.

Events such as this one caused “mental saboteurs” to attack Caleb’s mind. Saboteurs invading in search of remorse. Launching corrosive self-accusations and doubts. He shoved the event and its memories into the cage he reserved for saboteurs in his mind. Nighttime, in the early, sweat-dampened hours, was the battlefield upon which he fought them. Caleb was well aware that he was still learning to live with himself. To live with the killing.

Question5- Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you?

Elmore Leonard said at a reading to never write what the reader won’t read. I apply that wisdom when I go back to edit my work. I lose a lot of words.


Ralph Sanborn was raised in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, and earned a degree in psychology from St. Lawrence University. He has lived in several different countries and worked in a variety of manufacturing and software enterprise marketing capacities. He currently lives in Northern California with his wife, Susan, and their two dogs.

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