Mark Greaney (novelist)

Mark Greaney (born 1967) is an American novelist, best known as Tom Clancy's collaborator on his final books (three novels), and for continuing the Jack Ryan character and the Tom Clancy universe following Clancy's death, from 2013 to 2016 (four novels). He is also known for the "Gray Man" series of novels.

Mark Greaney
BornMark Strode Greaney
Notable works

Early life and family

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, he is the son of Ed Greaney, a presence at WMC-TV Memphis for over 50 years[1] and the namesake for the station's current newsroom. Greaney has degrees in political science and international relations, which would later play a major part in his writing career.[2] Mark continues to reside in Memphis, Tennessee.[3]

Writing career

The Gray Man

Greaney previously worked as a waiter and bartender for ten years,[2] then later in a surgical technology company, while working on two novels in his spare time. After finishing one of them, titled Goon Squad[4] and was primarily about the aftermath of the Bosnian civil war, he gave the first 20 pages of his work to his favorite author Ralph Peters's agent, Scott Miller, in a book conference in September 2006. Miller liked the book but later did not go forward with it, saying that "it was unmarketable," according to Greaney. But he urged Greaney to write another one based from a character in Goon Squad named Court Gentry,[4] which would later be The Gray Man. After finishing this novel, Miller agreed to represent him, and later found a publisher, Jove Books.[5][6]

The national success of The Gray Man made Greaney quit his job in the medical devices company and make the transition to becoming a full-time writer. He was later given a three-book deal by his publisher in 2009.[7] In addition, The Gray Man's success spawned an equally successful series, with six more sequels as of 2018: On Target (2010), Ballistic (2011), Dead Eye (2013), Back Blast (2016),[8] Gunmetal Gray (2017),[9], Agent in Place (2018), and Mission Critical (2019).

The rights to The Gray Man is currently owned by Sony Pictures and is awaiting optioning.[4]

Working with Tom Clancy

Greaney has been a fan of Tom Clancy for years, and has read all of his books, beginning with Patriot Games. So when Clancy was looking for a new co-author, Greaney found out that his editor at Berkley Books, Tom Colgan, was also Clancy's editor at G. P. Putnam's Sons. His editor later referred to his agent, who asked Greaney to be Clancy's co-author. Commenting on the experience, Greaney recalled: "I wish I could say I was excited, but the truth is, I was terrified. After I caught my breath, I offered to 'try out' because there were some other authors also in the running. I wrote twenty-five pages, handed them in and soon thereafter, I was in Baltimore meeting with Tom Clancy."[10] They later collaborated on Clancy's last three novels before his death in October 2013: Locked On (2012), Threat Vector (2013), and Command Authority (2013).[11]

After Clancy's death, with the backing of his family and estate, Greaney continued the Jack Ryan and The Campus Universe left behind by Clancy, and has written four more novels as of 2016: Tom Clancy: Support and Defend (2014),[12] Tom Clancy: Full Force and Effect (2014),[13] Tom Clancy: Commander in Chief (2015) and Tom Clancy: True Faith and Allegiance (2016). Regarding the publisher's decision to feature Clancy's name at the top in massive letters and having his name in smaller letters for the covers of the post-Clancy novels, Greaney commented: “It really feels like a humongous honor to do it. I get pretty good billing. The Tom Clancy name is one thing you can put on your book that will make it stand out from across the room.”[14]

On February 19, 2017, Greaney announced that he will exit the Jack Ryan Universe franchise. Replacing Greaney will be novelist Marc Cameron, previously known for his Jericho Quinn series of thrillers.[15] Greaney later said of his departure from the Jack Ryan universe:

Other works

Greaney's first standalone work, a military thriller titled Red Metal and co-authored with Lieutenant Colonel H. Ripley Rawlings IV, USMC, was released on July 16, 2019. The novel debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list in August 2019. This was the first time Greaney appeared in the NYT Bestseller's list twice in the same calendar year. The book is notable for its comparisons to Clancy's novel Red Storm Rising (1986), which is also his first standalone novel that deals with a large scale military conflict between NATO and Russia.[17]


The Gray Man series

Jack Ryan series

Featuring characters created by Tom Clancy

Standalone novels


  1. Leonard Gill: Mark Greaney: The Back Story In: The Memphis Flyer, 29 September 2010.
  2. Rubinstein, Mark. "Tom Clancy, 'Full Force and Effect': A Talk With Mark Greaney". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  3. Karen Ott Mayer: Mark Greaney pursues right idea in first novel, lands sequels. In: The Commercial Appeal, 2 July 2009.
  4. "AGENT IN PLACE: A Conversation with Mark Greaney". Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  5. Gill, Leonard (4 October 2009). "Mark Greaney: Good Aim". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  6. Gill, Leonard (29 September 2010). "Mark Greaney: The Back Story". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  7. Leonard Gill: Good Aim In: The Memphis Flyer, 4 October 2009.
  8. Greaney, Mark. Back Blast. New York: Berkley Books, 2016. ISBN 9780425282793 OCLC 913572940
  9. "Synopsis - Mark Greaney". Mark Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  10. Rubinstein, Mark. "Tom Clancy, 'Full Force and Effect': A Talk With Mark Greaney". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  11. Peggy Burch: The Gray Man Returns In: The Commercial Appeal, 1 December 2013.
  12. Felix Gillette: Support and Defend, Tom Clancy's Legacy Lives On] In: Bloomberg, 17 July 2014.
  13. Mark Rubinstein: Tom Clancy, 'Full Force and Effect': A Talk With Mark Greaney In: The Huffington Post, 9 December 2014.
  14. Burch, Peggy. "Memphis-based writer Mark Greaney keeps thrills alive in Tom Clancy universe". Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  15. Steck, Ryan. "Exclusive: Big Changes Coming To The Tom Clancy Universe In 2017". Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  16. Steck, Ryan. "AGENT IN PLACE: A Conversation with Mark Greaney". Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  17. Steck, Ryan. "Exclusive: Mark Greaney's First Standalone Novel, Co-Authored with LtCol H. Ripley Rawlings IV, Coming July 2019". The Real Book Spy. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
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