"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Monday, May 7, 2012

Gary Grossman, author of Executive Actions and Executive Treason, Shares Thoughts With My Bookshelf on His Exhilarating Spy Thrillers

As part of the Partners in Crime virtual blog tour for author Gary Grossman, I am including a guest post written by the author himself.  I am sure you will agree, upon reading it, that Executive Actions and Executive Treason are brimming with action...just the kind of books to keep you on the edge of your seat while you immerse yourself within the story.  If you love a good thrilling read, these may be just what you are looking for!!!
     The day before September 11, 2001, I was in New York for a meeting with the History Channel.  Someone in the room wondered aloud, “Do you think we’re running out of History?”  This was at a network that was founded on telling historical stories through documentaries.  My company had already produced 50 or more docs and the question brought some light laughter. 
     “We’re always going to be making history.  The question for me,” I asked, “is whether we’re ever going to really learn from it.”
     The world changed the next day.   Two days later I began to drive back to Los Angeles with Robb Weller, my business partner from Weller/Grossman Productions.  Along the way, we convinced the History Channel to let us produce a history on Civil Defense in America.  But I also began thinking about the plot to bring down the World Trade Center towers, which had been years in the making.  I figured, quite rightly, that more sleeper spies were living and working in the United States.  My reasoning then went to other plots that were surely in play.
     Now we are a very impatient society, making and breaking movies or TV shows over a weekend or a few weeks of airing.  We turn nobody’s into celebrities, and then dismiss them as easily.  And we pay very little attention to the news, preferring to be caught up in  the noise  .  But to the Middle East, patience is another thing – centuries long.  To many, the invasion of the Crusaders  remains   recent history  . 
     With that in mind, I eventually focused on a plot that had been incubating for  30 or 40 years rather than just a few.   What would be important enough to wait that long?   The American presidency itself.
     With that notion, “EXECUTIVE ACTIONS” war born. 
     I researched Russian sleeper cell spies operating in the U.S and considered who would run them after the fall of the Soviet Union?  I answered that by transferring the chain of command to a Middle East terrorist bent on revenge. 
     For the sequel, “EXECUTIVE TREASON,” I dug deeper into history, bringing two explosive stories from the 1930s forward to present day.  The first was an actual plot to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt, conspired by Wall Street.   The second was the power of hate speech as broadcast by Father Charles Coughlin, the influential radio minister who railed against the president, liberals and others, encouraging rage and distrust. 
     I’m a big believer that history repeats itself, and because we rarely learn from the mistakes history teaches us, we keep facing avoidable conflicts and their consequences.   Here were perfect examples that I could write about that clearly drew from today’s headlines and created, for me and for readers, what I like to call “political reality thrillers.”
     My appetite for solid research has been reinforced in my varied career twists and turns as a radio DJ, a former college teacher, a TV historian and author, a journalist and newspaper columnist as well as a documentary producer for History Channel, National Geographic, A&E, PBS, USA Network, Discovery TLC and NBC News.   Each time I delve into an historical subject, I hear the echoes today.  And whenever I begin a contemporary story, the roots are always in the past.
     This was the case for the Emmy winning special “Healing the Hate” (USA Network) through which we examined hate and hate speech in America.  With each segment story we traced the fundamental hatred back decades and centuries.   The same was true for my History Channel documentary “The Night Tulsa Burned,” based on the race riots of 1922, a horrible chapter in American history which has continually played out, and in the documentary we produced, “The Plot to Overthrow FDR.”
     Inspiration also came from my parent’s careers.  My father, a law enforcement officer, was Supervising Investigator for the New York State Civil Service.  My mother ran political campaigns for the mayor of my home town and area congressmen.  Politics and police work were ingrained in me and figure heavily into the characters and characterizations of both ‘EXECUTIVE ACTIONS” and “EXECUTIVE TREASON.”  My background and their influence also figure prominently into the latest sequel, “EXECUTIVE COMMAND,” my next eBook release from Diversion Books, summer 2012.
     I’m a big believer than no one person solves crimes, particularly on a global level.  So, I weave multiple figures that all touching different parts of an investigation simultaneously.  In success, they come together and share what they know.  When they don’t, well, we’ve seen what happens with devastating results in real life.
     My lead characters are a Secret Service Agent, a Boston woman attorney who gets wrapped up in the plots by circumstance, the President of the United States, a charismatic Vermont senator running for the presidency, a revengeful terrorist, a particularly adept assassin, a techno savvy FBI computer geek,  the hate-spewing talk radio host and even some smart civilians.  Action occurs on different levels at the same time, giving the books a heightened, perhaps, filmic pace.
     The authors who really deliver for me include Tom Clancy, in the overall techno thriller world;  Dale Brown for his incredible talent in with Air Force-driven stories; Patrick Robinson for his thrillers about submarines; and of course, Larry Bond, Baldacci, Kussler, Koontz, Meltzer and Palmer.  But I always have to reach for my copy of “Seven Days in May” by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II when I need to get centered.
       Finally, a story to share.  My wife didn’t know I was writing my first novel.   I didn’t tell her and I could get away with writing a few pages a night with little notice.  But one day she came across research I had printed out and inadvertently left on the desk.  Hours later, with the papers in hand, she asked, “Gary, do we have a problem?”  Then more emphatically, she said, “We need to talk.” 
     She was holding my very detailed research about poisons that can go undiscovered in a victim’s body even after sophisticated examination and sniper rifles with pin-point accuracy at hundreds of yards. 
     “Oh those,” I offered. 
     “Yes,  these.”
     “I’m writing a political thriller,” I said. 
     “Sure you are.”
     “Really,” I pleaded.  I opened the word doc and showed her some of the work.  Needless to say, she was greatly relieved to discover I wasn’t planning on killing her.  Now she’s happy, as I am, that “EXECUTIVE ACTIONS” and “EXECUTIVE TREASON” are both out as eBook releases and getting terrific reaction.  

Purchases of Executive Actions and Executive Treason may be made through the following sites:
 www.garygrossman.com or www.diversionbooks.com

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