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Wednesday 21 June 2017

ℚ♫ Executive Actions: Executive [1] - Gary Grossman

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Executive Actions  (First published , this edition 21 June 2013, Diversion Books, 528 pages), a Political Thriller, book one of the Executive series.

“EXECUTIVE ACTIONS is the best political thriller I have read in a long, long time—right up there with the very best of David Baldacci. Gary Grossman has written a masterpiece of suspense, powerfully written and filled with wildly imaginative twists. Get ready to lose yourself in a hell of a story.” —Michael Palmer, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of OATH OF OFFICE

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Gary Grossman; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Executive Actions, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it

"First and foremost, thank you for inviting me to participate in an Author Q&A, with your inspired idea to include a music play list.

I often write with music that helps me picture the scene I’m in. I tend to listen to movie scores that will sweep me along as I write and hopefully invoke the same for readers as they read. But sometimes, I also get too involved in a soundtrack, and I have to turn it off. But I’d love reactions to the following if you have them on in the background while reading EXECUTIVE ACTIONS:
  • Inspiring: “Rudy” soundtrack composed by Jerry Goldsmith
  • Richly historical: “National Treasure” soundtrack composed by Trever Raven
  • Exciting: “Skyfall” soundtrack composed by Thomas Newton
  • Tense/moody: “Inception” soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer"
What was the inspiration for Executive Actions?
"I was visiting New York City to pitch television shows to History Channel, MSNBC, and other networks. On my first day, someone in one of the meetings wondered aloud (you can determine which network it was), “Do you think we’re running out of history?”

I replied, “Of course not.”

That was September 10, 2001. The next day – 9/11.

While driving back to Los Angeles (the airports were closed for the week), I began realizing that the plot to bring down the World Trade Center Towers had been years in the making. I asked myself (as the intelligence community was also doing) what other plots might be gestating and how long some of them could have been in the works.

Since I was a documentary television producer, I research led me to long-standing sleeper cell spy operations developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. From there I considered what might have been sold or traded to another government or individuals over the years, and with even deeper thought, what might be so important a plot to wait decades before the plan hatched. It came to me – the American presidency itself.

The plot for EXECUTIVE ACTIONS was born. And now, with the global politics focused on the White House, Russia’s manipulation in voting, and the old KGB reborn as the FSB, EXECUTIVE ACTIONS is frighteningly relevant. Hence, my reintroduction of this more than ever timely thriller into the spy craft world."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"This is a great question because it cuts to the core of who I am.

My father was in law enforcement. My mother worked in politics. And I discovered the world through my shortwave radio; listening, as a kid, to Radio Moscow, The Voice of America, Radio Havana Cuba, the BBC, and broadcasts from China, Bulgaria, the Vatican, Australia, and Ghana. From my bedroom in a small upstate New York town I heard the world. A number of years later, I began to communicate outward, first as a Ham radio operator, then a local radio announcer, onto television and print journalism and producing documentary films. Writing political and International thrillers was the next step in a very through line.

Ultimately, I see myself as a seeker who learned that three basics: There are known knowns, unknown knows, and unknown unknowns. From research and exploration, we go from what we know to what we don’t know, to what we don’t know we don’t know.

This search started for me as a young wide-eyed kid. It continues as an author thinking the unthinkable with a mind’s eye toward what we actually should notice and act upon.

I thank my parents for their encouragement and for the day they placed that big old Westinghouse shortwave radio in my bedroom."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Executive Actions - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Diversion Books’ art department came up with a simple, sharp, and chilling cover. Set in a blueish tint, we see a modern revolver sitting on top of the Constitution of the United States. New threat to the foundation of the nation. An active threat that involves the president to take action; Executive Actions.

It’s a powerful image that jumps right out."
Why should we read Executive Actions and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"EXECUTIVE ACTIONS is different than many books in the spy/international intrigue genre. I love what Lee Child writes. I get excited about Jack Reacher and other heroes like him who have populated novels by Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, Patrick Robinson, David Baldacci, Sandra Brown, Clive Cussler, Brad Meltzer, and all the other authors I follow. But largely due to my father’s work in law enforcement, I believe it takes more than one smart, intuitive, sharp character to discover the facts, to follow a dangerous, complicated trail, and to put the pieces together. So my lead, Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke, relies on and works with a host of other characters including attorney Katie Kessler (a very strong woman), Army Intelligence Cpt. Penny Walker, FBI Facial Recognition Expert Duane “Touch” Parsons, FBI Agents Roy Bessolo and Shannon Davis, CIA Operative Vinnie D’Angelo, and President Morgan Taylor. Together, they add action and intrigue to EXECUTIVE ACTIONS.

Oh, and it also takes a credible, deadly villain. EXECUTIVE ACTIONS has one with multiple faces."
Can you tell us something quirky about Executive Actions, its story and characters?
"Another great question. And yes, I have a quirky answer. My first book was a history of the old 1950’s TV series “The Adventures of Superman.” It was an important series in the television in the United States, and like “I Love Lucy,” a production for the ages. So in honor of the stars and character actors in the series, I named many of my EXECUTIVE ACTIONS characters for them, including George Reeves (though by his family name George Bessolo). There are also figures named Hamilton, Neill, Larson, Shayne, to name a few. If you’re a diehard “Adventures of Superman” fan, you’ll spot them.

Also, I love Irish names. I’m not Irish myself, but I always feel they are strong and dynamic. So the central character in EXECUTIVE ACTIONS is Scott Roarke. My other novels are populated with heroes named Quinn McCauley and Dan Reilly. Go figure."
Who would you recommend Executive Actions to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"My only disclaimer reading EXECUTIVE ACTIONS is realizing that it really can happen. When you consider the Russian influence in elections in the United States and other countries, EXECUTIVE ACTIONS truly resonates.

The only other thing I add is to take heed of James Bond screenwriter Bruce Feirstein’s warning about reading EXECUTIVE ACTIONS: “Break out the flashlight and prepare to stay up all night.”"
If you could / wished to turn Executive Actions and the Executive series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I keep asking myself the same question. Recently, I’ve thought that “Bosch” star Titus Welliver would be great as President Morgan Taylor. Really, really great. And Scott Roarke? How about Channing Tatum or Chris Pine. There’s also Scott Eastwood. As for Katie Kessler, I’m thinking.

I’d love to hear reaction from BooksChatter readers. Email me at or log onto"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I love writing about stories that are just ahead of tomorrow’s headlines, but because of their complexities, offer timeless tales of intrigue and worry, while still being a terrific ride. Ultimately, I like to write what I like to read: Thrilling, realistic stories with relatable characters.

It all came from experiencing “Seven Days in May,” which resonates to this day. I say “experiencing” because it was more than just a read. It opened my eyes to the world of politics during a turbulent time. Also, I felt I could make it in the thriller field after reading Tom Clancy’s great works, and finding my voice through journalism."
What is your writing process?
"Here it is. The secret to my writing. It requires a focus, thinking time, and math. Focus to write 3 pages a day. Thinking to work out an outline, and thinking at before I fall asleep about what to write the next day. And the math? Well, at 3 pages a day, I’ll have 90 pages the first month, 180 after two, 270 after three, etc. But, of course, additional research and follow-up interviews with experts can more than double the rewrite time."
What is in store next?
"I have a new Executive series book in the works, but there are more already in the series – EXECUTIVE TREASON and EXECUTIVE COMMAND. So if you like EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, you won’t have to wait. Also, coming out later this year, a thriller with collaborator Ed Fuller, based in part on his International business and anti-terrorism expertise. It’s titled RED HOTEL."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"May I introduce Beau and Tames? They’re great!"
Hello Beau and Tames, you little babies! Lots of cuddles to both of you! :-)
Gary, thank you for sharing them with us. It's been a pleasure hosting you today.

"Thank you again for your interest in EXECUTIVE ACTIONS. I truly hope you enjoy my thriller. Stay in touch!"

Executive Actions
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

CMash said...

I totally enjoyed this interview. I have this on my TBR list and can't wait to read it especially after learning more about the author and book with this Q&A. Great post!