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Interview with Gary Grossman, author of EXECUTIVE COMMAND + Win $100 Visa Card!
Gary Grossman is an Emmy Award-winning network television producer, a print and television journalist, a novelist and a film and TV historian. His career has included stints producing for NBC News, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS and 36 cable networks. He is author of three celebrated International “political reality thrillers,” EXECUTIVE COMMAND, EXECUTIVE ACTIONS and EXECUTIVE TREASON and two acclaimed non-fiction books covering pop culture and television history – Superman: Serial to Cereal and Saturday Morning TV.
Grossman has been partnered with Robb Weller in Los Angeles-based Weller/Grossman Productions, a prolific television production company. Together, they produced more than 9,000 programs and earned numerous awards including the prestigious Governor’s Emmy Award for their USA Network special, “Healing the Hate,” and an Emmy for Best Informational series with the production of “Wolfgang Puck” for Food Network. Their documentary “Beyond the Da Vinci Code” (History Channel) earned two national Emmy nominations. In all, Grossman has received 14 Emmy nominations.
In addition, Gary Grossman is now a principal in World Media Strategies, a new International branded entertainment marketing content company with offices in Los Angeles and Miami. WMS produces television specials and series for travel destinations, corporate clients and government entities.
Grossman earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Emerson College in Boston and a Master’s Degree in Urban Affairs from Boston University.
He began his broadcasting career as a rock disc jockey at WHUC, in Hudson, New York. He worked at Boston television station, WBZ; joined The Boston Globe as a special contributor, and then became the television critic and media columnist at The Boston Herald American. His freelance articles have appeared in The New York Times and numerous magazines. He taught journalism and media at Emerson College, Boston University, and USC and guest lectured at colleges and universities across the country.
Grossman helped formulate, program and launch television cable networks including HGTV, Fit TV, National Geographic Channel, and The Africa Channel.
Grossman serves on the Emerson College Board of Trustees and chairs the Academic Affairs Committee.
He is also a member of the Boston University Metropolitan College Advisory Board. For was chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Caucus for Television Producers, Directors & Writers, a Hollywood-based media activist group and a member of The International Thriller Writers Association.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, (Gary Grossman)! Can you tell us where you are from?
I’m originally from Hudson, New York, a small Hudson Valley town a few hours up the line from New York. It was a great place to grow up.
Q: How did you come up with your title?
“Executive Command” is the third book in the eBook “Executive” series. Executive refers to the presidency, which makes this a presidential thriller. And Morgan Taylor is quite the president. He made his first appearance in “Executive Actions,” then “Executive Treason,” and now he’s back in “Executive Command” along with Secret Service agent Scott Roarke and some other very readable and exciting characters including a strong woman and an assassin with the skills of the Jackal.
Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little aboutyour cover and who designed it?
The design team at my publisher, Diversion Books, came up with the inspired cover. My plot deals with the threat to our most vulnerable natural resource – water. So the cover is a toxic green mix of the White House and the warning symbol for biohazard.
Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
What makes you think the water you drink is safe from terrorist attack? Think the unthinkable. Read the unthinkable in “Executive Command.” (Hey, I kind of like that!)
Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?
Seriously, our nation’s water supplies are virtually unprotected. There’s open door access to them in small towns across the country, and in hospitals and schools. The danger is as close as your water cooler. And yet, it wouldn’t take a terrorist cell to poison all the water…just enough for families across the country to question whether what we drank was safe. It would create massive fear. With that fear comes the breakdown of trust, and in turn, civil disorder. It’s a quick road to disaster and it’s the plot of “Executive Command,” a book I describe as a “political reality thriller” that does think the unthinkable.
Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?
What a phenomenal question. I always love first chapters and last chapters. I think that’s true for “Executive Actions,” “Executive Treason” and now “Executive Command.” The goal is first, to get me hooked as the writer. If I can successfully accomplish that, then I’m on my way to engaging readers and hopefully turning them into fans. Then I have to deliver on an exciting finish. Everything picks up there. The pace, the excitement and the drama. But even at that point, I’m not finished. I always like to add a little more…a teaser to things to come or wrap up little elements that can contribute to a really satisfying read. I’d love people to let me know if I succeed. Reviews to Amazon and Barnes and Noble are great and I’m reachable through www.garygrossman.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
The safety of our water is truly an issue. Our supplies are vulnerable and the infrastructure needs immediate attention. Maybe the awareness will increase with the eBook release of “Executive Command.” Even though it is a novel, I hope the message makes people take notice from small town USA like Hudson, New York to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
Oooo. I grew up listening to the shortwave radio. Lots of broadcasts from Radio Moscow, Voice of America, the BBC, China, Cuba, Rumania, East and West Germany and more. So I was aware of the difference between news and political propaganda from early on. I think that helped shape my thinking as an American citizen on what to consider as fact, what to filter out; how politics uses both and who we can believe and trust. Important questions to live by. Important issues for me to write about.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I love Positano, Italy. There are scenes set there in “Executive Actions” and “Executive Treason.” “Executive Command,” however takes place in small communities across the country, Washington, DC, Moscow and the most dangerous city in the Western Hemisphere, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. Go look it up, you’ll see. Or better yet, read about it in “Executive Command!” (Yes, that’s a plug.)
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Definitely a morning person. I can roll out of bed and start writing immediately.
Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
All of my kids write. My wife writes. However, earning a living writing….that’s another thing entirely. Help! As I like to say, “Executive Command” costs less than a slice of pizza or a latte and it lasts so much longer!
Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?
Was then. Still a dreamer. Still, in many ways a child. I can’t think of a better way to live.
Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?
Wow, these are incredible questions. By the way, I got to work with Barbara Eden (“I Dream of Jeannie”) when I was producing “Entertainment Tonight.” How cool is that? But back to your question – what would my wish be? Lasting peace. I would love to see a Gene Roddenberry “Star Trek” sense of Earth, where barriers to co-existing are gone. It will never happen, but I do still seek peace.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
I dedicated “Executive Command” to the great TV and radio anchors who influenced me on a local and national level. But I also remind readers (and I myself) of a powerful quote attributed to many writers including Mark Twain.
“A lie can travel halfway around the world
while the truth is pulling its boots on.”
That’s a message for now and forever.
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