We’re talking to authors from all walks of life about their experiences in publishing their book. Some have smooth paths, some rocky, but they all share a common goal – to see their name on the cover of their creation. It’s interesting to read what path they decided to take to get there and my guest today is here to tell everyone what he/she did in order to make it all happen so that other writers will learn a little something from the experience.
Today we are talking to Gary Grossman, author of the political thriller book, Executive Command .
Thank you for your time in answering our questions, Gary. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book?
That’s a great question. I grew up in a small upstate New York town. My dad was in law enforcement and my mother worked in politics. The combination brought me a real awareness of information gathering and information use. The two worlds merged in much of my work as a documentary TV producer, a newspaper columnist and now (also) a novelist. So “why” I decided to write a book, or in my case, the “Executive” series of thrillers (which started with “Executive Actions,” then “Executive Treason” and now “Executive Command”) is that I wanted to raise awareness of real world dangers in an engaging way. Since there’s so much noise in the news today, I decided to work through fiction. What are these dangers. Try sleeper cell spies working in the U.S., the need to overhaul our outdated Presidential succession rules set forth in the 25th Amendment before they lead to a constitution crisis, the power of hate radio, and in “Executive Command,” the ease at which terrorists could attack local water supplies – like in the town where I grew up…and yours.
Is this your first book?
This is the third in my “Executive” trilogy. It picks up right after “Executive Actions” and “Executive Treason,” all highly charged, globe-trotting adventures that I actually describe as “political reality thrillers.” I use that term because they literally (I suppose the pun is intended) jump out of the headlines. They’re fact-based, timely, relevant and deal with real world threats. In the case of “Executive Command,” that threat is focused on a plot that deals with our most vulnerable natural resource: WATER.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
9/11 got me into fiction. That’s right, reality brought me to fiction. I was in New York the day of the horrific attack. I wondered what other targets are as exposed. I started thinking that they’re not just buildings and the people who occupy them. Targets include American institutions; our very way of life. That led me to realizing that other true targets were the institution of the American presidency itself, our faith in government, and ultimately our belief that the infrastructure will be there for us. Each are targeted in my eBooks from Diversion Books, “Executive Actions,” “Executive Treason” and now “Executive Command.”
What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry?
Publishing, like television, is changing at light speed. And the lesson is, change or die. Maybe a more literary way to put it is that I decided to get on the train rather than be under it. And so, I’ve moved into the fastest growing sector of publishing, where people are migrating today, and will surely live tomorrow – eBooks. My publisher is Diversion Books in New York City, a forward – no, let me make that a fast-forward company that believes in me and is clearing the way for “Executive Command” to be a solid entry in the political thriller marketplace.
If you had the chance to change something regarding how you got published, what would you change?
It’s all a learning process. So would I change what I learned? Not really. However, if you think you’re finished once you’ve written a book, you’re mistaken. You have to market your work, market yourself, reach readers through traditional public relations and social media. More than 100 years ago P.T. Barnum said, “Without publicity, something terrible happens. Nothing.” It’s more true today. That’s why I’m thrilled to be participating in “Divine Caroline – Life in Your Words,” a wonderful portal to reach you – potential readers, thought leaders, and engaged citizens.
Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?
My thanks go out to Roger Cooper who really gave me my start as a novelist when he was at Byron Preiss Publishing. Roger is a wonderful, experienced and brilliant mentor. My thanks, too to Nancy Cushing-Jones at the marketing company Broadthink, Sandi Goldfarb at Rasky Baerlein Strategic Marketing, my business partner at Weller/Grossman Productions, Robb Weller and now, clearly Mary Cummings at Diversion Books and Diversion Books founder, Scott Waxman. I can go on and on, but that’s a good and important list.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
My college roommate, a wonderful short story writer and playwright, once told me that writers write. If I wanted to become a writer, I had to write every day. Well, here I am writing now – right here. That qualifies and I hope I’m living up to the advice of Jeffrey Davis, who is now also authoring books.
Thank you for inviting me to participate. I’m happy to answer reader questions and engage in more dialogue. I’m reachable through www.garygrossman.com  and firstname.lastname@example.org.