Home » Author Interviews » Author Interview: Gary Grossman & EXECUTIVE COMMAND

Author Interview: Gary Grossman & EXECUTIVE COMMAND

Gary GrossmanGary 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.

His latest book is the political thriller, Executive Command.

Visit Gary on the web at www.GaryGrossman.com.

Executive CommandWelcome to Between the Covers, Gary. Why was writing “Executive Command” so important to you?

The eBook release of “Executive Command” from Diversion Books completes a trilogy that began with “Executive Actions” and continued through “Executive Treason.”  I hadn’t originally planned a trilogy, though I realized my characters had far more on their minds when I came to the end of “Executive Actions.”  The plot lines flow from one to another, linked by a terrorist who has employs a sleeper cell spy (book 1), a hate radio announcer who fires up a White House coup (book 2), and then a plot to create nationwide chaos by attacking America’s water supplies (book 3, “Executive  Command.”)  So in a sense, it brought a completion to the through-lines…perhaps with one exception.  The main characters are all there and, in all honesty, the latest is a reader-beware story.  It could happen.

What was the experience like writing Executive Command?

As a TV documentary producer, by day, I chronicle what has happened.  At night, as a novelist, I think the unthinkable.  The speed at which the two are coming together in real life makes writing all the more exciting for me.  For if we don’t think like the criminal minds who are plotting against us, we will always remain behind in the efforts to thwart attacks.  Also, writing in the political thriller genre, or what I describe as “political reality” gives me the opportunity to research real world dangers, put them in a fictional environment, and give readers a good ride and a serious warning.  I also dig into history finding true nuggets that add to plot twists.  For “Executive Command,” it’s how governments and armies have poisoned water in the past and how this can clearly be a tool of terrorists in the future.  In “Executive Actions” I explored long incubating sleeper cell spies in the U.S., while “Executive Treason” echoed an actual plot to overthrow President Roosevelt in 1933 in a “Seven Days in May”-type coup.  I brought that extraordinary historical footnote up-to-date and wrapped the power of hate radio into the mix.  So the experience for me is always full of discovery.  Hopefully it’s the same for for fans of the genre and the “Executive” series.

What’s the story behind the title?

Our nation’s water supplies are virtually unprotected.  Quite literally, there’s open door access to our water resources in small towns across the country, as well as hospitals, government buildings, public places and schools.  In fact, the danger is as close as our water coolers.  And yet, it wouldn’t be necessary for terrorists to poison all the water.  Likewise, that would be impossible.  However, creating the threat on a large scale would threaten our trust in all the water, making us question what was safe to drink.   This would lead to massive fear.  With that fear comes the breakdown in civil order.  It’s a quick road to disaster and it’s the plot of “Executive Command.” Accordingly, President Morgan Taylor must take command of a nationwide crisis and  Secret Service agent Scott Roarke has to take command in the field.  It all moves at a movie-thriller pace, with the action jumping from Washington to Moscow, from small town America to the most dangerous city in the Western Hemisphere, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.

Can you tell us more about one of your main characters, President Morgan Taylor?

President Morgan Taylor is a former Navy combat pilot who was saved years ago in Iraq by a young Army Lt., Scott Roarke.  Taylor is a forceful, dynamic leader.  But there is little in his experience to prepare him for the crisis that emerges in “Executive Command.”  His success rests on the resourcefulness of Roarke and CIA agent Vinnie D’Angelo.  If he is to survive the presidency and the country is to avert total upheaval, then there is no room for mistakes.  But a sleeper spy begins to work her way into the White House and everything is at risk.  Morgan Taylor serves as a republican president, but he absolutely represents the best of the entire United States.

What about Scott Roarke? Can you tell us more about him?

Scott’s quite a character.  He’s in his mid-thirties, ex-Army, single, but definitely involved with attorney Katie Kessler who first appears in “Executive Actions.”  He’s fiercely loyal to President Taylor who has appointed him the sole operative in a special Secret Service division.  With his unique access to the president and his cross-over relationships with the FBI and the CIA, Roarke works every aspect of an investigation.  He can be cold and steely in his pursuit of assassin Richard Cooper and terrorist Ibrahim Haddad, or loving and thoughtful with Katie.  But in “Executive Command,” even Katie must wait to see if the same Roarke comes back from this most dangerous mission.

Are there any supporting characters we need to know about?

Katie Kessler is also an important figure in the book and for Roarke.  She works as a Deputy Counsel to the president.  However, as a White House insider, she sees that the lines between the laws and lawlessness are thin at best and undefined at worst.  Richard Cooper, the assassin, comes to full maturity in “Executive Command.”  He is lethal in a way we have never seen, and yet….   I’ll leave that line for readers to discover.   Christine Slocum will be very interesting to follow.  She works for the Speaker of the House, Duke Patrick, another key figure.  And then there’s CIA operative Vinnie D’Angelo who is on a key mission in Russia that works into the plot.  They all tie together, as do FBI computer expert “Touch” Parsons and Army intelligence officer CPT. Penny Walker.

Can you open to page 25 and tell us what’s happening?

I’m reading on an iPad vertically with roughly 13 pt.  It’ll vary for everyone depending upon your eReader, but it’s a key element.  Up to here, Customs officers have killed a man who was fleeing from them at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport.  An MS-13 gang member, not knowing what has happened, cruises the airport waiting to pick up the man.  At the same time President Morgan Taylor is outlining his new plan to forcefully deal with terrorists inside and beyond America’s borders.  Now on page 25 we are with a doctor in a Durham, New Hampshire hospital who is treating a young girl with a serious, if not life-threatening stomach ailment.  Little does anyone know that other physicians are seeing similar cases across the United States.  And it gets worse.

What about page 65?

Things are speeding up.  We’ve met a brutal gang leader, a terrorist in Ciudad del Este, Scott Roarke and Katie Kessler.  On page 65, Speaker of the House Duke Patrick, eager to be the next president, sits in a sauna with two key power brokers.  They are spelling out how they will manage things and what Patrick must do.  He’s told that Christine Slocum will be his principal speech writer and that he has to stick to the script; their script.  That script, given the intricacies of the plot, are written far away – another twist and turn in “Executive Command.”

Now that Executive Command has been published, what’s your next project?

I’m mulling over a new plot, perhaps featuring Scott Roarke or maybe giving Vinnie D’Angelo the lead.  I’m not sure yet.  I’m also producing and writing more TV specials and documentaries that focus on contemporary events and world history.  I’ll keep everyone updated through my website, www.garygrossman.com.

Do you have anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

Please, please, please offer up your reviews on Amazon, B&N and other buying portals.  And I love hearing from readers and fans.  You can reach me through gary@garygrossman.com or follow me on Twitter @garygrossman1.  I do listen.  In fact, after writing “Executive Treason,” the second book, a reader pleaded, “Please don’t kill Katie in your next book.  She’s such a terrific strong woman character.  So many authors in your genre end up killing the women leads.  If you have to do anything, put her in a coma for a while or send her around the world.  But please don’t kill her!”  We’ll I’m happy to say that Katie Kessler is alive and well, for Scott Roarke, for that fan and for everyone else.

Thanks so much.  I hope you enjoy “Executive Command” and my other eBook releases, available for all platforms.

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One thought on “Author Interview: Gary Grossman & EXECUTIVE COMMAND

  1. Pingback: Announcing Gary Grossman’s Executive Command Blog Tour « Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours

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