A Conversation with Gary Grossman, author of ‘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 CommandQ: Thank you for this interview, Gary Grossman. Can you tell us what your latest book, EXECUTIVE COMMAND, is all about?

EXECUTIVE COMMAND is a political thriller that deals with a terrorist plot aimed at destroying our nation’s infrastructure by targeting our most valuable natural resource:  WATER.  Back again from the two previous books in the series are Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke, President Morgan Taylor, CIA Agent Vinnie D’Angelo, attorney Katie Roarke, a master assassin with the skills of the Jackal and his mentor, a terrorist with a personal vendetta.  The action moves from Washington to across the country and around the world, ending in the most dangerous locale in all the Western Hemisphere – Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.

Q: Is this your first novel?  If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?

This is the third in my “Executive” trilogy.  The difference between this and getting started on the first and second is that my characters basically told me to sit down and take dictation.  They run things.  They tell me what to research and where to go.  If I argue with them I better have the detail to back up my position.  And when I win those arguments, then I can surprise the characters in the process.  If it all sounds like a “Twilight Zone,” it really is.  I love the experience and I hope I make it exciting for readers.

Q: How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

Fortunately, once I have the plot in my head, I don’t really experience writer’s block.  My journalism training taught me to deal with deadlines and the need to put something on paper.  Rewriting is where I face the real pressure.  That’s where I discover whether what I thought would work actually does.

Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

Fans are again writing wonderful reviews and responding with great enthusiasm.  They report on my website, on Amazon and B&N and other portals that EXECUTIVE COMMAND is a great read; fast-paced, exciting and scary.  Other authors have also given me terrific endorsement, noted on Amazon and in the book intro.  Truly, I couldn’t be happier.  Word is spreading.  And because the plot deals with a very real and present danger – the threat to our water resources, it’s a compelling, personal read.  After all, we trust the faucets in our house to bring us safe water.  What would happen if we couldn’t?

Q: What is your daily writing routine?

My daily writing drill, which I try to keep, is 3-to-5 pages a day.  It’s amazing when you do the math how quickly it adds up.  90 pages in a month, 180 in two months, and on and on.  If I don’t maintain this routine, the characters remind me that I’m behind, virtually complaining, “What were you thinking, Gary?  Don’t you remember we already did that?”

Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

Relaxing is important.  One day I’ll discover how to do it.  The reason I say that is because writing is my night-time job.  During the day I’m a TV producer and director, developing and producing documentary programs and series, and a wide variety of shows for many cable networks.  Relaxing?  I guess I need to read a how-to book all about it.

Q: What book changed your life?

Well, truth be told, each of my novels takes me further into the world.  That’s why I call them “political reality thrillers.”  They plots are rooted in real events – past and present – and the belief that we better think the unthinkable.  Our enemies certainly do.  There were two books that influenced me in that manner:   The award winning It Can’t Happen Here (1935) by Sinclair Lewis, which suggested what life in America would be like under a Fascist regime and Seven  Days in May (1962), by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II which deals with a military coup in the U.S.  Read both and my “Executive” series and you’ll see a through-line.

Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

I love this question.  If someone were to write a book on my life, I would recommend that the title be “Time to Give This a Try.”  I say that because I’ve been a rock dj, a college teacher, a TV historian and author of two books on TV history, a TV producer, a documentarian and now a novelist.  I’ll give anything and everything in the media a try.  Maybe except painting.  The world will be much better off if I stick to words.

Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

…I love to make people think.  As a writer, as a producer, as novelist, as a teacher and as a parent…that’s what I do.  Think the unthinkable!

Thank you for this interview. Gary.  We wish you much success on your latest release, EXECUTIVE COMMAND, now out to great reviews as in eBook in all formats from Diversion Books.


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