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Up Close and Personal with TV Producer & Political Thriller Author Gary Grossman

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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: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Gary.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Thanks for inviting me to Beyond the Books.  EXECUTIVE COMMAND is the third book in a series of “political reality thrillers.”  It follows EXECUTIVE ACTIONS and EXECUTIVE TREASON, all published as eBooks by Diversion Books (NYC).  I’ve also written two books on TV history, SUPERMAN:  SERIAL TO CEREAL and SATURDAY MORNING TV.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I’ve gone mainstream, major press, smaller press and now eBooks.  I’ve never been self-published.  I recognize that the world is changing, that eBooks are out-performing traditional print on Amazon and that self-publishing is also growing astronomically.  However, I’ve always enjoyed knowing that there was a company behind me.  In the case of my non-fiction books it was Dell and Popular Library.  For my novels, at first it was Simon & Schuster’s distribution and now Diversion Books, a terrific new house launched by agent literary Scott Waxman.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

For my first novel, EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, I was very fortunate.  It was fast.  Just a few months.  EXECUTIVE TREASON followed under the contract.  It did take longer for EXECUTIVE COMMAND because I decided to switch to eBook (and audio book) platforms and I needed to make a deal to re-publish the first two thrillers and then go forward with the third.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

Great question.  It is important to celebrate.  Of course you can do it through book signings, which provide real “in the moment” feedback.  However, in truth, I celebrate every day I see a terrific review and get a letter or email from a reader who enjoyed my writing.  Happily, that happens a lot.  That said, each every time is unique and wonderful.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I love doing radio promotion – whether it’s a five minute interview or an hour.  And television is great.  The pinnacle is probably “The Today Show,” which I’m happy to say I’ve done.  Hoping to be back on there (and more) with EXECUTIVE COMMAND.  Fingers crossed!

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I grow every day, maybe with every paragraph.  I honestly grow more through re-writing.  That’s where the true test comes.  I ask myself:  Does it work?  Does it make sense?  How can I make it better?  What will keep readers engaged?  As a TV producer, writer and director I’m always thinking about the audiences’ experience.  I bring that same concern to my readers.  My hope is that I deliver on that promise.  And now I look forward to reactions to EXECUTIVE COMMAND so please let me know through http://www.garygrossman.com.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The publishing industry, like all the media (and life), is changing at light speed.  Delivery systems are changing.  Writing styles are changing.  (Quicker, faster-paced.)  Like TV today, we want to consume through different platforms, watching where, when and how it is convenient to us.  The same holds true for reading…on eReaders, cell phones, traditional print, computers…it’s really endless and the experience will keep changing.  For EXECUTIVE TREASON, the second in my political thriller trilogy, I even inserted a hot url link to a character website.  It’s for a fictional talk radio show host who is trying to stir up real political trouble.  Check it out:  www.strongnationradio.com or www.elliottstrong.com.  It’s a fun way to get inside a character and advance the experience for a reader.  Certainly, today the tools are at hand.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

The most rewarding thing about being a published thriller author is giving to my readers.  I want to hold their interest and their desire to come along with me for another exciting ride.  But, I also take great pride in my dedications.  They’re written to family, friends, teachers, colleagues and mentors.  People who are meaningful to me.  Those who have helped shape my life.  In fact here’s my dedication in EXECUTIVE COMMAND.

To Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow,

Dave Garroway, Hugh Downs, Frank McGee, Ernie Tetrault, George Reading, Tom Ellis, Arch McDonald, and all the great anchors,

journalists and commentators who helped shape my political awareness through their national and local broadcasts.

To all those who sit in their chairs, remember the age-old quotation,

 attributed to many writers, including Mark Twain,

“A lie can travel halfway around the world

while the truth is pulling its boots on.”

 

 Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

My best advice is the advice I got from Jeffrey Davis, my roommate at Emerson College in Boston.  “You want to be a writer?  Write every day.  Every single day.”   It can be a journal, a passage, a blog, a proposal.  Anything that gets your pen to a notepad or your fingers to a keyboard.  It worked for me.  It’ll work for you.  And when that’s done, you start all over again with your rewrites!  Good luck!

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1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Zerden says:

    Keep writing as I thoroughly enjoy your books!

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