Guest Post: Gary Grossman – EXECUTIVE ACTIONS

Good morning my bookish friends. As most of you know, I have incredibly eclectic fiction reading tastes and enjoy thrillers, suspense, mystery, romance, historical, YA, classical literature, literary fiction, etc., so needless to say I jumped at the opportunity to host a visit from the acclaimed thriller author Gary Grossman. Then I learned that he taught at Emerson College (Boston MA) and that just ramped up my enthusiasm even more (I attended Emerson for my Freshman year many, many years ago). So sit, back, relax, and learn a bit about Mr. Grossman’s writing process and the adaptations he’s had to make as a result of recent world changes. Thank you, Mr. Grossman, for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit and share with us today.

by Gary Grossman

     I’ll start off with what I used to do.  

     As a journalist, TV documentary producer, and novelist, I would begin each day reading the LA Times, watching local TV coverage and national and international cable news, and listening to talk radio on the way to work.

     I’d think about where we were going today and consider why the things that were happening were actually happening. I’d ask myself, “Why Today?”

     That approach often led me to create television documentaries that were based on what we knew and where we were going – both historical and relevant stories. It worked for years.

     But on September 11, 2001, the unthinkable replaced the historic and the predictable.     

     Now, there’s hardly an hour or a day without a significant surprise. I think we can all agree that revelations, rumors, leaks, whispers, and testimony constantly take us to new territory.  

     As I evolved from documentary producer to thriller novelist, I realized I had to adjust my way of thinking to more than just staying ahead of the curve. I had to anticipate how sharp and unexpected those next carves were going to be. Along the way, I decided I was writing in a new genre, a fiction genre I call political reality.  

     Here’s how I’ve done it as the author of EXECUTIVE ACTIONS and the sequels EXECUTIVE TREASON and EXECUTIVE COMMAND, and in my geographic thriller, OLD EARTH.  

     I take a three-level approach. As a matter of fact, I recommend this for anyone writing thrillers and for readers trying to figure plots out ahead of the characters.

     I start with known knowns. They’re the things that we do know. They’re in the news or certainly within grasp of my characters and the experience of readers. Known knowns are the firm ground we walk on. The familiar. They’re the dramatic hooks; the way into the action.

     Then it’s time to change things up, to challenge the characters and readers, and take the plot into the realm of unknown knowns.  

     Simply put, unknown knowns are the things that we may see happening, but the characters don’t. Or they don’t make complete sense yet. Here, readers are often ahead of the characters in the plot encouraging them to discover the unknown knowns. Just when they do, I shake things up again.    

     Time for the unknown unknowns. These are major red herrings, twists and turns; surprises for both the readers and the characters in the book.

     What I love about constructing an exciting plot based on this approach is that the unknown unknowns are there to be researched and discovered. They are real or about to become real. We just might not know about them yet. But we better.

     For EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, it’s recognizing that Cold War Russia’s school for training sleeper spies to pass as Americans still has long roots. REAL. Well-funded plots sponsored by both rogue nations and American businesses are aimed at drastically changing American politics. REAL. Manipulation of markets, media and people move these diabolical plots along. REAL. And the public’s belief that most of it’s not possible is the ultimate danger. EXTREMELY REAL.

     Unknown unknowns until it’s too late.

     The plot of EXECUTIVE ACTIONS weaves through the three categories starting with we what know and climaxing with a scenario that very well could be just around one of those curves.

     The great fun in the reading is the same fun I had in the writing. The characters take over. Secret Service agent Scott Roarke really does learn along the way. He meets Boston attorney Katie Kessler, not because I outlined her role, but because he needs a smart, dynamic woman to help him. He’s up against a masterful assassin who constantly stays one step ahead as he delves into the life of Teddy Lodge, a charismatic congressman, who runs a brilliant political campaign.

     They emerge and converge in a story that begins with knowns – news that we can all recognize and figures that seem relatable and reliable. And then EXECUTIVE ACTIONS kicks into gear, exploding from what we do know into the other realms. I’m not painting a picture of an alternate reality, though it’s fiction. It’s the political reality of tomorrow…or maybe even later today! You decide.

     I hope my writing approach works for you. It’s driven with a fast-paced cinematic style. Lots happening simultaneously. Things to figure out. So, let me know what you think. I’m reachable at,, or via Twitter @garygrossman1.

     Thanks. Enjoy!


Executive Actions

by Gary Grossman

on Tour June 1 – July 31, 2017


Executive Actions

In the midst of a heated presidential campaign, Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke gets an assignment that turns his world upside down. His investigation uncovers a plot so monstrous it can change the course of America’s future and world politics. Roarke discovers that presidency is about to fall into the hands of a hostile foreign power. The power play is so well-conceived that even the U.S. Constitution itself is a tool designed to guarantee the plot’s success. With the election clock ticking, Roarke and Boston attorney Katie Kessler race at breakneck speed to prevent the unthinkable. But they also know that it will take a miracle to stop the takeover from happening.

Praise for the Executive Series:

Executive Actions is the best political thriller I have read in a long, long time. Right up there with the very best of David Baldacci. [A] masterpiece of suspense; powerfully written and filled with wildly imaginative twists. Get ready to lose yourself in a hell of a story.”
Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author

“Break out the flashlight, and prepare to stay up all night … Once you start reading Executive Actions you won’t be able to put it down.”
Bruce Feirstein, James Bond screenwriter, and Vanity Fair Contributing Editor

Executive Command mixes terrorists, politics, drug gangs and technology in nonstop action! Gary Grossman creates a … horribly plausible plot to attack the United States. So real it’s scary!”
Larry Bond, New York Times bestselling author of Exit Plan, Cold Choices, Red Dragon Rising

“Moving at break-neck speed, Executive Command is nothing short of sensational … Executive Command is not just a great book, it’s a riveting experience.”
W.G. Griffiths, award-winning, bestselling author of Methuselah’s Pillar, Malchus

Executive Command ramps up the excitement … A truly bravura performance from a master of the political thriller!”
Dwight Jon Zimmerman, New York Times bestselling co-author of Lincoln’s Last Days, Uncommon Valor

“Intricate, taut, and completely mesmerizing. Grossman expertly blends together globe-spanning locations, well-researched technology, finely crafted narrative, and intriguing characters to create a virtuoso tale. Highly recommended.”
Dale Brown, New York Times bestselling author

Executive Treason is more chilling than science fiction … You’ll never listen to talk radio again without a shiver going down your spine.”
Gary Goldman, Executive Producer, Minority Report; Screenwriter, Navy SEALs & Total Recall

Book Details:

Genre: Political Thriller, Mystery
Published by: Diversion Books
Publication Date: TBD
Number of Pages: 556
ISBN: 1626811059 (ISBN13: 9781626811058)
Series: Executive #1
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 

Author Bio:

Gary Grossman

Gary Grossman is a multiple Emmy Award-winning network television producer, a print and television journalist, and novelist. He has produced more than 10,000 television shows for 40 broadcast and cable networks including primetime specials, reality and competition series, and live event telecasts.

Grossman has worked for NBC, written for the Boston Globe, Boston Herald American, and the New York Times. He is the author of four best-selling international award-winning thrillers available in print, eBooks, and Audible editions: EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, EXECUTIVE TREASON, EXECUTIVE COMMAND and OLD EARTH. (Diversion Books, NYC) and two acclaimed non-fiction books covering pop culture and television history – SUPERMAN: SERIAL TO CEREAL and SATURDAY MORNING TV.

Grossman taught journalism, film, and television at Emerson College, Boston University, and USC and has guest lectured at colleges and universities around the United States. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at Emerson College in Boston and he serves on the Boston University Metropolitan College Advisory Board. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Association and The Military Writers Society of America.

Catch Up With Gary Grossman On:

Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !

Tour Participants:


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Gary Grossman. There will be 1 winner of one (1) $15 Gift Card AND the opportunity to Suggest a Character Name for the Next Book in the Executive Series! The giveaway begins on June 1 and runs through August 3, 2017.

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Guest Post and Giveaway: Gary Grossman, author of OLD EARTH

The Book Diva’s Reads is always pleased when an author stops by to visit and chat. Today Gary Grossman has graciously agreed to let us in a few secrets about writing his latest thriller, Old Earth, namely a love of history and research.

History.  Can you Dig It?
by Gary Grossman

Thank you for inviting me to contribute to The Book Diva’s Reads blog just as Old Earth, my newest globe-hopping thriller, is released.  

The novel offers a fast-paced story that crisscrosses time – all time. From the beginning to now, through the Inquisition of Galileo in the 1600’s to a discovery made in modern day America. All through Old Earth, I try to sweep readers along with relatable characters and relationships, an international conspiracy that’s relatable, bite size science and history, and ultimately action and intrigue. 

But, there’s another element that’s critical to my writing. It’s research. I love research. I’m a research junkie. When it’s not for my thrillers, it’s for the documentary television shows I produce, the classes that I teach, and sometimes simply for the sake of expanding my interests.

What research really does for me is provide the historical foundation for building credible stories.

Old Earth started with a group of paleontologists digging for dinosaur fossils. They find something interesting, something inexplicable that leads them on a global search for answers. Research came into play to understand Earth history and the arguments that divide people over science and religion. Research shined a light on how I could work Galileo into a very contemporary tale, retelling his Papal trial and tying his work into my present day characters. Research gave me in-depth intel on modern day weaponry and military hardware and an insiders’ view of The Vatican. Research gave me tours through museums and roads maps in multiple cities. Research is everything.

My good friend, author WG Griffith, actually goes out and experiences the things his characters will do. He’s far braver than I am as he base jumps, dives into ancient wells, ventures through urban sewers, and feasts on things I’d never eat.  

But that’s not to say I don’t dig down deep. For Old Earth I worked through details with a geologist, a dinosaur expert, a former military intelligence officer and more. I interviewed, I wrote, I gave them the material I crafted, and then rewrote with their guidance.  

Also, Old Earth offers a scientist priest and a conspiracy theorist, both loosely based on actual people. Their work gave me the framework to introduce interesting, exciting characters who could propel the drama forward.

Finally, research opened my mind to the inciting incident which launches the plot. Quite by accident, I discovered that years before Galileo focused on the stars his feet were firmly planted on the ground as he experimented with a device to gauge temperatures. He called it the thermoscope. We know it as the thermometer.  

That nugget…that remarkable piece of history figures so prominently into the story that Galileo even ended up on the cover of Old Earth.  

The research that brought me to Galileo, in turn transported me to his Inquisition. With a little more exploring, interviewing and writing, I had the material to plot a parallel drama – switching back and forth between the past and the present. Without it, I wouldn’t have had the historical underpinning to make a present day thriller exciting.

So what does all of this mean to hopeful and current writers and avid readers?

I have to put in the perspective of my very first book, “Superman: Serial to Cereal.” It’s a book about the history of the Superman character principally from movies serials to the TV show starring George Reeves that was sponsored by Kellogg’s. I felt that if you’re going to ask the audience accept a man who can fly, be impervious to bullets, and his believe his best friends can’t recognize him when he takes off his glasses, then you better build a credible story around him.  

My conceits for Old Earth include the startling discovery Galileo makes in 1601, that links to a hermit’s find in Siberia in the mid-1800s, to a mine disaster in Wales in the early 1900s, and finally to a paleontological dig in Montana today. Get on board with those connections, add a secret society that has guarded the mystery for centuries, meet people around the world who hold pieces of the puzzle, and hopefully you’ll dig the history in Old Earth.

I hope I’ve engaged friends of The Book Diva’s Reads and you’ll check out Old Earth. It’s published by Diversion Books and available in print, eBook and Audible editions. Let me know what you think. You can reach me via my website, email at or Twitter @garygrossman1.  


Author Bio:

Gary Grossman, author of wildly popular Executive series, is a print and television journalist, an Emmy Award-winning network television producer, and a film and TV historian.

Catch Up:

Old Earth by Gary Grossman
ISBN:  9781626816343 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781626816336 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00QW2SD9A (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication date: March 10, 2015

“An ambitious tale loaded with heaping doses of adrenalin, Old Earth sweeps the reader away with history, intrigue, espionage, engaging characters, and an intelligent conclusion – all elements of the perfect thriller!” —Steve Berry, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author, The Lincoln Myth

Gary Grossman, author of the wildly popular Executive series, returns with a high-octane thriller that digs into the history of the Earth to find the secrets people are willing to kill to keep concealed.

In the summer of 1601, Galileo Galilei made a startling discovery in the mountains of Eastern Italy that, if made public, could shatter faith in religion, bring down governments and lead to worldwide turmoil.

For more than 400 years the secret has been guarded by a small group of incredibly powerful people, willing to do everything in their power to keep these discoveries from being made. But now, a university dig in Montana headed by paleontologists Quinn McCauley and Katrina Alpert threatens to expose the secret Galileo unearthed, the event that caused him to turn his study to the stars, and the hidden reason the scientist was convicted of heresy by the Inquisition.

McCauley and Alpert find themselves in a global game of cat-and-mouse, seeking answers for a mystery that has endured for centuries, hunted for what they might discover.

Old Earth weighs age-old arguments between science and religion in a tense thriller that spans time and questions recorded history.

“A high energy combination of history and intrigue, and last but not least, a great book to bring along the next time you travel.” —Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor

Old Earth‘s richly detailed and unique premise will delight fans of Dan Brown and Michael Crichton.” —CJ Lyons, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author 

This is a giveaway hosted by Diversion Books for Gary Grossman. There will be ONE winner of a signed print copy of Old Earth, eBook copy of Old Earth, and a Galileo Thermometer. The giveaway is open to US residents only. The giveaway begins on April 1st, 2015 and runs through May 2nd, 2015. 

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