Genre: Political Thriller
Executive Actions by Gary Grossman
An assassin takes aim at a Presidential candidate during a primary stump speech. The instant he pulls the trigger, the outcome of the election is irrevocably changed. But Democrat Teddy Lodge, an upcoming media sweetheart, isn’t killed. His wife is. As a result, Lodge emerges as the man to beat and the greatest threat to the incumbent President, Morgan Taylor. Under a specific directive from the President, Special Service Agent Scott Roarke delves into the case and begins to unravel a deadly plot that incubated for more than 30 years; designed to alter America’s allegiances in the Middle East. From the very first page, Executive Actions culls events from today’s headlines intersecting with a scenario that’s shockingly real: An insidious plot hatched in the old days of the Soviet Union continues to grow to fruition in the hands of a power hungry Middle East heir to the throne. At its core, a sleeper is awakened to take a prominent role in American Life. Executive Actions is a tense political thriller; an election year page-turner, where both the Presidency and the Constitution are at stake.
Meet Gary Grossman
Guest Post by Author Gary Grossman
My thanks to SunMountainReviews for inviting me to participate in a blog that weaves my fictional work, EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, published by Diversion Books, into the very real and often dangerous world we inhabit.
I’ll start with an admission. I have a pair of jobs that nobody actually gave me. I write thrillers and, as a result, I sound warning bells. I’m not alone at the job. Other thriller writers are on the watch, too. Maybe that’s why after 9/11, the Bush Administration invited thriller and screenwriters to share their own “What If?” scenarios so America’s intelligence community could be better prepared.
A brainstorming session actually took place at the Pentagon where members of the “creative community” discussed possible terrorist scenarios. They considered achievable scenarios. A short time later, President Bush advisor Karl Rove met with Jack Valenti, the head of the Motion Picture Association of America and leaders of Hollywood’s major studios and television networks to see what they could come up with to help raise awareness.
Valenti said the meeting was designed to engage Hollywood’s creative thinking and the persuasive skills of top flight writers to assist the ongoing war against terror. The meaning was not lost on thriller writers either. And so, movies and books soon reflected the message that the attacks of September 11th were against the civilized world as a whole, that they required a global response, that the anti-terrorism campaign was a war against evil, and that U.S. troops and their families needed support.
I wasn’t part of this informal and perhaps manipulative call to action. My first novel, EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, came out well after Washington’s outreach to writers. But even without a presidential or military heavy hand on my shoulder, I certainly felt as a novelist who thinks the unthinkable, I had something personal to contribute to the greater awareness and I could sound alarms that worth hearing. That feeling has grown the more I’ve written and researched the possibilities. It’s further evident in my EXECUTIVE ACTIONS sequels, EXECUTIVE TREASON and EXECUTIVE COMMAND.
However, it’s worth noting that I’m actually not a conspiracy theorist or paranoid. But what’s the old saw? Sometimes someone is really following you.
Consider recent breaking headlines:
Is the Government Listening into our Phone Conversations?
Top Secret Documents Leaked to the Press
Russian Sleeper Cell Spies Deported
Old Soviet Tactics Return
Smuggled Cuban Missile Parts Destined for North Korea Found in a Panama Canal Raid
The truth is history repeats itself because we don’t learn from the past. And a good political thriller writer needs only look to yesterday’s news for a plot that’s destined to feel real tomorrow.
For me, I turn to both the front page and the history texts…to accounts as wide ranging as Wall Street industrialists who plotted a coup to remove President Franklin Roosevelt from the White House…to a vitriolic radio host named Father Charles Coughlin who spewed anger across the airwaves years ahead of today’s hate radio hosts…to Cold War fears returning…and to bombings at a marathon finish line that brought an end to whatever innocence was left.
EXECUTIVE ACTIONS is fiction…up to a point. At its core, it thrusts fictional characters into nightmarish scenarios where basic tenets of American life are at risk, where a sleeper spy cell plot could work, where charismatic political figures might not be who they appear to be. Also, the thriller dramatically raises questions about the fragility of our election process and whether it’s long past time to consider changes in our succession law. They’re all alarms.
Fiction? Not necessarily. With multiple plots constantly intersecting, my goal as a writer is to engage readers and to keep them guessing from the standpoint of real-world concerns. I want to expose relevant threats of the day…or at least days within reach. Maybe that’s why I describe my novels as “political reality.” The trilogy is rooted in the possible, the imaginable, and against all prayers, perhaps the inevitable.
While I hope EXECUTIVE ACTIONS delivers a fast, exciting and thrilling experience (whether in eBooks, print or Audible book editions), the drama also leads readers to think the unthinkable…to heed the past…to listen to alarms.
The alerts I sound are loud enough to keep women and men (my thrillers have solid crossover appeal) up at night frantically reading and wondering whether “What If?” will become “What’s Next?” They’re loud enough for us to recognize that we must pay attention to the mistakes of the past to prepare for the future. Loud enough to hear the echoes from more than 400 years ago when Francis Bacon wrote, “He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils, for Time is the greatest innovator.”