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, Presidential Objective 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. Presidential Option is a tense political thriller; an election year page-turner, where both the Presidency and the Constitution are at stake.
ARE WE RUNNING OUT OF HISTORY?
Blog posting by Gary Grossman
Author EXECUTIVE ACTIONS
I’m honored to be connecting to readers through The Book Connection. It’s a fabulous website, dedicated to enhancing our experience as readers and a great means for authors to link up with fans. Thank you for extending me the opportunity to share a real inside story about EXECUTIVE ACTIONS that I hope everyone will find interesting and add to the experience of reading my first thriller.
Let me transport you back to September 10, 2001 and a light-hearted conversation in the Manhattan offices of the History Channel. I was there through my day job as a TV producer. Up to that point I had produced nearly 100 documentaries, biographies and historical specials for History. We were now gathered to talk about the future.
For the sake of conversation, someone in the room wondered aloud, “Do you think we’re running out of history?” Of course this led to a wide-ranging discussion.
“We’re always going to be making and reporting history. The question for me,” I finally asked, “is whether we’ll ever really learn from it.”
The very next morning, with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, life in the United States changed. Forever.
A day later on my drive back to my home in Los Angeles (the airports were shut down) I began thinking about the plot to bring down the buildings. It had been years in the making, the work of terrorists and…sleeper cell spies.
What else could be in play? I thought to myself. What other targets are out there? Brick and mortar, institutional, or symbolic?
Let me attach some basis to the question. We are a very impatient society. In America, we make and break movies and TV shows over a weekend or within a few weeks of release or airing. We give “nobodies” 15-minutes of fame and then toss them out like Dixie Cups. We live in a 24/7 news (or is it “noise”) cycle, where stories come and go in the blink of an eye. But to our enemies in the Middle East, patience – real patience – is another thing. It’s centuries long. To many, the invasion of the Crusaders is recent history.
With that in mind, I eventually focused on a plot for a novel. Although I had written two widely popular non-fiction books on TV history and had been a newspaper columnist and TV news documentarian, this would be my first attempt at fiction.
My idea was based on that notion of patience: Sleeper cell spies in the U.S., incubating for 30 or 40 years, are awakened. What goal would be important enough to wait decades? I decided it would be the American presidency itself.
I researched Russian sleeper cell spies operating in the U.S and considered who would run them after the fall of the Soviet Union? I answered that by transferring the chain of command to a Middle East terrorist bent on revenge.
Then I started my research; deep research on U.S. Constitutional Law, military hardware, Arabic history, systems within the White House, and secret Soviet cities where spies were trained spies to not only pass as Americans, but literally become Americans.
This was the crux of EXECUTIVE ACTIONS – unique education that came out of the KGB and their super secret Andropov Institute.
At the height of the Cold War, the Russians had to train spies to think like Americans – to be able to pass as authentic citizens – to not haggle when buying items, to successfully apply for a house loan without drawing suspicion, to work proper idiomatic expressions into their language and to even deal with the wide ranging choices Americans have from choosing car colors to picking one sneaker style out of hundreds. It was all different, and untrained, sleeper spies would get the simple things about American life wrong and avoid exposure.
The plot hangs on a team trained to blend into American life so effectively that they could eventually assume important jobs in the fabric of the United States.
It’s all based on actual cases.
EXECUTIVE ACTIONS begins with an assassination on the campaign trail, moves with lightning speed through the election season, through the halls of Congress and into the backwoods of America. Besides the action and intrigue, I also weave in arguments over the laws that govern presidential succession today. (Trust me, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.)
The thriller is timely, based on real-world threats and relatable characters. It’s fiction, but only a few heartbeats away from reality and proof that we can’t close our eyes on history-making events for a second.
Returning to the conversation we had at network. Are we running out of history?
Pick up the newspaper tomorrow or turn on the news. History rewrites itself every day.
PURCHASE EXECUTIVE ACTIONS AT:
BARNES AND NOBLE
Gary Grossman is also the author of EXECUTIVE TREASON and EXECUTIVE COMMAND.
He can be reached through www.GaryGrossman.com
and invites new followers via Twitter @garygrossman1
EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, EXECUTIVE TREASON and EXECUTIVE COMMAND
Available in all Book formats
Diversion Books, NYC
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18125020-executive-actions (Where a giveaway for a signed copy of the entire Executive trilogy is currently ongoing!)
Blog Blitz Hosts
See my review of EXECUTIVE ACTIONS here: http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/2012/06/book-review-executive-actions-by-gary.html
My review of EXECUTIVE TREASON here: http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/2012/07/book-review-executive-treason-by-gary.html
My review of EXECUTIVE COMMAND here: http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/2013/02/book-review-executive-command-by-gary.html