Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Author Interview with Gerald G. Griffin

Author Interview with Gerald G. Griffin.
Here at Indie Ignites we want to feature not only reviews of indie books, but indie authors as well! Each month we will meet one or two Indie's who have made their chosen path work from all over the globe.

1. How did you get started with your writing career?

Unofficially, it began when I was in the 9th grade.Then, while reading about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, I said to myself, "I can write like this!" And so I did. Beginning right then, I wrote a book with a similar theme I entitled, "Sir Griffin and the Fair Princess Velva" --- Velva a girl in my class I had a crush on. My teacher found out about the book and read it chapter by chapter to the class, a new chapter each day. She was so surprised by the story, my classmates so amazed, that this set in motion the genesis of my writing career much later on.

Officially, this writing career was started when, while involved in private practice as a Ph.D. psychologist involved in some marriage counseling, I was prompted to write my first published book, THE SILENT MISERY -- WHY MARRIAGES FAIL, a non-fiction work. This reactivated the "writing bug" in me, and from there I wrote several novels, four of them published, as well as two published ghost-written non-fiction books.

Why did you choose to go Indie?

With my current novel OF GOOD AND EVIL I had no choice. My literary agent had died before I wrote the thriller so, to obtain another agent, I queried, with sample chapters, all the big and not so big literary agents in New York and elsewhere, but to no avail. I received a rejection notice from each one. I believe, unlike my 9th grade teacher, that a majority of these agents just summarily rejected my material without reading it.

3. If you had the chance to go the traditional route, would you take it?

Yes, if as before, I had found a literary agent who viewed my book with the same enthusiasm expressed by some of my reviewers i.e., "One of the best books I have ever read"; "Breathtaking"; "A truly great storyteller."

4. What is the hardest thing that you had to learn from being an Indie?

How to do all the marketing myself. Marketing your book on your own can drag you into an unsuspecting mire of struggles, what with the barrage of limitless, promising and costly marketing schemes thrown at you, many of which invariably fail to deliver what you had hoped they would deliver, social networking and engines included. Marketing becomes a madhouse! It's as though you become part of some freakish high wire circus act without a net where you leap haphazardly from the swing, twisting spasmodically into thin air, then frantically grasping outward toward your "catcher's" hands just at the moment your partner is suddenly seized with severe dizzy spells killing any semblance of timing. "Look out below!"

5. What is the best part of being an Indie?

Publishing independence sparing you the wasted time and discouragement of rejection city --- if you can handle on your own the madhouse of marketing.

6. Tell us about your book, OF GOOD AND EVIL.

It's a hard-charging suspense thriller engulfed in mystery; an unusual gripping tale of nobility versus tyranny, with vivid and unforgettable characters, harrowing action, international locales, and a captivating love story.

The protagonist, Ron Sheffield, a gifted but troubled Green Beret, plagued by suicidal guilt because of "special abilities", is discharged from the army for going "crazy" and from there the fireworks begin. Almost immediately, Ron is brutally beaten and shot by the Mafia and is hospitalized, the doctors certain he will die. But his life is dramatically saved by
amber Ash, a young wealthy woman whom also possesses "special abilities" not unlike Ron's. This is the spark for them falling in love but also propelling the two into unending danger, including battles with the Mafia, terrorists and a government cell out to kill them over secret, alarming Iraqi documents Ron possesses from his army service. In the midst of these battles, with surprising twists at every turn, Ron, to save his sanity, is forced by his own mental demons, with the strange help of Amber's estranged father, to become a specialized hit man for the Mafia. This, in turn, brings Ron and Amber face to face with an extraordinary secret society with powers beyond the imagination and with a different mind-set from their own, confronting them with a different kind of conflict.

Throughout these unnerving encounters, some of them never really settled, Ron is eventually confronted with the imminent nuclear obliteration of a major American city --- and Amber and the secrets society with it --- by a suicidal terrorist cell that only Ron can possibly stop, but finds it impossible to do so. A cliff-hanging ending.

7. What inspired you to write OF GOOD AND EVIL?

To begin, a combination of two things: first, world and internal events affecting our national security, especially the 9/11 attacks; second, the volatile stress on war veterans suffering from combat trauma to adjust to normal society (work, love, friendships, etc.) after discharge from service because of the persistence of this trauma. Then, adding to the inspiration, was the challenge of combining these two aspects into a different approach to the concept of good and evil never before attempted, while at the same time writing a spellbinding story of action, surprises, love and nobility that was crisp, clean and clear, with characters resonating flawlessly with an innovative galloping plot keeping the reader on edge and glued to the book from start to finish.

8. Do you feel you have accomplished this?

Yes, according to my reviewers.

For example, one reviewer, Shane Porteous, said of the book: "Of Good And Evil is the very embodiment of what a paranormal thriller should be. This book is perfectly paced, with a great sense of mystery. It truly boggles my mind the sheer calibre of talent this author possesses. It is extremely rare to find such a skilled writer. Of Good And Evil is such a marvelous tale that you don't even have to be a fan of its specific genre, and to me that is the mark of a brilliant story. One of the best books I have ever read."

Another reviewer, Rick Friedman, said: "Of Good And Evil is a novel so finely written, so well plotted and paced, that the reader is immediately drawn into the book from the first page. That Mr. Griffin is able to use mere words to introduce the reader to Ron Sheffield is nothing short of breathtaking --- it is not often that a writer can make so complex a character resonate so perfectly with a plot and locations as to keep the reader so captivated. A must read!"

And still another reviewer, Tracey Alley, said: "Gerald G. Griffin has that special talent of a great storyteller. In his brilliant story 'Of Good And evil' he takes the reader on a wild ride with the real world as his background. He also goes that step further that separates writers from great writers."

The producer of the to-be movie based upon Of Good And Evil, Alexandria Altman, said: "You have a giant on your hands! A masterpiece! A major movie!"

9. How did you feel when you heard that Alexandria Altman wants to turn your book into a movie?

I felt ecstatic! It strongly validates the appeal of my story; something worth reading and bringing tot he screen.

10. How much input do you have with the movie? Do you get to help pick the actors?

Regarding specifics, other than to say that the prime producer of the movie is Alexandria Altman and that the movie is being handled by a major movie company in Beverly Hills, I'm presently under non-disclosure. I'm on a film slate, and the film is being negotiated in Hollywood. As part of that, I'm in negotiation to be a co-producer. In this capacity, among other things, I would have a voice in changes made to the script as well as determining how true the movie would be to the novel; and perhaps have an influence on what actors are to be chosen to play the major roles. It all depends upon whether this turns out to be an independent production or a major studio production.

11. What are you writing now?

I'm putting the final touches to the sequel, A TIME OF RECKONING. It's another jarring, breathtaking , action-packed suspense thriller with periods of comic relief from two disgruntled FBI agents who were disgraced in OF GOOD AND EVIL. Also, there is tragic comic relief from an unbalanced, one-sided, impossibly hoped for love relationship amidst impending catastrophe where secret cells of Al Qaeda terrorists in the U.S. are bent on annihilating 24 American cities simultaneously in suicide missions, pursuing a plan impossible to stop.

12. Do you ever incorporate your real life into your novels?

Only in one novel, the first one, THE CORRUPTORS. The story here was based somewhat --- with plenty of poetic license ---- upon my experience as a grad student and the first year of my psychological practice after receiving my Ph.D. My second novel, THE DEATH DISCIPLE, did not incorporate any of my real life but was based more on creative imagination. This also was the case with my third novel, THE LAST COMING, though here there was some vague hint of my real life experiences. My fourth and fifth novels, OF GOOD AND EVIL and its sequel, was more a mixture of my creative imagination intertwined with real world events that in some way affected my life experiences.

13. Where can OF GOOD AND EVIL be purchased?

To order, click my author blog,http://geraldggriffin.blogspot.com/ On the home page, at the top, click "Buy the Latest Book" box. Then on the page that comes up, go down to Amazon.com, and to the side of it click "Paperback & Kindle, or go to the side of Barnes & Noble and click "Paperback." In either case you're taken directly to the page where the novel's book cover appears and from where you can order the book. Or you can order there from the publisher by clicking "through the publisher book page" in red. To order from Great Britain, clickhttp://www.amazon.co.uk and use the search box. In addition to Kindle, the eBook version can be ordered on Ipad, Iphone and other eBook providers.


Born in Flint, Michigan, Gerald received his AS and BBA from colleges in his home town, then received his MA and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Upon graduation, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, there joining the private practice of an established psychologist. A year later, Gerald set up his own private practice as a consulting psychologist, his professional activities including marriage counseling, psychotherapy, psychological evaluations and executive consultation. While in practice he was listed in WHO'S WHO in Georgia; Marquis WHO'S WHO in the South and Southwest; Outstanding Atlantans; Personalities of the South; Personalities of America; and Notable Americans. During his 18 years as a consulting psychologist, Gerald wrote the published non-fiction book, THE SILENT MISERY--WHY MARRIAGES FAIL, followed by the three published novels, THE CORRUPTORS, THE DEATH DISCIPLE and THE LAST COMING. Easing out of psychological practice to enter writing full-time, Gerald moved to Gainesville, Georgia, there producing two published ghost-written non-fiction books. Then he wrote the published novel, OF GOOD AND EVIL and is now putting the final touches to its sequel, A TIME OF RECKONING.

Gerald is divorced, with two grown sons, and is presently engaged. He loves nature, dogs and cats, travel, theatre,great books and sporting events, especially golf and football.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your time in doing this interview, and for presenting it in such an excellent and well-balanced manner.