This team is coming in clutch again with the next book of their winning thriller series. Game one was Red Hotel, which you can read our review of to either refresh your memory or get the necessary information to jump right into the second book, Red Deception. Read our review of the recent release here. Spoiler alert: we have some good things to say about it. Is a third book waiting in the dugout? Read and see!

We were thrilled (see what we did there?) to combine the talents of Gary Grossman and Ed Fuller yet again, this time to get them to answer some of our pressing questions about Red Deception. Luckily, they didn’t mind at all; they genuinely enjoy working together and have positive takeaways from both their partnership and their finished product. They also have a few thoughts about the proximity of their fictional reality to our factual reality. If you’re the kind of person who loves a good thriller, you’re probably raring to get to the payoff of all this exposition … so here we go!

Q: How did the two of you come together to write this series?

A: There’s actually a James Bond connection to our collaboration. Bruce Feirstein, the screenwriter of the first three Pierce Brosnan James Bond movies, is a mutual friend. Gary is a neighbor. Ed knew Bruce from a Boston University board. One evening, Gary was walking his dog and bumped into Bruce. Ed had told Bruce that he was looking for a book collaborator to put some of his international series into thriller novel form. Gary subsequently met Ed and now three years later, Red Hotel and Red Deception are the results of their partnership, with Red Chaos in the works for 2022. It’s a partnership, a friendship and a creative association that brings the best of two worlds together: international business and creative writing. Truth be told, there’s a great deal of truth in the thrillers.

Q: What do you each contribute to the writing team? And what is your method of collaboration?

A: We have a workflow that works. We regularly meet in person, Zoom and talk through experiences that can be woven into the plot of our thrillers. We discuss character, plot, story beats, action and intrigue. We work out an outline, then begin writing. Gary takes the lead in the writing, Ed edits, amplifies, and massages the output, adding to elements and finding ways to turn up the heat. The process takes a little less than a year, with every day counting.  We listen to each other, respect one another and together create novels that excite us and hopefully do the same for readers. What makes it especially thrilling is that the books are loaded with real and present dangers from the inside out, making for what we liked to call “completely novel novels”: authentic, realistic, edge-of-your-seat rides because readers get to be in the shoes of someone who experienced so many of the scenarios.

Q: How does Red Deception differ from the first book in this series, Red Hotel? How has the hero evolved?

A: Red Deception definitely ups the ante. The threats begin domestically and expand out. Red Hotel began internationally but had domestic components. Since we live in a global economy and everything comes down to politics (including spycraft), the books crisscross across both editorial and geographical boundaries. The entire world is the game board, open for play by our stand-ins for Russia’s president and ours. There are current events, history, and tomorrow’s news all rolled into one, with the question at the heart of Red Deception: what do the attacks in the U.S have to do with Russian expansionism in Eastern Europe and its desire to reclaim control over its Cold War satellite nations? All of that is to say, our second book picks up where the first left off, focusing on attacks against America’s highly vulnerable infrastructure – bridges, tunnels, roads and dams. They’re shivering scenarios that keep members of the White House Staff, the Joint Chiefs and intelligence operatives worried day and night, as in real life … we hope.

Q: Why is Red Deception so timely? How likely is such a scenario?

A: As writers, we think the unthinkable, what’s possible and what’s likely. The fact is action screenwriters and authors are often ahead of the experts. That’s why, after 9/11, members of the creative community were invited to the Pentagon and the CIA to answer the questions,“What are we not thinking about? What should we be worried about happening?” Red Deception is timely because infrastructure is leading the news. We are not only woefully behind in repairing our nation’s bridges, water supply systems, tunnels and roads, let alone keeping up the fight against cyber terrorism, we’re hardly prepared for tomorrow’s threats. 

We deep dive into the very real threats with our protagonist Dan Reilly and the reaction we get from insiders is astounding. A Homeland Security agent noted “Red Deception provides an in-depth and realistic ground-level view of the type of asymmetric Nation-state-sponsored threats faced by Agencies tasked with protecting the U.S.” We’ve heard similar comments from a Navy Admiral and Army Generals: “the story mirrors reality,” “a picture of reality in our world today,” “fiction that’s all too real.” Our readers will be getting fiction that’s fast-paced and exciting. But there’s a whole lot more.

Q: What kind of research did you do to write Red Deception?

A: Research comes first hand from Ed’s experience. In addition, we consult with the FBI, Constitutional experts, military intelligence officers, and everyone from submarine commanders to Russian history professors. We have connections with past and present White House insiders and, yes, we’re avid readers. There’s not a day of writing that doesn’t include research on the phone, on the internet, in person or happily these days, over Zoom.

Q: So there is a third book in the series in the works? What’s the premise of that one?

A: Stay tuned for Book 3, Red Chaos. Red Hotel set the plate with inviting appetizers, introducing the characters and the intrigue. Red Deception serves up a full course of surprises with new dangers, new characters, and advancing Dan Reilly’s involvement in the field. And Red Chaos will expand the world of intrigue to include China, a nation with a 100-year plan to control the global economy. They’re well on their way to accomplishing that.

For more information on the authors, check out the BookTrib author profile pages for Ed Fuller and Gary Grossman.

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About Ed Fuller:

ED FULLER is CEO of Laguna Strategic Advisors, a global consortium providing business consulting services worldwide. He has served on business and charitable boards during his 40-year career with Marriott International where he was chief marketing officer followed by 22 years as president and managing director of Marriott International. Under his management, the international division grew from 16 to 550 hotels in 73 countries with 80,000 associates and sales of $8 billion. Upon retirement, Fuller has served on five university boards and taught as adjunct professor for MBA and undergraduate students. He blogged for Forbes and other tourism and lodging industry media. His book, You Can’t Lead with Your Feet on the Desk, has been printed in English, Japanese and Chinese. Fuller served as captain in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany and Vietnam and received the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation medals. He and Gary Grossman are co-authors of the Red Hotel series, including the 2018 thriller Red Hotel and the 2021 release, Red Deception, soon to be followed by Red Chaos.

GARY GROSSMAN is a journalist, newspaper columnist, documentary television producer, reporter, media historian and the author of Executive ActionsExecutive Treason, Executive Command, and Executive Force. In addition to the bestselling Executive series, Grossman wrote the international award-winning Old Earth, a geological thriller. With Ed Fuller, Grossman has collaborated on the globe-hopping Red Hotel series. Grossman has contributed to the New York Times and the Boston Globe, and was a columnist for the Boston Herald American.  He covered presidential campaigns for WBZ-TV in Boston. A multiple Emmy series and specials for networks including NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, Fox, History Channel, Discovery and National Geographic Channel.  He served as chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors, and is a member of the International Thriller Writers Association and Military Writers Society of America.  He is a trustee at Emerson College and serves on the Boston University Metropolitan College Advisory Board.  Grossman has taught at Emerson College, Boston University, USC, and currently teaches at Loyola Marymount University.