BOOK RELEASE DAY – RED Hotel by Gary Grossman & Ed Fuller
A Q&A WITH THE AUTHORS
What was the primary motivation for writing a thriller before you met Gary Grossman?
Growing up, I loved the James Bond books and movies. The adventure and the characters were exciting. Then, over my 40 years with Marriott, I experienced a number of global crises situations that felt like they could have even come from Bond. Along the way – a long way – 22 years as President of International for Marriott, I learned through kidnappings, evacuations, dealing with drug cartels, and foreign governments that crisis management was absolutely critical. Since retiring from Marriott I decided to combine my realities with my early fantasies. RED HOTEL was born.
What was your experience writing fiction versus non-fiction?
While I was still working with Marriott, I wrote a book “You Can’t Lead with your Feet on the Desk.” It was a business book that reflected my experiences and philosophies. It was published by Wiley in the US, China, and Japan. The reason I sought partnership with Gary Grossman was based on my lack of experience as a fiction writer. So the way it works is I contribute stories and strategy and Gary applies the glue, creativity, and through-line that binds our stories, characters, and the overall international plot.
After meeting Ed Fuller what potential did you see in his story concept?
Gary Grossman – Initially, I wondered what would I have in common professionally with the former President of Marriott International. After all, I was a thriller writer, he was a global executive with the responsibility over thousands of peoples’ lives and careers. I worked in fiction. He worked in reality. But then we met and in the first thirty seconds I realized Ed was as much in the anti-terrorism business as the hotel business. He extracted his teams in Cairo and Tripoli during the fall of Mubarak and Gaddafi. Company hotels were bombed. He dealt with drug cartels, kidnappings, and high-level officials in foreign governments around the world. Then I asked Ed who he had on speed dial. He told me. Dramatically. And I realized we could work together and create a wonderful plot fictionalizing Ed’s real life experiences.
How did you co-create Dan Reilly?
Dan does real life things, but in a fictional world. Where Ed didn’t carry a gun, we gave one to Dan for a key scene. But there’s so much of Ed in Dan. Key was focusing on Ed Fuller’s creation of the color code threat assessment levels he implemented at Marriott that we adapted for RED HOTEL. So, as you meet Dan Reilly in print, you’ll understand a great deal about Ed Fuller’s remarkable career.
Tell us more about him and what makes him your protagonist?
Dan Reilly has contacts in the international intelligence community, just as Ed does. For the sake of RED HOTEL, that pits him against a master assassin in the employ of the president of the Russian Federation. The background for the entire plot deals with the president and his desire to rebuild the old Soviet bloc on Russia’s western front. Fiction for RED HOTEL, but a real and present danger for NATO and the West.
What kind of terrorists is he dealing with?
Spoiler alert. The terrorists are actually agents of Russia. But that’s for Dan Reilly and his team to figure out. So right now, consider yourself head of the protagonist. But there are more surprises in RED HOTEL to discover.
What are the stakes if they’re aren’t stopped?
The clock is ticking for Russia to make a dramatic and bold move. To expand Russia’s existing borders into western Europe. So throughout RED HOTEL, all the Russian president needs is the right provocation. That’s when and where Dan Reilly must step in.
Describe how you came up with the title, Red Hotel.
The RED in RED HOTEL refers to the highest threat level in the color code system created by Ed Fuller at Marriott and Dan Reilly in the thriller. RED means the property looks and feels more protected, and in Ed’s experience, the more visible the defenses against terrorists, the more likely bad guys are to move on.
What’s next for you?
Ed and I are nearly finished with the first draft of the sequel to RED HOTEL. It picks right up from where the first book leaves off. So, stay tuned and thanks for deep diving into RED HOTEL. We hope you’ll enjoy it.
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ED FULLER is a hospitality industry leader, educator, and author of the international Top 20 bestselling business book, You Can’t Lead with Your Feet on the Desk, published by Wiley. He is president of the Irvine, California-based Laguna Strategic Advisors, a global consortium that provides business consulting services to corporations and governments. Fuller is a director of the Federal Bureau of Investigators National Academy Associates Foundation (FBINAA). He has served as a Board Executive of several Charity Boards and Three University Boards. His 40-year career with Marriott included serving as CMO and several regional operational positions which was capped by his role as president and managing director of Marriott International for 22 years. As worldwide chief, he directed and administered corporate expansion of 555 hotels in 73 countries and $8 billion in sales. During that time, he oversaw the creation of Marriott International’s Global Security Strategy. Fuller served as a captain in the U.S. Army and was decorated with a Bronze Star and Army Commendation medals.
Gary Grossman is a multiple Emmy Award winning television producer and author of the bestselling international political thrillers Executive Actions, Executive Treason, Executive Command, Executive Force, and Old Earth. He has also written two highly regarded non-fiction books on TV history. Grossman has been published by Dell/Delacorte, Byron Preiss Publishing, Diversion Books, Harlequin, Arlington House, and CBS/Popular Library. He has produced for NBC News, served as a columnist for the Boston Herald American, written for the Boston Globe and the New York Times. Grossman is Contributing Editor to Media Ethics Magazine and has produced more than 10,000 television programs for 40 networks. He’s a member of ITW, the International Thriller Writers Association and the Military Writers Society of America.