Monday, June 29, 2015

Introducing Jann Gott

One of the joys of indie publishing is all the options a writer has. I can write in any genre, I control my IP, I can tell off-center stories, I can write to a niche, I can mash up genres in ways a publishing house would scoff at. (Kind of like mashing the paranormal mystery with a legal thriller!)

And last, but certainly not least, is the option to collaborate. With anybody and everybody. In the traditional publishing world, collaborations come with so much red tape they're nearly impossible to make into a reality. But with indie publishing, it's incredibly easy.

And I've had such a blast writing the Tomahawk & Saber series with Nathanael Green, that I figured, why the hell not collaborate with another good friend?

Enter my buddy, Jann Gott. It's because of him I get to say I'm working on an Irish mob story right now. (Never thought I'd say that!)

Our novel is called The Board, and it's a cross between The Wolf of Wall Street, Rounders, and The Departed.

We can't wait to put this book out because in our not so humble opinions it kicks all f--king ass. But more on that in the near future, for now I want to introduce Jann Gott. He took time off from coming up with all these great ideas to answer my questions, which range from half-witted to ridiculous to piercing. (Okay, not piercing.) Here's the Q&A:

Q: Jann, where did you get your idea for The Board?

A: I have been in business management and consulting for decades now.  Moreover, I have been a fan of mob stories and mob movies ever since I was a teenager. Being a fan of both business and mob stories, I thought it would be interesting to put an intelligent and resourceful c-suite consultant in a situation where he has to help the mob or else. There are parallels in both business and the mob, family and business loyalty, hard work, spinning the truth to get your bottom-line, maximizing profit, and dealing with your competition. I readily admit that I can be cynical, but I have often thought that both the business and the mob attempt to crush their competition and the only difference between the two is corporations use mergers, acquisitions, and firings. The mob uses a gun.        

Q: Rumor has it there's a script for The Board floating around somewhere. True?

A: Very true, and you already know that! We started developing the script and outline first. We decided that this would also make a terrific book. I am big admirer of your work and have been for sometime now especially The Unearthed series and Close of Business books. So I jumped at the chance to collaborate and develop the book and the screenplay in parallel.   

Q: For the record, I did not pay you for the plug...but getting back to you, Jann. You're an idea factory. Not more than five minutes goes by where you're not pitching a new idea to me. So tell us about all the other stories you've got planned.

A: I appreciate the compliment. The problem with having so many ideas is staying focused on the one story you have in front of you and not having enough hours in the day to bring all the good ideas to fruition. Other stories we are developing are:

·       a popular Presidential candidate that may also be a sociopath

·       Myrtle Beach buddy story involving 3 high-school best friends that get together after 20 years for a wild weekend golf trip filled with non-stop drinking, partying, dirty words, stupidity, strippers, golf, and coming to terms with the death of one of the friend’s father

·       Curling – Executives that find themselves out of work, unable to land the next c-suite position, and decide to try out as a Curling team in the Winter Olympics       

Q: Boxers or briefs?

A: Boxers – keeps all my best ideas flowing


Q: List your favorite movies (you only get to pick 3).

A: Tough question but probably no surprise given my earlier comment on the Mob

1.  The Godfather

2.  Goodfellas

3.  Heat

Q: Did you ever think you'd be a published author?

A: Never in a million years. I think I read as many books as I have written.  


Q: After The Board, what's the next book going to be?

A: I want to start exploring the Presidential candidate story with you.

Q: Be careful what you wish for...The Board started out as a screenplay. I've struggled trying to translate what was supposed to be a film into a book. What challenges have you faced?

A: I understand that struggle very well. The blessing I have is that I am a very visual person (visual learner) and find myself able to translate the scene in my head as if it were playing right in front of me on screen. That is a curse however, since the meatier background story needs to find a home in the book.

In a screenplay or movie, you can write in flashbacks or cuts to quickly probe into the history of the character, what makes the characters tick, and how the characters may react to a situation based on the quick flashback. A book tends to be more chronological or linear to capture the inner workings of the characters. A movie like Pulp Fiction, which jumps backwards and forwards brilliantly on film, might lose the reader if the book was laid out along the same time line. I can imagine the reader saying, “Hey Vincent was shot two chapters ago. What is he doing in the diner during the robbery at the end of the book?” 

Q: Here's where it gets difficult. Pete Rose: in or out of the Hall of Fame?

A: Dude, Pete Rose was my hero growing up. Nobody played harder and nobody wanted to win more than Pete. My hometown Phillies would not have won the 1980 World Series without Pete Rose.

The problem: he is not likable any more. He was not a good manager for the Reds and clearly fell into a gambling problem and did bet on his own games. Gambling is an addiction and addiction is a disease so I have empathy – I do for my childhood hero. There are also a lot of Hall of Famers with probably worse personal problems however, Pete broke the rules and continues to be a dick about it so ultimately, I say no to the Hall of Fame.   


Well that's all the time we have for now. As we get closer to the launch of The Board, I'm hoping Jann will make a few more appearances on the blog here. It's awesome I've gotten this opportunity to work with him and can't wait to see how the book fares once we release it into the publishing wild.


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