A funny thing happened on the way to the Thanksgiving festivities.
Oddly beset with the true spirit of the Pilgram Fathers, I bought a live turkey --- from quite a weird featured character, as I recall --- the day before Thanksgiving, determined to prepare it from scratch as our first settlers had done.
But the novice I was at being a first settler, the turkey got loose from its pen in the back yard and swiftly disappeared with gobbly grunts of victory into the woods.
"Gads, so much for the pilgrim spirit," I sighed heavily in disappointment. "I'm stuck with the stale chicken in the fridge!"
Following the turkey's daring escape on Thanksgiving Eve, defying all turkey lore, I sought solace by rereading my novel Of Good And Evil on the open porch in back. Laughing and crying while immersed in deep thought, I found the book still to be fantastic reading. So fantastic that the turkey, safely hidden in the woods, mesmerized by all my laughing and crying, gobbled back in a dash and strangely demanded to read the novel (this daring turkey escape artist was so bizarre that it could do this, and with amazing speed). Finishing the suspense thriller, the turkey looked at me with those flashing, gobbly turkey eyes, and in its excited, gobbly turkey sounds (which even more amazingly I could understand), said to me:
"I'm getting you a copy of this spectacular thriller as a Christmas gift!"
Needless to say, these words were better than a White House pardon.
The turkey and I ended up eating chicken together on Thanksgiving.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Of Good And Evil -- Nurture Virtual Book Tour
Q&A - conducted by Rick Friedman
Q. How Did You Come Up With The Plot For OF GOOD AND EVIL And How Were You Able To Flesh It Out To Become A Full Novel?
A. "Six different desires contributed to conceiving the plot of Of Good And Evil. First, ever since dealing in therapy with the combat trauma of a few war veterans while I was in private practice as a psychologist, I've had the desire to write a book on the psyche and emotional trauma of men returning from the war front. Second, I've harbored the desire to write about the courage and fortitude of women suffering from a notable disadvantage, and how this turned them to remarkable devotion. Third, I've had the desire to write a novel about the Mafia. Fourth, I've always had the desire to delve into the paranormal. Fifth, the terrorist threat to our national security, both by events abroad and within our own country, left me with a desire to write a novel about this threat. And sixth, I've had a desire to achieve a sense nobility in my work. In writing Of Good And Evil, these six desires were combined to shape the essence of the book's plot; this nucleus of meshing these six desires together into one the beginning of the fleshing out leading to a full novel. But in addition to my imagination, knowledge and research, and in addition to adding action, mystery and a compelling love story keeping the reader turning the pages, to complete this fleshing out it was critical to come up with the right characters which, when combined with the right circumstances, gave the story its fullest intended impact. The right characters and circumstances were critical to the plot, one constantly being modified to accommodate the new and evolving demands of the unfolding story while still maintaining its integrity. So, as the plot was pieced together, sometimes taking on a life of its own, it necessitated the creation of the needed vibrant main characters, Ron Sheffield and Amber Ash; reinforced by the needed vibrancy of its secondary characters, Jonathan J. Ash, Keith Vandiver, Dominick Valenti and Rachael Di Salvo; and a third tier of vivid supporting characters. This was the fleshing out, passion and characters giving birth to the novel. A new awakening!"
Q. Gerald, how has your educational background, specifically your PhD, helped you in creating the very realistic portraits of your complex characters?
A. "My PhD --- which would have to include the many years of psychological practice it made possible --- helped me immensely! You could say that OF GOOD AND EVIL is as much a psychological thriller as it is a suspense thriller or a captivating love story. But at no time in developing any of my characters did I have to ask myself, "Now, what are the psychological principles I have learned that I can apply here in developing this character?" No. Combined with my creative process, the psychological aspects I applied came rather automatically, from an immediate 'knowing' based upon my graduate training and professional experience so ingrained in me as to become second nature. I didn't have to recall. I had to create, with the help of my psychological second nature. Of course, it wasn't as simple as that, but this could be said to be the gist of it. I'm sure, at times, that my subconscious, drawing upon my graduate learning and professional experience without me even being aware of it, came into play in developing the complexity of my characters. But too, this complexity developed from the characters themselves, whom, at various points, sort of took on lives of their own. What I'm saying is that there was more than my educational background and professional experience that went into making the very realistic portraits of my complex characters. They were important, sometimes vital, but other factors had a determining role as well. What guided me in all of this was my imaginative creative process, in charge of everything, And sometime even I didn't know totally what it was up to --- until the final result, which was amazing!"
Of Good And Evil by Gerald G. Griffin
Synopsis: Ron Sheffield, a gifted but tormented Green Beret, plagued by suicidal guilt because of his “special” abilities, is discharged from the army for going “crazy.” Immediately, he is brutally beaten and shot by the Mafia, and is hospitalized near death. His life is dramatically saved by Amber Ash, who also possesses “special” abilities, and from there the two are propelled into harrowing ventures against mobsters, terrorists, and and a government cell out to kill them over Iraqi documents Ron possesses from his army service. In an ironic twist, Ron becomes a Mafia hit man to save his sanity, targeting only fallen mobsters. This brings Ron and Amber into contact with the powerful and humane gifted secret society, Eros; this contact eventually actualizing Ron’s mental gifts to a point beyond his imagination. Ron is confronted with the imminent nuclear obliteration of a major American city by a suicidal terrorist cell that only he can stop. But against impossible obstacles, will he be able to do it in time?
Of Good And Evil - Book Review
by Camille Kelly
Good and Evil definitely had me interested from the very first chapter…This novel contains everything that a good suspense novel should have…Mr. Griffin has captured the essence of each character and made his readers be involved in their journey throughout the story..and a wonderful journey it is…Each chapter was gripping and as a reader, I wanted more….Every person in this story had a definite part to fulfill and Mr. Griffin accomplished that….The story was written beautifully and I felt all the emotions that each person entailed…I laughed, I cried, I was holding on, in parts, for dear life….I look forward to a sequel to Good and Evil, and am anxiously awaiting to see it on the Big Screen…A wonderful, wonderful, novel.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Book Tour post & Interview with Gerald G. Griffinconducted by Shane Porteous
Shane: I think it is a fair statement to say that any good paranormal thriller must suspend belief but at the same time convince the reader that the written events could actually happen in real life. I know for a fact that "Of Good And Evil" accomplishes this and I must ask how did you go about ensuring this?
"I made certain that the varying degrees of paranormal perceptivity of those characters whom possessed these abilities were understated rather than bombastic, with these exceptional abilities never being flaunted but used only when needed. Otherwise these characters seemed to be attempting to lead normal lives dealing with the conflicts of the real world..To others they always appeared to be normal human beings in normal settings dealing with the normal or unusual problems presented by the world that all human beings have to contend with, and to an extent they were exactly doing this. So much so that after a while the reader accepts their unusual abilities as a natural part of their lives and become gripped by other aspects of the story.
But who is to say that these written events don't actually happen in real life? That the characters portrayed don't actually represent real people among us? Maybe that's why the story can sound so convincing. Need I say more? In all forms of life there are surprising anomalies!"
Shane: Now I must admit that I have never been a big fan of romance in stories, but of the 100s and 100s of books that I have read in my life, the love between Amber and Ron, the two main characters of your book, was by far the most genuine romance that I have ever read about. How did you go about ensuring their romance felt genuine and not corny?
"I ensured that the romance felt genuine because it was based upon feelings taken from real life, feelings and devotion that would have naturally evolved in the given circumstances rather than being concocted to fit some writing formula. As to it not being corny, let me just say that it is beyond me to write anything corny. Love is not corny, and love is what you get in the book. That's why the romance is genuine."