Monday, July 6, 2015

Featured Author: Gary Ponzo

Gary Ponzo is an outstanding author who is also part of the thriller group The Twelve, a group I am also a member of. Combining the minds of twelve authors all writing in the same genre definitely has its advantages. Over the past year, we created the Flight 12 novella series, releasing one book a month for an entire year, and Gary's new installment marks the end of that project. 

Recently I wrote Gary and asked if he would guest on my blog and offer advice to new authors. Here's what he had to say:


Ever wonder why so many musicians end up singing duets together? Do they just like each other so much that they want to work together? Sometimes. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin-or course. Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow? Hmmm.

More times than not, however, the incentive is usually money. How? Well, it's all about crossover sales. The band or singer's fans are introduced to an entirely new group of listeners who hadn't known much about that band until that big due together. Think Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty's "Stop Dragging my Heart Around." You think that didn't help those two artists reach over and capture the other artist's fans? You bet it did. Or more recently Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. Now there's an interesting couple.

Why would I bring up collaboration on Cheryl Bradshaw's blog? Because writers have been collaborating for as long as musicians have. James Patterson publishes ten books a year. You think he's doing all that writing by himself? The reason I bring this up is because I was invited to participate in a collaboration myself. Indie superstar J.A. Konrath recently invited me to write a Nick Bracco thriller which included his famous Jack Daniels character. The book is titled A Touch of Tequila, because all my Bracco books start with A Touch of ... and Tequila Abernathy is another one of Joe's characters.

However, the main reason I bring this to Cheryl's readers is because it was her phone call which convinced me to participate in the Flight 12 series. The series of stories from twelve NY Times bestselling authors had been released once a month for the past year. We’re talking about Diane Capri, Cheryl Bradshaw, J. Carson Black, Vincent Zandri, Allan Leverone, Aaron Patterson, Michele Scott, A.K. Alexander, J.R. Rain, Joshua Graham, Brett Battles, Carol Davis Luce and Robert Gregory Browne.  There’s not a slouch in the group. Every one of them is a terrific writer.

So when they agreed to trust me with writing the finale to the series I jumped at the chance.  Once I read each installment of the series (and I suggest you do the same) I was thrilled to put the finishing touches to the year-long story these phenomenal writers had constructed.  You must understand, however, there was a lot of pressure on me to write a cohesive narrative that was exciting, plausible, and tied up the questions that readers of the series had been waiting for.  What happened to Flight 12?  Did it plunge into the ocean?  Was it hijacked?  Was there mechanical failure?  All these things had been considered, plus I had to go with the suggestion of Lisa Klein, who won the Flight 12 contest allowing her to choose the ending.  Great choice Lisa.   

So is this partnership all about the money? Partially sure. But let's face it, The Twelve authors will receive the benefit of gaining some new Nick Bracco readers, and I'll certainly benefit from an introduction to part of their enormous fan base. At no point, however, would I ever publish something inferior just for a payday. This is all about the future and expanding my reach. If I can establish a large enough fan base on my own, it will make it so much easier to transition into a full time writing career. And after all, isn't that what we writers all dream about? The ability to write all day? 

Thank you Cheryl for making that phone call.  I enjoyed discussing this project with you and I hope you enjoy what I’ve done with the Flight 12 finale. And more importantly, I hope your readers do too. 

No comments:

Post a Comment