Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Our Continued Conversation with Thriller Writer Greyson Bryan

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Greyson Bryan

We are delighted to welcome back author Greyson Bryan to Omnimystery News today.

Late last month we spent some time with Greyson talking about his new thriller BIG: Beginnings (Greyson Bryan; June 2016 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we asked if we could follow up with a few more questions.

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Omnimystery News: We ended the last interview with my question about how you decided to have two protagonists, Duncan Luke and Ghislaine Bingham, and to make one of them a woman.

Greyson Bryan
Photo provided courtesy of
Greyson Bryan

Greyson Bryan: I'm a big fan of the Patrick O'Brien series of historical novels which features two very different, but equally strong characters, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, serving in the British navy during the Napoleonic wars. You may have seen the movie starring Russell Crowe, The Far Side of the World, which is based upon those books. I enjoyed the way the two personalities of Aubrey and Maturin frequently clashed and yet over time came to appreciate the other's strengths and weaknesses. I wanted to create a similar dynamic in the BIG series only I wanted my Stephen Maturin to be a woman which adds, I like to believe, a whole new dimension to the relationship. So I created another strong character with a different background, values and personality to complement Duncan Luke. The strong-willed yet deeply conflicted Ghislaine Bingham, as elegant, cosmopolitan and passionate as Duncan is rough-hewn, taciturn and analytical, is a composite of some of the spirited women I've had the pleasure to work with.

OMN: They don't like each other very much, do they, at least at the beginning?

GB: No, they don't. Duncan doesn't appreciate Ghislaine's impulsiveness or her taste for the finer things in life and Ghislaine doesn't at all like Duncan's tendency to do what he thinks is best for his client — and then tell her later.

OMN: So there is tension between them from the beginning but each needs what the other has so neither walks away?

GB: Yes, that's right. To idea was to challenge Duncan and Ghislaine individually and yet ultimately draw them together. To do that, I wanted to create two conflicts over what they each held most dear. I had years before experienced the unending nightmare of a prolonged custody battle and so had no difficulty imagining Duncan in such a fight with his ex-wife over his son. Having watched many female colleagues struggle to overcome gender bias, I wanted a Ghislaine as devoted to her firm as Duncan is to Sam and in a fight with her stepson, the embodiment of many of those biases, for her legacy at work and the chance to prove herself as the leader of her firm.

OMN: So the man is fighting for his child, something that one would normally associate with a female character, and the woman is fighting for her legacy and a chance to prove herself at work, something that one would usually say is a male objective?

GB: Yes, exactly. And as the story unfolds, the reader will discover — spoiler alert — that Ghislaine understands Duncan's commitment to Sam much better than Duncan understands Ghislaine's devotion to her company.

OMN: Tell us a little more about the two characters threatening Duncan and Ghislaine, the soon-to-be ex-wife, Gracie, and the stepson, Ward.

GB: I admit the characters of Gracie and Ward took me a lot of thinking and many drafts to give them nuance. It just took me time to feel comfortable in their shoes. Ultimately, I came to understand that Gracie's fierce devotion to Sam and what she views as her critical role in caring for her son could lead her to choose to end her marriage, if she felt that staying in the marriage would jeopardize those values. As for Ward, he lost his mother at a young age and was left to deal with a severely narcissistic father whom he believes stole the company from his mother's family. He sees Ghislaine through that lens and will stop at nothing to undermine her and preserve what he believes is his birthright.

OMN: You mentioned that you have three books in the series planned, with BIG: Beginnings being the first, Have you started the other two?

GB: The second book is with the copyeditor now and I have a very good draft of the third book. The truth is that when BIG: Beginnings was with the editor, I couldn't stop writing. In the process of writing the second book, I created plot and character elements that required incorporation in the first book. And the same thing happened when the second book was being edited — I wrote the third book and then had to go back and revise the first and second books. I know it wasn't the most efficient way to proceed, but I didn't feel I had any choice — my characters demanded that I keep writing until I brought them to a place where they had evolved sufficiently to recognize their own strengths and limitations and were now free to look forward to the future.

OMN: Will the third book be the last in the series?

GB: I'm not sure. The third book ends more with a semi-colon than a period. I guess I'll just have to wait to see whether Duncan, Ghislaine and the others are content to retire or demand to be given voice again.

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Greyson Bryan is an international lawyer who earned his B.A. from Stanford and a J.D. from Harvard, and taught at the Harvard Law School and UCLA. A longtime LA resident, BIG: Beginnings is his first novel and the first book in the BIG series.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at GreysonBryan.com and his author page on Goodreads, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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BIG: Beginnings by Greyson Bryan

BIG: Beginnings by Greyson Bryan

A Duncan Luke Novel

Publisher: Greyson Bryan

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)

Duncan Luke is no stranger to impossible situations. A high-priced lawyer and expert in business intelligence, he knows how to extricate his clients from sticky situations while saving — or making — them millions. To be the best, he's sacrificed everything, including his family, but now he wants out. He's quitting his lucrative practice for academia and time with his autistic son, Sam. But his wife isn't on board and files for divorce, forcing him to fight for custody. With mounting legal bills, the only way to keep his son is to take on one last client. He plans to do the job, get out and get home to Sam, but his client, Ghislaine Bingham, has other ideas.

Ghislaine has a crisis of her own. Her cheating husband died and left her in a turf war with her stepson over the family business, Bingham Investment Group. She stands to lose more than money. Her reputation and life's work are tied up in the company. Her self-worth is on the line and only Duncan has the expertise to see her to victory.

When Duncan and Ghislaine meet, sparks fly, but neither can walk away. Ghislaine sends Duncan to Tokyo to convince his old friend, Taro Takayama, that Ghislaine is the best person to run Bingham. But Taka first needs Duncan to fix his Panama problems. Duncan races to Panama where he is kidnapped and beaten, stumbles into a sex-trafficking ring and rescues a beautiful woman. Unaware of the danger in Panama City and frustrated by Duncan's unorthodox ideas, Ghislaine threatens to pull him off the job.

As Duncan flies across time zones doing battle for Ghislaine, risking his life and reputation, Sam slips further away. Duncan must finish the job to get Sam back, but time is running out.

BIG: Beginnings by Greyson Bryan


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