Please welcome Andrew Gross to the launch of our bi-weekly feature Murder HE Writes!
The interesting thing about thriller writers—and, at heart, it’s what makes the genre so relevant today—is that we don’t start out as MFA candidates, but come from varied and vital careers: police detectives, trial lawyers, doctors, CIA agents, and Wall Street traders.
And I apprenticed for the my own career writing about crime and destroying people’s lives by spending twenty years in the women’s apparel business!
I actually had a pretty good career arc going—managing apparel firms like Leslie Fay (let’s see how old you are!) then branching into turnarounds in the ski and tennis business (Head, Le Coq Sportif) until one of those turnarounds didn’t quite turn around (and didn’t quite spectacularly) suddenly hastening my writing career! I begged my wife for a year—a year to write this idea for a political thriller that had been noodling around in my head, and turned into HYDRA—after three years! Three years without income coming in; three years drifting further and further away from anything revenue generating… And the truth is, when HYDRA got twenty-two rejections from publishers fourteen years ago, I had no Plan B and no idea what my next step in life was.
Then I took a call from out of the blue, and the woman on the other end asked, “Can you take a call from James Patterson?”