Saturday, March 1, 2014

Jack Getze: Big Money & Giveaway

Today we have a guest interview from Jack Getze the author of BIG MONEY, about the book and his adventures as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Since the book is called BIG MONEY, Jack is giving away a $100 gift card to Amazon. Look a the Rafflecopter entry for at the bottom of the page. He's also giving away two e-copies of the book. To enter for a chance at the e-books, comment below. Now that we have all that wonderful giveaway information out, we can move onto the interview.

1) Where did you get the idea for BIG MONEY?

It's one of those crazy true stories, so strange it can't be used in fiction. In 1979 my future wife and I fly back to New Jersey. Her brother is getting married and it's a chance for me to meet her family. We arrive at her house late and it's not until the following morning I meet her father. He's at the breakfast table, reading the paper. He's pretty gruff, gets up and leaves after he finishes whatever story he's reading. I wonder why he doesn't like me until I see the newspaper story -- it's about HIM, front page, my future father in law having refused in court the day before to point out two gangsters. The federal prosecutors played a tape recorded conversation -- quoted in the newspaper -- in which my future father-in-law is extorted for money. Are these the guys who threatened your life, the prosecutor asked my father in court. "I can't be sure," he said. Now deceased, my father in law was a pretty tough character. Tough, but not stupid.

2) You used to be a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.
How did that job inform your fiction writing?

Being a reporter can mean different things, but for me, back then, it meant I wrote stories every day, mostly all day. I wrote stories while I talked to people on the telephone. I combined AP, UPI, and press release copy into one short coherent business section piece. I wrote one hundred words for the front page when the stock market rallied or crashed. I wrote stories on extreme deadline, an editor yanking the whole sheet of paper from my typewriter after each paragraph. Bottom line, I put close to two million words on paper in my newspaper career. It taught me to write.

3) What’s the story you worked on at The L.A. Times that you are the most proud of?

Most of your readers probably won't remember, but right after U.S. President Gerald Ford declared his War on Inflation in the mid-1970s, my editors asked me to survey the nation's top economists, find out if the President's plan had a chance. I spent much time and energy researching, discovered that the Vietnam War, the creation of OPEC and the resulting surge in oil prices meant our economy was doomed for many more years of fast-rising prices. It was a feature story, but the editors liked it so much (and Mondays are slow news days), my economics piece was the newspaper's top story -- banner headline on the front page. The prediction implied in the story's hook turned out to be true: Inflation didn't peak for five years. But what I am most proud of is that when I arrived at work that morning, the headline writer came to my desk and apologized. He had used virtually the whole first paragraph of my story for his headline, taking a bit of punch from the story opening, but making me feel like a million-dollar wordsmith. He couldn't write a tighter, catchier headline than six of the eight words I'd given him. The War on Inflation is Over. We Lost

4) Are there any photos you can share from your research? 

I collected quite a few books and other material in researching and producing BIG MONEY. This photo is just one corner of my garage:

About The Author
Former Los Angeles Times reporter Jack Getze is Fiction Editor for Anthony nominated Spinetingler Magazine, one of the internet’s oldest websites for noir, crime, and horror short stories. Through the Los Angeles Times/Washington Post News Syndicate, his news and feature stories were published in over five-hundred newspapers and periodicals worldwide. His two screwball mysteries, BIG NUMBERS and BIG MONEY, are being reissued by DOWN & OUT BOOKS, with the new BIG MOJO to follow. His short stories have appeared in A Twist of Noir and Beat to a Pulp. Getze is an Active Member of Mystery Writers of America’s New York Chapter.

You can find more about Great Escape Book Tours here.

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  1. Great Interview! The book sounds good.

  2. Love the pic! Just a couple books!


  3. Fascinating interview. Book looks terrific.

  4. Probably safer for you that he didn't say much to you at breakfast!

  5. The book sounds good...but you had me with the photograph of your garage!! If you need a librarian to help organize things, just let me know :)

  6. I've read Big Money, and now I'm going to have to read Big Numbers and Big Mojo as well.

  7. What an exciting book! Great interview. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Sounds like a great book! I have a storage shed I rent for all my books, not including the thousands I have burnt to disk, in cloud storage, on my computer, and on my kindle! LOL