G. S. Gerry - A Humorous, Suspense Filled Roller Coaster Read
G. S. Gerry is the award-winning author of Meth Murder & Amazon. He is a father of 5, Navy veteran, a cybersecurity expert, and tattoo enthusiast that is reinventing the art of storytelling and writing wrongs along the way. Gerry’s original writing style has been compared to the likes of Hunter S. Thompson, Chuck Palahniuk and Lemony Snicket. His books are quirky and utterly unique, jam-packed with humor, suspense, and satire. Gerry grew up in the world of books working for his father's book bindery business when he was just a child. Little did he know the literary universe had something more in store for his life.
G. S. Gerry’s creations offer an escape from life’s harsh realities by providing a hilarious perspective in turning lemons into lemonade. Constructing a world where the unbelievable seems made up and yet, oddly relatable. Gerry’s visionary approach towards life, laughter and entertainment bridges comedy and originality with memorable creations, leaving no stone unturned to help others laugh their way to a better today. As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about his book, Meth Murder & Amazon.
Please give us a short introduction to what Meth Murder & Amazon is about.
Meth Murder & Amazon follows a true-to-life story about one family's hellacious nightmare involving the real estate industry. All The Grake's want to do is sell their home, what could be simpler? It was only supposed to take 30 days in the Colorado seller's market. How did it last 6 months? Witness one ‘normal’ family embark on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey involving, among other surprises, assassins, meth, murder, and the end of Amazon. Buying and selling will never be the same.
What inspired you to write this story? Was there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this?
The inspiration of this story was an actual situation that happened to a lovely family in Colorado during the Summer of 2019. There is even a news article out there somewhere, but I don't want to spoil any surprises. The reason I decided to write a book, in general, involved a situation at work, where I do a lot of report writing. I had a customer reach out one afternoon and tell me their entire report was plagiarized. This particular report was 450 pages and I prayed that this couldn't be true. Unfortunately, it was 100% true and I had to rewrite the entire report. It grew from 450 pages to 750 pages and afterward I thought to myself, "It feels like I just wrote a novel. That's it, I am going to write a book!" And that is exactly what happened, even though my friends didn't believe I could or would.
Tell us more about Derald Grake. What makes him tick?
Ultimately, Derald Grake is a family man. He just wants to provide a better life for his family, sell his home, make a profit, and move closer to his mom who was recently diagnosed with cancer. As the journey unfolds, he goes from trying to solve the complex formula of buying low and selling high to enacting some revenge as he attempts to navigate 2 assassination attempts and the worst case of perception meets reality.
In which way is this inspired by a real-life story?
The title and all the events that happened within Meth Murder & Amazon are true life. The father, Derald Grake, worked for Amazon Web Services. During an open house, there was a body that was found under the bed in the guest room. The real estate assassins accused him of murder and then 4 days later of making meth in his garage a la Heisenberg. While concealing the names and places of the story, all of the events within the book factually happened. There is even photographic evidence provided in each chapter to add legitimacy to the entire story.
You included a lot of humor in this book. Why did you take this approach?
I wanted to attempt something completely different and very unique. Part of that is using humor to take the readers on a roller coaster of emotions. Also, there is so much negativity in the world that I wanted to show that you can take lemons, a metric ass-ton of lemons and turn them into lemonade. I feel like everyone needs a laugh and this story infuses humor throughout.
Readers say that the book kept them on the edge of their seats. How did you manage to keep the suspense high throughout the story?
I used a roller coaster to take the readers on a journey throughout the entire story. There are roller coaster references throughout as you go up the roller coaster track, take the first death-defying drop, or make a loop or twisting turn and the roller coaster transports you along the way. I kept the readers guessing and not knowing what might happen next. I even fake my death a time or two, constantly keeping things suspenseful and looking forward to the next series of events. I even used emojis in random locations to constantly add that little something extra or different.
Interesting cover. Please tell us more about how it came to be.
The cover was designed by a friend of mine who is also a tattoo artist. We went through a number of iterations, but wanted to convey the story involves a real estate transaction. That is where the for sale sign comes into play. The murder is a gruesome thriller font, due to the murderous accusations. Meth uses Scrabble letters, and Breaking Bad used periodic elements for its title, and so I thought the Scrabble letters would be a fun plan on that. And, we love to play Scrabble in our home so kind of a win/win in that regard. Then you have the crime scene tape across the top and bottom and given the serious nature of the meth and murder accusations I felt it appropriate to include that. Lastly, I used a play on 2 covers, with the Top Secret and Confidential wording in the background as this story is about a real family that could be included in an FBI file somewhere.
The American Dream features prominently in this story - tell us why.
That is what most Americans are chasing after; a better life. A better life for themselves and their family, and ultimately providing security for your family. Part of that dream usually involves real estate and the aspects of buying and selling. It seems simple, buy low and sell high. But what happens when you can neither sell high nor buy low because of multiple factors outside of your control? What happens when Murphy's Law reigns supreme? As you follow the journey of this family you will painfully and hilariously realize that sometimes, anything can go wrong and most often times will go wrong. And in our case, it did go wrong and then some.
What did you have the most fun with when writing this story?
The most fun for me personally was the character names. If someone wronged the family in real life, well they were getting an outrageously awful name that I would poke fun at again and again. If someone in the story helped the family and was kind to them, they received a great name and really got propped up as being a part of the rescue party.
You are also a Navy veteran and cybersecurity expert. How has this influenced your writing?
I experienced a lot of crazy situations in the military and a good majority of it was also humorous. As such, I used those experiences and that humor to shape the way I was going to write and tell this story. I actually have plans to write a book about the Navy, titled "Never Again Volutear Yourself", misspelling intentional. Part of my job as a cybersecurity expert involves a lot of technical report writing. And a bad situation with work ultimately led to the rise of G. S. Gerry, a somehow improbable and completely unexpected award-winning author.
Why did you title this book Meth Murder & Amazon?
After the situation happened in real life, I spoke with my friend who said I should write a book about this. I told him, "Meth Murder & Amazon" would be a catchy and quite hilarious name for a book. And so it kind of stuck from that day forward.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I do have some unique habits. I write the entire first draft of the book on my phone. I know that sounds ridiculous to some folks, but I am constantly on my phone for work and need to keep it close by. So, as inspiration strikes I jot down notes on my phone. That inspiration might lead to a funny character name, or a humorous anecdote to include. But without having the ability to take those thoughts captive very quickly, I'd probably forget some of those aspects. I also create the chapter titles first and then based on the titles, I will build my story from there. I will keep shorthand notes for each chapter but don't necessarily create an outline. I just write for a couple hours at a time and then revise and update based on how I want the story to flow.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently working on my second book, titled “Hysterical Hangouts with The Hindlegs!” It is an innovative concept in that it is going to be a reality show presented in literary form.
Hysterical Hangouts with The Hindlegs follows a raucous cast of lovably deranged characters deep in the alligator infested swamps of Flawrida. They provide the audience unfiltered, backstage access to their hilarious and drama filled life. It has all the theatrics of a reality show with hidden cameras and unforgettable scenes, while told through the lens of the main character and reality show producer Viktor Sniperbone.
Viktor Sniperbone is dating Mandi Hindleg, the daughter of Commodore Ateoff Hindleg, and Viktor is about to meet her parents. It’s a time-honored tradition. Find the girl of your dreams, fall in love, meet the family, and live happily ever after. However, Viktor Sniperbone has ulterior motives besides the lovey-dovey, white-picket fence aspirations. Viktor secretly records all of the Hindleg family antics and gets more than he ever bargained for…
Each chapter is an episode of preposterous adventures and unmatched calamity, with the viewing audience eagerly awaiting the next series of events. The book plays on the worst stereotypes of a family dynamic, the startling reality of living near in-laws, and shows what happens when families stop being polite and start being real!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Readers can find me on my website https://grakeden.com On the website you can find blogs, free cooking recipes (meth lab creations), and guest appearances I have been on. It also has my links to Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest, which are included here for ease.