Interview with Ed Brodow


Hello Everyone!

We are delighted to have author Ed Brodow amongst us today at Musikdiv India Online Magazine at our Special ‘Authors Festival’ interview series to tell us about his new book Fixer!
Please read on …


Power broker Harry Leonnoff takes on Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in this thrilling novel of New York City politics.
From the slums of the Lower East Side to New Orleans, the Vatican, and the bloody battle of Belleau Wood, Fixer is the spellbinding tale of a fearless politician with a limp and a .38 who is faced with an impossible choice between his career and his integrity.
Harry Leonnoff, uneducated son of Russian Jewish immigrants, overcomes the poverty of the Lower East Side, a crippling bout with polio, and rampant anti-Semitism to become the admired Robin Hood of Depression-Era New York. He helps four mayors get elected, saves nine innocent black men from the electric chair, and comes to the aid of immigrants and the poor. But the enmity of Fiorello La Guardia may be too much even for Harry Leonnoff to fix
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So Ed, we’ll start your Interview with the very first question

1.Please introduce and tell the readers something about yourself.

My name is Ed Brodow and here is the bio from my latest book:
Ed Brodow is the bestselling author of two novels (Fixer, The Stamp), two business books (Negotiation Boot Camp, Negotiate with Confidence), and a self-help book (Beating the Success Trap). An internationally recognized expert on the art of negotiation, Ed was dubbed “King of Negotiators” by SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt. Ed has appeared as negotiation guru on PBS, ABC National News, Fox News, Inside Edition, and Fortune Business Report. As a speaker, he has enthralled more than 1,000 audiences in Paris, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Athens, Toronto, and New York. Ed is a veteran member of Screen Actors Guild, appearing in American and European movies with Jessica Lange, Ron Howard, and Christopher Reeve. A former marine officer, Ed graduated from Brooklyn College and lives in Monterey, California.

2.What brought you to writing?

After I had been speaking professionally for several years, it seemed like a natural segue to write books on my subject, the art of negotiation. Speakers like to have books. It gives us credibility.

3.How long have you been writing?

15 years.

4.Which was your first literary project?Tell us something about it.

A publisher called me up out of the blue and said, “You have an excellent reputation as a speaker. How about writing a book for us?” So I wrote Negotiate with Confidence, a how-to book for business negotiators. Once I figured out how to write a book, they began to come regularly.

5.Is this your new/latest project?

No. After that I wrote Beating the Success Trap: Negotiating for the Life You Really Want and the Rewards You Deserve. I challenged the standard definition of success and suggested a new one. The publisher was HarperCollins. It was ahead of its time. I’m very proud of that book. Then Doubleday asked me to write another book about negotiation, so I wrote Negotiation Boot Camp: How to Resolve Conflict, Satisfy Customers, and Make Better Deals. It is still in print and I think it’s one of the best books on the subject. Then something interesting happened. For many years, I had thought of writing a book about my grandfather, a larger-than life New York City politician. About five years ago, and I really can’t tell you why, I suddenly sat down and began to write my first novel, Fixer. My second novel, The Stamp, will be published on Kindle just before Christmas 2011 (next week).

6. Traditional books or e-books? How do you prefer to see your works published? Have you tried ever publishing the traditional way?

I used to think that the old-fashioned way was THE way, but I’ve changed my mind. The publishing industry is phasing itself out. And after all the angst that I experienced in dealing with agents, editors, and publishers, it’s okay with me.

7.Can you give a chapter sample preview of your book here for our readers to know more about it.

Yes.Heres Excerpt from Chapter Two: of my Book
( Please look at the bottom of the interview for book excerpts )

8.What are your hobbies?Things that you enjoy doing besides books of course.

Traveling, mainly to Europe, is my passion. I just returned from a month in Buenos Aires. I am a baritone and enjoy singing opera and Broadway. For 35 years I played four-wall handball, but gave it up recently because my poor old body is falling apart. But I still work out every day at the gym. Walking is another passion. So is reading. So is eating (Paris is my favorite destination primarily because of the food).

9.Who is your favourite author?

Jim Harrison.

10.What is your favourite genre to read and also to write?

Fiction. I love good fiction and I love to write straight from my imagination. I can’t imagine anything more exciting.

11.Do you have a role model that you get inspiration from?

Writers like Jim Harrison (Legends of the Fall) and Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls).

12.Where do get your ideas from?Do you take your story ideas from real life situations?

Fixer is based on the real-life adventures of my grandfather. The Stamp is based on a sensational 2007 murder case. Ideas seem to come falling out of the sky and land in my head.

13. Do you have a pseudonym?

No and no and no. What for?

14.Whats your experience been like in the publishing industry?Postive or negative?Please share your experience with our readers.

Now you’ve hit my hot button. I am really angry with the way the publishing industry functions, especially in the fiction area where they have dramatically cut the number of books. It used to be that the editors decided what came through the door. They were bright people with terrific instincts and loved working with writers. Today, the editors don’t do anything useful. They depend upon agents, who are the gatekeepers. Unfortunately, most of the agents I’ve met have absolutely no taste and even less judgment. It’s pathetic. That’s why we have a lot of second-rate material being sold to the public. Frankly, I can’t read most of the fiction that I come across. I’m convinced that the best writers we have today are neglected and therefore are self-publishing, which is why Kindle is so important. I read that someone sent a copy of The Yearling — under a phony name — to the same publisher that had it originally, and they said it wasn’t good enough to be published. I could go on about this for days, don’t encourage me.

15.Where do you see yourself 10years from now?

Are you kidding? The world is moving so fast I have no idea where I’ll be in five years.

16.What motivates you to write?

I just love the creative process. I was an actor for twelve years and it prepared me for what I’m doing now. Writing fiction is up there with good sex.

17. How important is good cover art for your books?Do you think its important?

Certainly. People are going to be attracted to what they see. You have to grab them. Frankly, I’m surprised at how mediocre most covers are.

18.Do you have a Pricing strategy for your books?

At the moment, I’m trying to make it easy for people to purchase my books. We are in a terrible economic mess and people need a little help.

19. How does it make you feel when you read a bestselling book that you feel is not as good as yours?

That’s funny, recently I wrote a review on Amazon about a book that I thought was awful. The writer received more than a million dollars as an advance and the book is being publicized like crazy. How do I feel about that? It is the reason I don’t own a gun.

20.Why do you think readers should buy your book?What can you offer them through your book?

My books are exciting to read, the pace is exciting, and they are emotionally moving because I put a lot of heart into them. My characters have a lot of depth and I deal with serious issues. But most of all I am a super duper story teller.

21.Where is your book available?Any Buy Link for our readers?

Here is the Amazon link for Fixer: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006MIMWUA

22.Do you have a website or a blog that you’d like to share here.

The website for Fixer is http://www.fixerbook.com

23. What advice would you give to other writers?

I don’t like to give advice. Ask me after I’ve sold a few million copies.

24.Anything else you’d like to share with our readers

Yes. I am beginning to think that e-books will expand the number of people who read, which is vitally important to our civilization. Let’s hope I’m right.

  • Thank you Ed Brodow for gracing us with your presence.It was a sheer pleasure.Good luck with your book.We conclude the interview here

    Thanks again from Team MusikDIV

    Book Exerpts – Sample Chapter

    Fixer By Ed Brodow
    Copyright © 2011 Ed Brodow, All rights reserved.
    Excerpt from Chapter Two:

    Marshal Harry Leonnoff sat with his bum leg resting on the desk. The open jacket of his dark, double-breasted suit revealed a flashy red tie and a pair of lavender suspenders. If you looked hard enough, the grip of a large thirty-eight special peeked out at you lasciviously from the top of his waistband. The oversized foot enjoying the comfort of the desk was encased in a heavy, black orthopedic shoe that resembled a combat boot. His hands were stuffed in his trouser pockets. From the bored expression on his face, he might have been mistaken for your average, balding civil servant. At the opposite side of the desk stood a well-dressed, well-fed, middle-aged white man with a mustache, and a short, stooped, older black man with a crest of snowy white hair.
    “He hasn’t paid his rent in two months,” said the white man with the hint of a brogue. “There is no reason why I should have to support this lazy bastard.”
    The black man did not reply. His bloodshot eyes were trained on the floor. He nervously fingered an old cap.
    “What have you got to say for yourself, Jesse?” the marshal inquired of the black man in a theatrically powerful bass baritone that was used to giving orders. As Harry’s face came to life, intelligent blue eyes sparkled over an aggressive nose and strong Mongol cheekbones.
    “Jeez, Mr. Harry,” replied the black man. “I been payin’ ma rent fo’ six years to this here man. But ah done lost ma job down at the Navy Yard when ah got hurt. Ma wife she cain’t work no mo’. He axed me for da rent money, and ah begs him.”
    “These niggers all have one excuse or another,” said the landlord. “I’m sick and tired of it.”
    “Please, Mr. Harry,” said Jesse. “Ah’s gonna pay him just as soon as ah gets me a job. Don’t let him throw me out in da street.”
    “Is that true?” asked Harry. “Has he paid his rent for six years straight?”
    “Well, yes, but … can I talk to you privately for a minute, Mr. Leonnoff?”
    “Jesse,” said Harry, “Go wait over there by the window for a minute.” He beckoned to the landlord to come closer. “What’s on your mind?”
    “Look, Mr. Leonnoff,” whispered the man. “You and me, we understand each other.” He reached into his pants pocket and produced a twenty-dollar bill. “This is a simple case. He doesn’t pay his rent. He gets evicted. It’s too bad. I don’t like it and you don’t like it, but it happens every day.”
    In 1917, it did happen every day. Rent strikes were a common occurrence of the period, and so the marshal’s job of executing eviction judgments against tenants could be extremely lucrative. An enterprising marshal could earn a small fortune in fees and payoffs, which made the job a sought-after perk of public life. When Mayor John Purroy Mitchel appointed Harry Leonnoff as city marshal, it was a plum patronage assignment. Harry’s take was more than $20,000 per annum, a king’s ransom by the standards of the time. A practice that is now frowned upon, in Harry’s day the offer of a twenty-dollar bill for looking the other way was not at all unusual, and this landlord knew it.
    As the man expected, Harry palmed the twenty, winked at the landlord, and called for the black man.
    “Jesse, how much is your rent?” asked Harry. “Eight dollars a month,” replied Jesse. Harry leaped up with surprising speed and stuffed
    the twenty into the dumbstruck landlord’s vest pocket.
    “Here’s for the two months he owes you, and here’s for next month.”
    Harry fished out four singles from his own pocket and jammed them into the vest with the twenty.
    “That’s twenty-four bucks. You want to count it?”
    “Wait a minute,” screamed the landlord. “You can’t do that!”
    Harry grabbed a leather sap that had been resting on top of the desk and, from the intimidating vantage point of his not quite six feet, held it up as if poised to strike. The white man flinched as Harry’s disarming blue eyes cut him in half.
    “Listen you prick,” Harry said in a loud, booming voice that startled everyone in the large room. “You got your goddamn rent, now get the hell out of here before I throw you out on your ass!”
    The terrified white man ran out of the room. Harry put one arm around the black man’s stooped shoulders and with his free hand slipped a ten-dollar bill into the pocket of the man’s shabby coat. Jesse, staring at the floor, began to sob.
    “Keep your chin up, brother,” said Harry. “The Lord will provide.”
    The phone rang as Harry escorted the black man to the door.

    Buy Fixer by Ed Brodow On Amazon Kindle >> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006MIMWUA


    MusikDIV India Online Magazine is an online platform dedicated to promoting talented musicians and writers and giving them the ultimate platform to showcase their talent through our website http://www.musicdiv.co.cc
    If you want to be featured in our MusikDIV India exclusive Interviews kindly email us at : musicnd@yahoo.com

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