Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jack W. Germond, A Small Story for Page 3

AUTHOR:  Jack W. Germond
BOOK TITLE:  A Small Story for Page 3
PUBLISHER:  MuseItUp Publishing


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NOTE: This book has been published after the passing of the author. His wife, Alice, has responded to the questions so you can have an opportunity to learn more about this amazing man.

Please tell us about your husband. 
Jack W. Germond spent 50 plus years covering politics in the US.  He was considered one of the best reporters in the business.  He also appeared regularly on CNN, the Today Show, and the McLaughlin Group.  Jack and his partner Jules Witcover wrote several books about the race for the White House and Jack’s memoir, Fat Man in A Middle Seat, was well received and has the best title ever.

Please tell us his latest news. 
Jack passed away on Aug. 14, three days before publication of this book, his first novel.

Was he a full-time writer or part-time, and how did he organize his writing time? 
Jack was a full time reporter.  After he retired he became a mostly full time writer, except when he wasn’t.

When and why did he begin writing? 
He loved writing, finding out the story – or creating it for this novel.  He began in the newspaper business covering sports in college.  Politics was more interesting.

What did he do when he wasn't writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? 
Jack loved the track, he studied the form the way he studied candidates, and there was no such thing as a bad day at the track.  Good food and wine, shared with good company and extending the evening.
What was his thoughts about promotion? 
I think he would have been happy to see this, his final work and first novel, a success, so anything that achieves that goal sounds good to me.

Did he learn anything from writing his book, and what was it? 
Jack’s experiences: first as a reporter covering the story as it is, then as a columnist giving his opinions about “what is”, then in his memoir writing about himself, and finally as a novel making it all up spans a lifetime of learning and developing and trying new things.

Who is his publisher and how did he connect with them?
MuseItUp Publishing, through an author friend.

What was his marketing plan? 
Since this was Jack’s last work, and to honor his life I would love to see it do well, whatever is helpful.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting for him. 
Jack’s book is a political/newspaper story, one that explores questions on both sides of the aisle.  The story takes place when newspapers were the media and politics less “gotcha”.

What gave him the idea for this particular book?
Jack had been mulling the story for over 15 years while covering politics – mostly presidential – all over the US.

Did he outline before he wrote?  If not, what was his initial process?
He spent a lot of time pondering what the characters would do.

What came first: the plot or characters?
Probably both but he told me that the characters took on a life of their own.

Which of his characters did he love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
I think there’s a good deal of Jack Germond in the main character, Harry Fletcher.  So I hope Jack loved him a good deal.

Did his book require a lot of research? If so, what kind? 
The “research” in this book was the many years on the road, the newsroom and restaurants, the friendships and relationships.

What was the hardest part of writing his book?
I think the hardest part of the process for Jack was to allow himself to write fiction.  As a lifelong reporter making stuff up is not a good thing.  Then, I think, he was concerned as to whether he could.

What are his current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release? 
Jack’s other books are non-fiction:  his memoir Fat Man in A Middle Seat, Fat Man Fed Up, and a number of presidential campaign books co-authored with his partner of many years, Jules Witcover.

What advice would he give a new writer starting out?
Jack loved his job reporting so much he would have done it for nothing. So I would guess, just do it.


Montreal, Quebec, Canada—MuseItUp Publishing is proud to release political pundit Jack Germond’s break out novel, A Small Story for Page 3. Jack completed the final edits just days before his death in August of 2013 and the ebook released on the day of his passing. The print book will release November 6, 2013.

A Small Story for Page 3

Harry Fletcher can’t for the life of him figure out what exactly the ‘nugget’ of information his colleague, Eddie Concannon, uncovered prior to his death is. Picking his way along the threads of information, Harry soon finds himself at odds with government officials and his own newspaper seems to be involved in the collusion.  Join Harry as he deciphers the clues and enjoy a journey into the world of investigative reporting set against a colorful back drop of characters and locations.

Short Excerpt from A Small Story for Page 3

"Oddly enough, ladies and gentlemen of the TV audience," Harry announced in his persona as Larry Largelungs of Action Central News, "the condemned man was smiling and singing as he approached the gallows."

The mood changed when he arrived at Wear's office to find the executive editor and the managing editor waiting and somberly reading printouts of the story.

"This thing has to be settled today," Wear said. "It's gone on long enough, it's tied us in knots, and we need to find a solution."

"I thought we had one," Harry said. "The story shows he has been sailing under false colors as a corruption fighter by trying to protect one of the targets of the investigation with whom he had a connection, perhaps lucrative, not previously disclosed."

"We're not the ones who have to be convinced," Mike reminded him.

When they walked into Marcotte's office, it was obvious he was not prepared to be persuaded. The publisher remained behind his huge mahogany desk and with a brusque gesture he seated the others at the small conference table.

"I've read the story you people seem to think should run on Page One as soon as possible," he said, "I think it’s still libelous horseshit, and I intend to spike it, this time for good. You still have no hard evidence that Tyler Bannister resisted Phase Two because of some personal concern. But Tyler denies it flat-out and there's no quote from him to corroborate it."

Harry was trying to contain his fury. "The only quote from him in reply was “go fuck yourself.” Do you want to use that?"

"Don't be flippant, Fletcher, this is a serious question."

"We all understand that, Dave," Wear said, stepping in quickly. "If you want a clearer denial in more decorous terms, we can do that."

"A denial isn't going to change the fact that we are doing serious damage to Tyler Bannister's reputation and potentially his political career," Marcotte said, his voice rising. "I don't intend to be a party to that."

"That was never our intention," Wear said. "We've gone where the story has taken us. The truth is that this episode raises serious questions about Bannister's candidacy."

"It shows him interceding in behalf of a friend and former business associate in an official investigation," Harry said with some heat. "That's a part of the truth about him that we know but our readers do not."

"Don't give me that truth and readers crap, Fletcher," the publisher said. "I remember you calling him a trimmer way back there. You had it in for him from the start. So did Concannon."

"This story quotes Tom Lawton saying Bannister called him with a warning about being on Carvaggio's list of targets and it quotes Rudy Myers as confirming that Bannister ordered Lawton's name stricken from that list once he agreed to retire from the bench."

"I know what the story says but, as I told you earlier, Fletcher," Marcotte said, "it is the publisher, not the reporter, who decides what appears in the News and I have made the decision on this one." After an interminable twenty seconds of silence, he continued, "I think we're through here, gentlemen. Thanks for coming in." When the elevator dropped them at the third floor, Wear beckoned them into his office and closed the door on Meg. "I don't know what we do now," he said.

"What you and Mike do," Harry said, "is keep faith with the good people here who depend on you to let them put out a good newspaper and hope for change. What I do, is clean a few things out of my desk and walk out of the building. I don't have any choice now."

"What are you going to do about the story," Mike asked.

"I haven't thought it through, Mike, but I'm not going to give it to the Trib or some television station. I don't know if the story is mine to use elsewhere or what. It would take a lot of time and effort for anyone else to duplicate it."
Wear had a different concern. "What are you going to say when the word gets out that you've left the building?" he asked.

"I could just tell the truth—that I have left the News after almost thirty years because of a decision by the publisher to spike a story I wrote. Period." He laughed. "I'll leave it to Amy Whiting to fill in the blanks."

At Wear's office door, he turned to his two old friends. "Look, this isn't the end of the world. Let's all have dinner later in the week, some place public for all to see. Meanwhile, I'll keep you posted."


  1. Morning Penny, and what a nice way to start the day. Your blog about Jack's book is truly wonderful and I look forward to answering your guests' comments and questions. Thank you for hosting us.

  2. Hi Penny and Alice,

    It's so wonderful to see Jack's book getting attention. I Facebooked and tweeted so hopefully we'll get some more visitors.


  3. Thanks Nancy and Penny, much appreciated.