Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | July 12, 2011

True Crime Story “My Life in The Russian Mob” – Interview with Gary Govich

T. Hello, please give us a bit of biography.

G. First I’d like to say… Thanks Tom for allowing me the opportunity to be interviewed by your blog.  I really feel it to be a great tribute to the quality of my writing.

I was born in Odessa… and no I don’t mean Odessa Texas… Odessa is in the Ukraine, formerly a part of the Soviet bloc.

Although I go into much more extensive detail about not only my upbringing but the entire Russian immigrant culture in the first few chapters of my current book… I’ll say this… Life in Brooklyn, New York, especially for a first-generation immigrant was no basket of homemade chocolate|chip cookies.

T. When did you start writing?

G. I have always had a passion for writing.
I started first with poetry and then went on to write short stories.
I haven’t published any of my earlier works.
Writing Career Criminal was my first major undertaking, it took about a year and a half of solid work to get it to a place where I was ok with it, and probably another six months of polishing to get it ready for print. As many indie authors know, writing a book is serious business.

I used to talk about it a lot to my wife and a few good friends, truly I thought it would be easier.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?

G.  G. G. Govich.  I’m self-taught.

T. Please tell us about your current book; genre and blurb.

G. Career Criminal: My Life in the Russian Mob | Until the Day I Died is currently available at B&N and Amazon.

I guess you can call it a true|crime style genre book, what I’d like to call it is creative non-fiction.
It’s mainly based on my life, although many of the places are real, and most of the events are based on real situations, some of it is fictional.

It’s a book, I feel, whose time has come.

The message it carries is powerful and compelling and I’m truly fortunate to be able to bring it to my readers.

After the first 100 pages, I’m hoping you as the reader will find yourself in a place where you can really begin to have a new understanding of the criminal mindset, the criminal code of the mafiya, and really start to empathize with some of my major characters.

Here’s a small blurb from chapter 9.

Komar screwed the silencer onto the weapon in a fast fluid motion.
My insides blistered with the tinge of enmity.
He set the pistol on the bed and motioned for me look inside the handbag.
I pulled out a Berretta 92FS Compact. An attractive 9mm semi with mahogany grips and the standard black satin Berretta finish. Already attached to the barrel was an AWC Abraxas 40SW Titanium sound-suppressor.
I clutched it with my right hand facing it downwards, at once feeling its disparaging preeminence.
There were two more firearms inside the black nylon duffel.
An evocative all black Glock Model-19 9mm with a 14+1 clip and a chrome plated Randall Service Model 4|5 with black polymer grips and a high capacity mag.
Three boxes of 9mm Remington hollow point slugs, a box of .45 caliber Remington Swords, a small container of latex gloves the kind with the powdered chalk on the inside, three black hooded pullovers, and 4 black ski-masks lay at the bottom of the bag.
It was a chilling moment.
I pondered the lives of those about to perish as casualties to the barbaric uncaring animosity of fate.
After all, it would be my hard hand that would carry out the malicious judgment of those few important ones that decided such matters of magnitude.
Who and why were unimportant to me | The bringer of peril.
I was but a cog in a spectacular carousel that spun the tangled bias of inequity.
And let it be known | This is how you made me.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?

It’s not a sequel or prequel per se…
See, as an author, I feel that we live in a time, especially with the advent of digital media, where we need to challenge all of the stereotypes that have been drilled into us both as writers and as readers.
When I read a book nowadays, it has to mean something to me.
The market has become so flooded with the same old watered-down drek, that many books, feel just like more of the same.
I need something to challenge my thinking.
I need something fresh and bold… And I can’t be treated like a dummy.
This is exactly what I am trying to bring to my readers.
Something truly amazing that I know will persuade them to see the world in a different way.

I’m working on a book now called Red Island: Sirens|Violence.

It’s going to come at you first as a compilation of short stories, but towards the end will surprise you with something that I hope to be truly unique.

And, whereas it’s neither a sequel nor a prequel, characters and references from my first book will be mentioned.

T. What are your writing habits? Are you an outliner or do you write “by the seat of your pants?

G.I’m probably a bit of both, but I lean more towards outliner.

I carry around a little notepad (it’s called an iPad nowadays) and when I get a good thought or a relevant idea, I jot it down and somehow install it later into the book.

When I sit down to write a chapter, although I usually know how the chapter will end… sometimes I surprise myself.

My writing style though… I call it modern|sophisticated, I like to throw in lots of slang, and as you can see, I love ||slashes||. It’s not just that, I treat my writing as an art-form, it’s not just a way of telling a story it’s more like painting a mural. It’s as much viewed with the eyes as it is studied with the mind.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?

G. I am thrilled that I can get my words directly to my audience without having to answer to industry executives who claim to know what the public wants but never deliver on their promises.

You know Tom, I was about to enter into a deal with penguin for Career Criminal.

I did the usual letter sending, and the SASEs, and all the industry nonsense that came with it.

What I kept getting was “We love your book… but we want our editors to hack it to shreds and turn it into what we think people want to read”.

I just couldn’t do it.

And that why I absolutely love the digital media.

Its gives us, as writers, total creative control and the freedom we need to do what we know to be right, without having to compromise our integrity.

T. Thank you for your fresh insights, Gary. Best of luck with your books.


  1. Thanks for the interview, I’ve been dying to hear more from author Gary Govich after reading Career Criminal… The book`s got to be one of the best things that I’ve read in years- totally captivating. I really hope to hear more from this author. Thanks for sharing your story, Gary.

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