The Gamble

The Gamble - Geoffrey R. Tigg

If you're looking for a fast paced, high action thriller, The Gamble should be on your "To Read" list. Each time you think that there's nothing else that could possibly go wrong for poor Jamison, he finds himself in another unlucky situation. 

The Gamble is a suitable name for this book in that Jamison is indeed playing a game, it just so happens to be a very dangerous game where the stakes include not only his life, but also the lives of people he works with and cares about. 

I always struggle with books that are a little too intense -- sometimes they take themselves too seriously and don't give the reader any breaks from the action. But Tigg offers a bit of lightheartedness where Jamison's love life is concerned. I enjoyed these scenes as they say a lot about Jamison's character. Although he's caught up in something that is over his head, he lets himself have fun and doesn't seem to take the situation as seriously as others would like him to. 

This book is very well written and highly enjoyable. Anyone who understands gambling more than I do (not much of a gambler) will probably see more connections than I did, as well as further appreciate Jamison's situation. 


Some Bio Information

Born in Windsor Ontario in 1950 to English Immigrants, I’ve been exposed to many different life styles and living environments, including living in Mexico City as a teen. I’ve been fortunate enough to earn degrees and certifications in engineering, finance, logistics and consulting and have practiced those disciplines at various times in my working career.

I’ve been fortunate to visit and live in many parts of Canada and appreciate the opportunities that many of us experience, as well as recognize the disparities across our society.

I love telling and listening to stories about life experiences and culture, and now focus my efforts as an artist and novelist telling those stories in my own creative way. My discipline is my passion, straining to get it right so others can relate to the message and feel the emotion that I intended to deliver. My stories are complex with interrelated events that focus on the characters’ emotions and actions as they respond to the common event that ties them together.


Q&A

1.    Tell us a little bit about your writing process. 

a.    In summary, I develop a story idea in my mind, usually based on something personal, a place, an event, some current event.

b.    I have developed over my 5 years of writing mystery/murder stories, a story line framework. The framework is EXCEL spreadsheet based. The frame work has a sheet for characters, a sheet for research, a sheet for the story line plots (usually 2-3), etc.

c.    I have each plot/story line in a column noted by the characters in that plot line (at the top). I have time periods down the side rows, usually set in days split into 4 periods. I place the scene ideas into the cells under the plot lines. I add dates, times, weather etc in the row header. I develop the first pass of the story. Each character is noted in the character sheet, along with notes about each character- I usually go to the Internet and find picture of a person that looks like the character in my mind. I copy that photo so the character is consistent when I write a scene involving that character. Sometimes I have a sheet with maps or other specific info that must be consistent that involve the story. Because most of my work involves real places the details must be correct or the locals would know- I try to be realistic for that audience. 

d.    Once this ‘draft’ story line is complete- I begin to write- usually 8-10 weeks after the spreadsheet is began. (I have a MS Word layout framework so I don’t have to format after. I usually establish an initial cover page design.

e.    The story usually takes its own direction and I alter the spreadsheet storyline as things evolve. The base story usually alters about 3 times before the final work is completed.

f.    The draft goes to beta readers (I have 1-2), I edit.. then it goes to a paid editor.. Usually 3 cycles of edit that included continuity, grammar, etc. I finalize the cover design with a designer, including the back page synopsis. 

g.    Finalize & Publish.

2.    How do you keep all the pieces straight as you’re putting them together?

a.    The spreadsheet is the key here. Each story line scene is color coded so I can follow the line of events and ensure integration with other plots work. If the novel changes direction, all the scenes are reviewed.

b.    As I have characters that move in and out of various novels, I keep the character files updated and ensure the continuity from one story to the next.

3.    How much research did you have to complete for this book?

For The Gamble- the research was about 2-3 weeks, as it included things on terrorists, technology, Google Maps (I use this to see the location and scene details) ferry & air flights, etc

4.    Is Jamison’s story over? 

No- I’m ½ way through writing ‘Covert Acts’ the sequel. There may be a 3rd novel in the series. From my experience I try to keep my work in the 80,000 word range- so the stage of the story dictates the decision to create a sequel. That happened in ‘The Myth of Kukulkan and Eye for an Eye. This is usually a consideration because of book cover price and production cost issues.

5.    Who’s your favorite author?

John Grisham.

6.    What’s your dream vacation? (Or have you already been there?)

Cruise the Mediterranean- planned for next year.

7.    Describe the perfect writing environment.

I prefer to write in the morning in my office at home. A couple of hours max. I like 1 or so hours at night, usually after 7pm.