Monday, April 21, 2014

"STARTUP": A BUSINESS THRILLER. Guest Post By Author Glenn Ogura

"Startup": A Business Thriller, by Glenn Ogura

Prolific best-selling author James Patterson defined a thriller by the “intensity of emotions they create, particularly those of apprehension and exhilaration, of excitement and breathlessness, all designed to generate that all-important thrill. By definition, if a thriller doesn't thrill, it's not doing its job.”

Within the thriller genre, there are sub-genres such as conspiracy, crime, erotic, legal, medical, political, psychology and supernartural. Many movies have been based upon book thrillers such as The Da Vinci Code, Marathon Man, No Country for Old Men, Kiss the Girls, Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, Basic Instinct, The Firm, A Few Good Men, Coma, Three Days of the Condor, The Manchurian Candidate, Jurassic Park and the Dead Zone. The list could go on and on. 

What makes book thrillers so immensely popular and why are so many translated to the silver screen? Often thrillers involve an everyday person, suddenly thrown into a dangerous situation, trying to overcome obstacles placed by a villain. The tension escalates as the audience watches the unsuspecting hero try to escape often impossible situations, peaking in a tension-filled climax. Sounds like a great book to read or a movie to watch-right?

My favorite authors write thrillers. My favorite films of all time are thrillers. So it was natural for me to write a thriller. But when I sat down to plot my first book Startup, I realized that I wanted to write a book that didn’t quite fit into one of obvious thriller genres. John Grisham is a favorite author but I was not a lawyer by trade and would lack the insight that lawyers-turned-authors possess. Michael Crichton is another favorite author and his science thrillers, especially his earlier work are brilliant but I didn’t want to stray too far in the technology field for fear of boring my target audience—namely my family. Hence I sought to write Startup in the “sweet spot” between a legal thriller and a science thriller.

And in the process, I realized that I may have created a new sub-genre of a thriller called a “business thriller”. That sounds like a bold and audacious statement for an unknown author writing his debut book. I agree but these are not my words. In fact a major critic, Kirkus Reviews, called Startup “a solid business thriller, reminiscent of John Grisham’s The Firm.”
But if The Firm is a legal thriller, then what exactly is a “business thriller”? Simply put, the background of Startup is a business. It is a story about a young startup company trying to survive the cutthroat culture of California’s Silicon Valley. As the reader learns about the nuances of a fledgling company, the founder, an idealistic young man tries to build his dream business--fulfilling the American dream--despite the efforts of his former mentor and boss who places one seemingly impossible obstacle after another in his path. Sounds like a thriller-right?

The majority of us spend one-third of our adult lives working in a business. That’s a lot of coffee breaks. And what is a business? It is a collection of people, organized together in one place to pursue a common objective such as a product or service. And when you take over-worked people and put them in impossible yet realistic situations, you create the intensity of emotions including apprehension, exhilaration, excitement and breathlessness that Mr. Patterson spoke of.

No matter how you classify the specific sub-genre of a thriller, a book or film that thrills the audience is fun entertainment and takes them to a time and place of escape. And in the end, isn’t that what we want? 

Glenn Ogura earned a degree in electrical engineering from Queen’s University in Canada. He is currently the executive vice-president for a New Hampshire-based laser micromachining company. Glenn lives with his wife in California.  In addition to his love of writing and talking technology and the study of business ethics, he plays tennis. Startup is his first novel.

Visit his website at

Title: STARTUP  
Author: Glenn Ogura  
Publisher: iUniverse  
Pages: 486  
Genre: Mystery/Thriller  
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON

Set in California’s Silicon Valley, STARTUPfollows a young idealist/entrepreneur, Zack Penny, as he strives to achieve his dream of creating a new company that will launch an international revolution in technology through the creation of wallpaper-thin displays that will completely surround a viewer. Zack works for a highly successful company called Display Technik, run by CEO Allen Henley, whose vision is based on a success-at-all-costs philosophy.  Zack sees Henley as a mentor, but Zack’s philosophy favors high morals and values over Henley’s ruthless, end-justifies-the-means model of doing business.

Zack’s dream takes root one morning when he discovers an important paper has been taken from his office. Someone has exposed Zack’s secret plan to break away from Display Technik and start his own company. Henley gives Zack another chance to pledge his loyalty to the firm, but Zack resigns instead, more determined than ever to realize his vision. Soon, the optimistic if naive Zack steps into his new facility with high hopes for success. Henley, however, has already launched a plan to destroy Zack, his company, and Zack’s relationship with Henley’s daughter, Mary Anne.

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