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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight with Gregory Collett

When the whispers in the night, the whispers of her lover, are the whispers of a killer, will Margot escape before she becomes the next victim?

Deep in the foothills of Red Rock Canyon, a serial killer stalks. He leaves his signature—a skull mask on the corpse. But when the homicide cop realizes the crimes are the reenactment of a case never solved ten years ago--all fingers point to Michael DeVeccio. And when Margot realizes she is married to the killer, her life becomes a living nightmare.

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! My featured guest today is Gregory Collett, the actor who played the role of Detective Diego Santiago in my book video Mask of the Betrayer. Before I bring him out, let’s have a peek at the video produced by Triad Productions.

Thunderous applause explodes as Gregory struts into the parlor

Sharon: Welcome, Gregory, have a seat. Can Oliver get you something from the bar?

Gregory: Tequila, always tequila. Patron is sufficient unless you have a mescal from Oaxaca estado. On the rocks, squeeze of lime. Thanks…

Sharon: We aim to please, and I’ll have my usual, Oliver.

With a nod, Oliver presents a CC& club soda and shot of Mexican tequila with a squeeze of lime on the rocks.

Sharon: First of all, I want to thank you so much for bringing my character to life so well. Detective Diego Santiago is a streety cop with attitude personified, and you certainly fit the bill. Santiago is first introduced when his team discovers the corpse of Lacy Diamond in the bathtub with a death star in her throat and a death mask on her face. Can you give us any inside scoop on that scene?

Gregory: I was haunted by my past the instant I saw Lacy Diamond lying in that bathtub. There was a murder some ten years ago ‘we’ never solved. Dejavu hit me like lightning. There was an immediate juxtaposition with the murder of Carlos DeVeccio some ten years before and Lacy Diamond’s murder. Death star in the throat. Accurate, precise, and well thought out. We had our suspicions, but never found that killer so this was immediately a highly personal affair!

Sharon: In the next scene, you are at the DeVeccio mansion, questioning the suspect. The antagonism between Santiago and DeVeccio is palpable. Santiago hates the smug billionaire, knows he’s guilty as sin, but can’t prove it. DeVeccio taunts the cop with flip remarks, enjoying the game of cat and mouse. What was going through your head during this scene? What were your thoughts of Michael DeVeccio?

Gregory: He’s the typical wealthy stereotype. For us working stiffs, whatever the job ethic, he’s immediately wrong just by his very stoic, elitist nature. My stomach turns inside every time I have to talk to him. My instincts alive with disapproval. But, an education and aristocratic background has trained him well. He’s very hard to properly accuse. Harder to even catch since he leaves no evidence worth a damn. That’s why this type of case is so difficult and it holds itself deep in my psyche.

Sharon: Santiago’s a tough cop, street-wise and full of confidence. And he’s a master at getting into the mind of a killer. He sees things other cops miss. What were your thoughts about Santiago and do you have anything in common with the character?

Gregory: A man dedicated to his art, his focus must rely upon his instincts always. This is the ultimate fighting tool in crime solving cases. Pathological murderers are the clearly the most psychotic. They hide their very nature from the public eye. There is always many faces but the killer has a glitch, personality flaw if you like, which essentially condemns him regardless his fate with the law. He or she is always in prison. A prison of the mind. This is when my instinct allows itself access into the killers ‘true nature’. It’s my job to remove him from the public so no further carnage occurs. The ‘game’ that is created is done so for the killers sake. A cheap, short control because he has no control. He is trapped inside, inside his mind. There is nothing left to live for when one has turned into this. It’s finding the weakness, often visible only second maybe minutes, into the murder’s mind which gains me eventual success. I see each situation similarly until that short access is allowed. That is my art. Michael DeVeccio has a trained mind. He is always a greater challenge regardless the opportunity. He covers his bases brilliantly. Takes me more time but I will prevail since there is no other way!

Sharon: Now let’s talk a bit about the props used in the video. The Ninja star or the death star is a weapon used in Martial arts. Prior to the research for Mask of the Betrayer, I’d never heard of it. Are you a fan of the arts and if so, are you familiar with the Ninja death star?

Gregory: Of course, I grew up watching Bruce Lee films. I still say the film ‘Hero’ was one of the great films made(must be seen on film screen for full effect). The death star was always one of the weapons of the dark arts. One of the tools of the great Ninja warriors.

Sharon: About how long does it take to film each scene? Are there a lot of cuts and interruptions?

Gregory: No, we worked through the script quickly. I think, maybe, too rapidly but I’m not the director. There was a pace required for the project. This is when I’m only a cog in the wheel. I play the part as best I can but the cadence of the scenes is up to the production crew, mainly, the director.

Sharon: And finally, what was your reaction to the face mask used in Mask of the Betrayer, the macabre skull mask?

Gregory: Believable. It’s a useful and powerful technique to use. The audience immediately knows the goals of the protagonist. It’s literal and exact. If there were vague variables, less exact metaphors, then the power of the protagonist would have to be developed more thoroughly. The mask gives ‘us’ quick access into the intent of the story.

Sharon: Thank you so much for joining me today, Gregory.To read Gregory Collett’s impressive resume, visit his website:

Sharon: And here are some final words from Gregory Collett:

I work on films throughout the west coast, Mexico and really wish to access into a world market. I love travel and love culture. Currently, I live above SLC in the mountains. Out of the traffic, off the grid, surrounded by nature, but a 15 minute bike ride down the hill (about an hour into town).

Thanks for having me Sharon, it was good chatting about ‘Mask of the Betrayer’.


Sharon Donovan said...

A warm welcome for actor Gregory Collett. Oliver, keep the drinks coming!

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P.L. Parker said...

Great post. This is such wonderful promo for your book and for Mr. Collett. Enjoyed it.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Sharon

And hello to Gregory. What an intriguing and interesting interview. Fascinating to learn a little about you and your acting. I love this book, and your portrayal of Diego was just as I imagined him. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Tiffany Green said...

Another excellent interview, Sharon! Mask of the Betrayer is such a great book. You are so talented, my dear. Looking forward to reading more of your books.

Debra St. John said...

Hi Sharon and Gregory,

Thanks to both of you for bringing "Mask of the Betrayer" to life. Gregory, I really enjoyed your insights into your character.

Miss Mae said...

Really loved the interview, and he certainly sounded like Diego! Also, that's a nice photo of you, Gregory. :) said...

Thank you for taking a minute to check in with 'our' interview. It's always enjoyable to play a character I can understand. I have a major in English which serves me well in script interpretation. Mostly, Diego is a man of instincts. This is my skill also. I travel worldwide in dangerous places and use my instinct to survive problems. I must go since there is so much to see and it's impossible to know the truth unless you visit personally these 'dangerous' foreign places. Thanks again everyone!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hello and thank you all so much for dropping in to chat and view the video. Oliver is serving drinks, so belly up to the bar! Yes, Gregory portrayed my Diego just the way I envisioned him. My, what an exciting life you lead! You must be like him in real life. Tell us about some of these dangerous places you explore. Thank you, Oliver. I'll have a CC& soda. Gregory? Tequila on the rocks?

Mary Ricksen said...

Great post Sharon. The man who solved the crime has to be sharp and Gregory you are sharp!!

Ivy said...

Very interesting interview...I like that you actually get to chat w/ one of the actors for the trailer. Are you really completely off the grid, Gregory?

Anne Patrick said...

Awesome interview Sharon and Gregory! Who doesn't love a man of adventure :-).

Skhye said...

Hi, Sharon. I made it by. Great post!!!

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome, everyone! Thanks for dropping in. Oliver, more drinks over here, please!

Linda Swift said...

Hi, Sharon,
I'm late getting by today, and it's almost tomorrow. I enjoyed this interview and Gregory seemed to be really into the character even in the interview. That's what good actors do, right? Loved the video and the book. Linda

Sharon Donovan said...

Linda, it's never too late to stop in for a night cap. This brings us to the end of another Wednesday Spotlight. Thank you all for joining us today. Special thanks to my featured guest, actor Gregory Collett. I think we all agree he did an outstanding job in portraying the role of Diego Santiago. BTW, the video of Mask of the Betrayer is in the August video contest at You Gotta Read. I'll keep you updated as to when voting begins.
Please join me next week when my guest will be Chelsea Turner, the actress who played the part of Margot Montgomery. Until next time, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you travel through life.
Love and Blessings,

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