16 Jan Client Spotlight: Drew Rogers
Q: Drew, please tell us a little about yourself:
A: Ever since childhood I’ve loved sports. I played them all growing up and earned a full 4-year basketball scholarship to the University of Kansas. I earned a degree in radio/tv journalism and planned to stay close to the games through sportscasting. Except…
Q: What led you into your marketing career and where did it take you?
A: My best job opportunity out of school was a 70 hour/week job at a TV station in Jackson, MS that involved no airtime. Someone waved what seemed like a lot of money in my face to go sell medical equipment and that was the end of my broadcasting career. Within two years I’d been promoted to a regional sales manager position and three years after that I was running Sales & Marketing for a mid-level medical manufacturer and within five years became president and general manager. By the time I retired a few years ago I was running the entire Healthcare & Medical division of a $3billion multi-national manufacturer and had managed sales forces and marketed in more than 50 countries worldwide. Nothing against Jackson, MS, but…
Q: What inspired you to write your first book?
A: I’m a storyteller. My mother could share some doozies I created when trying to avoid a spanking. I knew I’d someday write books and the inspiration for Book #1 came at my 40-year high school reunion. Our HS basketball team had made an undefeated run to the Missouri state championship game, and I was reminiscing with former teammates at the reunion when one of them began complaining about a particular game. Forty years hadn’t been enough to erase the bad taste. So, I told him I’d write a memoir about that team and once he read it, he’d be healed. So, I did. And he was! That team was an integrated group of whites and blacks playing against mostly all-white or all-black teams at the height of the civil rights movement. There was a full-on riot following our state quarterfinal victory. The obstacles we overcame and the bonds we formed were incredible – especially for those times. Anyone interested in basketball, growing up in a sprawling Midwest neighborhood or learning more about racism through the eyes of a naïve white kid will enjoy this book. Very dramatic ending too. It’s called “Before the Spotlight” and is available on Amazon.
Q: Tell us a little bit about the current project you are working on?
A: The only complaint I heard about Book #1 was the ending. Even my classmates who lived the story with me complained. I couldn’t very well change the ending as it was non-fiction. So, I decided to write a fiction book where I could choose my own ending…beginning and middle too! Like a lot of people, I’d been watching the growth of social media and electronic surveillance and figured it was just a matter of time before something or someone gathered all of that up and took control of society. I spent three years conceiving and writing “Panoptes” and it was published in 2023. It’s a slightly futuristic look at society dominated by a supercomputer watchdog. That’s the backdrop for a story about relationships, human behavior and moral dilemmas. I fashioned its protagonist, Gabriel Ross from all of my international marketing experience. It even includes a brief sales tutorial on how he managed to convince the NSA to purchase and implement the supercomputer. Ultimately Gabriel must choose between love of a woman or defeat of Panoptes. It’s no easy choice and my readers have been split over whether he made the right decision. “Panoptes” is also available on Amazon.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of your career, either in marketing or currently as an author?
A: The people. Bosses, co-workers, subordinates, customers, even competitors in business. And now readers, editors, writing coaches. Although writing is an introverted activity, I get my energy from interfacing with people. I used to do my best writing on travel weeknights, on airplanes or alone in a hotel room, bursting with energy gleaned from all the people I’d met with that day. Those people were frequently the source of character profiles I created.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge over the last few years?
A: Keeping up with younger, fitter pickleball players. I am recovering from double knee replacements which, along with aging, provide a real mobility challenge. When I was younger I was the athletic one – overcoming superior players with speed and quickness. Now I’m having to learn better techniques because I’m…so…slow…
Q: What is the most exciting aspect of being an author and the writing process?
A: Character development. Once I’ve created personalities, I want to create scenarios and challenges to bring those characters to life for the reader. I’ll drive around with a couple imaginary characters in my car and have discussions with them, which ultimately leads to written interactions and dialogue among them. Like I indicated previously, I’m good at making stuff up.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like us to know?
A: After 40 years in business, specifically hiring and managing people. I’ve learned a thing or two about recruitment and hiring. I now mentor young businesspeople to help them get a new job or grow within the one they have. I’ve developed a practiced approach to resume-building, letters of introduction, and most of all interviewing, that have proven extremely useful to my clients. So far, I’ve helped half a dozen up-and-comers grow their careers. It’s something I really enjoy.
Q: If someone is interested in reading some of your work, where can they find your books?
A: Links to my books are listed above. Here’s how to reach me:
Amazon Author Page: Amazon.com: Drew Rogers: books, biography, latest update