Dispatches - April, 2017
A Message From Jonathan Grave

Dear readers, 

 

Gilstrap continues to follow Boxers and me around, watching what we do and writing everything down.  I've said before that he gets more things right than he gets wrong, so we keep him around.  If he wants to stick his head up in the middle of a firefight to take notes, that's his business.  It certainly keeps Big Guy entertained.

 

Click to order from Amazon.com

Gilstrap's latest opus is called Final Target, and it chronicles my team's activities in Mexico a while back as we tried to separate a DEA agent from his captors.  As is so often the case with any battle plan once the first shot is fired, this one came unzipped pretty fast, and with deadly consequences.  After all the spent brass had fallen, we found out that among the dead bad guys was the brother of Alejandro Azul, the kingpin of the ruthless--and I mean utterly ruthless--drug cartel that calls itself the Jungle Tigers.  Azul  was . . . displeased.

 

Did I mention that we were trapped without transportation 150 miles from any reasonable exfil point?  How about the orphans we were saddled with?  It was one hell of a trip.

 

Final Target officially goes on sale June 27, but Gilstrap would be a happy camper if you pre-ordered it.  Clicking the picture takes you to Amazon.com, but you'll find it at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, the Apple Store, Kobo, or an independent bookstore near you.

 

If you're on the fence, here's the first chapter of Final Target to help you make up your mind.  (Note to Gilstrap: You owe me, my friend.  This is a boat load of shameless promotion.)

An Update From John Gilstrap

I've Started A YouTube Channel

 

It's called "A Writer's View of Writing and Publishing" and I must confess that I'm pretty proud of it.  I've learned over the years that the business of writing and publishing seem mysterious to people who are not a party to it.  It seems particularly baffling to up-and-coming writers who are trying to find the right string to pull to open that all-important first doorway to success.

 

In short, weekly videos, I discuss such topics as How Authors Get Paid.  Or, What to Look For in Choosing a Literary Agent.  On the softer side of business, I address the question, Are Writers' Conferences Worthwhile?  Future episodes will discuss movie deals, screenplays, marketing strategies and creative issues like dealing with writer's block or what to do when you realize you've made a huge mistake in your plot.

 

The point of the channel is several fold.  On the one hand, I want to give an insider's view to a creative process that few people get to witness themselves, and on the other, I want to lend guidance and maybe a little encouragement to newer writers who are just beginning the journey toward the goal of becoming a professional.  As I say in the introductory video, a home run would be if the channel became a kind of writers' and readers' community.

 

I hope you'll consider subscribing.

Upcoming Appearances

Conference and tour season is starting up again, and my schedule is beginning to fill up with quite a few interesting gigs. 

On May 23, I'm honored to be a featured speaker for the Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association. This might seem odd to fans of Jonathan Grave and my other books, but long before I was a full time writer--and for quite a while as I was churning out a novel per year--I was a safety engineer with strong opinions and a slightly different squint on occupational safety and health.  I retired from the full-time pursuit of compliance and worker safety a little over two years ago, but it's nice to still be recognized as an authority in a field that was my life for 35 years.  My topic will be how to focus management's attention on issues of worker safety.

 
From July 13-16, I will be attending ThrillerFest, the annual confab of the International Thriller Writers Association, which will be held in its usual home, the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan.  If you're a fan of thrillers, this is the event to go to, to meet your favorite authors and get a peek into their world.  All I know right now is that I will be participating in an industry-focused panel on July 14 with, among others, my good friend and fellow author, Jon Land.  I'll also be helping new authors hone their pitches to agents during a practice session of PitchFest.

The week after Thrillerfest, I'm off to Muncie, Indiana, to join the faculty of the Midwest Writers Workshop, which will span July 20-22.  I've been in this writing game for over 20 years, and MWW is one of the best workshops of its kind in the country.  I'll be teaching an all-day course on the art and craft of writing thrillers, but other faculty will be covering just about every other compass point on the publishing map.  There'll also be industry folks like agents and editors there to help students hone their stories.


From September 8 to 10, I'll be at another wonderful conference, this one a newer addition to the conference constellation. Creatures, Crimes & Creativity is the broadest-based conference I attend. Attracting writers and artists from all genres and styles, C3 is laid back and has a very homey feel to it.  You feel like you really get to know the other attendees.  By way of full disclosure, I was the guest of honor a couple of years ago, and this year, my buddy (and amazing writer) Jonathan Maberry will hold that honor.  If you live in the Washington, DC, area, you should look into this one--if only because the DC area hosts so few events for genre writers.


I have just accepted an invitation to the the luncheon speaker at a conference of the Virginia Homicide Investigators Association, which will convene during the first week in October.  I consider this to be a real honor.  I'm not exactly sure yet what value a guy who makes stuff up about killing brings to a group of professionals who investigate real murders, but I'm confident I'll think of something.  Better yet: I get to attend the classes they conduct on crime scene investigations.  This scratches the sweet spot where my inner little boy meets my outer professional writer.

Then comes a highlight of my year, every year, the Magna Cum Murder Crime Writing Festival, which will be held from October 20 to 22 at the amazing Columbia Club in Indianapolis, Indiana.  This is the 23rd annual Magna conference, and I have attended all but maybe five of them, and those because of unavoidable conflicts.  As informal and down-to-earth as a conference can possibly be, Magna is one of the best.  Terence Faherty is the guest of honor this year and Andrew Taylor is the international guest of honor.  (And no, it is not that Andrew Taylor.  He does not have an Aunt Bea or a son named Opie.)

 

Get a Jonathan Grave Challenge Coin While Doing a Good Deed

Jonathan Grave has been offering to trade challenge coins with fans and friends for quite a while now.  I've heard from many fans who would like to have a coin, but who do not have a coin to trade.  More than a few have offered to pay, but that's really not how it is done.

 

I am pleased to announce a solution that will not only bring a coin to your mailbox, but will do a good deed at the same time.  We have joined forces with the US Navy SEAL Legacy Foundation to send a Jonathan Grave Challenge coin free of charge to anyone who makes a $20.00 donation to this wonderful cause.  Just follow the link, make your donation, and I will send you your coin.

 

Of course, coin-for-coin trading is still an option.  If you have a coin you'd like to trade, send an email to digger@jonathangrave.com and we'll take care of the rest.

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