The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By John Gilstrap

It’s Launch Day! This is the day when Threat Warning hits the stands (actually, it’s been on the stands for a week or so, but July 1 is the official launch date). This is my eighth time at bat, and it never gets ho-hum. Far from it, in fact. Each time a new book comes out is another pinch-me moment.

There was a point in my life—the first thirty-eight years—when the thought of publishing a single book seemed ridiculously unachievable. Then, along around 2003, the smart money said that my fourth book would be my last. Now, thanks to a hard-wired resistance to listening to people who tell me what I cannot do—and the good fortune to be introduced to Kurt Muse, who introduced me to the world of Special Forces—I’m basking in the glow of the release of my eighth book while I pound away on my ninth (Damage Control, to be released in July of 2012).

I don’t mean to get all sappy, but honest to God, sometimes I have to step back and wonder what good deeds I did in my past lives to justify the ride I’m getting in this one. Next week, I’ll be in New York City for ThrillerFest, hanging out with some of the best writers and smartest people on the planet, trying my best to be more friend than fan, though I confess that the difference is separated by a hair-thin line.

If you’re planning to be there for CraftFest—the writing program that begins on Wednesday—please consider dropping in on my session, “Who’s Story Are You Telling?”, a workshop on effective use of POV. Alternatively, please pop in on Saturday to the panel I’ll be leading on the future of the military thriller.

ThrillerFest is one of two indispensable meetings for writers of suspense fiction. Whereas Bouchercon—the other indispensable meeting—is mostly about meeting fans and gaining new ones, ThrillerFest is about professional development. Yes, T-Fest is expensive, but New York is an expensive city, and it is the heart and soul of the publishing industry. At the receptions and the bar and the banquet, you’ll find dozens of editors, agents, publishers, sales reps and publicists. It’s not the place to pitch your book (unless asked), but it’s the place to hang out with the power brokers and learn the industry.

Enough about that. This is Launch Day! In Threat Warning, Jonathan Grave and is team confront homegrown terrorists who are much more dangerous than they appear. Quoting the cover copy:

“The first victims are random. Ordinary citizens, fired upon at rush hour by unseen assassins. Caught in the crossfire of one of the attacks, rescue specialist Jonathan Grave spies a gunman getting away—with a mother and her teenage son as hostages. To free them, Grave and his team must enter the dark heart of a nationwide conspiracy. But their search goes beyond the schemes of a madman’s deadly ambitions. This time, it reaches all the way to the highest levels of power…”

I hope you give it a try. Even more, I hope you enjoy the story. One way or another, please let me know what you think.

19 thoughts on “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

  1. Congratulations, John! As I tell my kids, there are people who will stand in your way and tell you “no” all your life. You can get over, around, or through all of them except for that one in the mirror. Make that one tell you “yes” and go from there. Best wishes on the new book (which I shall be savaging, in my usual style, in a week or two!).

  2. Just bought it at Amazon. There’s something about getting to say, “But I bought it the day it launched, so there!”

    Anyway, congrats!

  3. Yay! It’s been in my Amazon Kindle bin for the last seven weeks waiting to drop.

    So, I know what I’ll be doing when the rest of the town is waging fireworks war on itself (for a town of 7000, the munitions are impressive).

    Happy Launch Day and have a blast at T-Fest!


  4. Fantastic entry in the series, John- I read it last night in one sitting. I’m a huge Jonathan Grave fan. Quick question for you- why no “h” in this particular Jonathan?

  5. Outstanding book. It was a really fun read for me, that’s for certain. You’ve got some real interesting voices in your head.

  6. Best wishes on your latest book. I downloaded it on Kindle. Thanks for the discounted price. That’s an added bonus–on top of a book that sounds right up my alley. Graves sounds like a great character. Can’t wait to read it.

    I also want to hear Basil’s audio. He’s got a great voice.

  7. Thanks for the good wishes, everyone.

    Joe, you just scared me. Will I see you at T-Fest?

    Neil, if you want to find me at a conference, the bar is always a good place to start.

    Thanks, Diane.

    Terri, the appropirate application of munitions is always impressive.

    Thanks, Michelle. Does the name Jonathan ever have an H? I always thought that the H made it a stand-alone name. Like mine. Mine’s not an appreviation of Jonathan. Or Johnathan.

    Hi, Boyd. Yeah, you, me and Marcia Clark. Yes, THAT Marcia Clark. Should be pretty cool.

    Basil, you did a great job! Wait till y’all hear him.

    Jordan and Alan, here’s hoping you enjoy the ride!

    John Gilstrap

  8. I just listened to a sample of Basil’s voice on Amazing, as I knew it would be. You really have to be an actor to pull off the voices and the action. I’m so impressed.

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