Acclaimed, bestselling author John Gilstrap will be the guest speaker during a special community event at this year’s Midwest Writers Workshop (MWW). The Meet and Greet, with a cash bar, is 7 p.m. Friday, July 26 at the Ball State University Alumni Center.  The program is open to the public and book clubs are welcome to come mingle with Gilstrap and conference attendees, and hear Gilstrap’s presentation, “Dare to Dream.”

Admission is free, but registration through Eventbrite is recommended.

John Gilstrap is the New York Times bestselling author of the Jonathan Grave thriller series; the latest, Total Mayhem released June 25. His other novels include Scorpion StrikeFinal TargetFriendly FireAgainst All EnemiesEnd GameHigh TreasonDamage ControlThreat WarningHostage ZeroNo MercyNathan’s RunAt All CostsEven StevenScott Free and Six Minutes to Freedom. In addition, John has written four screenplays for Hollywood, adapting the works of Nelson DeMille, Norman McLean and Thomas Harris. He is contracted to write and co-produce the film adaptation of his book, Six Minutes to Freedom.

Six Minutes tells the story of Kurt Muse, the only civilian of record ever rescued by the super-secret Delta Force. Thanks to Kurt’s cooperation (he is co-author), Gilstrap gained access to people and places that lifelong civilians like him should never see. “The heroic warriors I met during that research turned out to be nothing like their movie stereotypes,” Gilstrap explains. “These were not only gentlemen, but gentle men, who remained free of the kind of boasting and self-aggrandizement that I was expecting. They were supreme professionals, and very nice guys.”

And through them Gilstrap got the idea for his new series character, Jonathan Grave. He’s former Delta, released from the Army under circumstances that will be revealed over time, and now he’s a freelance hostage rescue specialist.  He’s the finest friend you could ever have, and the worst enemy.

“I write thrillers about normal people who get caught up in extraordinary circumstances” Gilstrap says. “I write about fathers and mothers and children who somehow find the will and the wherewithal to suck up the panic and fight on. They’re heroic, but they would never consider themselves to be heroes. Mostly, they would consider themselves to be survivors.”

A favorite MWW faculty instructor and a frequent speaker at literary events, Gilstrap teaches seminars on suspense writing techniques at a wide variety of venues, from local libraries to The Smithsonian Institution. Outside of his writing life, he is a renowned safety expert with extensive knowledge of explosives, hazardous materials, and fire behavior.

Since its founding in 1973, MWW has been devoted to providing writers of all stages in their career the opportunity to improve their craft, to associate with highly credentialed professionals, and to network with other writers. MWW is pleased to offer one of its conference’s events to the entire community and invite the general public to welcome John Gilstrap back to MWW.

Following his keynote address, Gilstrap’s books will be available for purchase and book signing.

Register with Eventbrite.