Noted authors Terry Hayes and Andrew Gross will discuss their latest books at Fairfield University


Image: Andrew GrossAndrew Gross, author of "Everything to Lose" and co-author of six James Patterson novels, and English-born screenwriter/producer Terry Hayes, author of the new book "I Am Pilgrim," will discuss their latest works at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 28, at Fairfield University. "A Thriller of an Evening: In Conversation with Terry Hayes and Andrew Gross" will take place in Gonzaga Auditorium, Gonzaga Hall.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required at www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org. It is part of the Inspired Writer Series, the distinguished author series of Fairfield University's MFA in Creative Writing, and is co-sponsored by the library.

Hayes is a former journalist and screenwriter whose credits include "Road Warrior/Mad Max 2," (Mel Gibson) "From Hell," (Johnny Depp) and "Dead Calm," the film that launched Nicole Kidman's career, as well as a host of television miniseries, including "Bangkok Hilton." In all, he has won more than 20 film and television awards.

Image: Terry Hayes"I Am Pilgrim" is Hayes first novel and his prose is being compared to John le Carré and Robert Ludlum. The story centers on Pilgrim, the code name for a world-class secret agent whose adversary is a man known to the reader only as the Saracen. Having seen his dissident father beheaded in a public square in Saudi Arabia, Saracen has grown up with a burning desire to destroy the relationship between the U.S. and the Kingdom. As the tale unfolds, Pilgrim is drawn back into the intelligence underground to thwart Saracen's quest for jihad.

Hayes says the story has been in his head for 30 years or more, as he's long been a fan of the spy-thriller. "At it's very best, that genre... combined politics, terrific characters and a real story-telling pace," he has said. "So it was a small step to go from reading something you love, to start thinking about how you might go about creating a story of your own."

Due on bookstore shelves May 27, "I Am Pilgrim" is receiving lavish praise. "Hayes delivers muscular prose, sniper-round accurate dialogue and enough superb and original plotting to fill three volumes," New York Times best-selling author David Baldacci wrote of the book. "‘I Am Pilgrim' is simply one of the best suspense novels I've read in a long time."

Booklist dubbed it "simply unputdownable."

Image: I am pilgrimAuthor Andrew Gross is the New York Times best-selling author of "15 Seconds" and "No Way Back," and his latest novel, "Everything to Lose," follows a determined mother who becomes entangled in a murderous conspiracy to keep a 20-year-old secret buried. The blistering thriller is set in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which should resonate with local residents.

"With ‘Everything to Lose,' I wanted to capture the panic and escalating sense of dread of a person who rushes back in their house to save some things, then is unable to leave when the waters hit," Gross has said. "So the storm is a character - it's both a backdrop of devastation, and an emblem of home, and through the storm, the damning piece of evidence comes back that is pivotal in solving a 20-year-old murder."

Kirkus Reviews called the book "a tightly wound, realistic thriller."

For more information on Fairfield's MFA in Creative Writing Program, visit www.fairfield.edu/mfa. For more information on this event, contact Elizabeth Hastings at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2688 or ehastings@fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 12, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 292