Top Thriller Authors to Speak on Campus as Part of Inspired Writer Series
English-born screenwriter/producer Terry Hayes (pictured right), author of the new book I Am Pilgrim, and Andrew Gross, author of Everything to Lose and co-author of six James Patterson novels, will discuss their latest works at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 28, in Gonzaga Auditorium. “A Thriller of an Evening: In Conversation with Terry Hayes and Andrew Gross” 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 the MFA in Creative Writing, and is co-sponsored by the Fairfield 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.
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.”
Author 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.