We were both fortunate and highly gratified to be chosen to handle the most recent book launch for award winning author John Gilstrap. His newest book “Total Mayhem” will no doubt get rave reviews and great sale numbers. John is an engaging speaker with a wide and deep background. He has not only been a writer but has also been a firefighter, an explosives expert, a municipal employee, and a would-be intermittent journalist.
We were regaled with interesting and entertaining tales of how John wanted to be a writer since he was 12 years old and his many merry misadventures on his way to the promised land. Most memorable was a college writing course. The professor promptly informed John that if he was smart he would never try to write and that he should save himself from eternal embarrassment.
So John did the only gentlemanly thing and took a job in an explosives plant. While surviving the eminent daily danger of encountering a job related explosion, John decided he might get a charge out of attending a reunion of some of the members of his writing class. There he encountered a female classmate who proceeded to chew him out for not writing anything other than engineer’s reports.
With his new found motivation John quickly proceeded to turn out two manuscripts. He decided neither one could be termed “good” at all. Contemporaneously, while performing a local government chore John visited a Juvenile Detention Center for those select miscreants who haven’t yet achieved the magic age of 18 years. After observing a lonely dejected and terrified 12 year old he got an idea. Nathan Bailey had killed an abusive dangerous guard in self-defense and had taken off as a running fugitive. The only person inclined to be sympathetic in the least was the cop who was chasing him. This resulted in the novel “Nathan.”
After the usual and proverbial story of rejection after rejection came the breakthrough: an interested agent and publication. Money actually starts to flow in. Hallelujah.
The trick revealed – just tell a good story in a reasonable manner! That’s exactly what this newest book “Total Mayhem” does. We think you’ll like it for sure. And, we’ve already confirmed that John to come back next year and talk about things that go “boom.”
Photos courtesy of Barb Fellencer