Give a big Welcome to Shawn Grady who has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in Reno, Nevada where he lives with his wife and three children. He is the author of Through the Fire and the thriller Tomorrow We Die, a book Romantic Times declares "a definite page-turner."
What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?Spending time with my wife and family!
What movie most impacted you as a kid? Why?Return of the Jedi. It is epic. Adventure. Drama. My brother took me to see it in the theatre when I was about seven. I didn't understand all of it, but I loved it.
What was the last movie you saw in a theatre? Did you like it? Who was with you? What snacks did you eat?My wife and I just saw Midnight in Paris. Owen Wilson is fun to watch and the premise is great— an aspiring novelist transported each night back into 1920's Paris. The depiction of Hemingway is funny and gives a lot of energy to scenes. Salvador Dali is really good. The protagonist's lack of respect toward marriage, and that of the script in general is unfortunate, though. We had buttered popcorn and a smuggled southwestern sandwich from Whole Foods.
What are you currently reading? What is your favorite genre for personal reading pleasure?Right now I'm reading The Heavenly Man— a non-fiction memoir about the dramatic underground rebirth of the church in China. I'm also looking forward to soon diving into the third installment of Jill Williamson's Blood of Kings Trilogy— From Darkness Won.
What is the last book you read that moved you? What caused that powerful emotional experience?Peace Like a River by Leif Enger immediately comes to mind. It was a cathartic flood for me. What caused it? Certainly great writing. But what makes it that? I think the fact that it swims headlong through tragedy and finds the current of eternity. Loss and redemption.
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?Jim Bell, Randy Ingermanson, cause they have a knack for being the life of a party. Mike Berrier and Katie Cushman— two of my inner author circle from the beginning. Jim Rubart, Jill Williamson, Jill Kent, Katy Popa, Sharon Souza… oh wait, I'm only supposed to bring six?
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.All over the map. From classic literary to Christian fantasy and everything in between and orbiting the outskirts.
Other than the Bible, what is your all time favorite book?Man, that's really hard. Right now it's still Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. But I haven't read it again in many years since becoming a professional writer. The story is fantastic.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?Probably my earliest memory is of dictating a story to my mom who typed it out for me on our typewriter. It was a page and a half long science fiction adventure and I made an illustration for it.
How do you do the research for your books? How does the research differ between historical or contemporary?I began my career in firefighting as a seasonal wildland firefighter, so I used my experiences of the sights and sounds and smells from that for Falls Like Lightning. I had to personally interview a smokejumper and do a lot of research though with this book to make sure I had a solid handle on the jumping out of airplanes part.
What was it that made you decide on Falls Like Lightning as the setting for your novels?I wanted to place Falls Like Lightning in familiar territory for me. I've camped and worked near the Desolation Wilderness beyond South Lake Tahoe and so chose that for the locale.
Share the back cover copy of Falls Like Lightning:Smokejumper Silas Kent never expected to see pilot Elle Westmore again. In fact, reuniting makes him realize what a mistake he made all those years ago. But before he has a chance to try to make amends, he's called to lead a new crew in to battle against a massive fire in the Sierra Nevada.
And then things go very wrong, very quickly.
A suspicious engine explosion forces the crew to parachute early while Elle barely survives a crash landing. Silas reaches the ground safely, but in beginning a desperate race to reach the downed plane, he soon realizes he has more to fear than just a raging forest fire.
Go to the following website to find the first few pages of Falls Like Lightning.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers?I love connecting with readers. More can be found at shawngradybooks.com or facebook.com/shawngradybooks .
Shawn, thank you for stopping by and sharing with us. To have the possibility to receive a copy of Falls Like Lightning:
- Leave a comment with your email (name at domain name dot com).
- To make it a little more fun, go to Shawn's blog or web site and find out something of interest that is different from all other comments about Shawn or one of his characters.
- Giveaway closes Sunday, July 17 2011 at midnight (CST). Only US postal codes. If you're reading this on Feedburner, Facebook, or Amazon please come to www.AJHawke.blogspot.com to leave your comments.