Monday, August 16, 2010
I write emergency suspense right now because it ties closely into what I have done for a living for the past fourteen years. It provides a fertile ground of longstanding literary themes —death and resurrection, loss and redemption— Strong biblical principles that I’ve been able to weave into Tomorrow We Die and Through the Fire.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I’ve known the Lord for as long as I can remember, so I don’t have a memory of a single conversion day. The joy of knowing him, the Day of the Lord as it were in my life has more of an epochal feel to it rather than a more finite sense. In that respect, being married for the past eleven years and having our family has been the happiest, most joy-filled time in my life.
How has being published changed your life?
Since the writing and publication of Through the Fire and Tomorrow We Die we’ve been much busier. We can’t put off writing because we have other things going on. Having signed a contract and being paid to write novels I now am obligated to deliver on a schedule. So that, while making me more prolific, also carries the burden of a greater workload. We endeavor to schedule well so we can protect our time as a couple and our time with family and friends and church.
What are you reading right now?
Havah by Tosca Lee, Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card, By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson.
Wow, three books at once. I've only done two at a time. What is your current work in progress?
Falls Like Lightning. Here’s a peek at initial back cover copy:
When hotshot smokejumper Silas Kent gets his own fire crew, he thinks he’s achieved what he always wanted. But amid the largest lightning caused fire complex the west has seen in over a century, his team is quickly forced into service. Before he’s ready they’re in a plane over the Desolation Wilderness of the Sierra Nevada.
Experienced firefighting pilot Elle Westmore has been called up to fly jumper crews into the heart of the forest infernos. As a single mother of a six year old who is suffering from increasing and unexplainable seizures, her situation has grown complicated.
It doesn’t take long for things to go very wrong, very quickly. A suspicious engine explosion forces Elle to make an emergency landing in a mountain lake. Silas is able to parachute to safety, but soon discovers his crew can’t be trusted. They’re hiding something, and now Silas is on a race to save himself and Elle—both from the conflagration encircling them…and from a more dangerous threat. His own team.
We need to feature that book on the blog, too. What would be your dream vacation?
A month (minimum) in Europe, probably Paris or Dublin.
So far I’ve stayed primarily with the Reno/Tahoe area, writing locales that I know well firsthand.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My wife, of course. But if you mean like someone I haven’t met? I’d love to have Bono or Leif Enger over to our house for dinner.
You should have made brownie points with that answer. At least, you would have in my house. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy spending time in the outdoors with my family. Surfing when I can, snowboarding in the winter. We love to hike among other activities.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Plotting and structuring are great challenges. I do a lot of discussion with my wife during the plot development phase. Once we’ve established a solid framework for the story I find I’m able to progress quicker through the writing process.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read great writers. Read established books on the craft. Attend writing conferences to network with other authors, agents, and editors.
Tell us about the featured book.
Tomorrow We Die: Here’s a peek at the back cover copy:
Paramedic Jonathan Trestle has had a week of death. Every call seems to end up with someone flatlining until finally he is able to revive a disheveled patient long enough for the man to hand him a crumpled piece of paper and say, “Give this to Martin.” With the simple decision to honor a dying man’s last wish, Trestle soon finds himself snared in a mystery of murder and danger. His only clue is a scrap of paper covered with indecipherable dashes, but with his future, freedom, and life on the line, he must race for the truth before the Angel of Death comes calling for him.
Sounds really intersting. Please give us the first page of the book.
I’ll do more than that! The first two chapters, as they appear in print, are available to read at http://www.scribd.com/doc/34063278/Tomorrow-We-Die .
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love feedback from readers and endeavor to always get back to those who email. I can be found at http://www.shawngradybooks.com/ or at http://www.facebook.com/shawngradybooks .
Thank you, Shawn, for visiting with us again.
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