Monday, June 29, 2009
Interview With Author Shawn Grady
I’m pleased to have as my guest today author Shawn Grady. Shawn and I first met in Randy Ingermanson’s mentoring class at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference in 2006. From that group, Katie Cushman has had two novels published—A Promise To Remember and Waiting For Daybreak—with a third on the way. Shawn’s novel, Through The Fire, will be released in July. I’m the latecomer, since my novel, Code Blue, is slated for publication early in 2010. Not a bad representation from the group. I hope it doesn’t give Professor Ingermanson delusions of grandeur.
RM: Shawn, welcome to Random Jottings. When I read the material you presented to the group at Mount Hermon, I figured you and Katie would be the first ones among us to be published. What were your expectations when you signed up for that conference and that class?
SG: I really looked forward to meeting other writers and honing my craft. The critique groups, by virtue of the fact that submissions from the other nine attendees are read by everyone ahead of time, are such a great way to get to know people through their work first.
RM: Tell us about getting “the call” when Bethany House offered a contract.
SG: For me the notification came by way of an email, so I didn’t get a call, per se, but seeing the contract offer was exhilarating all the same. It’s a culmination and a beginning all at the same time.
RM: I enjoyed reading Through The Fire. I didn't really see much that I recognized from Mount Hermon, though. How has your work changed since you presented the first part of it to Randy and the class?
SG: The portion I submitted for the Mount Hermon critique group back in 2006 centered on a rookie firefighter and was a bit more character-driven and less suspense focused. I did morph the opening fire sequence I used in that submission for a scene later in Through the Fire.
RM: Can you tell my readers a bit about Through The Fire?
SG: Essentially, it is about a Reno fireman who has a gift for sensing the fire and is driven to solve the mystery of his father’s death. Arson investigator Julianne Caldwell plays a key role, not only in pursuing the answers, but also in helping guide Aidan to a place of healing and peace.
RM: It’s obvious that your experience as a firefighter brings a great deal of realism to what you write about that life. Do you plan for firefighting to continue as a major theme in subsequent novels?
SG: My next novel will be in a similar emergency suspense vein, though it is about a Reno paramedic who feels like he’s chasing the Angel of Death. That one is scheduled for a summer 2010 release. Beyond that hasn’t been decided on yet.
RM: Who or what has been the greatest positive influence on you as you traveled this road to writing?
SG: The Lord, of course, has been the greatest of counselors and shepherds. My wife has been my steadfast confidante and faithful friend from the time I first started writing with a novel in mind about nine years ago. James Scott Bell and Randy Ingermanson have also been great mentors and friends.
RM: And any last words of wisdom for my readers?
SG: Thanks, Doc, for the chance to talk with you. Throughout my life, I’ve found confidence in knowing that God will direct our paths. Like Psalm 32:8 says, “I will teach you and instruct you in the way you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you.” Cheers-