Monday, July 18, 2011

Interview with author Shawn Grady

I am honored to have the opportunity to introduce you to Christian author, Shawn Grady. Shawn is a firefighter and paramedic in Reno, Nevada. His professions provides an ability to create intricate details to his plots, characters and their emotions, and settings that will cause readers to feel as though they are standing inside a blazing building with a firefighter or racing with an adrenaline rush to save a patient's life with a paramedic.

Who is Shawn Grady?
I'm a man who loves Jesus, my wife and my children, my friends, who loves the outdoors, water, our mookie head lab Marlette and many other interests and activities as long as I can share them with the ones closest to me.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your characters?

Often times my characters are composites of people I've worked with or known or my family or friends. None of them is meant to be a depiction of that person in real life, but often they are inspired by them. Some characters are completely made up. For my protagonists I try to dig deep and approach their narratives as a method actor does a role.

What is your newest release?

Falls Like Lightning. Readers can check out the first five chapters for free here:
And here's a peek at the back cover copy:

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.

What other books have you written?

Through the Fire –About Reno fireman Aidan O'Neill who has a gift for sensing the fire and is driven to solve the mystery of his father's death. There's a serial arsonist at large in Reno, a blossoming romance with one of the investigators, and an internal struggle the main character must wrestle with and overcome.

First two chapters online here:


Tomorrow We Die –About Reno paramedic Jonathan Trestle who revives a patient from cardiac arrest just long enough to be handed a crumpled note covered with indecipherable dashes and given the command, "Give this to Martin". With the simple desire to fulfill a dying man's last wish, Jonathan soon finds himself thrust into a maze of mystery and murder.

First two chapters online here:

What issues are the characters working through in your latest release?

Silas Kent is wrestling with guilt over having run from the only truly close relationship he's ever had- Elle Westmore. He is acting out his self destructive motivations by hurling himself into raging infernos, feeling as though he deserves to be cast down to the earth. When he is reunited with Elle after seven years, he sees opportunity for redemption.

Elle Westmore is a single mother struggling to provide for her six year old Maddie who has been suffering from increasing and inexplicable seizures. She is still haunted by the loss of her pilot father two years earlier when his plane crashed somewhere in the desolation wilderness, but has remained unfound. Old emotions are stirred again at the sight of Silas, but she is a much more guarded and cautious woman than before.

What are your favorite books to read and why?

All kinds. Literary. Adventure. Depends on my mood. If the premise is intriguing and/or if the voice is compelling I may be drawn to it.

How did you get involved in writing?

I've always loved it since a young age. In high school, I always figured I'd write a novel someday. As though it were a foregone conclusion. Does everybody think that?About seven years ago I started pursuing novel writing with a career focus and signed on with Bethany House in 2008.

Who has inspired your writing?

My wife. My family. My experiences professionally and personally. As far as literarily? Kerouac, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bradbury, Dostoevsky, Leif Enger, Marilyn Robinson…

What do you enjoy most about the writing process?

The free creative expression. The satisfaction of completing something that I'm proud of.

What advice would you offer an aspiring author?

Read great writers. Attend writing conferences and network with aspiring authors and others in the industry. Read established books on writing.

What are you currently writing?

I have a few proposals in with my agent and am working on things related to those. As, God-willing, things develop I'll be able to share more.

What has God been teaching you lately?

Of His unique love for each of us. How it hasn't changes since the Garden. His passion for Ephraim- which means dust, or clay. He saw Israel as he saw Adam, his first man formed from the earth. It's how he sees us. He loves us. He wants to walk with us in the cool of the evening.

Thanks for having me here, Kelly! Readers can always contact me via or at

It was my pleasure, Shawn. 
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