Happy Tuesday, Reader Friends!
Today we have Carrie Daws hanging with us for Takeover Tuesday. I’m delighted to give her the opportunity to tell you The Story Behind the Story: Kindling Embers. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and say hello!
What do you do when a friend wants you to write a book about her? Assuming you have a good relationship and enough courage to be completely honest, you say, “No!”
This is what happened to me. We actually weren’t that close at the time, this friend and I. We volunteered together occasionally at church and knew each other well enough to give more than the most basic answer when we inquired about each other’s lives. I certainly didn’t know her well enough to create a character around her.
But every few weeks, she’d ask again. “So, Carrie. When are you going to write a book about a fire inspector?” Yeah, my answer was still no.
Then, after one particularly rough day, she told me about a horrible inspection with an obstinate owner who didn’t want to do much of anything the law says that business owners must do. Hmmm. My brain started working, quietly, without me realizing what was happening.
A few weeks later, she told me another story about firemen in full turnout gear tackling a homeowner who wouldn’t let them into his house to put out the fire. And about an inspection earlier that week where a manager ordered her out of a restaurant because they didn’t like her. Honestly, I laughed hysterically, picturing this small Asian woman standing up to my friend all because she required them to follow the local fire code.
And that’s when I knew. I had to write this book.
A few permission forms and waivers later, I sat beside her in her government-issued white Chevy Tahoe, a vehicle big enough to carry all her necessary equipment and handle the occasionally rough terrain she needed to transgress. I shadowed her on inspections and begged to be called out to a fire with her. I tramped around a kids’ camp and walked a secure warehouse at her side. Of course, all the business owners and managers only showed her the utmost respect and courtesy in my presence. They didn’t know who I was or what power I had over them, after all.
I talked to firemen and paramedics, gleaning more stories and the critical fire information I would need. I searched the web for information and read more about fire safety. Slowly, a plot formed.
The fun part for me is that much within these books is based on my town, although names of fire departments, neighborhoods, and other identifying places have been changed. Similarly, inspections and fires I talk about are loosely based on true stories from my friend, others in the fire safety and emergency management field, and news reports from around the world.
I changed key details about my friend, to both simplify the story and protect her identity—at least, outside her circle of family and friends to whom she loudly proclaimed that I was writing a book about her.
The result was a fun story where the main character must decide if God is trustworthy. If He truly can protect her and her family when the circumstances turn dangerous.
It’s a story I’m glad she persisted in asking me to write.
About the Author
God rewrote Carrie’s dreams to include being an author. With a background in weekly devotions, a mentor and several friends encouraged her to try fiction. The writing monster that she now barely keeps contained was born. Since then, she’s completed several books including her new romantic suspense, the Embers series. To learn more about her books, click here.
About the Book
The Blurb: “Inspector Cassandra McCarthy never thought she’d be raising her two daughters alone, but her husband’s unexpected death forced her to find a career. Now working beside a retired Special Operations soldier and veteran fireman, she serves her small North Carolina town, protecting them from hazards they don’t understand. She loves what she does and trusts God to provide—until a hurricane and a series of unexplained fires hit too close to home. What will it cost Cassandra to protect the citizens of Silver Heights?”