As a retired Firefighter/Paramedic, I live aboard an aging sailboat anchored in the Florida keys. I am the author of “Dark Wave” and the newly released novel “Fireman Down”. With over 35 years’ of experience in Fire/EMS, I now travel abroad part of the year. As an experienced sailor with thousands of sea miles under my keel, I try to bring real life experiences to the pages of my works. When not traveling the Caribbean, I resides on the waters of Key West, Florida.
My writing is drawn on real life experiences to immerse the reader into the novel and feel the terror of when things go wrong. All that is lacking is the feel of salt water as it hits your face.
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Fireman Down: Incipientby Stan LovedayPublish: Sep 09, 2019Series: Kent Ward SeriesThrillers
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Dark Wave: Survival of Love and Hopeby Stan LovedayPublish: Dec 28, 2018Thrillers
FIREMAN DOWN: FREE BURNING (Kent Ward Book 2)by Stan LovedayPublish: Feb 26, 2020Series: Kent Ward SeriesThrillers
TRULY OBNOXIOUS BLONDE JOKESby Stan LovedayPublish: Feb 27, 2020Humor
The Last Plagueby Stan LovedayPublish: Apr 01, 2020Science Fiction Horror
Key West is what I currently consider my hometown.
I grew up in southern Michigan in the 70s and early 80s. I gave up the cold for a warmer life in the Tampa Bay area of Florida from the early 80s until I moved to Key West in 2017.
One finds that Key West is an artist’s dream. The entire community is so diverse that it beckons to those that dream of writing. I can understand why the likes of Hemingway loved it down here.
Whether kicked back on my sailboat in the beautiful waters that surround the keys or sitting at any number of locations around town, the creativity that comes with this area is amazing.
The other aspect of Key West is the people. It is an eclectic group that lives here. From the retiree’s to the children that grow up here, almost to a one finds this place perfect. The weather, the water, the attitudes all combine for a perfect mix.
One can watch the sunrise over the water, enjoy a Cafe con Leches, catch an afternoon of live music along the waterfront, then at the end of the day listen to the waves lap gently against your boat as it rocks you to sleep. Key West Time.Who was the most influential person to you growing up? Did you always want to be a writer?
I read a great deal growing up as a kid. There were a few writers that I very much enjoyed. Among them were Heinlein and Twain. Very different in their style, but they painted a picture with their writing that I loved.
Heinlein was one of the early authors that tried to keep the science in science fiction. Similar to Asimov or Clark, the idea that what you write should be at least plausible if not believable.
I never thought of writing until my later years. It was after they asked me to repeat one of my experiences as a fireman that the thought struck me. I was sharing stories about responding to Hurricane Andrew and Katrina with a group involved in recovery planning for businesses. I was able to paint a very good story when I was asked.
It was another coworker that had wrote a book years ago that caused me to consider the option of writing about my experiences. But life always got in the way while I was still working for the department.
Fast forward to retirement and time for a change. I retired and sailed south. Key West. One can look at retirement as either a prompt to do something else, or sit back until life catches up to you.
The Quote by Ben Franklin, the father of the fire service, explains a lot.
"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing."
That alone prompted me to try and spread my experiences to those that wondered what we do.What was college like for you and how did it shape your writing?
I have attended college for a majority of my life. As a paramedic with the fire department, we continued to train and learn for the duration of our job.
As such, you tend to meet and discuss many different views on how things appeared to each other. This is across generations, across age groups and across different backgrounds.
As a thriller novelist, what are some ways you think are the best ways to add mystery to your story?
I think my job is what gave me an insight into so many different experiences. That allow me to add the mystery and thriller components to my writing.
From the viewpoint of the injured staring death in the face to that of the mindset of an arsonist, you put yourself in their place. What would they do, say or act.
Build experiences into the mystery. Add the unseen threat into the thriller. Flowery words don’t paint the picture, it just adds smell.How was your experience of being a Firefighter/Paramedic?
The job of a Firefighter is something not every person is capable of. It’s not the physical aspect of the job that is the difficult part. It’s the mental portion that many people find the hardest. I have been involved in EMS or the Fire service for over 40 years now.
Those in the Fire/EMS field see things that even the movies are afraid to show. Both good and bad. But the feeling of making a difference in someone’s lives is the ultimate reward.
It shaped the way I look at the world. It allows me to mix in real emotions and experiences to paint that picture in my writing. It puts the realism into the descriptions. So you are not just told of the flames, you feel the heat standing there.What are some other day jobs you held before deciding to become a full-time writer?
As a fireman, I had the perfect job to allow me to explore so many other careers without changing my day job.
From being part of a medical evacuation crew to that of owning a pet store, computer repair shop, auto plant worker to an internet business before it all exploded into what it is today, I have had a well-rounded exposure to a variety of job experiences.What was the inspiration for your book, "Dark Wave: Survival of Love and Hope"?
I have lived on my sailboat for over 12 years now. During our first big sailing adventure, we spent four months traveling every day around the Bahamas.
Seeing the beauty of the islands occasionally interspersed with disasters that occur, the original book plan was a how-to for my friends to travel like we were.
As I started writing one afternoon, a severe rainstorm came into the basin where we were anchored. As the waterspout popped out of the clouds, I started a new paragraph describing what would happen if it struck us.
Three weeks later, I re-read the passage and started a new book as a fictional account of our travels.
Our experiences guided my writing down to people we would meet and parts of their stories.What are some personal experiences that you have shared about in your book, "Fireman Down: Incipient"?
The sights and descriptions are first hand. I have seen active fires with the results described in the book. It is this camaraderie that the firemen exhibited in the book that are true to form
It didn’t matter if it was a child that drowned while the mother slept, or holding the hand of a woman as she died while we cut her from a car, it etched these experiences into my memory.
Having responded to over twenty thousand calls during my career has given me the basis for the realism in my works that I strive for.When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
As a medic, I am always asked what is my worst call. Or what is the worst thing I have ever seen. People are always inquiring about the disaster and destruction we see as a group have seen.
If you ask other firemen, those that have any time on the job, this is the one question that is asked the most.
But it would offend someone outside the field at our take on this. It would impact the sensitivity of those not exposed to the real world in a negative way.
Like an auto accident, the snapshot that someone sees driving by is not the same as the firemen placing the sheet over a child that had died.
And I always answer those questions this way “With seeing a great dinner at the firehouse sitting cold five hours later when we finally get back to even thing about eating it” is my worst call.Where is the story of "Dark Wave: Survival of Love and Hope" set and is it a real place?
We had just returned from over 1500 miles of cruising the north and central Bahamas and had returned to Key West.
The story is set around the islands of the Bahamas. The places are real. The people talked about are real, just the names are changed. The descriptions of accounts are accurate.
I have had good friends call me up after reading the book and asked me if I was able to get my boat fixed back up.
And I explain that while a majority of the book is real, some are adjusted to what would have occurred had it not been for luck. The severe storms and waterspouts did occur. The excitement of great sailing intertwined with the terror of storm force winds that strove to drive your vessel ever closer to shore were real.
We fought to control a boat in weather that others would only hunker down in their homes. Those stories are real. Where that line with divides truth from fiction blurs is the key to the book. Right down to the bottle with a ring in it.What is the hardest part about being a writer?
Finding the right mix of a story that is one, believable and two, sellable. Some stories that are told play out very nicely but are totally unbelievable. Other, while very believable, are too hard to paint that picture that someone can easily follow.
I find myself waking to jot down notes or ideas that suddenly pop into my head. I have maybe fifteen story lines from 10 words to over twenty thousand words sitting in the wings. Waiting to build on the daydreams of a sailor.What are a couple of major lessons you've learned since becoming a writer?
That you have to find the right mix for what works for you to write. Sitting in front of a computer screen was not for me. If that was the medium I was forced to work around, it would have never happened. I use an iPad and portable keyboard. Wherever I stop is where I write.
The second one is that I am not a planner for writing. I guess the term I have heard is called a pantzer. I write as the story unfolds. Yes it makes for more editing and adjusting, but for me the story flows easier. I free-form more words at one setting without the dreaded writer’s block.Take us on a walk through your day-to-day life.
My day finds me taking a dinghy ride in from my sailboat into shore just after sunrise. The weather dictates my choice of locations. With my iPad, I may wander to a local coffee shop for a few hours of writing. I catch up on a few messages then write anywhere from 500 to 2000 words at a sitting. I might be there for 3 to 4 hours.
From there I venture downtown to listen to some live music while sitting along the waterfront. Another couple of hundred or more words wrote there and then the location moves on.
I try to end the day at either a wine bar or one of our other establishments that are a favorite hangout to the locals that live here in Key West. Not your noisy drinking crowd, but where you can hear two sailors discuss the best anchor, or maybe comment on the last boat captain that tried to dock. Maybe listen to a waitress discuss the best place to eat as a local. A drink or two, and still another couple of hundred words appear on my tablet.
The evening concludes with a dinghy back to my boat, watching a sunset while the sounds of couch horns being blown drift over the waters in the distance. This is a very much a normal day for me.What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself as an author in 10 years' time?
Continue to travel the islands of the Caribbean and provide more material to those that love to read my stories. As I said, having only been writing religiously for approaching two years, the number of books in process is truly amazing to me.
I jokingly tell my long term girlfriend that I plan to die at a 102 at the hands of a jealous girlfriend. So maybe another hundred books by then? Who knows. But for now, shooting for 5 books being released in 2020.What are you currently working on?
I have several books in the final stages of completion. The two that are due out in the next month is the second book in the series to Firemen Down called “Fireman Down - Free burning”. It follows the cliffhanger ending from the first book and tracks our main character as he searches the clues to stop the firebug.
The other is a comedy book, believe it or not. It’s a collection of Blonde jokes. I had collected them over a twenty-five year period. While not a planned best seller, there are still those out there that love this type of book. Including the warning that it is NSFW or irate blonde girlfriends.
The third is the fictional accounts of the soles lost to Hurricane Irma. These are the the people that were unaccounted for. The loners. The stray sailor that had no family. The transients that no one would miss. What was their final moments? What drove them to stay behind when others left? I hope to provide a view of the mindset of those that try to defy Mother Nature and all her wrath and lost.What are your thoughts on AllAuthor and its services? Do you have any feedback?
I am very grateful to have found the site AllAuthor, and the support you provide to authors. From the tweets to the ideas on blurbs, it is hands down a wonderful choice.
The quality of pictures that can be used with my books for emails, messages or displays is superb. Keep up the great job guys. You have found a long-term advocate here with me.
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