Fires are hot

Back to our irregularly scheduled blogging.

First off, thank you all SO MUCH for your support, your congratulations, and your kind words. I’ve cried about sixteen times over the last five days. I’m so touched. Really. You guys are amazing.

A lot of people have asked me how the book auction went down. It’s a great story, but I’m going to wait a few weeks to tell it. When I tell it, you’ll understand why.

See? I can totally build suspense.

I have deadlines now, so I’m going to be working on my sequel for the next few months. ELEMENTAL focuses on the brother who can control water, and next up is the brother who can control fire. (That’s my buddy Gabriel. We’re tight.) For a few months I’ve been shyly toying with the idea of asking a local firefighter what it’s like to fight fires (because that strongly plays into the sequel), but I couldn’t exactly imagine walking up to the firehouse and stating my reasons for asking.

“So, yeah, I’m writing this book about these brothers who control the elements, right? Yeah, and there’s the one who controls fire. Could you tell me all about house fires? And, well, if you suspect someone of arson, like, how would you go after them?”

Yeah, that wouldn’t sound suspicious AT ALL.

(It’s kind of like when I was researching how to blow up a bag of fertilizer for the first book.)

If you’re an FBI agent and you’re reading this, it’s all for novel research. Pinky swear.

But anyway, now that I’ve got a book deal, I figured it was time to act like a professional. I looked up the name of the local fire chief, and I sent him an email.

He responded really quickly that he’d be happy to talk to me. We exchanged a few more details and worked out a time. (Inside, I kept going, “SQUEEEEEEEEEE! I get to talk to a fireman! I get to make my book sound real!”)

On the outside, it was more like, “Thank you so much for offering your time.”

But then — BUT THEN — he sent me this last email that said, “… and if we get a run while you are there you can hop on the engine with me.”

I was at my nieces’ dance competition when I got that email, and it was all I could do not to scream in the middle of the auditorium. (Seriously, no one would have noticed. No one screams like a mom at a dance competition.)

Now, look, I’m not going to wish for anyone’s house to burn down. That would be horrible.

But maybe a little brush fire? Maybe an abandoned building fire?

I don’t know how I’m going to contain myself for the next eight days. I might get to ride on a fire truck! A real fire truck! With real firefighters!


I’m okay. Really. I once read about Simone Elkeles getting to do a ride-along with detectives in Chicago. (Her books deal with gangs — and the guys are HOT and AMAZING. You must go read them.) When I read about that, I thought it was the coolest thing in the whole entire world.

Not anymore. If I could ride on a fire truck, that would be the coolest thing. Ever.

Oh. Sorry, honey. Top five then.

Can you imagine how much book fodder I’ll get out of this? Can you imagine? 

I know I sound like a freak. What thirty-three year old woman (with a corporate desk job and a family, no less) wants to ride around on a fire truck?

This one does.


12 thoughts on “Fires are hot

  1. Omg this post is hilarious! Glad I found your blog! 😀 😀 Hope you get to ride on that engine and then tell us about it!
    -laura v

  2. I must read this to my friend, because it’s hilarious. I recall an interview with Anne McCaffrey being similar, where she made up her science with what she knew to begin with, until she had the clout of a published author to get her an actual response from the scientists she wanted to consult about her stories.

    And I know you don’t want anyone’s house to burn down…..but how cool would it be if you got to ride along?????

  3. OMG how did I miss your announcement post?! Grrr, bad me! Congrats so much for the successful auction! That’s so awesome, and I’m looking foward to buying Elemental when it comes out. 😉

    Have lots of fun on that fire engine. XD

  4. RAAAH! Brigid, you were so nervous, and look at the response! My son just asked me why I was laughing, and I said, “I’m reading about a grown woman totally excited to go on a firetruck.” And he was like, “Well, shuh, who wouldn’t be excited about that?” So I hope you get a chance at that excitement–but not too much excitement. Just enough for good research, right? (and most writers can totally sympathize with fears that the FBI will track us down for our ominous or downright gory Google searches) I can’t wait to hear how it goes–and I can’t wait to hear your auction story!

  5. Who DOESN’T want to ride in a firetruck! I’m so jealous! I hope you do get to ride in it. Even if they’re like, “Hey let’s go to the store and take the truck” for some reason and you’re like, “Um, I’m game!”

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. I can’t wait until I can do research for a book like that. I think it might be one of the most awesome parts of being a writer. Have a blast and TAKE PICTURES! 😀

    <3 Meredith

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