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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Interview With Author George Kreuscher

George Kreuscher served three decades in the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). His recently published book, Fireman, takes us inside the life and career of a living hero. Though he was not fighting fires on 9/11, he lost over 100 men that he had worked with or trained. His story is moving and insightful. I had the pleasure of working with him several months ago when he was retained by the PR firm that I work for, generating dozens of radio interviews for him. Here is what he told Book Marketing Buzz Blog:


  1. What do you hope people will learn about what firefighters go through after reading your book?  I always wanted to write something about the people I met and worked with in the FDNY.  The quality of the firemen was impressive.  The physical strength, intelligence and most of all the confidence of these men, many of them WWII veterans, was astounding to me. Through the years those qualities have never wavered.  I wrote to convey the extraordinary courage that was displayed on September 11, 2001 after the attack on the World Trade Center.  It was an unfair test for those who conduct themselves bravely every day. 
   2.
How challenging is it to promote and market your book? It is very challenging to promote and market a book.  When an author writes a book, it is with a desire to tell the story without consideration of publishing and marketing.  This is where the creativity ends and the work begins.  Today especially, things move fast and agents and publishers heap more responsibility on the author for promotion.  It requires time and money.  A shortcut to some degree can be made by self-publishing, but that requires more creativity in putting the physical book together with all that it entails.  The jacket, the binding, the font, the paper, the order, the proofing and early editing is done be by the author and maybe a close friend.  In my case it was my wife, Mary Lou.

  1. What was the writing experience like for you in putting your book together? Once I decided how to start my book, it just flowed out from start to finish. It took about a year of early mornings, waking up motivated when it was still dark.  As it was about my life's experience and real people, it made it easier to recall and write.  It took work and dedication but was a wonderful experience to dig back and tell it like it was and relate the quality of the people that come to the fire service.  I was fortunate that my wife is an avid reader and literary person.  She was the proof reader, typist, and she helped in the book design.  This made a shared experience that I consider a bonus.

  1. What advice would you give to those who want to be published authors? The most important asset that a writer or poet must have besides writing ability, is life experience. Then it is a matter of continuing to write a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, one day at a time.  Stay with it.  Very successful authors tell of filling their walls with rejection slips from agents until that one break came.  The other course is to self-publish and take a chance that you could be one of those who break out.

  1. You write about 9/11 and the life of a firefighter. As we approach the 10-year anniversary of that horrific event what do you think Americans remember about that tragic day? As we approach the 10-year-anniversary of the blindsided attack on America at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, I feel that most Americans realize how violated our country was.  We will never forget the lives of the innocent who were lost by jumping, burning to death and being atomized by the heat and pressure of 110-story buildings collapsing to a pile of rubble 50 feet high.  We will never forget the heroism of the police and fire personnel who died trying to get to the innocent civilian victims.

  1. What do you hope people will learn about what firefighters go through after reading your book? Fireman was written in order to let the public have some idea as to what a fireman's life is and the dangerous world he sometimes lives in.  The most important thing is to put water on the fire.  That aspect hides many of the other things fireman do every day.  I hope I got across the high quality and morality of the men who died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  The good thing is that the quality of the people in the fire service is still there.  The beat goes on. 

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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