Monday, October 17, 2022

Interview With EMT-Turned-Author Chris Treece



1. What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into this book? During my EMT days I used to tell people that I had stopped watching television, because it could not compare with the wild, eccentric, often tragic or funny stories I was encountering in the real world. I kept copious diaries during that time and eventually had the time to sit down and write Crazy Ambulance Tales.  The fact that I had worked as a journalist and Hollywood screenwriter for years, before writing the book, makes it a better read. 

2. What is it about and who is it for?  Crazy Ambulance Tales is the true, coming of age story of a young Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and my growth from a well-meaning neophyte to a capable, boots-to-the-ground EMT, able to deal with trauma and medical emergencies. A military medic friend of mine told me when I started it, “Chris, no one wants to read a bunch of sad stories.” I agreed with him, so the tales in this book are the wild, funny, crazy kinds of tales that permeate ambulance life. A few darker stories are told toward the end of the book. It’s a fun book for anyone who enjoys adventure stories: either medical, outdoor or military. 

3. What takeaways might the reader will be left with after reading it? One reviewer called the book, “heartfelt and funny with stories that are real and life-affirming,” another said it is, “like watching M*A*S*H. Makes me laugh and cry.” It’s a book you can cozy up with for a good laugh, and to be touched by, emotionally. Other readers mention there are bits of hard-earned life wisdom in the book. 

4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design?  Originally, I wanted to call the book The Patient is Hiding in the Closet: Crazy Ambulance Tales but I was told by publishers wiser than me that this title was too long. I had hoped it would convey some of the humor in the tales. So the title was shortened, and The Patient is Hiding in the Closet became one of the chapter titles, about a patient who used to hide from our crew when we came to her home. I also originally envisioned the book’s cover with a photo of a young EMT on it, but my designer came up with the yellow caution tape framing for the title and the large photo of the ambulance, which I think works better as a thumbnail photo on  The ambulance on the book’s cover is the actual ambulance of my old EMS organization, St. Michael’s Fire & Rescue. 

5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?  I found that other EMTs or paramedics who had written similar books were quite friendly and helpful with advice when I was writing my book. One of them suggested I get a good editor to work with me, because many EMTs have great tales but need help getting them down well on paper. My years working as a journalist helped me in this regard, but I still worked with an editor friend of mine to deepen and better organize my story and found it quite helpful. 

6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?  In a word: Amazon, Amazon, Amazon. People are reading my book now from Australia, England, Canada, Japan and of course the United States. Amazon is the world’s biggest bookstore. 

7. What challenges did you overcome to write this book?  I wrote it during an eye injury. I had to lie in dark room with no other stimulation and I found my brain brought me back to one of the most exciting times in my life – my years as an EMT. I began hand-writing stories from that time, then, as my eyes healed, writing them on my computer. So, a challenging and difficult time in my life actually bore great fruit for me. 

8. How would you describe your writing style?  Conversational. The book’s tales are told to you as if you were sitting and swapping tales with a long-time, funny, experienced EMT. 

9. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? All of us enjoy tales that take us away from our humdrum ordinary lives. For people who relish adventure stories – either medical, outdoor or military – why not climb aboard the racing ambulance and see first-hand a world that makes you laugh, and touches you emotionally? Isn’t that a great way to relax at the end of the day? 

About The Author: Chris Treece has worked as a ditch digger, rappelling instructor, EMT, hospital orderly, journalist, Emmy-award winning PBS TV writer-producer-director of documentaries, Hollywood comedy and adventure screenwriter and a PR, communications and marketing director – and as the Dancing Cow at the Enosburg Falls Dairy Festival. A former resident of the charming state of Vermont, he currently lives in the story-telling capital of Southern California with his wife and many children. For more information, please consult:


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.2 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past decade, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, NewsdayThe Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:

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