Author Gerry Harlan Brown Unveils His Latest Poignant Southern Fiction Novel Ring the Bell
Author Gerry Harlan Brown is celebrating the release of his second novel, Ring the Bell: A Novel of Everyday Heroes, which released to retail in April 2022 from WordCrafts Press. Brown’s latest work, which follows the exploits of firefighters in a small, Southern town, is an alternately thrilling, humorous, and heartachingly poignant tale of the intertwining lives of husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, heroes and villains in a tight-knit Kentucky community.
“For firefighters there is a special significance for the term, “Ring the Bell,” that goes deeper than the alarm bell going of in the fire station,” author Gerry Brown notes. “I wanted to show the contrast between firefighters—who continually prepare to respond to disaster, knowing it is coming—and ordinary citizens who do not expect that their world is about to fly apart until it happens. With the crew of Engine 4, we experience calls any fire department might encounter—from major catastrophies like a house fire or child rescue, to smaller events that are no less emotionally charged for the victim regardless of their scale. It is my hope readers gain a greater appreciation of the professionalism and dedication that epitomizes their firefighters.”
The courage to walk into the flames.
The knowledge to come out when the job’s done.
The memory arrived unbidden, just suddenly there, sharp as broken glass. The child had come to him again, as she had countless times since the first awful midnight years ago. His mouth opened. His lips moved, soundlessly screaming, No! No!
Virginia read about the tragedy in the paper the day after it happened. There was a house fire. A child climbed out a window onto a porch roof. The firefighters were almost to her, but something burning fell from above and knocked her tumbling to the ground. The little girl died instantly.
True to his nature, Wayne had come home from the department the next morning and not said a word about the call. That night, as they lay in bed, Virginia finally brought up the article in the paper. Knowing she was violating their unspoken rule, she asked, “Were you there?”
Virginia felt him shudder. He replied with a simple, “Yes.” Heavy minutes crawled by before he added, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
As Wayne was leaving for his next shift after the fire, he stopped in the doorway and turned back to face her. “You should know,” he said, “it will not happen again.” The determination in his voice frightened her. “Next time I’ll get that baby, or I won’t be coming home.”
Ring the Bell follows Brown’s debut novel, White Squirrels & Other Monsters, which debuted at Number 50 on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases chart in the Southern Fiction category. It is published in the US by WordCrafts Press (www.wordcrafts.net) and distributed globally by Ingram Content Group, the world’s largest distributor of physical content.
About the Author
Gerry Harlan Brown has lived most of his life in the Bowling Green, Kentucky area. Stints at a factory, a farm, and painting houses have been mixed in with periods as a railroader, a volunteer community crisis counselor, and a professional fire chief. Along the way he acquired an Associate of Arts degree and completed multiple coursed in leadership at the University of Virginia and the National Fire Academy. He credits his 29 years in the fire service for providing the greatest influence on his writing style. For it was by encountering real people from all walks of life, at their best and bravest to their most devastated and petty, which gave him the opportunity to wrestle monsters, included—as ludicrous as it may seem—squirrels, white and otherwise.
Many of the life lessons Gerry learned along the way have been published in firefighting journals. Ring the Bell is his second novel.