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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

When The Laughter Dies: A True Account Of A Firefighter/EMT And His Struggles With PTSD by Paul D. Barnes Sr.

In my first of a featured author series. I'm featuring a conversation between a husband and wife, Paul and Fiona Barnes. Paul is a an EMT and firefighter and his book: When The Laughter Dies: A True Account Of A Firefighter/EMT And His Struggles With PTSD was just released.

Fiona is also an author and she has two book one is a non-fiction, self help book that tells their family's struggles with PTSD. It's a very intimate look into their lives and the effects of this disorder on their lives. It's powerful. Fiona has just released her second book called, Meet Cate. Here's the book's blurb:

Set at Christmastime, Meet Cate offers deliberate description designed to speak to the dreamer in you.
Cate battles the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms of her ex-husband while balancing her professional life. Will she even come out sane?

First he was a man, then a firefighter. Through it all, he was a dad. His book, When The Laughter Dies, A True Account of A Firefighter/EMT And His Struggles With PTSD is available now.

Fiona Barnes: You mentioned ambulance crew nights. Was Mark your partner? [ Not the blog owner; the name is merely a coincidence. ]

Paul D. Barnes, Sr.: I actually had two crews. (I had two nights.) Mark was the one I ran with the most.

Fiona: Remember that call with the ladder? The lady who−

Paul: How could I forget about her. Mark's at the top of the ladder. I get there, I put my gear on quick, I go up the ladder behind him. She's hanging out the window from the shoulders up, smoke billowing out. He looks down at me, and says, "I can't get her to come out the window."

I looked at him and said, "If you have to grab her and pull her out by the ****ing ears, make her come out!" And at that point she started coming out the window. That was the first time her house caught on fire.

Fiona: What about a little probie that came along, adorably cute? Really really really cute? In a Jeep?

Paul: You?!

Fiona: [ Rolls eyes ]

Paul: The thing that stood out to me the most−

Fiona: Don't say my−

Paul: No−the day I happened to look out the window and there was a yellow Jeep out on the front ramp. Somebody jumps out, all smiles and the Jeep... starts to leave the area. By itself. Nights sitting on the counter in the kitchen talking. The overseeing father figure of the department keeping an eye on us.

Fiona: Showing up at a brush fire, in full turnout gear and there you were, in clothes. You said to wear turnout gear at a brush fire.

Paul: No, I said wear your full gear at every call. I just didn't specify.

[ Faces are made ]

At a brush fire, we wore blue jeans, work boots and long sleeve shirts. Helmets and gloves, too. Do you have any idea how hard it is to drive in those boots?

[ Roars with laughter ]

Fiona: Then you put me to work looking for hot spots, and I'm pretty sure you stood back and laughed, shaking your head..
Rookie blues...I remember the call you're talking about.

Paul: There was a really cute firefighter there. She was really cute. Really really really cute.

[ Laughs ]

Fiona: Favorite memories in the book?

Paul: The dog rescue, that's my favorite.

Fiona: What did you think when we found the video the other day? (You can view it here: Best viewed on a computer.)

Paul: I thought it was great, I really did. It's nice to watch it. It's nice to see a favorable outcome that I can watch over and over again. One that I did.

Fiona: Favorite memories writing the book?

Paul: It was nice to think back to when I started. Brought back a lot of good memories. Brought back some bad memories but for the most part, it was a nice trip down memory lane. Made me remember how excited I was when I first joined. Nice to see I still maintain that excitement, even today. Nice to know some part of me hasn't changed.

Fiona: What do you think of the outpouring of support you've received?

Paul: It's not what I expected. It's humbling. It's incredibly encouraging.

Fiona: Do your pre-sale numbers surprise you?

Paul: Yes, actually. Yes they do. I'm not going to say I'm shocked, but it's the wow factor is way up, lemme tell you that.

Fiona: If you had to write a review for your book, what would you write?

Paul: Read with caution.

Fiona: Why?

Paul: Because reality is it's not always glamorous, sometimes it's hurtful or scary. Sometimes it's funny. But it's all true life.

Fiona: Would you be surprised to find that I laughed through a lot of it?

Paul: No, because when I wrote it, I laughed through a lot of it. I wrote it that way purposely. I tried to interject a little bit of humor into something that could potentially make people very sad or frightened. I don't want people to put the book down because it's too real. I wanted to keep them gripped. But that's also my personality.

Read part I on
Read part II on
Read the final word Friday on
Paul's book is available now on, (no relation) and at Details in Norwich, Connecticut. Follow him on Facebook ( He's currently thinking about a second book.

Thank you Paul and Fiona! Best of luck with the new releases.

My newest book Knight and Dex is available in paperback and e-book on, Barnes and Noble and don’t forget my publisher has copies also! Support small business and please buy from them direct.

Dex Territory and Knight and Dex are on sale!

Keep those reviews coming!!

Where can you find me?

You can find Dex Territory for every possible device at:

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