This question has come up several times over the years. I’ve been asked to write books on funny 9-1-1 calls and what it’s like to be a dispatcher. Why I chose to stick with fiction is a very personal choice, and not easily explained. But, I’ll give it a try.
First off, reality sucks. For someone who works in emergency services of any kind, this is true more often than not. Day after day, we deal with upset citizens, crime, sick people, and death. It’s often hard for others to understand why I choose not to watch the news during my off hours. But, I need to be “off” for a little while.
For me, being off means escaping from the trials of my day either by reading or writing. The last thing I want to do is recreate the world I’m trying to escape from. I want to be in a place where adventure leads to personal growth, love prevails, and the good guys always win.
Secondly, I do not wish to compromise the integrity of the 9-1-1 profession. My callers desire confidentiality, caring and understanding of what they may be going through. I strive to give them those things every single time. Never will my writing become more important.
Lastly, it is not believable. The things we experience are often so bizarre, they would never get past an editor. On the page, they become things that seem too far-fetched for the average reader to buy into.
This doesn’t mean I will never write non-fiction. If a topic sparks my interest, or I see a story that needs to be told, I will consider it. But not at the sacrifice of the profession I am blessed to be a part of.