FROM FIREFIGHTER TO AUTHOR: AN INTIMATE STORY OF HEROISM, POVERTY, RACISM AND SOCIAL INJUSTICE

Guest:  Gregory Renz, former firefighter, author

“You can’t hate someone whose story you know,” says Gregory Renz, quoting Margaret J. Wheatley.  And Gregory Renz’ powerful new novel, BENEATH THE FLAMES, illustrates how prejudices can disappear when worlds that are culturally apart can bond together.

Gregory Renz brings his own credibility to the written page. As a firefighter for 28 years with the Milwaukee Fire Department in an inner-city station, he experienced it all – including the dramatic rescue of two boys from the basement of a burning building for which he received multiple awards for his heroism. He also observed how poverty, racism and social injustice divided one of the most segregated cities in the country.

On this program, Renz tells the gripping story of the young boys’ rescue and what life is like behind the scenes as a firefighter. Amazed by how the power of a story can move people, following retirement, Renz decided to write a composite of the life he experienced in a novel which took him ten years to complete.

The public launch of BENEATH THE FLAMES will be at Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee, 2559 Downer Ave, 7 pm Wednesday, May 31st.  For more information on the launch and public appearances in the Madison area, go to glrenz.com.