Kurt Kamm Author and Fire Fighter

About Kurt Kamm

So often for authors, it is one moment, one particular incident, which ends up defining the direction their writing takes and even what they choose to write.

Imagine being at the edge of a wildfire, knowing that your home, your neighborhood, and everything familiar is about to go up in flames.
As a resident of Southern California, Kurt Kamm was used to the idea of wildfires. Then, in 2006, one of the infamous Malibu wildland fires, the 60 mile-per-hour Santa Ana wind-driven Canyon Fire, burned to Kamm’s front door and destroyed the homes of several of his neighbors. Kurt had just begun his writing career and the lessons he learned from the County Fire Department while writing his first book helped him save his home.

A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Law School, Kurt Kamm has been a financial executive and semi-professional bicycle racer. He also served as Chairman of the UCLA/Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation for several years and is a supporter of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

When Kurt started writing, his experience in several devastating local wildfires coupled with his contact with CalFire, Los Angeles County and Ventura County Fire Departments, the DEA and the ATF would lead to his writing fact-based, firefighter and first-responder mystery novels.

Once he determined his genre and focus, Kamm approached writing much like he would a business. He learned all he could about his subject, attending classes at El Camino Fire Academy, training in wildland firefighting, arson investigation, and hazardous materials response. He graduated both the DEA and ATF Citizen’s Academies. He rode with the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s famed Urban Search & Rescue Task Force while completing work on his latest novel, Tunnel Visions, a mystery in which terrorists threaten the Southern California water supply.

Kamm provides a portal into the world of first responders.

His ability to infuse his stories with realism puts Kamm’s readers on the ground in the midst of the action in each of his books. Having built an avid fan base among both first responders and an ever-growing audience, each of Kamm’s firefighter mysteries features a firefighter skilled in a particular discipline (wildland, arson investigation, paramedic, hazardous material response, and search and rescue).

His first novel, One Foot in the Black (2008) has become a favorite of the men and women on the fire lines. Subsequent novels, Red Flag Warning: A Serial Arson Mystery (2010) and Code Blood (2012) have won numerous fiction awards. Hazardous Material, released in 2013, received the Hackney Award for best novel of the year.

Despite the fire threat, Kurt Kamm loves living in coastal California. Now writing full-time, he still makes time to ride his bike – sometimes competitively – and enjoys keeping up with the advances made in first-responder capabilities. On any given day, Kamm might be found at his desk, researching and writing, or out in the field, learning directly from the men and women about whom he so vividly writes.