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Joseph Fisher

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Joe Fisher holds a doctorate in Sociology (Tufts University) and a Master of Public Health degree (Harvard University). After successful careers in market research and public health policy consulting Joe now writes full time from his home base in Sanibel Island, Fl.

Like his career, his writing has been varied and wide ranging from academic and business books and papers to trade works on such diverse topics as:
• Public reactions to serial murder [KILLER AMONG US]
• Spiritual and psychological aspects of recovering from a near death experience [THE NEXT BREATH]

More recently, he has jumped into the world of illustrated children’s fiction. [RUSTY THE FORGOTTEN FIRE ENGINE]. He is now hard at work on two new Rusty adventures and a hometown story Ospreys in the Outfield.

His work has earned praise from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, The Library Journal, The Miami Herald and the New England Journal of Medicine among others. Recently Joe and Killer Among Us were featured in the A&E series The Killing Season.

RUSTY THE FORGOTTEN FIRE ENGINE Cover
CHILDREN'S & TEEN

RUSTY THE FORGOTTEN FIRE ENGINE

BY Joseph Fisher • POSTED ON May 15, 2017

A once-beloved fire engine regains a town’s affection in this picture book for lap readers.

When the town of Someport-by-the-Sea buys a new fire engine—bright, red Reddy with his big, red water tank—residents young and old (all depicted as Caucasian) are delighted. Helpful Reddy makes the town proud; he receives accolades wherever he goes. But after leading his first Independence Day parade, Reddy loses his luster, and admiration shifts to new acquisitions, including a snowplow and a road grader. The truck is renamed Rusty and eventually relegated to the end of the parade. How Rusty reclaims the townspeople’s hearts involves a hot summer day, an old friend, and a surprise repurposing of Rusty’s water tank. Adults may find the narrative a bit precious at times (the ladders go “Up Up Uppity-up”; the firehouse dog goes “Bark Bark Barkity-bark”), but Fisher’s (The Next Breath, 2014, etc.) prose invites empathy, as does illustrator Boswell’s understated suggestion of a face in Rusty’s grille and headlights. The author’s observations on the fickleness of fame come through with appropriate humor and heart, and the small illustrations are pleasantly rendered against ample negative space.

A children’s tale that veers toward the sugary side, but the ups and downs of an anthropomorphic fire engine are sympathetically portrayed.

Pub Date: May 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9905678-1-3

Page count: 32pp

Publisher: Angler Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 22, 2017

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE

A. Rusty Goes to Water World

The Adventures of Rusty the Forgotten Fire Engine (Book 2). Rusty Goes To Water World -- When the townspeople of Someport-by-the-Sea want to honor Rusty for saving them during the “Summer Like No Other” the Mayor Himself decides a park should be named in Rusty’s honor. But, finding the right place is not as easy as it sounds. Then when students at Sea Stone Elementary take Rusty on their end of year celebration at Water World things don’t go as planned. Just as Mr. Spritz the Manager of Water World is about to close the park because of an equipment failure, Rusty, with the help of Fireman Jim and Mike the Deputy Fire Chief, once again saves the day and in the process finds a new home in a water park that bears his name. Status: Draft finished. To be Illustrated. Available 2019

B. Rusty and Calliope

The Adventures of Rusty the Forgotten Fire Engine (Book 3). Rusty and Calliope -- Rusty enjoys being the center of attention and in the middle of the excitement in his new home, the Rusty Always Saves the Day Water Park. Nevertheless, he does have moments of loneliness when the park closes for the day or for the season. Then, one day a new attraction arrives – the funniest wagon he has ever seen. Called Calliope it plays haunting melodies that seem to make the fountains dance in response. Jealous at first Rusty becomes increasingly infatuated with Calliope’s music and attached – in more ways than one - to the new arrival. Eventually, Rusty and Calliope are hitched by the Mayor Himself and (spoiler alert) they make beautiful music together. Status: Partially written. To Be Illustrated. Available 2020

C. Ospreys in the Outfield: A Sanibel Story

In addition to the Adventures of Rusty the Forgotten Fire Engine, the author is working on another project. Ospreys in the Outfield – A Sanibel Story – Ophelia and her mate Oliver fly over Sanibel trying to find a place to nest. After several false starts, they think they have found the perfect spot – the lights around the athletic field next to Sanibel Elementary School. Perfect that is until Little League season begins when yelling boys and girls invade their new home. If that were not bad enough errant hits threaten their new nest and young brood. Fed up Ophelia takes matters into her own talons, grabs a ball midflight and takes it back to her nest. What happens next just proves it takes a village to hatch a baseball. Status: Nearing completion. To be illustrated. Available 2019.

D. The Next Breath: New Life After Near Death

The Next Breath offers a new perspective on the Near Death Experience (NDE) and Death and Dying literatures. Like Eben Alexander’s Proof of Heaven the point of departure is a sudden, near fatal illness. However, it is not another NDE story – I did not have one. I also have no religious axe to grind. Instead, I had what might more aptly be called a Sudden Life Experience and the book focuses on the profound self-examination it initiated. While The Next Breath takes inspiration from Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s work On Death and Dying and the stages of grief navigated by the terminally ill she identified, this book centers on the stages of recovery and rebuilding a life. It is a story of life and living vs. death and dying, therefore, of coming to terms with the possibilities of the future as opposed to the permanence of the past.
Published: July 20, 2015
ISBN: 978-09905678-2-0

E. Killer Among Us: Public Reactions to Serial Murder

What effects does the presence of a serial killer have on the collective health of a community? What strategies do people adopt to manage the fear and anxiety that accompany news of a serial killer's predations? And why do citizens and the media respond as they do to serial killers, who usually account for only a small portion of the homicides in the communities in which they are active? Killer Among Us examines serial murder from this fresh perspective: an exploration of the ways people react when a killer is at large in their community. Drawing on 19th-century tabloid accounts of the predations of Jack the Ripper and on 20th-century media coverage of such villains as The Son of Sam and Jeffrey Dahmer, the author constructs vivid and provocative retellings of many of the most infamous cases of serial murder.
Published: April 22, 1977
ISBN: 0-275-95558-3