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WLNS meteorologist Jake Dunne pens a novel

Stand By, WLNS-TV meteorologist Jake Dunne's new novel.
Stand By, WLNS-TV meteorologist Jake Dunne's new novel.

By Scott Pohl, WKAR



Jake Dunne is a meteorologist who delivers the morning weather forecast on WLNS-TV and on several Lansing radio stations.

He's also a writer with a novel coming out.

WKAR's Scott Pohl talked with Jake Dunne about how his line of work lends itself to writing projects like his book, Stand By.

JAKE DUNNE: I tell a story every day. Some of them are a minute long, some of them are three minutes long. And obviously, the majority of them are about the weather. And I've been told throughout my career that that's one of my best features, is my ability to tell a story, to take some really complicated weather phenomenon and bring it down to where everyone can understand it.

In 2008, I wrote a short novel, got it published, and sold a few copies, wrote the follow-up immediately, and that one has been sitting on the shelf now for a couple and a half years.

SCOTT POHL: And is that the reason we're here?

DUNNE: That is the reason we're here!

POHL: OK. It's called Stand By.

DUNNE: Yeah, anyone who's done radio or television has heard those two words. It obviously means we're about ready to go live, or we're about ready to commence recording. And that definitely, definitely plays into the book.

POHL: The weather and a weather forecaster are primary elements of this story.

DUNNE: Yeah. Our main character, our protagonist, is Sam Stone, and Sam is a meteorologist, but kind of a, I don't want to say wanna-be detective. He just keeps stumbling upon these problems, and I would say Sam is a modern-day cowboy. He's everybody's best friend, he's funny, but he has a huge heart, and he'll give you the shirt off his back. Sam is just always, I guess, in the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe, because he just keeps finding himself in these problems, and he's got to solve them, or he feels like he has to solve them.

POHL: How much of you is there in Sam?

DUNNE: A lot of people think that I am Sam Stone to a T. It's not even close being true. Maybe Sam's the guy I want to be. I would say 20%.

POHL: Spoken like a true meteorologist! 20% of the character is you!

DUNNE: 20% chance that Sam Stone is, in fact, Jake Dunne!

POHL: So, since our hero is a meteorologist, you're going to have to tell me a little bit about the story, so I have some idea of how a meteorologist comes to be the hero of a novel.

DUNNE: OK. Well, Sam is a meteorologist in Denver, and he's actually been asked to come back home to Wichita, Kansas, and attend a wedding. And one morning, he gets a very disturbing phone call and a voicemail from a good friend of his, that someone at his prior station in Wichita, a young lady, the female morning anchor, on her way into work, just disappears without a trace. Sam is a good friend of hers and obviously is distraught and wants to help out in any way, but as Sam starts to think back through his past with her and with the station, and as the detectives are baffled, a tip rolls in from over 1,000 miles away, and a lot of people think Sam is the key to this mystery. So a little bit of pushing, a little bit of pulling get Sam wrapped up in this tangled mess of a mystery and murder. And that's where the hero comes in.

POHL: So tell me what the weather element is within the story.

DUNNE: Actually, it starts off in Denver. That's where we find Sam, but most of the book takes place in Kansas, and that is my home state. Before Sam moved to Denver, he was a meteorologist in Wichita, and that's my hometown. It is a crazy, crazy weather state, and that's part of the reason I'm a meteorologist today, is growing up there and seeing such wild, ever-changing weather. Weather is a huge part of this book, and in a way you will not understand until you read it.

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