Why I Wrote Blessed are the Dead – Part One

Posted by on December 2, 2011

The first draft of my novel in all its glory

How I came to write Blessed are the Dead

Part One

 

I’m one of those cliché writers who have wanted to write a book since I was 10. Sometimes you are just lucky enough to find your passion at a young age. However, I was distracted from that passion, for, oh, about 30 years. That’s because I had to get a REAL JOB. I found one that combined my love of writing with a steady paycheck – journalism.

For about 15 years of my life, my passion was journalism, specifically crime reporting for newspapers. When I wasn’t writing about crime for the newspaper, I was at home reading the people who have done it best: Tom Wolfe (The New Journalism), Truman Capote, and Edna Buchanan, (Pulitzer-prize winning former Miami Herald police reporter).

Then I had kids. A reporter friend of mine told me that I was the kind of person who put so much passion into what I did, she could see I had to give up reporting when I became a mother.

She was right.

But it was also the juxtaposition of covering the seedy side of life and then coming home to pure innocence in the form of a baby. It wasn’t working. Not to mention that if a murder took place at 5:59 p.m. when I was scheduled to be off work at 6 p.m., I still had to cover it.

So, for several years I focused on being the mother of two youngsters under age two.  It took everything out of me. I had no idea how intense parenting would be. A good friend of mine wrote a nonfiction crime book while her little ones were young and I am still in awe of her. Her book was based on one of the most horrific crimes our newspaper had ever covered. Although I had lived through the gruesome, gritty details of the case when it ran in our newspaper, after her book was published I had to read it in spurts. That’s because the story it told was so terribly disturbing. (And yet so well written!)

Meanwhile, when I left the newspaper, I had carted along a giant cardboard box with file folders and notes about a story I wanted to write one day. It was about my dealings with a serial killer —  a true life monster — who claimed to me that he had kidnapped and killed little girls. I figured some day I would have the energy to write a nonfiction book about it.

Then last fall, my youngest started kindergarten. I signed up for a writing class on the novel at the Loft Literary Center. My youngest was only gone from the house for two and a half hours, but I devoted that time to writing. To my surprise, what I began writing was fiction, not nonfiction. I found what I really wanted to do was write a novel — fiction not fact— inspired by this haunting serial killer.

A few months later, I had completed my first draft of a novel about an Italian-American police reporter and her dealings with a serial killer. Now, the real work would begin.

Dear Reader: Will you please stay tuned for Part Two on Monday?

Here are Parts II and III:

Click here for Part II  or go to: http://www.kristibelcamino.com/why-i-wrote-blessed-are-the-dead-part-ii/

Click here for Part III or go to: http://www.kristibelcamino.com/why-i-wrote-blessed-are-the-dead-part-three/

 

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2 Responses to Why I Wrote Blessed are the Dead – Part One

  1. Stephanie

    I really think you will bring a unique perspective in your book because of your professional experience. You actually lived this. It’s always more compelling to read something from someone that has some experience in an area.

  2. Tine

    Oh, I’m always tuned in! 🙂

    Tine
    chicflamingo.com