ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kristi Belcamino is a writer, crime reporter, and Italian-American mama who makes a tasty biscotti. As a reporter, she flew in an FA-18 jet with the Blue Angels, raced a Dodge Viper at Laguna Seca, and attended barbecues at the morgue. Her first book, Blessed are the Dead, based on her dealings with a serial killer, is nominated for the 2015 Anthony and Macavity awards. BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN will be out September 29th.
The bar was dark, crowded, and noisy for my second appearance at a Minneapolis Noir at the Bar. As it is most of the time, I was the only woman on the bill for the event.
I took the mic, and standing there in my very girlie green velvet dress, read the first chapter of my book, Blessed are Those Who Weep.
As soon as I began reading, the bar patrons quieted. After the first fifteen seconds reading about a bloody baby crawling around the bodies of her slashed family members, the bar was dead silent.
In fact, throughout the ten-minute reading the only sound in the bar was an occasional gasp or exclamation from my 79-year-old mother-in-law, who—God bless her—had come out to the bar on a cold and dark winter night to hear me read.
When I was done, the emcee, my friend, Paul Von Stoetzel, a heavily pierced and tattooed filmmaker, took the microphone and said, “Believe it or not, Kristi is probably the nicest one of this bunch!”
Not sure they believed him.
A friend, who attended Noir, made a similar comment the next day, saying, “How could such a gruesome story come out of such a nice person?”
And while I’m not claiming to be “the nicest one” of any bunch, what I find so interesting is that some of the writers who keep me up nights reading and fiercely turning pages while double locking my doors and looking over my shoulder, are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
There are so many times I’m reading a book and thinking, “What kind of deranged freak comes up with something this dark and twisted?”
And then, I meet this writer in person and think she is the nicest person I’ve ever met and I want to be her best friend, and I want her to move next door so we raise our children together, who will also be best friends!
I find it again and again.
The people who write the most disturbing books are the people most likely to bend over backward to help out other people.
It’s such an interesting paradox. Maybe by purging all the deep dark stuff on to the page, they are free to live a life of love and generosity? Who knows?
And while I’m not claiming to be “such a nice person,” I’m sure a stranger who meets me—an Italian-American soccer mom who drives a minivan and would prefer to be in bed by nine most nights—has no idea that I write books that my own children won’t be able to read until they are 25 (if ever).
With all that said, every day I’m grateful that when I sat down to write a book it was crime fiction. Because crime fiction readers and writers are my people and I’m incredibly proud to be part of the tribe.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE TRIBE? Tell us or leave a comment on the blog below or on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a copy of BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO WEEP! (U.S.& CANADA only please.)
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