I’ve read the author interviews and all their posts since then and am thrilled to announce that today, I am a published author. I have a book out in public for the first time ever today (Blessed are the Dead) and decided there was no better way to celebrate than to take our very own writer interview for myself.
Before I do, I’ll just give a snippet of what my debut mystery is about:
To catch a killer, one reporter must risk it all … San Francisco Bay Area newspaper reporter Gabriella Giovanni spends her days on the crime beat, flitting in and out of other people’s nightmares, yet walking away unscathed. When a little girl disappears on the way to the school bus stop, her quest for justice and a front-page story leads her to a convicted kidnapper, Jack Dean Johnson, who reels her in with promises to reveal his exploits as a serial killer. But Gabriella’s passion for her job quickly spirals into obsession when she begins to suspect the kidnapper may have ties to her own dark past: her sister’s murder. Risking her life, her job, and everything she holds dear, Gabriella embarks on a quest to find answers and stop a deranged murderer before he strikes again. Perfect for fans of Sue Grafton and Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan series!
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
My perfect day would revolve around hosting a dinner party al fresco in my backyard with my family and close friends and would include yummy food, delicious wine, stimulating conversation, and much laughter.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
My signature accessories are my giant silver hoop earrings. I have a signature fragrance, but I keep the brand a secret (have to maintain some mystique). My signature baked item is biscotti.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
1. Anais Nin for showing me the magic of writing and the writing life.
2. S.E. Hinton for proving that a teenage girl has something extremely important to say to the world.
3. My fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Ward who gave me a children’s thesaurus as a gift and said that she hoped one day I would be a writer.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Not usually, unless it is crazy town day at the coffee shop where I sometimes write with a few friends. Recently, we were bombarded by about 20 little ones squealing and crawling under our table and over our chairs along with about ten adults singing Happy Birthday at the top of their lungs. The three of us simultaneously took out our headphones and put them on.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
I don’t know my chocolates, but I’d say it would have to be Italian. Maybe Italian-American, such as Ghirardelli chocolates!
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
I had to write this book to purge the monsters in my head. The antagonist is based on a real serial killer who preyed on little girls. The very first time I read a passage in public (Noir at the Bar) that involved him was intense. I ran off the stage when I finished to stop myself from bursting into tears from the emotional weight of it.
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
Gabriella Giovanni’s little sister was kidnapped and killed when they were children. Her father died a few days later. Because of this and her survivor guilt, Gabriella has a hard time believing she is worthy of love. She’s also very afraid to love someone for fear they will be taken away from her like her sister and father had been.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
1. S.E. Hinton
2. Anais Nin
3. Henry Miller
4. Ernest Hemingway
5. Stephen King
6. Joan Didion
What’s next for you?
I’m excited to start writing the third book in the Gabriella Giovanni series. I just finished copyedits on the second book, Blessed are the Meek, and that goes on sale July 29th. I’m ready to get cranking on book number three.
Award-winning former journalist Kristi Belcamino’s debut mystery BLESSED ARE THE DEAD is an atmosphere-rich sojourn that has been compared to Sue Grafton and offers chilling, authentic glimpses into the mind of a psychopath while also mining the psyche of an extremely likeable and sympathetic protagonist. It was inspired by Belcamino’s dealings on the San Francisco Bay Area crime beat with a serial killer who police and FBI agents linked to the kidnapping and murders of little girls. Belcamino’s personal past colors this smart, effective novel that showcases a strong new voice in the market.
Find Kristi at www.kristibelcamino.com