Made It Moment: Kristi Belcamino
One of the cool kids. How many writers, I wonder, felt like we were never that? Recently I got to meet on the road a woman–except for me she will always be a girl–I grew up with. She said something about me still being funny and articulate, just like she remembered me. And I thought, THAT’S how you remember me? Cause it’s not how I remember myself.
Kristi Belcamino details quite a few moments below, and I’d like to point to another one for her, which is that Kristi’s debut novel has just released! Celebrate with us by reading BLESSED ARE THE DEAD (some title, huh?) and get to know a new writer right at the start. Kristi…welcome to the cool kids.
When you are a writer, your idols are, well, other writers.
So, my Made it Moment was when the doors to this magical kingdom of writers—specifically the most warm and welcoming community out there, that of mystery writers—opened wide for me.
Now, I’ve had plenty of brushes with fame in my time—as a reporter I met Edward James Olmos, Dennis Hopper, Jerry Seinfeld, Clint Eastwood, and Reggie Jackson. In addition, I’ve shaken President Clinton’s hand, had Eddie Van Halen bump into me at a party, and lived with the musician Beck and his family in L.A.. But the people who really make me swoon with fangirlishness are other writers!
I knew I had somewhat made it when I began hobnobbing with the kick butt writers I liked to read. (Ask my Facebook friends how much I freak out if S.E. Hinton replies to one of my tweets —she’s done so four times and I’ve about lost my mind EVERY TIME.)
Here are a few of those moments:
- A famous mystery writer (who for now shall remain unnamed until he outs himself) called me and spent an hour giving me advice on the writing world.
- My favorite writer in the galaxy, Lisa Unger, followed ME on Twitter. I fangirled big time over that!
- I had a writerly party this year and had to stop and do a major double take when I realized the people walking around eating my biscotti and drinking my booze were once upon a time just names on the covers of the books on my shelf. And now they are my FRIENDS?! What????
- Knowing that my two favorite authors in the entire UNIVERSE have my debut mystery novel in their hands. (I heard one has it on her nightstand —faint!) Even if they NEVER read the book or read it and don’t like it, the fact that two of the authors I admire most in the world actually have my book IN THEIR HANDS is COMPLETELY MIND BOGGLING.
So, my Made it Moment (s) are realizing that these rock star writers are in some cases my peers and in a few, very lucky case, my friends.
I’ve realized that I can’t control how my book sells — at this point all of that is out of my hands—but no matter what happens with sales, getting a book deal has granted me entrance into one of the most welcoming, warmest, and most supportive bunch of people out there. I will always be grateful to these other writers, who have opened their arms to me and made me feel like I’m one of the cool kids.
Kristi Belcamino is a writer, artist and crime reporter who also bakes a tasty biscotti. Her first novel, “Blessed are the Dead,” (HarperCollins June 2014) is inspired by her dealings with a serial killer during her life as a Bay Area crime reporter. As an award-winning crime reporter at newspapers in California, she flew over Big Sur in an FA-18 jet with the Blue Angels, raced a Dodge Viper at Laguna Seca, and watched autopsies.
OMG being followed by your idol is an amazing feeling. I totally fanned out when J. Robert King followed me on twitter, and actually wrote a guest post for my blog, and did an interview with me. I nearly freaked when I got the chance to interview Jeff Grubb as well.
Good on you for sticking with this, and congrats on the debut novel.
Oh, and Jenny? It’s been WAY too long. You need to take some time out of your busy life and sit down and chat with me. Just to catch up.
Comment by Thomas A. Knight — June 10, 2014 @ 12:50 pm
Wow MAJOR fangirl moments! I’m with you. I got handed a free CD by Rob Zombie and gave Bono directions without cracking a smile. But another writer… SWOON. I have my hopes and dreams. For right now, my “famous” moment was getting to interview the writer whose book, made into a film when I was 10 years old, made me want to be a writer. I can only imagine how you feel! Awesomeness
Comment by Savvy — June 10, 2014 @ 2:42 pm
How wonderful for you and so deserved. What a thrill. Long may your success continue
Comment by Jane Risdon — June 10, 2014 @ 3:14 pm
Well said it is one of those authors who sent me your link as she knew I was in need of another good book to read. I am happy she opened that door for me.
Comment by John Kurtze — June 10, 2014 @ 3:42 pm
Thomas, glad to see I’m not the only one!
Savvy, I think I would faint if Bono was in the same square block as me!
Jane, thanks so much!
John, OK, you MUST email me -firstname.lastname@example.org- and give me the skinny. That is too cool! And thanks so much for the kind words!
Comment by Kristi Belcamino — June 10, 2014 @ 3:59 pm
Actually, you’ve had Made it Moments (plural). I don’t know you, but I’m sure glad to hear it. Terrific post!
Comment by Marja McGraw — June 10, 2014 @ 4:43 pm
Comment by Kristi Belcamino — June 10, 2014 @ 5:12 pm
LOVE this post. I totally relate (as probably everyone does who has made it) to your story, your enthusiasm, your sense of wonder at being invited in with the other writers in what was once a magical kingdom we could only spy at through tiny cracks in the tall stone wall. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart. Beautifully expressed. I am so looking forward to reading your book(s)!!
Complimenti, mia cara!
Comment by Stacy — June 11, 2014 @ 11:16 am
Love this post. It made me remember reading Look Homeward, Angel, when I was a young teen and crying for an hour when my mother told me Thomas Wolfe wasn’t around anymore and I’d never have a chance to meet him. You’re living your dreams. Much success!
Comment by Carolyn J. Rose — June 11, 2014 @ 1:45 pm
Congrats on making it into the bigtime with HarperCollins. Wishing you much success.
Comment by Jacqueline Seewald — June 11, 2014 @ 3:27 pm
Thanks Carolyn and Jacqueline! xoxo
Comment by Kristi Belcamino — June 13, 2014 @ 3:27 pm