Sunday, July 12, 2015

Guest Post: Samantha Bohrman

by Samantha Bohrman

Fear, the Crime Writer’s Most Essential Tool or A Crime Writer Goes on Vacation

When my lovely and talented friend, Kristi Belcamino, invited me to write a guest post on this blog, she gave me the directions: “write about the life of a crime writer.”

“Crime writer” probably isn’t the first word that comes to mind when you meet me. I’m petite. My glasses are crooked. I’m usually holding a baby. If you needed a Band-Aid or directions, you might ask me.

My life isn’t very crime writer-y either. This week, I’m on vacation with the kids in the Black Hills. In the spirit of maxing out our family vacation, we’re hitting up all the attractions: Reptile Gardens, the 1880 Town, and this afternoon, the petting zoo.

Even though I’m in mommy mode, my inner crime writer is along for the ride. Walking through Reptile Gardens I thought about how I might kill characters using reptiles or what would happen if all the poisonous snakes got out. Who would be the most likely to survive? Would I make it? Could I save my kids? I bet three quarters of the people at Reptile Gardens were thinking the same thing, a normal reaction to a fifteen-foot crocodile, I think. Plus, it’s basic biology. (Disclaimer: I don’t remember if I took biology.) People who imagine worst are probably better prepared to survive when it happens, reproduce, and nurture lots of little worst-case scenario-lings. Assuming, it’s a healthy dose of crazy.
Because I’m not actually a psychologist (I bet you already guessed that), I went to Google for verification. According to Psychology Today, people who engage in “catastrophic thinking” should manage their dark thoughts by also imagining the “best case scenario” or addressing the problem by talking, having a plan, that sort of thing.

Psychology Today totally missed another way of managing catastrophic thoughts: writing them down and selling them. That’s what I do. Well, I haven’t sold any yet, but hopefully soon. Catastrophic thinking isn’t a problem if you enjoy it and make money, right?

For me, Reptile Gardens or one of its creatures very well might end up in one of my books. One of the crocodiles already made an appearance in my forthcoming novel, Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality. It was just one line, but all those creatures are in my dark and deadly file collection. They’re also in my family photo album!  (Just like some of my real family!)

You’d think the petting zoo would be safe from my dark imaginings, but I couldn’t help but imagine the baby farm animals in someone’s freezer next year. We embraced that reality and went out for hamburgers after petting the baby cows.  
In conclusion, if you want to read books where characters incur various injuries and suffer embarrassment at all of the amusement parks I’ve ever been to, you know where to look. Ruby’sMisadventures with Reality is out July 14th.
About Samantha:
Shortly after graduating from law school, Samantha had three children and started writing novels. She never looked back, though she suspects her husband has. Ruby’s Misadventureswith Reality is her first book, but hopefully not her last. Connect with Samantha on Facebook, Twitter, and at


Kristi said...

Thanks for being a guest author today, Sam

Cristina Pippa said...

I love this. Fear's a great tool for both writing and family vacations. Happy pub date tomorrow!