The Inspiration Behind DAMAGED
By Pamela Callow
Inspiration can appear in many forms. Sometimes it sneaks up on you and whispers, “boo” in your ear. That happened to me one afternoon while I was reading the newspaper. I came across an article in which an appalling and devious US criminal case was described. I knew in that instant I wanted to write a novel based on it.
However, I didn’t want to write a fictionalized account of the crime. Instead, I used this crime as a springboard for DAMAGED’s biomedical plot. I researched the case, studying various angles of the crime and extrapolated a number of facets – including the addition of Halifax’s first fictional serial killer – to create the debut novel of my thriller series.
The inspiration for my characters came about quite differently. There was no unexpected discovery of a thrilling case while sipping tea and reading the paper. No, the characters in DAMAGED were created layer by layer, year after year, from personality types and experiences I’d encountered during my professional career. First, while I trained in one of Halifax’s largest law firms. Next, when I worked as a strategy consultant for an international consulting firm. In both careers, I’d lived the politics, the struggles, and the ambitions of working in a blue-chip corporate environment.
And so does Kate Lange, the series lead of DAMAGED. But Kate is no silver-spooned, Ivy League, fast-tracking attorney. A survivor of a difficult past, she’s the owner of a fixer-upper Victorian home, and the recent adoptee of an orphaned husky. She’s in her thirties when she finally lands her dream job – and finds herself on the brink of professional and personal disaster.
Kate is searching for redemption, both past and present. As are most of the characters in DAMAGED. The title rings true: from the victim’s mother to the drug-dealing witness, all of the characters are damaged. They are all trying to find their way out of their personal no man’s lands. They are flawed, real people, who aren’t always nice and have made mistakes. And they have to deal with the impact a brutal murder will wreak on their lives.
But in Kate’s case, she also has to face her darkest fears. She has to face a serial killer. And when I put Kate in that situation, it was because every time I read about a killer in the newspaper, I found myself asking: how far would I go to stop a serial killer?
I may never know the answer, but in DAMAGED, Kate finds out.
About Pamela Callow:
Inspired by a criminal case about an illegal body-parts-harvesting ring, Pamela Callow wrote DAMAGED, the first book in her thriller series for MIRA Books. Pamela drew on her experience working in blue-chip corporate environments to create series lead Kate Lange, a struggling lawyer with a dark family past.
Prior to making writing a career, Pamela worked as a strategy consultant for an international consulting firm. She is a member of the Nova Scotia Bar, and has a Master’s degree in Public Administration and an undergraduate degree in English Literature.
Pamela lives in Nova Scotia, along with her husband, two children and a pug. She loves to go for walks (unlike her dog), drink coffee, and can be spotted avidly cheering on her kids at their many activities when she isn’t writing. For more information please visit www.PamCallow.com.
Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post. If you purchase a book using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.