Saturday, December 24, 2011

Blog Guest Post by Kurt Kamm

I have the pleasure of introducing you to a wonderful author. Kurt Kamm is the author of a new mystery/thriller Code Blood. Code Blood takes the reader into the world of emergency medicine, the science of stem cell research and the unsettling world of blood fetishism and body parts.

Below is Kurt's guest post.

Several people have asked me where my ideas come from for my firefighter mystery novels. A vivid imagination helps, but I always like to start with a grain of truth. I spend much of my time with the Los Angeles County Fire Department and have gone into the field with their arson investigators, spent time training with their hazardous materials response teams, and gone through their wildland fire training academy. Each of my mysteries involves a firefighter with a specific skill (One Foot in the Black ˆ wildland firefighting / Red Flag Warning ˆ arson investigation / Code Blood ˆ fire paramedic).
When I set out to write Code Blood, my newest novel, I began riding with the paramedics from Station 88 in Malibu. I always ask to hear unusual stories about firefighter's experiences, and one paramedic told me about a freak accident on Pacific Coast Highway in front of a well-known seafood restaurant. A speeding pickup truck hit a metal light pole. The impact knocked down the pole and, as it fell, the jagged metal edge severed the foot of a woman standing nearby. When the paramedics arrived, they couldn't find her foot for several minutes. Ultimately, it was discovered wedged underneath the engine of the pickup!
This immediately caught my imagination. I asked myself, what kind of story would this be if someone walked out of the restaurant carrying a take-home bag with his dinner, picked up the foot, put it in the bag, and went home? This became the opening chapter of Code Blood. Once I had that idea, a thousand questions came to mind, and it was actually not difficult to write the novel. Who is the woman who loses her foot, and what happens to her? What kind of nut would pick up the foot? What would he do with it when he takes it home? What do the paramedics do? The questions go on and on, and for each answer there are two more problems. I must tell you writing these stories is a lot of fun˜I get to meet some very strange characters in my books.
I was previously a financial executive and semi-professional master's bicycle racer. When I retired and moved to Malibu, my home almost burned in one of Malibu's famous wildfires. That's when I decided to write firefighter novels. I maintain an author/firefighter website with some spectacular pictures sent to me by first responders.