Rochester author, Debbie Lampi, is celebrating the release of her second full-length novel. Written under the pen name D.A. Lampi, “An Unfortunate Death” was released in September 2016 by New Concepts Publishing.
The novel focuses on the character, Johanna Hedrick, a psychologist who unwillingly becomes embroiled in a murder investigation when her college-age daughter begins an obsessive romantic relationship with her creative writing professor, who also happens to be Johanna’s client. When the professor’s lover is found dead, suspicions turn to him, until a cell phone belonging to Johanna’s daughter is found at the murder scene.
LAMPI EXPLAINS THE CHARACTERS
“The story is told in alternating chapters through the eyes of Johanna, Leah (the daughter) and Thomas Yeager (the professor),” Lampi explains. “Each of the characters in the novel holds deep secrets that come together in a maelstrom of sex, desire and, ultimately, the death of a young woman. I’m drawn to each of them because of their troubled pasts, their human frailties and the lengths they will go to protect those they love.”
Like her first novel, “Shadow Play,” “An Unfortunate Death” is a mystery featuring a single mom as the main character. Lampi explains, “Both (main characters) are professional working women. Both are involved in situations that are the stuff of nightmares—child abduction in the case of Grace Rendeau in ‘Shadow Play’ and murder in the case of Johanna Hedrick in ‘An Unfortunate Death.’”
LAMPI’S LIFE EXPERIENCES
With a master’s degree in psychology and experience in the mental health field, Lampi often pulls inspiration from the people and places around her, explaining that—to some degree—life imitates art, most usually in the form of the settings she chooses for her novels.
“In each of my works the setting is a place with which I have a great deal of familiarity. ‘Shadow Play’ is set in Rochester, and ‘An Unfortunate Death’ is set near my hometown in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. The characters are also people I’m familiar with—both female protagonists are professionals who work in the mental health field.”
NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH
Lampi got her start with serious writing when she committed to participating in an annual writing celebration known as NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Held each November, NaNoWriMo encourages participants to commit to writing 50,000 words during the month. Through NaNoWriMo, Lampi found encouragement in the form of daily messages, online and local weekly support group “write-ins” and, eventually, the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the month when she’d achieved her goals.
Lampi explains, “NaNoWriMo got me into the habit of sitting there and writing. It didn’t have to be good, but I had made the commitment to write over 1,000 words each day.”
When she’s not behind her computer punching out her next novel, Lampi enjoys focusing her creative talents on her small business venture, Mums Mittens—an acronym for Mom’s Upcycled Mittens. “Upcycling, reusing, repurposing and protecting our environment are important to me. It’s a great feeling to wake up in the morning and have a choice about what I want to work on each day,” says Lampi. She offers a teaser that a character in an upcoming novel may share this passion and be a crafter, artist or a small businesswoman.
“An Unfortunate Death” is available as an e-book only and can be purchased through New Concepts Publishing at ewconceptspublishing.com. Copies of “Shadow Play” are available at Rochester Public Library and through Amazon.com.
Catherine H. Armstrong holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and is the author of the 2016 historical fiction novel, “The Edge of Nowhere.” She is currently working on an anthology of short stories with four other authors entitled “Déjà You,” which is scheduled for release on May 30. For more information, visit her website at charmstrongbooks.com.