Kelly J. McMullin:
Even as a young boy on the South Side of Chicago, I knew what I was going to be when I grew up. I was fascinated by the men and women in blue. Seeing them race to scenes with lights and sirens, wondering where they were going. Seeing them chasing bad guys on foot, breaking up fights, helping injured people, and watching them as they just walked the beat with confidence. They were in the center of the action, no matter what was going on. They were even in my own house as they refereed the much too often domestic violence that I hid from. For me, they were the symbol of help and hope.
Adulthood came, and sure enough, I landed my career of choice. I took the oath and meant every word. The promise to help people and keep them safe. To Serve and Protect. I did my best. With it came an unimaginable view of what you get when you compress millions of people into one, single-urban area. Life, death, love, hate, joy, grief, laughter, tears, serenity, and horror. It all takes its toll. But now, thirty-years later, I wouldn’t have traded it away for anything. Truly the greatest show on earth.
This is the first of hopefully many novels that I intend to write. It all started when I left the Chicago Police Department a little earlier than anticipated after developing some heart issues. My wife and I decided to relocate our family down to Central Illinois in search of a safer environment for our children. It wasn’t long after settling into our new life that my new excessive idle time allowed some long buried job-related memories to creep back into my consciousness. I began to write down the haunting thoughts as a way to vent and clear my mind. As the memories flowed, I began to wonder if maybe a memoir was in order. But it wasn’t long before I stopped writing when I realized that the stories were a bit too disgusting and depressing. After-all, life’s reality can be quite ugly. Besides, I didn’t think anyone would want to read some old cop’s war stories.
I decided to try again. I combined some of my own experiences along with some creative fiction, and let it all be seen through the eyes of a wonderful female character. . . Sam Kelly . . . and presto, Leaving Bones Behind was born. I hope the readers enjoy getting to know the characters as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Kelly J. McMullin