Barbara D'Amato, who has written more than 20 mystery/thriller novels, was the 1999-2000 president of Mystery Writers of America and is a past president of Sisters in Crime International. D'Amato's novel, Authorized Personnel Only, won the first annual Mary Higgins Clark Award in 2001.
D'Amato is a playwright, novelist, and crime researcher. Her research on the Dr. John Branion murder case formed the basis for a segment on Unsolved Mysteries, and she appeared on the program. Her musical comedies, The Magic Man and the children's musical The Magic of Young Houdini, written with husband Anthony D'Amato, played in Chicago and London.
A native of Michigan, she has been a resident of Chicago for many years. She has worked as an assistant surgical orderly, carpenter for stage magic illusions, assistant tiger handler, stage manager, researcher for attorneys in criminal cases, and occasionally teaches mystery writing to Chicago police officers.
From the author's website
This biography was last updated on 11/08/2010.
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An Interview with Barbara D'Amato about Death of a Thousand Cuts
You have said in the past that "getting angry at
something" fuels your books. Is that true in Death of a Thousand Cuts?
One source of energy for me is a sense of trying to right a wrong. Also, I think the villains character is enriched if there is more than just personal hatred or greed going on. In Death of a Thousand Cuts, the murder victims life was motivated by self-aggrandizement. But in a larger way he had the arrogance of professional authority, the view that he was always right because he had training and a degree. That kind of paternalism makes me angry.
What is Death of a Thousand Cuts about?
Hawthorne House, a residential treatment facility for autistic children, is holding a reunion fifteen years after closing its doors. Jeffrey Clifford, a young mildly autistic man, was a patient there for seven years. Clifford, other patients, staff members, and therapists plan to spend the reunion weekend at the old mansion. During the first night, Dr. Jay Schermerhorn, the charismatic and authoritarian director, is murdered.
Why did you want to write this particular book?
I had heard for some years that Bruno Bettelheim told ...
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