Posted on Sunday January 15, 2012 by Jacob Campbell.
Not a monster. A graphic I took as a coloring page . I imported it into Adobe Illustrator and turned it into a paint area and painted it.
I’ve been told a number of times that I should write a book. When I tell people about my hopes and dreams, I often list a great number of things. Things like get my Ph.D., start a commune (ask me about this, I like talking about it), starting a private practice, teaching at a university (I did do this when I was in Peru, but I want to teach Social Work or something equivalent), being a keynote speaker, traveling more, starting my own non-profit… etc. Writing a / some book(s) is always on that list.
When people have told me that I should write a book, they are always talking about something related to my dad and my story related to him and my struggles (sometimes about my travel adventures too). I guess I’ve always figured that I would do something equivalent, but not really until further in the future. When I have thought about writing a book about my dad (Charles Rodman Campbell, you can read my story), I’ve imagined it more focused on my life. A couple of months ago, was thinking about this and started imagining it differently.
I tend to always have to have a title for something before I can really start writing it, at least that was my experience at University. The working title that I have come up with for my book would be something similar to “Not a Monster: The Story of a Convicted and Executed Murder.”
My perspective has changed a little bit. I’d like to write a book that connects more to my father’s life. I think this a powerful way to tell the story. I’ve watched a couple of seasons of Dexter, and really enjoy it as a series. The premise of the story is about a serial killer who works for the police department as a blood spatter analyst, but really is himself a serial killer. He only kills those who have killed themselves. A funny thing happens as you watch Dexter. He becomes the hero, and somebody that you come to love. I remember being blown away by how much you can be rooting for the bad guy (most people would say that a serial killer is a bad guy. There are several other series’ that do something similar (another good one is Breaking Bad) and books (for example Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, which I want to read but haven’t yet).
I guess as I’ve been thinking about my dad, I’m wanting to do something like this. To tell his story in a way that recognizes how heinous his crimes were, but that comes to appreciate the person that he was. I never thought of my father as a killer or somebody bad (even though we didn’t always get along). He was always just my dad and somebody that I loved. I’d like to share that perspective with the world.
I also think that it will be a really great way for me to know more about my dad. Many of my memories are flawed and missing information. As my mom, Minnie and I were driving back from visiting family last week, we spent a lot of the car ride talking about my dad. The memories of a young child aren’t very reliable, and I’d like to know more about my dad’s past and who he was. I think that other people would find it to be a compelling story. I’m hoping to be able to talk to some of my family on my dad’s side. I don’t know very many people on his side. It has been interesting over the years, because I’ve been contacted by many people who knew my dad through this website. This book might give me a good opportunity to follow up with them.
Let me know what you think.