You never forget your first time.
Yesterday, I attended a marketing workshop, and part of what the presented asked was what makes you different from your competition. I’ve had a lot to think about since he uttered those words — and in the recesses of my mind, I stumbled upon the truth of the matter — at least my truth.
What makes me different is my authenticity.
Having grown up in the inner-city of Richmond during one of the city’s most violent times, I can recall the ever police presence, drug dealers, shootings. The sight of fresh blood running down asphalt streets, while CSU tried to figure out what happened to the victim shot dead in his car.
The tragedy and trauma of it all is what I’ve been working through in my writings, and although names, ethnicities, occupations and locations have been changed, there are still parts of me that I find within my pages.
Crime and the criminal element have been a part of my life for years, and through this knowledge, I’ve come to acknowledge certain truths. Most of those that commit crimes are not bad people, just people that have done bad things.
My first time visiting a local jail, I’ll never forget the fear that seemed to beat upon me. It wasn’t just the sight of guards in their sheriff deputies in their uniforms, with their shiny badges, nor was it the throng of people who waited for their names to be called. It was the sounds of crackling walkie-talkies that mixed with hyperactive and crying toddlers, and a loud ticking clock that let me know how long I’d waited and how long the wait still might be.
Once my name was called, I walked back towards the scratched up black telephones, where the Plexiglass hasn’t been polished for a while. I wanted to take in everything, and nothing, but I couldn’t help my eyes from scanning the names that someone had carved into the glass and the paneling, as if a silent homage.
Seated on the uncomfortable chair, I waited — and still the minutes ticked by, reminding me that the visitation time isn’t limitless, but one that would speed by.
Now, as a full-time author, I often dive back into my personal history to recall the intricate things from my past — not only to add genuineness to my stories, but also to help to heal this heart.
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – C.G. Jung
TINA GLASNECK has learned that life is less like a ebbing and flowing ocean and more like a rousing roller coaster. A former paralegal, with almost a decade in the criminal justice field, she writes crime fiction full-time, and enjoys creating dark tales. She is currently working on her upcoming release in the Spark Before Dying Series, NUMBERS.