It was just one drink after a long day of skiing, and she wasn’t driving anyway. But when Karen Campbell saw her husband, Tom, stumble as he opened his car door, she knew he’d had too much to drink. That’s the last thing Karen remembers until she wakes in the hospital days later. What she doesn’t know is that Tom and another innocent woman were killed when she was behind the wheel. That glass of wine turned an accident into felony manslaughter, and Karen was sentenced to over six years in prison. 

Falling is the gripping story of a family torn apart and of a woman who must learn to live with her fatal mistake while she navigates the uncertain and sometimes terrifying terrain of a medium/maximum security women’s prison. Karen must learn the ropes of prison to stay safe and sane while she grapples with her own guilt and the damage she has inflicted not only on her own family, including her teen daughters, but the family of the innocent woman she killed. 

Falling will make you question what you thought you knew about the prison system in the United States. Falling is part Karen’s story and part the tragic stories of the women she meets and befriends while incarcerated. Ultimately, this memoir will make you see the humanity in each of us. 

Wilsonville Spokesman article on Karen Campbell

Editor Corey Buchanan's interview with Karen Campbellin the Wilsonville Spokesman/West Linn Tidings.

Read Karen's Interview

Karen Campbell Writes

"Falling" is available now both as a Kindle ebook and a Paperback on Amazon.

It was a beautiful spring day on Mt. Hood, Oregon. I went for one last run, my husband Tom, went to the bar. My memories from here on out come to me in snapshots. I remember entering the steamy, packed bar. I see Tom’s beautiful profile, people huddled in his glow as usual. One of the crew called out, “Get her a drink, she just did the Glade Trail!” I am hungry and want to go home. Blank.

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The Day of and Life Before two deaths
Karen and Tom

I was going to prison. The judge banged the gavel, the Bailiff escorted me toward a door at the front of the courtroom. I took one last look at my family and friends. They stared helplessly. They were in each other’s arms, the victims family and mine, all in the same row. The Bailiff opened the door at the front of the courtroom, I gave my friends and family a tight smile and stepped through the door that led to another world. Karen Campbell Writes
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Serving Prison Time
Serving Prison Time

Falling is the story of how a middle-aged mom learns to navigate life on the Inside. Over the six years I was incarcerated, I learned how to eat a meal in 10 minutes with a spork. I learned obedience and humility. I learned lurid slang. I learned how to keep my mouth shut. I learned how to mother from behind bars, miles from my teenage daughters. And finally, I learned how to love the unloveable, including myself.
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"Upon release, I called out the names of the people I harmed."