One of our favorite guests returns today to talk about some of her favorite things. Camille Minichino, a retired physicist turned writer, is the author of twenty-five mystery novels in four series. She currently serves on the board of NorCal Mystery Writers of America, is on the faculty of Golden Gate U. in SF, and teaches writing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more about Camille and her books at her website and blog.
A Few of My Favorite Things
Favorites, Failures, Frustrations?
A tough choice for me. I'm embarrassed to go on about a frustration since I have the food, clothing, and shelter that so many people lack these days. And too many failures to list on this blog. So Favorites seems to be the most appropriate category. Here are some of mine:
• Element of the periodic table — Polonium, #84, the first element discovered by Marie Curie, and named for her native Poland.
• Crime drama — "Ray Donovan," because of Liv Schreiber, Jon Voight, the Boston accents, and the dark, dark mood: "You don't want to know what really happened."
• Scientist— Enrico Fermi, "the architect of the nuclear age," for better or worse, and author of one of my favorite quotes.
• Favorite quote #1, from Fermi — Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture, I am still confused. But on a higher level.
• Female crime writer — Patricia Highsmith, because she gave us Tom Ripley.
• Drink — very dry decaf cappuccino with whole milk (Reminds me of that scene in "LA Story," where no one is ordering a simple coffee.)
• Favorite quote #2 — There are some people that if they don't know, you can't tell them. – Louis Armstrong. (Know anyone who fits this description?)
• Favorite animals — the lions, Patience and Fortitude, outside the New York Public Library.
• Mathematician — Countess Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter and the world's first programmer, not because she was an addictive gambler, but because many people think she's an acronym. ADA, the Department of Defense programming language is named after her. And so is Ada Madison, one of my pen names.
• Museum — one with a Hopper, a Lichtenstein, a Wharhol, and a coffee shop.
• Sport — whatever is off-season.
• Male crime writer — Stephen King, because I'm only one degree of separation from him (My first agent was his first editor. Or is that two degrees?), and because he hugged me when I handed him his Edgar for Mr. Mercedes.
• Street — 42nd in Manhattan, running from the East River to the Hudson River. In between are the United Nations, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal, the New York Public Library, Times Square, and one or two theaters and eateries.
• All-round great Author — Joyce Carol Oates, because she's on my mind. She was featured in the NY Times, 10/23/17, as part of the Set the Page Free project, between Xerox and the literary community. And because she's written a gazillion books that I love, from Them in 1969 to We Were the Mulvaneys in 1996 to The Man Without a Shadow in 2016. She's quoted in the article as saying "I like to write." Really, Ms. Oates? Tell us what you don't like to do.
Oops, my failures (to simplify) and frustrations (at not being able to list 100 more favorites) are also showing.
Love is in the air for postmaster Cassie Miller and the residents of North Ashcot, Massachusetts. Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and the town is gearing up for a special dinner dance at the senior center. But not everything is coming up roses. When one of the musicians, Dennis Somerville, is found shot in his home, rumors swirl over who might have wanted him dead. Cassie must determine if there is a link between a string of recent break-ins and Dennis's murder before another victim winds up with more than a broken heart.