Author Camille Minichino Branches Out!

Camille Minichino is a retired physicist turned writer.  As  Camille, she is the author of the Periodic Table Mysteries. As Margaret Grace, she writes the Miniature Mysteries, based on her lifelong hobby.  As Ada Madison, she writes the academic mysteries featuring Professor Sophie Knowles, college math teacher. Soon, every aspect of her life will be a mystery series. 

"The Probability of Murder" was released March 6. 

Okay. Before Camille begins, I just want to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE her attitude! Life is meant to be explored! Imposing limits on yourself such as "I should stick to one protagonist forever" is hooey! Even Agatha Christie had Poirot, Miss Marple, Tommy & Tuppence, that Harlequin guy (Was he dead or what? I never quite got that series.), and the little lawyer who knew everything. My point is, when you have so many interests, you should celebrate! Because, as Camille says:

Life is a Jumble

What can be more appealing than a blog that advertises itself as a Jumble?

Like my newest protagonist, college math teacher Sophie Knowles, one of my favorite pastimes is making up and solving puzzles, jumbles included. But, with three releases this spring, it seems my life itself is a jumble. A big mash-up. I'm on my second pen name and third series, and hoping for a fourth (proposal now with my agent).

In fact, I've jumbled my way through life. And I must admit I've always been that way. If social workers and child psychologists were paying as much attention when I was a kid, I'd have been riddled with drugs and shunted off to Focus Therapy. I often think how different my life would have been if I'd chosen to be an expert in something. Just a small corner of the universe for me to shine in, to know more than anyone else.

At one time, my husband knew more than anyone in the world about video tape, including the technical aspects and the behind-the-scenes business. Imagine digging that deeply into a one-half-inch (or three-quarter-inch) item like video tape. He was in great demand, and highly respected for his expertise. He's still that way—focused, as engineers are wont to be. Lucky me when there's a problem in my home office or entertainment center!

I admire experts, but it's too late for me. Instead, I write my characters as experts. Sure, Professor Sophie Knowles has a hobby or two, but she's heavy into her teaching and research and knows a lot more about differential equations than I ever will. She's not about to write a novel or go on a blog tour or take a cartooning class as I've done.

My first protagonist, Gloria Lamerino, retired physicist, was even more of a specialist, never reading outside her field and not even dating for decades! (Don't worry, though, because when you meet her, she'll have found true love with a homicide cop.) A look at my magazine subscriptions would defy anyone trying to profile me.

 Probably the protagonist who's most like me is Gerry Porter of the Miniature Mysteries. She loves her hobby of building dollhouses and making mini scenes, but she's content to use kits and found objects—unlike her friends and fellow crafters who make things, often of museum quality, "from scratch."

Like me, Gerry quotes Carl Sagan: "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." Since there's no time for that, I might as well use the pie mix and move on to another project.

So, blog fans, are you a focused expert or do you also lead a jumbled life with many hats, careers, names, hobbies?

Thank you, Camille!

Check out this fascinating author on her website .


  1. Thanks for hosting me, Jackie -- and especially for putting that positive spin on my jumble of a life!

  2. Camille, so nice to meet you! I love "In fact, I've jumbled my way through life." That so hit home! It's just wonderful how fiction writing lets an author lead so many different lives! Jackie and Camille, great interview, and a great way to start my day. Much success, Camille!

  3. Camille, I was mentally high-fiving your blog, as I read it. I am very much a jack of all trades and master of none, and I give no apoligies...there are just too many things to explore...although I do like to make my apple pies from scratch:) All your series sound fascinating; I'm just going to have to figure out which one to start with!

  4. Thanks MM and Eloise. It's nice to know I'm not alone in the Jumble!


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