Uncategorized | Diana Orgain - Part 3

Guest post by Ada Madison (Camille Minichino)

Thanks to my good friend, Diana Orgain, for allowing me to enter her blogosphere! Full disclosure: when I visited here in March, I had just killed a librarian (in THE PROBABILITY OF MURDER, by my aka Ada Madison) and I got some well-deserved grief from blog visitors. I hope in the end, readers could see that Charlotte would still be alive if she had been ONLY a good librarian, but she had many dark secrets that contributed to her demise. Now the next book in the Professor Knowles series has been released. In A FUNCTION OF MURDER, I’ve killed the mayor of the town. Shall I wear body armor while you pummel me with hardcover books? It’s time to see who’s more popular, librarians or mayors. Will it be close? Here’s a snippet of A FUNCTION OF MURDER. All the graduation speeches and parties are over, and Sophie is happy to be meeting her boyfriend Bruce, a medevac pilot, for a late night stroll on campus. You can read the full first chapter on my website. Make a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book. From A FUNCTION OF MURDER Bruce assumed his ritual hunky stance as I approached the parking lot near Franklin Hall. He leaned against the front fender of his new black muscle car, his arms folded across his chest, his dark hair rustling in the slight breeze. All he needed to complete the picture were pointy leather boots and a cowboy hat, but instead he wore his usual off-duty khakis and a black polo shirt. I couldn’t see his grin, but...

Guest Post by Bodie Parkhurst

Good morning. I’m a stranger in these here parts. I feel like I should be wearing chaps, boots, six-guns, and a very large, very dirty hat. And maybe a shirt. Definitely a shirt. And I should have just pushed my way through wooden saloon doors, strode across the floor (thumping my heels down firmly, as one must do in cowboy boots) bellied up to the bar, and asked for a drink. Probably a Diet Coke, or an Arnold Palmer. And there you are, on the stool next to me, with your own Diet Coke, or Arnold Palmer, and we know it’s just a matter of time before somebody over at the card table growls, “You callin’ me a cheater?” And somebody else says, “Yup, I’m a’callin’ you a low-down dirty dog of a cheater.” And the first guy says, “Smile when you say that.” And then all heck breaks loose. But in the meantime here we are, our whistles adequately wetted with our beverage of choice, and we have decided conversation is desirable. And, since I’m the stranger in town as well as a closet narcissist, it’s gonna be all about me, me, me. The funny thing about this post so far is that it actually reflects a true thing about me, as well as my three sisters. We grew up on a ranch, to a father who probably needed sons but loved us anyway, and figured we could be just as useful if we developed our brains, since our biceps were letting us down. I spent a significant part of my life in trucks and tractors, and a...

A conversation and GIVEAWAY with Camille Minichino

My friend, the fabulous Camille Minichino, joins us today for the launch of her latest book. For a chance to win a copy leave a comment for Camille. One lucky winner (in US only, please) will win. Camille, your second book in the wildly successful Professor Sophie Knowles Series is being released today. Congratulations! Give us the elevator pitch. Thanks for this great opportunity, Diana. It’s always fun to visit your blog! The pitch:   In “The Probability of Murder,” Sophie Knowles, college math professor and puzzle-maker, is stunned when her friend, Charlotte, the college librarian, is found murdered in the limited access stacks. It takes Sophie’s sharp sleuthing to unearth the secret, stretching back two decades, that led to her friend’s murder. My website, www.minichino.com has a full synopsis. Tell us a little about how you came to write the Professor Sophie Knowles Series. I’m turning every phase of my life into a mystery series. I’ve done my physicist era, my miniatures hobby; it was time to do the college math teacher career. There are still six more phases, so be ready. They say to write what you know and I KNOW you like math – LOL. Tell us about Sophie Knowles. Share three things that you and Sophie have in common, and three ways in which you’re absolutely different. And I know YOU like math, Diana, and you’re going to pass that on especially to your daughter! Sophie and I love to teach. Often I’ve learned something just so I could teach it—from miniatures to making muffins to physics. Sophie and I both love doing and making up puzzles. My husband and I often...

Guest post by Camille Minichino

“I Child-Proofed My House  . . . but they get in anyway.” It’s a well-known fact that I’m not a kid-person. I’m not into them. They’re not my thing. I don’t do kids. Don’t introduce me to your children until they’re ready to discuss quantum mechanics with me. (Diana’s kids are there already!) So how did Maddie Porter get born and invade six of my books (the sixth miniature mystery, “Mix-Up in Miniature,” will be out next spring)? Maddie is now 11, well below the age I can relate to, the discussable age, and she’s also a skinny redhead, the likes of which I never saw growing up in my Italian neighborhood. I’ve always resisted the “characters want to be heard” myth. Creating a character and moving her around 350 pages in a believable way takes a lot of work. I was on a panel once with the great Reginald Hill. Someone asked him, “Do your characters ever take over and write the story?” “If only they would,” he answered. “I’d go and have a spot of tea.” I’m with Sir Reginald on that, but there’s no doubt that Maddie the Kid crept onto my screen before I could think about whether I wanted to deal with a preteen. Maddie is precocious and loves sweets, which helps, because I can imagine manipulating her to talk about string theory, and her computer skills make her a good little sidekick sleuth, but I’ve warned her, she’d better not start acting up like some of the kids I see at the mall. I have ways of eliminating characters I no longer have use...

Type-A-Parent

This week I’m off to speak at Type-A-Parent conference. I’m looking forward to meeting some excellent bloggers and mommies! It will be my first visit to North Carolina which I hear is wonderful! I’ll also be stopping by Dallas to be on Conversations Cafe hosted by Cheryl Nash. If I can get my hands on the video link, I’ll post it upon my return. In the meantime, summer is finally in full swing here in San Francisco. The weather is beautiful and the kids are having a ball. Our kitchen remodel is almost complete…waiting with baited breath – I’ll post the pictures here perhaps after our vacation to Montana – oh, yes. There’s that too – an extended camping trip with the family to Big Sky – can’t wait. What are your summer...

Time Management meets Bob

(Blogging over at the The Ladykillers today: but I’ve copied the post here too for your convienance)   Meet Bob. He is 22 months old. According to some child-rearing books children between the ages of 18 to 24 months are “Developmentally at a level similar to Neanderthals two million years ago.”   Seriously? I’m living with a Neanderthal? Oh, don’t worry, the book goes on to explain that Neanderthals were smarter, more verbal, and more agile than ape-men (what a relief) but also more aggressive and stubborn.   Well, you got that part right.   So what does Bob have to do with Time Management?   First off, there is a lot to learn from Bob – he’s stubborn and tenacious – which may be qualities all writers need to possess.   Secondly, he does what he wants. I laugh as I write this – but it’s pretty much true.  If he wants to sleep- he does, if he wants to eat- he does, if he wants to play in the garden but it’s raining he pounds on the window with his little fists – you get my drift. He either does what he wants or fights for it.   So how does all this relate to “Time Management”? I think we all make time to do what we like to do. The question I get asked more often than anything else is, “With three small kids, where do you find the time to write?” My answer is, “I make the time.”   It’s about priorities.   Here are my tips about making the time: We’re all busy, when you can make out a...