Friday, March 9, 2012

Travels with Camille

Please welcome, um, my friend to my blog today. You'll have to decide what to call today's guest. I usually call her Camille, but if you leave a comment WITH your email address you might win a copy of Ada's new book!

As you can see, I love the name of Kaye's blog.  In fact, since I've been following Travels with Kaye, I've stolen quite a few ideas, like her Anti-Bucket list and other writing tips. Thanks for hosting me today anyway, Kaye!

As a writer, my travels have increased tremendously. For one thing, I've gone to conferences and book signings in places I'd never have visited otherwise, like Carmel, Indiana, where there's a wonderful dollhouse museum; and Winona, Minnesota, where a great indie bookstore had our names on a marquee and a reserved parking space in front. Oh, and an unnamed town near our southern border, where they told us not to leave the hotel alone after dark. But even that was interesting. Not so much the stolen luggage in a square state in the Midwest, but statistics tells me it had to happen at least once.

I've also traveled the alphabet through several different names. I guess Camille Minichino isn't long enough to support three series. So I made the trip to new IDs: Margaret Grace for the Miniature Mysteries and Ada Madison for the Academic Mysteries. I've submitted a proposal for a fourth series and can't wait to see to where in the alphabet I travel for that pen name.

For several novels, I've had to travel through time and research earlier centuries. One of my favorite trips was back to Galesburg, Illinois, 1858, to the Lincoln-Douglas debates. I was writing scenes where citizens of my fictional town of Lincoln Point, California (for the Miniature Mysteries) reenacted the debate, and I ended up reading the texts of all of the long debates, plus several other Lincoln books.

I never would have guessed the format for the Lincoln-Douglas debates: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute rebuttal. A little different from our sound-bit political debates?

But my best travels are to people, with professions and hobbies wildly different from my own. Talking to people with passions outside my wheelhouse is a great pleasure and a never-ending source of information.

I've spent time with experts on a gun range and hours in a trailer that houses medevac pilots  and nurses. I've talked to race car drivers and equestrians. I've read veterinary magazines and watched tap-dancing videos. One source gave me his set of books on mortuary science and a cop gave me a entire "murder book."

For my latest release, "The Probability of Murder," I had to travel to stores that sell lottery tickets and got to meet the clerks who deal in such purchases. Eye-opening! And a character was born.

Whether they've been of the Please-Place-Your-Shoes-in-the-Tray kind, or the CyberCloud kind, I couldn't write without my travels.

***Tell us about your best or worst travel experience and win a chance for a copy of "The Probability of Murder" by A-is-for Ada Madison.

 Camille Minichino is a retired physicist turned writer.
As Camille Minichino, she's 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 an academic series, the Professor Sophie Knowles series.
Soon, every aspect of her life will be a mystery series. 
Camille has also published articles for popular magazines and teaches science and writing workshops in and around the Bay Area.Publish Post
Visit Camille (and all the others) at


  1. Camille/Margaret/Ada is great. She's been a speaker for workshops our SinC has done and she's fun and
    interesting! Also love her Periodic Table Musteries!

  2. Michele, I know that's a typo (Musteries), but I love it! Kind of like must-readies. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Nor an entry; just best wishes.

  4. Thanks for all the good words here. It's great to part of Kaye's world!

  5. It was so much fun to read about your adventures as a writer.I have enjoyed all of your series thus far & can't wait to hear about the newest one. This latest adventure with Sophie looks like a lot of fun.
    I have a lot of great travel memories because my grandmother loved to travel & I was always a willing volunteer.She was a school teacher so summer & Christmas vacations presented lots of opportunities. I remember celebrating New Year's Eve in Zurich, Switzerland when I was 12 years old. We had missed the last train out for the night so my gran put me in a shopping cart so I could sleep while she pushed me around. I also remember her sitting on wet paint in Mexico City because the signs were in Spanish. Wasn't funny at he moment but I fondly look back on it and chuckle now. With her, I discovered my love of history & genealogy and I miss her every day since she passed away almost 11 years ago. I have since tried to instill that sense of fun & adventure in my two daughters. I'm sure they could tell a few our tales. I think the best thing about every travel experience is being able to share it with a loved one.Thank you so much for the giveaway & a chance to reflect on some happy memories.


  6. Sounds like a fun series!

    Worst travel experience... in 2009, I visited Haiti for the first time with my best friend at the time. We were on the beach and had a brilliant idea to try to swim out as far as we could. Unfortunately, the waves totally pushed us into a coral reef and I had my first encounter with a sea urchin. Not something you want to get stung by! My whole hand turned black and for the 5 minutes it took to get back to shore, I had convinced myself that they were poisonous and had no hope for survival. Definitely not funny at the time, but humorous to look back on.

    s h a k e s p e a r e a n l o v e r 1215 AT y a h o o DOT com

  7. My puter had been off most of the day for t'storms, but I want to zip in and saw Thanks for visiting and leaving these fascinating stories!

  8. Exciting and unforgettable stories! Thanks for sharing!

  9. My worst and most interesting travel experience was when a baboon stole my purse in South Africa! My hubby got out of the car to take photos of a baboon troop along the road, leaving me in the car with doors & windows closed. The lead male baboon of the troop sneaked up and OPENED the car door and got in with me. Yikes! I hopped out as soon as I could get my seatbelt off, then the baboon followed---carrying my purse. We watched him unzip all the zippers and take the contents out and eat everything remotely edible--candy bar, gum, fruit-flavored lip gloss--until he lost interest and my husband could finally retrieve the purse, my wallet, and cell phone after waving away the little baboons with a towel.

  10. My first ever baboon story -- thanks, Beth!

  11. Stacie, you've won a copy of Camille's book! She's sent you an email asking for your address (yes, this is a REAL book).

    Thanks, everyone, for coming by and commenting on Camille's travels. The travel tales are great. I think they'd make great stories. Now the rest of us can buy the book and support Ada/Camille.

  12. Thank you so much Kaye & Camille! I am so excited that I won. I can't wait to read "The Probability of Murder." It was really fun to hear everyone's travel stories. Makes me anxious to plan a trip soon but for now my books are the perfect escape.:)

  13. So glad I traveled to this blog, Kaye!

  14. My pleasure. I'm sorry I was absent dodging thunderstorms so much of Friday and Saturday. I'm looking forward to reading this news series!