April 16, 2012

Camille Minichino talks Dollhouse Miniatures and about the new book, Mix-Up in Miniature

Today I welcome back miniaturist and writer Camille Minichino, author (as Margaret Grace) of the fun Miniature Mystery Series.

Ideas, Small and Large

MIX-UP IN MINIATURE: A Miniature Mystery, my 16th and latest release, was conceived in Carmel, Indiana. A most unlikely spot for this city-loving, Bronx-educated author!

Here's how it came about.

One of the biggest mystery conferences, Bouchercon, is held in a different city every year. I must admit that which city it's in often influences whether I attend. Three years ago, when I learned that Indianapolis was hosting the conference, I jumped at the chance to visit. Not because of the special "500" tour, or the world-class art museum, but because it offered a chance for a reunion with an old friend who lived nearby. To double the pleasure, my friend would take me to the wonderful Museum of Miniature Houses in Carmel, Indiana.

The museum's managers were wonderful and welcoming as we spent hours examining every corner of every tiny house and room box. One house in particular caught my eye, and my imagination. A dollhouse with a secret room! I didn't know how immediately, but I knew this would be the center of my next Miniature Mystery.

- The Secret Room!

Three years later, here it is: Mix-up in Miniature. Gerry Porter, miniaturist, and her 11-year-old granddaughter, Maddie, are on the case to solve the murder of a bestselling romance author who is also a collector of dollhouses. Enough said, that one of them has a secret room that holds the key to the crime!

It's always interesting to me to trace the path from a tiny idea to a full-blown novel. I never know what tidbit of gossip or information, what bumper sticker will spark a story, long or short.

It's not that different with miniature scenes. Looking through a box of castoffs from an estate sale, I found an off-scale, old-fashioned bathroom set. My first thought: the scene in The Godfather where Michael Corleone comes out shooting, his initiation into "The Life." Note the gun "hidden" at the top of the tank! Has some off-beat slogan or tiny object inspired you recently?

Thanks, Christine, for being so generous and sharing your readers! (And thank you for stopping by again with your great details and books!)

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 the academic mysteries featuring Professor Sophie Knowles, college math teacher. The 6th Miniature Mystery,Mix-up in Miniature was released April 2. Soon, every aspect of her life will be a mystery series.
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