20 August 2009

Bouchercon Guest Blogger #4 -- Camille Minichino/Margaret Grace

It's one woman with two names -- and while she deals in miniatures, she's sharing her big thoughts on Bouchercon with us today. Take it away Camille. Or Margaret.

Elementary in Indianapolis
By Camille Minichino/Margaret Grace

Only about 2 months and I'll be in Indianapolis! There are so many attractions to be excited about. The famous Motorway. The impressive Monument. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, the fifth largest in the country. And I'm picturing myself navigating that amazing network of skywalks I've seen photos of. (Can you say, "shopping?")

Let's not forget the seventeen hundred or so readers and authors I'll meet at Bouchercon. And all the book dealers. And walking around talking about Rex Stout's "Some Buried Caesar," feeling very literary.

This year's program promises many new and interesting features. I'm looking forward to sessions designed around group discussions and conversations, an author's bazaar with free books for attendees, and (my favorite) a crafts room.

I'll have a chance to demonstrate the craft I write about: miniatures. "Mourning in Miniature," the 4th in my miniature mystery series will be out by then (released date October 6). If you've ever wondered what could go wrong at a 30-year high school reunion, it's all here!

In the crafts room we'll have a "make it and take it" session where attendees can make a simple mini or two on the spot and take them home. Here's a sample of what I'm planning: mini vases (beads) of flowers (colored foam). The photo shows the scale, with many mini vases surrounding a life size vase that's about 3 inches in diameter.

I've donated a miniature scene to the Charity Auction, always a very satisfying endeavor. A preview is shown: a reading corner with mini versions of some of our favorite books!

There are a lot of parallels between making a miniature scene and writing a novel. In each case I'm creating a model of reality, a fictional world where things can be easier and often make more sense than in the life-size world. In the world of dollhouses, the bathrooms never need cleaning, and the whole house can be recarpeted in less than an hour. In my (cozy) mystery novels, the sleuth and her loved ones always survive and justice is always served.

What could be more satisfying?

I'll also be sneaking away from the conference for 2 other Indianapolis attractions, but the IRS need not worry, since they're "work" related. First, I'm eager to see the Dillinger exhibit at the Indiana State Library. (What? He didn't look like Johnny Depp?)

And I can't miss the Museum of Miniature Houses in nearby Carmel. I hope a native will tell me how to pronounce this. CarMEL, as the town in California? Or CARmel, as with camel or (almost) the chewy candy? The museum has more than 50 miniature houses and room boxes. The website displays some of them at http://www.museumofminiatures.org/photogallery.html. I know I'll leave with a camera and notebook full of ideas, for books in the miniature mystery series and for mini projects at my home crafts table.

My passions for crime fiction and miniatures will come together in the Hoosier State. I can hardly wait!

By the way, Camille/Margaret, it's CARmel, just like the candy.

1 comment:

Camille Minichino said...

Thanks for hosting me, Bethany! I'm looking forward to meeting you and your friends in October!

And thanks SO much for educating me on CARmel, which makes much more sense anyway!