It Takes a Village, by Camille Minichino, aka Elizabeth Logan
From my earliest days, I chose jobs like teaching and lab work that put me with considerably large groups of people. I’d never been a loner, the way writers were. Or so I thought. A mistaken notion, of course.
I’d been a physicist for a long time. No one does physics alone, not since Galileo, anyway. Who can accommodate a collider, a giant circular tunnel 17 miles long in her loft or garage?
Physicists gather around huge equipment in giant laboratories all over the world these days, working as a team. My graduate school mates and I spent long hours together in the same building every day, sharing data, power supplies, and monster-mentor stories. We became close friends and knew each others’ families as well as our own for a few years. Decades later, we still get together for reunions.
For the same decades, I’d wanted to be a published writer—something with more popular potential than my technical papers on the scattering properties of a titanium dioxide crystal or my first book, on nuclear waste management. But I couldn’t imagine sitting alone in a room with pen and paper, or keyboard and monitor, pouring out my thoughts and plots, with no human contact.
Imagine my delight when I discovered that writing—mystery writing especially—was a community endeavor. I discovered not only professional organizations and critique groups, but book clubs, conferences, Internet lists and groups, and blogging colleagues. Who knew?
Because of those groups and meetings, even sheltered in place at the moment, there’s a writer/reader community zooming or skyping all over the world.
Sure, there’s a lot of me-and-my-chair for many hours, but I always know I can call or email any number of colleagues if I want to brainstorm a plot point, or discuss a new character I’m developing. With each book, my acknowledgments list gets longer.
Also, like physics, writing requires research. Most of it is people-oriented, which has turned out to be quite a bonus. In the course of writing themes and subplots for more than twenty-five books, I’ve interviewed an embalmer, a veterinarian, a medevac helicopter pilot, an ice climber, a hotel administrator, an elevator maintenance man, and countless experts in police procedure, forensics, and—uh, ways to kill people.
I’ve gone to conferences in cities I’d never have visited otherwise, like Omaha and Boise and Milwaukee.
And the readers! In each series I’ve tried to remember whom I’m writing for, and hope the protagonist sleuth is someone readers would like to have lunch with.
I’m on my fifth series, and I still count on my dream critique group and all my colleagues to see me through the next book.
I’m sure some writers prefer to go it alone, but I never would have made it.
The writing and reading community are smart, fun, and generous.
I’m glad I found them.
Mousse and Murder (An Alaskan Diner Mystery)
by Elizabeth Logan
About Mousse and Murder
Mousse and Murder (An Alaskan Diner Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (May 5, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07WCZPZY7
A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents’ diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town.
When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother’s diner, she doesn’t even consider saying no. After all–her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs.
Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie’s ideas–leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case.
With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it’s too late.
About Elizabeth Logan
Camille Minichino is turning every aspect of her life into a mystery series. A retired physicist, she’s the author of 28 mystery novels in 5 series, with different pen names. Her next book is “Mousse and Murder,” May 2020, by Elizabeth Logan. She’s also written many short stories and articles. She teaches science at Golden Gate U. in San Francisco and writing workshops around the SF Bay Area. Details are at www.minichino.com.
Website – http://www.minichino.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/camille.minichino
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May 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
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