An Alternative Author Interview:
TCL’s Countdown Questions.
This week I’m featuring author
Camille Di Maio!
I discovered Camille with her novel “The Beautiful Strangers” which takes place around the San Diego hotel where one of my favorite movies of all time was shot – Some Like it Hot! Now, Di Maio’s story was great, but… it had a ghost, and well… that’s not really my thing. However, when I saw she wrote another novel – “The First Emma” – about a woman totally unknown to me, I decided to see if NetGalley would be kind enough to let me get the ARC. Well, surprise, surprise, they did, and I truly enjoyed it. Let’s see her replies to my five, fast, and fun questions.
- If you could visit five (5) places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?
1. South African safari – My extended family went many years ago, and though I was invited, I thought it was prudent to stay home with my kids. The pictures were incredible and I hope to go myself someday.
2. India – I love Mother Teresa (I met her when I was a teenager!) and I am so inspired by the work that she did. I would like to visit the orphanages she started and definitely make a side trip to the Taj Mahal.
3. Seychelles – All the photos I’ve seen are amazing! I’m such a beach girl.
4. New Zealand – It looks like it belongs on another planet – the mountain scape is amazing.
5. Thailand – I would love to visit animal sanctuaries and to see rice paddy fields.
- Name four (4) foods or dishes that you enjoy so much that they’ve practically become part of your personality.
1. Being of Italian descent, I could eat spaghetti and meatballs all day long. It’s usually what I order when I go to a new Italian restaurant – they have to be able to get that right.
2. Enchiladas. I’m a fourth-generation Texan. Bring on the Tex Mex and slather it in quest and tomatillo sauce!
3. Chocolate, because…chocolate! (Especially the dark chocolate sea salt caramels from Nordstrom. They’re a rare treat…)
4. Soup of any kind. It’s just the most comforting thing ever.
- There is the past, the present, and the future – if you could choose, which of these three (3) would you prefer to live in, and why?
The past and the future are very intriguing. I think we romanticize the past, but as much as I’d like to be friends with Jane Austen, there are too many modern conveniences and advances (medicine!) that I’m attached to. And the future…I think it will get ever more technological and I’m afraid that it will lead to lack of in-person interaction. Or less of it. So I’m happy to stay firmly planted in the present and to do my best to improve our current time period.
- Best and/or worst – you choose which – name two (2) of either your best moments of your life, worst moments of your life, or one of each.
1. Swimming underneath a 200 foot waterfall in Maui. We had a guide who showed us a hidden waterfall – we had to crawl through a bunch of foliage to get there. But when we did, we had it all to ourselves. There were fresh guavas floating in the water – we ate lots of them!
2. Being at the deathbed of my grandmother – and many years later – my father. These are actually best months. Not that they were at all enjoyable, but they were very peaceful. Each of them were surrounded by family and prayers and passed with smiles on their faces. We all have to go someday…that’s the way to do it. And despite all the exciting things in the world, those moments bring you back to pondering eternity and remembering what is important.
3. Meeting Paul McCartney. When my first book, THE MEMORY OF US, was a manuscript, I went to his concert and I got a chance to give him a copy. He invited me onstage and he started reading it to the audience!
- Name one (1) book you’ve read in the past year (or so) that you wish you had written, and why.
I’m almost finished reading the Century trilogy by Ken Follett. Being a historical fiction writer, I’m always intrigued by the research that goes into it and how authors make it compelling to a modern reader. He is a master!! So I wish I could write like he does.
Thanks Camille! I’m also aching to visit New Zealand, and those chocolates look amazing (but you expected I’d say that, right?). However, your meeting Sir Paul McCartney … wow!
Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of twenty-three years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too.
Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmers markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal.
She is an Amazon Bestselling author as well as a Romance Writers of America Honor Roll Inductee. Her books have won: The Beverly Hills Book Award, the Golden Quill, and been a Holt Medallion finalist several times over. They have been translated into French, Hungarian, German, and Estonian.