Camille Minichino

Margaret Grace Interview - Manhattan in Miniature

by "The grandmommy"
Big and Little Creations

For centuries, miniaturists have created, played with, sold, bought and traveled in the name of their hobby. The world of modern day miniatures have influenced movies, TV , the stage and now novels which means we are even reading about them!

Last year, I was fortunate enough to win an autographed novel from a series of miniature mysteries. The book is called Madness in Miniature. About a miniaturist, her granddaughter, and of course a mystery. It is so realistic, I thought it was written about me! I too am a former teacher with a granddaughter in the fifth grade who enjoys mini-ing with me! She is also the one who found the doll.

This author of many aliases is an amazing person who knows how to take life by the horns in 1:1/RL.  As per her blog, she has "been a factory worker, a translator, a teacher, an experimental physicist, a nuclear safeguards engineer, a writer, a waitress, a miniaturist, a paralegal, a nun, a minister, a short order cook, a ticket taker, an editor, a crafter, and a cotton candy twirler!

Here is an excerpt from the book I received..."My main crafts area was the second room from the front of the house, next to Maddie's bedroom. When it came right down to it, however, every room in my four-bedroom home was a crafts room to some extent."  Doesn't that sound rather familiar? LOL It is an easy read and just the right diversion between mini projects.

I would like to introduce Camille Minichino (can you believe her name even has "mini" in it!)
also known at Margaret Grace!
Please enjoy the interview I had with her recently:

1.) I see you have had a very diverse and interesting professional history. What made you decide to write novels, particularly the ones, about minis? 

My liberal arts background took hold of me, nagging me always to try “everything.” Being a scientist was no excuse for not also being knowledgeable in the arts and literature, to read and appreciate “the other culture” as C.P. Snow advised. At one point in my career as a scientist, I decided it was time to write. I’d always enjoyed mysteries, mainly for the puzzle aspects, and thought I’d start there with just one book before moving on. My 20th mystery will be released in a couple of weeks, four more are under contract, and I don’t seem to have finished!  Each of my series reflects an occupation or hobby that has been part of my life: a retired physicist, a miniaturist, a math teacher, and, on school vacations, a postal worker (a new series that launches this fall)

2) Before you began writing about  miniatures, how far did you go into the hobby? Did you sell, have a blog, go to doll shows or participate in any miniature groups? 

At one time or another, all my family and friends have received a mini scene for a present. A miniature barn for my equestrian step-daughter, an Old West jailhouse for a friend (author Ann Parker) who writes about the Colorado silver rush, a miniature bookstore (an oft repeated gift). I love doing minis with others, especially kids. I go to shows and shops as a customer, but I’ve never sold my minis (see below for the reason!)

3) Do you still work on them or participate in any way?

Every day! Entering the world of miniatures is great therapy. It’s hard to be stressed when you’re redecorating a living room with a 6-inch couch and a few chairs. Knitting tiny afghans, making a lamp shade out of the cap of a toothpaste tube—your mind is off any life-size troubles. In fact, many children’s therapists use dollhouses as part of their therapy. I make scenes for auction items at conferences; donate a dollhouse every year to a local school raffle; and populate my house with minis. Giving most of them away allows me to buy more supplies and make room for more!

4) Were the characters Geraldine and Maddie based on real people?

Gerry is based on me in the sense that she’s not an artisan craftsperson—the kind who make museum quality miniatures. Like me, she uses found objects, turning the tiny spring in a ballpoint pen into the spring on a miniature screen door, cutting drinking straws into the size of tumblers. There are others who are the make-from-scratch miniaturists whose work I admire, and buy, but don’t have the talent to emulate.  Maddie came into the world of the series unbidden, as a likely partner for her grandmother. I’ve enjoyed playing with her and probably will never age her to the point of teenager!

5) What would your favorite Fimo meal look like? LOL

Ice cream sundaes to populate an ice cream shop room box I donated last year!

6) May we ask to whom or what organization you donated the ice cream shop?

An 11-year-old girl (the same age as Maddie Porter of the Miniature Mysteries) received the ice cream shop. Too young to name, but I can tell you she’s a very creative miniaturist herself, with the added talent of working magic with scraps of materials.

7) Please share your most unusual room box!

A 3-level mortuary! My first series character, retired physicist Gloria Lamerino of the Periodic Table Mysteries, lives above a funeral home. I recreated that dwelling: embalming room in the basement, viewing parlor on the first level, her apartment on the upper level.
My website,, has a photo gallery on the miniature mystery page.
Thanks so much, for letting me talk about my favorite scale of life! 

Thank YOU for sharing your interesting hobbies with us!

Reference to original page: