Mary Camarillo

What’s your name and tell me about the books you like to read.

Mary Camarillo.

I read widely–poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction and novels. I just finished “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler, a dystopian story set in 2024, disturbingly relevant to our present times. I’m getting ready to dive into Margaret Rodenberg’s historical novel “Finding Napoleon” next, after I finish reading a couple of advanced reader copies of debut novels from writer friends.

What’s your favorite character and why?

Olive Kitteridge because I love prickly characters who are unlikeable on the surface but feel very human.

What book would you reread 728 times and why?

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. I have read it 728 times trying to figure out how Ms. Strout made Olive so compelling.

What are 3 unique things about you that would capture everyone’s attention?

  • I published my debut novel “The Lockhart Women” at age sixty-nine.
  • I have an enormous collection of skeletons that are not in the closet.
  • I backpacked across Europe for three months by myself when I was twenty-one.

What are your bookish goals for 2022?

I will finish my second novel. I’m afraid to call that a goal because I’ve already promised my publisher that I will finish in 2022.

Tell me a book you’d want to live in and why?

I would love to be Patti Smith’s traveling companion in “Year of the Monkey” although Patti Smith isn’t looking for a companion, she’s fine on her own. I love her observant eye, her simple needs, and her constant quest for coffee.

What’s a book that made tears cascade down your cheeks and why?

“Love Medicine” by Louise Erdrich made me cry because of each character’s thwarted search for home. It’s heartbreaking and yet completely unsentimental.

Tell me about what villain you’d gladly crush/destroy and why? (from what book)

Maynard Spencer from Colson Whitehead’s “The Nickel Boys” because he has no problem beating and killing students who don’t obey his every word.

Tell me about a character you’d kiss and why? (from what book)

I’d kiss the two protagonists of Anthony Doerr’s “All The Light We Cannot See” because they need some tenderness. They are fascinating characters-a resilient blind girl, Marie-Laure-LeBlanc and Werner Pfennig, an exceptionally intelligent German orphan boy. Their stories, set in Nazi occupied Paris, are devastatingly tragic and yet still hopeful.

Give me a plug of something you’d love all bookish people to purchase and why it’s superb.

George Saunders “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” is so instructive to both writers and readers. Saunders dissects four Russian short stories and has a very clear way of explaining how and why we decide to keep reading.

And of course, bookish people should purchase and read my novel “The Lockhart Women” because it’s a great story, available in eBook and paperback wherever you like to buy books, including Amazon, linked here.

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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