Aloha to CiCi McNair and NEVER FLIRT WITH A FEMME FATALE
Kim: From Mississippi to New York to Toronto to Rome, you made a significant cultural leap! What influenced your decisions to pursue an American History degree in New York, work for a Canadian television station, and eat pasta with the Pope?
CiCi: I love American history so that's why I picked it as my college major. I confess that I wanted to major in International Studies but could not satisfy the language requirement. Very disappointing. Hilarious, too, as years later I would live in Italy and, for two years, translate Pope John Paul II's speeches and go on the air to be heard round the world with my one or two minute synopsis of what head of state he'd met with and what had been said. I struggled mightily with Italian and now speak it but there were times at my desk at Vatican Radio that I thought I 'd better turn to prayer. This was only part of my job there...it was writing and announcing the international newscasts twice a day plus doing interviews of ambassadors, cardinals, all sorts of illustrious characters and producing documentaries. I loved that job but was treated horribly by my seven colleagues in my immediate newsroom. Because I was the only Protestant at the Vatican and because my Italian was so bad they all decided that the only possible reason for me to have been hired was that I was the mistress of the CIA station chief in Rome! When I was told by my Jesuit boss that they had decided I was a spy and a plant, I told him that if I were a plant, I wanted to be a geranium.
CiCi: I remember being told that in Malawi it was the law that a woman be covered to her ankles and trousers were frowned upon. So I bought a few yards of fabric at a market in Rhodesia which is now Zimbabwe and upon arrival in Malawi draped it around my skirt and tucked it in the waistband. It was awkward but all went well until I found myself standing at the front desk in the lobby of a little guest house and heard the gasps and laughter. The fabric was in a colorful pile at my feet and there I was in my tiny miniskirt! No arrest, no jail time but I can remember turning beet red! Seriously, being in another country demands respect. It's proper and correct to respect their traditions. I am a guest or even an interloper.
Kim: What inspired your interest in writing fiction? What prompted you to move to nonfiction? Did your work experiences and/or international travel assist you and/or prepare you for publishing?
CiCi: Everything I've ever done has been material for writing. As for fiction, I love to tell a story. I love to daydream about characters and plot what they might do, what they will say, and how to move the action from scene to scene. Nonfiction is a great discipline for me because I want to get the story, the conversations exactly right. I feel I owe the truth to the characters I've met.
CiCi: Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma. Any woman doctor who works in a society that forbids her to practice medicine. Any little girl anywhere who fights for the right to go to school.
Kim: Are there any fictional books, movies or TV series that accurately portray PI's? Accurate or
not, what is your favorite?
CiCi: I am a big fan of Law and Order. Lots of the shows are strictly entertainment. Just for fun. They are jokes if you have really worked with law enforcement.
|The original series with original cast|
CiCi: I want to write more. Maybe go back to a novel next time. I became a detective after two novels were published and now I want to do both--writing and running Green Star Investigations. DETECTIVES DON'T WEAR SEAT BELTS and NEVER FLIRT WITH A FEMME FATALE made me remember how much I really love to write. Mahalo, CiCi, for visiting us today at SOS Aloha. I am honored for the opportunity to meet you and share your adventures with SOS readers - you are inspiration of how we are only limited by our imagination.
review of NEVER FLIRT WITH A FEMME FATALE on her website. Mary is giving away her review copy of the book to one randomly selected commenter: To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about your favorite PI (real or fictional) and an amazing woman you admire.
2. The giveaway is open only to US residents but ... ... I welcome comments from all readers - whether or not you are entering the contest.
3. Comments are open through Monday, January 31, 10 pm in Hawaii to enter the giveaway.
Mahalo, Kim in Hawaii