Friday, March 1, 2013

Beach Chat with V. S. KEMANIS


It’s Legal Mystery Season here at the beach, so it’s with great fanfare I welcome V.S. Kemanis who writes of what she knows.  Ms. Kemanis has a background as a criminal prosecutor for street and organized crime! Gotta admit, that's way more cool than my background as an accountant!   But I don’t want to give away too much about V.S.’s accomplishments, so I’ll stop there and let you read on.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy chatting with her at the beach today.  So without further ado, let’s put our hands together for a warm beach welcome for V.S. Kemanis! 

Most cherished beach memory: As a teenager, body surfing a tall wave at the best beach in the world, Manhattan Beach, California, where I spent many a summer day.

Recommend a Beach Read:  For a scorching hot beach day, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. For a brisk, overcast beach day, Heat Wave, by “Richard Castle.”

One author, living or dead, with whom you’d like to sip Mai Tais on Waikiki Beach: Definitely Raymond Chandler.  Last night, in a Big Sleep, I dreamt the way it would go:

Me: “How do you like your brandy, sir?”
Raymond [snicking a match on a thumbnail]: “Any way at all.”
Me: “You big dark handsome brute. I ought to throw a Buick at you!”
Raymond [in a cloud of blue smoke]:“Get up, angel. You look like a Pekinese.”

Worst non-writing job you ever had: At 19, after an injury shattered my ridiculously unrealistic aspiration of becoming a famous ballerina, I took a job for $2 an hour at a junk mail service, stuffing envelopes. I learned the very useful skill of opening 100 envelope flaps in 5 seconds or less. Don’t ask the year. It was before they invented machines for this purpose.

Favorite quote or saying: My current favorite is from The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes: “History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.”

Song that you dance to (when no one is watching): Depending on my mood, “She Works Hard for the Money” (Donna Summer) or Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Act II, Moderato.

Three of your favorite things:  Taking a contemporary dance class.  Taking a ballet class.  Eating a big bowl of Turkey Hill Dutch Chocolate ice cream (after dance class)

Two secret vices:   Since my weakness for ice cream is out of the closet, perhaps it does not belong in this category … but wait.  In secret, when I’m alone with my laptop, I like to eat a big bowl of Turkey Hill dutch chocolate ice cream while reading yesterday’s work. Helps the creative juices flow. Number two: watching at least three episodes in a row of my current favorite TV series (past favorites: 24, the Goodwife, Revenge; current: Downton Abbey)

One pet peeve: People who feel the need to offer excuses and explanations for their behavior while failing to see their transparency.

About V. S. Kemanis:
V. S. Kemanis grew up in the East Bay Area of California in a family with six amazing siblings and parents passionate about politics, social issues, theater and music. Mealtimes were often raucous, stimulating, intellectual and fun gatherings in a household full of family and interesting guests, musicians, actors, artists, professors and university students.
Ms. Kemanis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado, School of Law, at Boulder. In her legal career, she has been a criminal prosecutor of street crime and organized crime for county and state agencies, argued criminal appeals for the prosecution and defense, conducted complex civil litigation, and worked as a court attorney for state appellate courts.
Ms. Kemanis is also an accomplished dancer of classical ballet, modern jazz and contemporary styles and has performed, taught and choreographed in California, Colorado and New York. During a wonderful time when her children were young, she took a decade hiatus from her legal career and owned and managed a popular dancewear shop.
Writing fiction has been an important artistic and emotional mainstay for the author and a pleasure for her readers. Ms. Kemanis has published two print collections of short fiction, Women I’ve Known and Gray Zone, and her stories have appeared in noted literary journals including the William & Mary Review, Lynx Eye, and Thema. She is pleased to present all of her stories, these and more, in three e-book collections: MalocclusionEveryone But Us, and Dust of the Universe. Her first novel, Thursday’s List, draws on her personal experience in criminal law and introduces the character Dana Hargrove, a rookie prosecutor. Ms. Kemanis is currently at work on the second Dana Hargrove legal mystery.

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