Janice Orr came home to Lake Bluff Friday more of a celebrity than her last trip but with her humility in check.
She returned for the 42nd reunion of the Lake Forest High School class of 1970 as the entire group celebrated its 60th birthday together. For Orr, there was something special. She had a book signing Friday at the for her first novel, “Potomac Fever.”
“I’m not sure I’m much of a celebrity in that group,” Orr said of the many successful people in her high school graduating class. “To say I’m a celebrity in that group is an overreaching understatement.”
Nevertheless, more than 60 people gathered Friday at the Lake Forest Book Store to hear Orr talk about her experiences. Many of them were her friends from her days at Lake Forest High School.
“Having friends there made it much easier to focus, much more enjoyable,” Orr said of her first book signing. “They made me feel very special in a group of extremely special people. It was amazing the reception I got.”
Published in June under the pen name Corrine Cameron, “Potomac Fever” is a murder mystery set in the United States Capitol Building. Orr was reluctant to talk about the details of the book but very willing to discuss how she wrote it.
Though the book is pure fiction, according to Orr, she wrote about things she knew from her days as a member of the staff of former Sen. Alan Cranston (D-CA) for seven years and her later work as a criminal defense lawyer. She knew the Capitol Hill and its environs well not to mention the legal system.
“It’s all accurate based on my work,” Orr said. “My main character is a lawyer who gets drawn into the crime and becomes a suspect.” The book opens with a murder victim in a part of the Capitol she remembered well from her days as a staffer.
She decided to use a pen name because she did not want her law clients to know who she was. She took her middle name—Corrine—and her grandmother’s maiden name—Cameron—as the named author of her book.
Orr self published “Potomac Fever” with an investment from her own resources. The entire process has been an education. “They neglect to tell you everything costs a whole lot more,” she said describing payment for services above the initial investment.