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Viv, Actually

Leslie Uggams; The Platinum Collection

I’m here today with two-time Golden Calf™ winner Vivien K. O’Reilly, author of the hugely successful Cal Callaghan Detective Series. When she’s not hard at work crafting her next romantic thriller, Viv spends her days here—at the California State Insurance Commissioner’s Office in Sacramento.

ANN McMAN: Vivien, thanks so much for agreeing to meet with me today.

VIVIEN K. O’REILLY: The pleasure is all mine. And I hope you’ll forgive me for having to talk with you here in my office. The end of the quarter is coming up, and we’re dealing with a rash of fourteen new municipal bankruptcies. It’s probably gonna be another all-nighter.

ANN: I can only imagine. But it looks like you have a nice, homey work space here, Viv.

VIV: Thank you.

ANN: That’s unusual music. What are you listening to?

VIV: Pandora. It’s one of my favorites…Leslie Uggams radio.

ANN: Leslie Uggams?

VIV: Oh, yeah. Essential tuneage. Her Platinum Collection is the bomb.

ANN: Okay. Good to know. Now, Viv…what exactly is your job here in state government?

VIV: Well….

ANN: Why the reticence? You’re not normally so reserved.

VIV: Oh, it’s not “reserve.” I’m just used to people glazing over whenever I try to explain to them what my day job is.

ANN: Viv. I wrote a story about an author who wrote a book about being a chicken sexer…I think I can take it.

VIV: Uh huh. Well, okay. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

ANN: It’s really okay. I think our readers really like getting behind-the-scenes glimpses of our everyday lives.

VIV: You mean like voyeurism?

ANN: Well, no. That’s not what I really meant….

VIV: Because Wanda and I were talking about that just yesterday.

ANN: Viv.

VIV: She had a fantastic idea for a new series about hookups in executive washrooms.

ANN: Viv.

VIV: We’re calling it Glass Ceilings and Golden Showers.

ANN: Viv.

VIV: She wants me to collaborate with her because of my government experience. Ha! Working for the State of California is better preparation for a career writing erotica than having a five-year internship with Larry Flynt.

ANN: Viv.

VIV: I mean—can I just say two words? Arnold. Schwarzenegger.

ANN: Viv.

VIV: Seriously. We had to have SIX separate ServPro teams in just to deal with the upholstery in his office.

ANN: Viv.

VIV: And don’t even get me started on Jerry Brown. Are you wearing a black bra?

ANN: We really need to get back to the original…. Um.  What?

VIV: What, what?

ANN: Did you just ask me if I’m wearing a black bra?

VIV: I’m just paying attention. My editor constantly reminds me that this is the characteristic that separates good writing from great writing.

ANN: Asking people about their underwear?

VIV: You’d be surprised what people are willing to give up under the right conditions.

ANN: Viv?

VIV: Yes?

ANN: Please take your hand off my thigh.

VIV: Oh. God…I’m sorry. That thing has a mind of its own.

ANN: Yeah. Okay. Why don’t we get back to the original question.

VIV: What is my job here?

ANN: Right.

VIV: I’m an actuary.

ANN: An actuary?

VIV: Is there an echo in here?

ANN: Sorry. You just never really think about anyone actually doing that.

VIV: Well…they do, and I am.

ANN: So, what, exactly does an actuary do?

VIV: In my case, I examine probabilities related to what is most likely to happen. For example, I might consider what kinds of automobile insurance consumers are likely to purchase or not purchase.

ANN: Seriously?

VIV: Yes. It’s actually quite fascinating. An automobile owner is twice as likely to purchase collision coverage as disability coverage. The event that an automobile owner purchases collision coverage is independent of the event that he or she purchases disability coverage. The probability that an automobile owner purchases both collision and disability coverages is 0.15. Therefore, the solution is:  0.33.

ANN: The solution to what???

VIV: Here’s why: presume that: C = Event that a policyholder buys collision coverage; and D = Event that a policyholder buys disability coverage. Then we are given that: P[C] + 2P[D] and P[C intersect D] = 0.15.

ANN: C and D?

VIV: Precisely. By the independence of C and D, it therefore follows that: 0.15 = P[C intersect D] = P[C] P[D] = 2P[D] P[D] = 2(P[D])2.

ANN: Viv?

VIV: (P[D]) = 0.15/2 = 0.075

ANN: Viv??

VIV: P[D] = sqrt 0.075 and P[C] = 2P[D] = 2 sqrt 0.075

ANN: Viv???

VIV: Now the independence of C and D also implies the independence of CC and DC.

ANN: Viv…really….

VIV: As a result, we see that P[C intersect DC] = P[CC] P[DC] = (1 – P[C]) (1 – P[D] = (1 – 2 sqrt 0.075) (1 – sqrt 0.075) = 0.33


VIV: What? Good god…why on earth are you shouting?

ANN: You have your hand on my thigh again.

VIV: Oh. Sorry. Actuarial Science just makes me hot.

ANN: Riiight. By the way…Viv?

VIV: Yes, Ann?

ANN: Your hand is still on my thigh.

VIV: Oopies. My bad.

ANN: I see now why you seek refuge in lesbian fiction.

VIV: It IS a natural progression, isn’t it? Kudos to you, McMan. Most people can’t make that connection.

ANN: Why don’t  you tell us a little about your next work-in-progress.

VIV: You mean Backcast?

ANN: Yes.

VIV: Well, frankly, I don’t know that much about it—just that I’m supposed to show up at some writer’s resort in Vermont. And my agent said something about tomato aspic and tournament bass fishing…which, I have to say, alarms me.

ANN: It does?

VIV: Of course it does. The incidence of misadventure and serious injury related to inebriated individuals operating uninsured watercraft is staggering.

ANN: All-rightey then…. I guess we’re out of time for today. I’ll see you and the rest of the CLIT-Con 13 in Vermont.

VIV: Can I do a quick plug for my newest book?

ANN: Sure….

VIV: Cal Callaghan returns in the sizzling sequel to Catalina Heat: Laguna Lust. Look for it on August 1.

ANN: Great. And, Viv?

VIV: Yes, Ann.

ANN: Your hand is still on my thigh….


Join us next time, when Ann talks with BDSM author and motorcycle enthusiast, Quinn Glatfelter. 

For more on Vivien K. O’Reilly and her stunning debut in SIDECAR’s “Bottle Rocket,” click here.






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