Romantic suspense author Charmaine Gordon sits for an interview today. Learn more about Charmaine and her books at her blog.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
As an actor for many years, my last job was on Broadway in a new play. Toward the end of the run, I noticed my voice change. I had trouble speaking. The diagnosis--spasmodic dysphonia to be treated with botox injections forever into the larynx. Thus ended a fine career--a small fish in a big pond since I began in midlife. Creative juices still flowed so without training, I began a story and wrote a book. Amazing what one can do. Undaunted, I began again in my seventies.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
Call me lucky. It didn’t take too long before Vanilla Heart Publishing, a small company on the West coast, requested a few chapters and soon my first book, To be Continued, was published. What a kick.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
For me, traditionally published works just fine.
Where do you write?
I have a small office and three cats, cluttered with books, a litter box and the cats take turns sitting on my lap. I often wonder if this is where the name laptop comes from?
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Golden silence is best for me.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
I noticed when first writing, I couldn’t help from dropping bits and pieces of my life into the story. My publisher reassured me. “You’re doing just fine,” she said.
Describe your process for naming your character?
Names float across my mind like on a ticker tape. When I need one, it’s right there. I have no explanation.
Real settings or fictional towns?
Some stories have real settings like St. Augustine beach, Florida in several books. More recently, I wrote a series about a fictional town, River’s Edge in upstate, NY where the motto is Kindness to Strangers. Readers have said they’d love to live in a town just like that.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
A half glass of Chardonnay and I’m tap dancing on the table. True story and it’s happened many times on Broadway in clubs after a play or in a local restaurant.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
To Kill A Mocking Bird. What a gorgeous story. The kind, intelligent father raising two chidren, a lawyer defending a black man at a terrible time in history and so much more.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
He died too young, my high school sweetheart. We never argued, raised a batch of kids and suddenly gone. Do over, my heart screamed for a long time. I survived, married again but he’s still with me. Do over, I still scream.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When people ignore needs of older folks at the super market, I get very angry. Wait ‘til they get old and need help.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
Gluten-free everything, laptop and a really smart hunk.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
I raised a batch of kids and when the last one went off to kindergarten I helped my husband full time in our business. No time off for this lady.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
To Kill A Mocking Bird
Ocean or mountains?
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
Love the city, NYC and going home to peace in the country.
What’s on the horizon for you?
I write The End and two days later I’m into a new book. Living a long healthy life is a good plan.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
After years of being an Air Force wife, we became civilians and moved to NY. I did a lot of local theater until one day, a professional actor suggested I go to the city and seek an agent. Life changed. My first job was as leg model for Geraldine Ferraro with bodyguards protecting her and her two daughters. That got me my first Union Card. After that came Working Girl where I had fun sharing a hot dog with Harrison Ford after singing Happy Birthday to Melanie Griffith. Anthony Hopkins invited me to lunch in one movie and Michael Douglas shared a moment in Fatal Attraction. I was like a sponge soaking up everything I heard and saw. When I had to kiss the sweet time goodbye because my voice failed, I was ready to write.
Bridging the Gap
Anna Youngblood and James Chandler have problems. His little daughter overheard his ex say she never wanted kids; Anna must make amends for breaking rules of her tribe; he has a serious concussion and she’s pregnant. Can this couple find happiness in River’s Edge?