I’ve begun a Wednesday weekly post to present interviews with authors across all romance genres. Although I’m primarily an historical romance writer, I do read outside my genre and suspect a lot of you do as well. And what’s more fascinating than finding out more about either your favorite authors or new ones? I plan to change up my questions (most of them at least) every three months or so, just to keep the interviews lively.
So now gather round the tea table, grab a scone or cookies, and a cup of tea or coffee and discover a new friend in the writing world.
This week on Be My Guest, I’m sharing tea and scones with Charmaine Gordon, author of more than twenty contemporary romances. She’s here to share a little more about her very varied career–from actress in a daytime drama to writing sketches for the U.S. Air Force. I’m going to have fun finding out a lot more about Charmaine and her most recent release, Chef’s Surprise.
Years of experience as an actor on daytime drama. Stage, spokesperson and commercials plus writing sketches for Air Force shows helped prepare me for the wonders of a writing career. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time when immersed in the written words of others, that I was like a sponge, soaking up how to construct a scene, write dialogue, and paint the setting.
My writing effort came later when I wrote a two page story, sent it to son, Paul who commented, “Cool. Can you write ten pages?” Seemed impossible but the story poured from my fingers and seventy thousand words later, I typed The End.
And now let’s meet Charmaine Gordon!
Who is your favorite romance hero or heroine and why? What qualities do they possess that make them memorable?
Lucas Davenport-hero in John Sandford’s books, humor, strength, family man
Are you a pantser or plotter? What is your process?
I sleep-write and in the morning I begin a new story and never stop until it’s finished.
Which of your own books is your favorite and why?
The Catch is the third in a series-the only male as a hero.
If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you wish for?
I wish my first husband didn’t succumb to his weakened heart. He didn’t fight to live.
What is the first thing you do when you get a story idea?
I never stop until I flesh it out and send it in.
Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of writing?
I discovered, sad to say, my passion for gardening and building flagstone patio’s has ended. The aging back says forget about it. I’ll have to tend to the household instead.
Who is your favorite non-romance genre author? What is your favorite book of theirs?
John Sandford’s series of police, murder and mayhem suits me just fine.
What is your favorite cuisine?
Fifty years on a gluten free diet has changed my palate to zip.
Goodness! I’ve been gluten-free for almost 10 years, but 50! It’s a challenge, but I’ve found Indian food to have the most items I can eat. And I love it too, so that’s good.
Now, tell us a little bit about one of your books.
What was your inspiration for this story?
I dreamed about a girl in the Florida Keys, a place I’ve never been to. And so Chef’s Surprise began.
I am a fanatic about my character names. Are the character names special in any way?
Names float like a ticker tape across my mind. It must be from reading, memorizing so many scripts for many years.
Who is your book dedicated to and why?
Almost always I dedicate to my family for their patience. Sometimes I will dedicate to my readers.
I’ve done both of those too.
How long did it take you to write this book?
A couple of months at best.
You are quick!
Now, the Infamous Lightning Round:
What is your favorite amusement park ride? Ferris Wheel
EEP! I’m afraid of heights. I’d never get on one again!
Tea or coffee and how do you take it? Decaf black
Favorite all time movie? Shawshank Redemption is a big favorite.
I love that movie!
Chocolate or vanilla? May I have both? Oh, come on.
Indeed, you may! 🙂
Boxers, briefs or commando? (preferred for your heroes) briefs are so nice
How many states have you lived in? Everywhere as an Air Force wife.
Cat person or dog person? Canine and feline. Right now we’ve inherited 4 cats. Oh well. I want a small pooch. Really I do.
What’s the one thing you would never do? Have an affair
Oooh, good answer!
One night, she ran. For the bus to freedom and a new life. She had a plan, and a small box of cash.
With grit and determination, the young girl learned more than lessons at nursing college, the first part of her plan.
Someday, she would become a top chef, but for now, she’d claw her way up the ladder.
There is payback for every crime, and sometimes the payback is more than satisfactory.
When the last note of music faded, the partners of the firm bid goodnight and the youngest partner was no where to be seen. Charming Grans tottered off to sleep. The elder gentleman, Clayton’s father, stayed up for a while, wistful in the late hour.
Last chance, thought Reva with the father alone. She did like the young Clayton but he was just a boy in her old eyes. A quiet tap on the door and there she stood leaning against the wall still dressed in a white lace thong, bra to match. He grabbed her by the waist and entered her room. “Hello there, handsome. I’m just getting ready for bed, alone.”
“You know what I want, Reva. Only you and right now.”
What a boy but fun, Reva thought. She shook her long red hair. “No, my friend. I sleep alone so goodnight.” He went after her. She used a maneuver learned long ago. A squeeze of the balls did it.
Clayton hobbled away, sending daggers over his broad shoulders.
After a quick shower, an intuitive feeling that something happened to Grans came over her. On went a robe and sneakers to run down the hall and find Grans private room. There the sign hung high in polished wood. Do Not Disturb. Her heart raced. Nervous, she knocked on the door to hear a light groan and hurried in. Sure enough, the elderly woman lay crumpled on the floor as if she’d fallen from her bed. Immediately the words came to Reva. Transient Ischemic Attack. She’d had a minor stroke. First she lifted Grans onto the bed and then she ran like hell to the father’s room. After rapping on his door, she opened it. “Sir, your mother has had a minor stroke. Call your doctor, 911 and an ambulance. I’ll get Clayton. I was a qualified nurse in South Florida before moving here. I can take care of her. Now hurry.”
The family crisis began.
Chef’s Surprise is available at Amazon.
Thank you so much for being my guest this week, Charmaine! I learned so much about you and your writing! Next Wednesday my special guest will be Mia Jo Celeste. Hope you return to you favorite Wednesday spot to meet her!