Sunday, September 23, 2012

A chat with Charmaine Gordon, Author of Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Author Charmaine Gordon
Stories of Women Who Survive.....and Thrive

An Air Force wife for many years, I wrote sketches, directing and performing in the Officers Club. Moving to NY as civilians and my youngest now almost out of high school, I pursued my dream of working professionally. Daytime drama was fun for about thirteen years along with movies like Working Girl where I sang Happy Birthday to Melanie Griffith. There were many high points during this sweet time ending in a leading role off-Broadway where somehow I gained an idea for a story.

And so writing became my new career.

Louise: Charmaine, welcome to our blog! We’re so excited you could join us for a chat. When did you first decide to submit your work to be published? Tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.

Charmaine: Thanks for inviting me, Louise. By chance, I met Chelle Cordero at a Hudson Valley RWA event at Barnes & Noble. She’s an author with 8 books on the table and I had my first book published by an author about to close up shop.  Chelle bought my book and before I knew it, she’d told her publisher about me. Bada bing! Vanilla Heart decided to check out my new manuscript titled To Be Continued and I was offered a contract. Just shows you never know where and when good things will happen.
As a side bar, before writing I was an actor with daytime drama, stage and movie background. No plan to do anything else until an idea crept into my head and wouldn’t leave me alone. Without any thought as to how to write a story, fearlessly I began to write and write and loved the idea of my own creativity instead of always using another’s words. So what I say to other writers is encourage yourself. Just do it!

Louise: Please tell us a little about your new release.

Charmaine: Sin of Omission is a sequel to Reconstructing Charlie. I didn’t plan to continue once The End came into view but the characters called out and wanted me to tell their story. 

Seems easy enough. Jimmy Costigan will deliver supplies to sister Charlie's project Haven, a respite for the needy, and leave. Simple.
Instead, Shelley Jackson answers the door, says she needs him and soft-hearted Jimmy stays to protect the family seeking refuge from a sociopath. He didn't count on falling in love.
A twist of fate intervenes when Shelley keeps a secret that threatens to break apart the Costigans and her future. A mysterious client, Deanna Rose, enters Haven, victim of a savage beating under strange circumstances. Using Internet resources, Shelley digs in to find Ms. Rose has an unsavory past.

With the reputation and safety of Haven at stake, Shelley is at risk to lose everything ... and everyone she cares about.

Louise: Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

Charmaine: Some people sleep walk. I sleep write. A story comes in the night. In the morning, I write. The characters develop and if I open my heart, they grow.

Louise: How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits to share?

Charmaine: Each book requires research. I’m not interested in deep studies of time and place. Keep it simple and true is my motto. With Sin of Omission, the interracial romance required information; my friend and author of many books, Janet Lane Walters, gave me what I needed to make it real.

Louise: What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?

Charmaine: No outlines here, Louise. I fly while raising my grandest granddaughter. I’ll never forget rocking her as I wrote steamy scenes. Still write them but she doesn’t come in to see what Granny’s up to.

Louise: Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer or still do?

Charmaine: I miss performing; the immediate response from an audience; the fun of wearing costumes, make-up artists, counts 5-4-3-2- and you’re on. Take 2 or more. Writing is solitary with fictional characters to keep you company and a review to look forward to after you cry The End.

Louise: Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.

Charmaine: I work in an office crowded with toys, books, little girl stuff and my lap top. No ritual about writing. I dig in for a thousand words a day when I’m hot on a story. I greet the day, happy to be alive, stretch the bag of bones and put on a face. Can’t write w/o a nice face. Learned that in modeling days when they said always look your best. You never know.

Louise: Describe a typical writing day for you.

Charmaine: Hopefully no one is home to disturb me but really folks, just because I’m here in my office at the computer doesn’t mean I’m not working. (Author speaking to family not listening). Respect my privacy. Not much to ask for, right? “For everything there is a season. . .” My season is now while I’m here to tell a story. I wake full of energy and ideas and hope to bring that to the pages. No diversion like what’s for dinner asked at 10 a.m.

Louise: Please give us a sneak peek at your future books. What’s on the horizon?

Charmaine: I write stories about fictional women who Survive&Thrive. This theme runs through my books of Romance and Suspense. Heat but no gratuitous sex. Love does have a special way of creeping in. Last night I dreamed of a series tentatively titled Meet the Widows. “Claire Morgan wakes up at 2:15 a.m. and. . .”

Louise: Favorite authors-preference in books

Charmaine: Murder and mayhem is my favorite, on audio, so I can listen while I do my stuff not writing related.
John Sandford, Robert B. Parker, Elmore Leonard and Susan Isaacs are some of my faves.

Louise: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?

Charmaine: I'll giveaway an eBook copy of Sin of Omission to the most interesting commenter. Answer the fun question below.

Question: If you could sing Happy Birthday in person to an Actress or Actor, who would it be and why?


In this scene, Shelley Jackson confesses her secret to her best friend Charlie and Shelley’s lover Jimmy.

“Charlie, you accepted me as a friend and roommate but how would you feel if I were to marry your brother and bring color into the lily white home of your Aunt and Uncle. I’ve been there. So pristine and perfect. I envied your life and all the love they have for you.” She took another deep breath and reached for the twins in Jimmy’s arms. He relinquished them so readily it made her pause and when he again refused to meet her eyes, her mind moved on. Maybe their father didn’t want them after all. “That’s about all except to say I’m sorry. I’ve committed a sin of omission by not coming clean. If you can find it in your hearts to forgive me, we can work it out. Ball’s in your court.”

Louise: Where can the readers learn more about you and find your books on the web?

Charmaine: Readers can find me on the following sites: AuthorCharmaine Gordon, SixSentence Sunday, Twitter @CharJGordon, Amazon Authorpage and Facebook. Buy links for my books are below.
Sin of Omission
Amazon Kindle (available in paperback)

Reconstructing Charlie
AmazonKindle (available in paperback)

My books on B&N and Smashwords

Generous sampling of each of Charmaine Gordon's five novels celebrating Survive and Thrive! Click on the image above.


  1. Thanks for inviting me today, Louise. I'm looking forward to many comments and having fun on this glorious Fall day.

  2. Excellent interview, ladies! :)
    Very well done & I am ALWAYS excited to see what else Miss Charmaine has coming out! :)

    Charmaine, I don't know if I can answer your question as I've sung Happy Birthday every year to an actor - my brother! ;) LOL. I think if it was anyone else, I would be too star-struck! LOL.

  3. You clearly have never heard me sing, Charmaine. I'd make a star in the sky drop to earth in a screaming ball of fire. Think what I'd do to a human actor? 8-)

  4. Ah, Smoky, but what a lucky star. Give it a shot.

  5. I would want to sing Happy Birthday to George Clooney... though I'm pretty sure I would be more enthused than he would. :)

  6. Hmm. George Clooney. I liked him before on television and in his earlier movies. But he'd love you, S.R.just the way you are. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Hi Charmaine! LE, Smokey and SR, thanks for stopping by. There are lurkers in the hall - come on in and tell us who you would sing Happy Birthday too.
    I'm not in the drawing of course - but I'd love to sing HB to Johnny Depp, Bradley Cooper and Orlando Bloom. Wait that's 3 - well a girl can only dream, right? ~Louise