Hey y’all. Hope your weekend was great. And for those of you in the States, I hope your Memorial Day will be wonderful and that it’s well on the way to being gorgeous. Today Megan and I are lucky to have on The Menagerie couch with us, author Chelle Cordero. Let’s all make her feel welcome (pointing at the Cabana Boys :::narrowing eyes::: ) and we’ll all have a grand ole time.
So, Megan, m’girl, take it away.
Everyone has to start somewhere, so we’ll start here. Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the only NYC borough to begin with a “D” – da Bronx. I moved out of NYC when I got married and we settled in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York State.
Ooh a New Yorker! I’ll bet you have the coolest shoe stores and yes, Kealie and I love shoes.
That we do… as evidenced by the huge amount I’ll be bringing to your house this week, Megan. LOL So, Chelle, Tell us your latest news!
We, Vanilla Heart Publishing and I, just released His Lucky Charm. This story was originally released in 2008 as Forgotten.
“What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas... this time it follows Brandon and Caitlyn across the country and into a world of espionage and danger. The one thing that Brandon knows for sure is that he can't afford to lose his lucky charm, Caitlyn.”The title “Forgotten” is VERY popular on Amazon and readers had difficulty finding it because it didn’t appear on the first page (all of my other novels appear on page one and often are in the number one spot!). His Lucky Charm has a catchy title and a dynamite cover. I’m very excited.
I love sexy covers and the Vegas/espionage angle has me intrigued. When and why did you begin writing?
I took Creative Writing in High School and Scriptwriting in college; I had my first newspaper article printed when I was 18. But it wasn’t until I was expecting our first child that I considered making a career of it. Simply, I wanted to be able to work from home and I always loved writing stories.
You’re not the first mom to decide to make a go of it from home when pregnant or dealing with little kids. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The first time I saw my byline in print after I decided to write full time. It was a newspaper article. Then I considered myself a PROFESSIONAL writer the first time I received a check for my work!
Yes, and those checks are so nice. Do you have a specific writing style?
I create characters, throw them into some dire situations and let them write their own stories. LOL, I create my characters using the Stanislavsky Method (I was a theatre student in college) so they react to situations based on their personal histories.
Hey, whatever works, right? How much of the book is realistic?
Realistic as in CAN IT HAPPEN? Very realistic. I like to take real people in a contemporary situation and have them “live” through me. Most people don’t realize how exciting their lives really are, every day we see all kinds of possibilities and we hear of unexpected happenings. My characters are very multi-dimensional and no one is all good or all evil.
Just like real life... I love the baddies. *Sigh* If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I was very fortunate to actually have a fantastic real-life mentor, the late poet Daisy Aldan. Ms. Aldan was my Creative Writing teacher during High School (I attended the HS of Art and Design in NYC). She was very inspiring, encouraging and pushed us to express ourselves.
I have to agree! What book are you reading now?
I’m actually reading two – one as an editor, this book is by L.E. Harvey, her previous novels are Loving Her and Unbreakable Hostage. The second book I am reading is pure relaxation, it’s To Be Continued by Charmaine Gordon. Both writers have a terrific way of pulling the reader into the story.
Interesting. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Aside from L.E. Harvey and Charmaine Gordon, I like reading books by Smoky Trudeau, Sandy Nicks, and Malcolm Campbell – all Vanilla Heart Publishing authors.
LOL, you’re very loyal. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never allow yourself to get so discouraged that you stop writing. Just like you aren’t going to want to read every book in your local bookstore, not everyone is going to want to read your book – but some people will absolutely love it! So keep writing.
Very good advice. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like to read. And I like to LIVE and collect experiences.
I love to read too. All. The. Time. What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?
Well I must say cats, one of mine is staring at me right now and I wouldn’t dare say anything else! I presently have three pussycats. We’ve had cats all of our married life (34+ years) and they have all been such distinct personalities. Cats are fairly self sufficient so they really aren’t too demanding of time and yet every cat that I have had has loved to cuddle and stay near. It really is the best of both worlds.
Ah a woman after my own feline heart. And those kitties do have to be just the way they are in order to keep their humans in line. Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?
I definitely dislike what I look like in still pictures. While I certainly don’t think I am a raving beauty, I really do like what I look like – but… a still picture manages to catch the faults and imperfections that the “animated me” carries off so well.
Okay, note to self, use only moving pictures. Got it. :-D Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?
When I sign my married name (not Cordero) I manage to write the first half carefully and then the balance seems to dwindle into a line that flies off the page.
LOL, you’re not the only one who does that, that’s for sure. When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
Hee hee. Is anyone really happy with what they look like first thing in the AM? What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from ?
(phonetically spelled) Ma-nischt-ta-na, ha-le-lo haz-ar mik-al haley-lot”, it means “What makes this night different from all other nights?” This line is from a Passover Seder and I use it often instead of saying “So what else is new?” whenever someone keeps doing the same thing over and over again.
LOL, hey at least you know where it came from. What is your heritage?
My dad was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico and my mom in Charleston, South Carolina. Growing up I felt like I was living with Ricky Ricardo and Scarlett O’Hara!
I’ll bet that was a sight to see. Do you like thunderstorms?
I adore thunderstorms. When I was a little girl my parents told me that a thunderstorm was the angels bowling, the thunder was the noise of the ball hitting the pins and the lightning was a strike. It was always such a fun thought that the joy has always stayed with me.
I like thunderstorms too… something about that beauty. :::shrugs:::
So that brings us to the end of Chelle’s interview. We’re so glad y’all could stop by and hang out with us and make our author feel welcome. Chelle, make yourself comfy and bug our CBs for as long as you like. ;-)
I love to create stories, I love the feeling of putting those words on paper, and I love knowing people are reading my words. I am lucky enough to be a full-time freelance writer – both as a novelist and as a journalist. My articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout North America. I have eight novels on the market with Vanilla Heart Publishing and short stories in three anthologies.
Aside from my passion for writing, I love to spend time with my family (husband and two adult children plus significant others) and friends. I volunteer as an Emergency Medical Technician with my local ambulance corps. In my spare time I love to read.
You can reach Chelle on the web at: http://chellecordero.blogspot.com/ and at http://chellecordero.com/
A Chaunce of Riches by Chelle Cordero
The day that Ben Johnson was hired as a bodyguard for some rich widow and her kid, he never expected to be working for the woman who had abandoned him just when he had needed her the most so many years before. Damn it all, he still wanted her. Samantha Chaunce never thought she would see him again. She never thought she would have to explain why she married the rich man over the man she had sworn she once loved. And she certainly never expected to find out that her rich husband had been murdered and fingers were pointing to her former lover.