Charmaine Gordon's Haven

My guest today is Vanilla Heart Publishing author, Charmaine Gordon. Her years of experience as an actor helped prepare her a writing career.

"Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time...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."

Charmaine, it's a real treat to have you here today. It's not everyday I get to chat with someone who has rub elbows with Anthony Hopkins, Harrison Ford, and Gene Wilder to name a few. Welcome!

Anne - When did you first realize you were destined to be a mystery/suspense writer?

Charmaine - A funny thing happened while writing this sequel to RECONSTRUCTING CHARLIE. I’m thinking romance and suddenly there’s a bad guy who held a family hostage and escaped when the police came and what in the world is going on here? I kept writing to find the family has come to HAVEN for safety and recovery after such an ordeal. The small children reveal what they recall about the bad guy and soon Jimmy Costigan, who stopped by to make a delivery, is up to his eyeballs involved in protecting the kids and their mother all the while--yes, there is romance-falling in love with Shelley Jackson, the psychiatric social worker in charge of HAVEN. In answer to your question, mystery/suspense discovered me.

Anne - Tell us about HAVEN.

Charmaine - Jimmy Costigan gets more than he expected when his sister Charlie asks him to make a delivery to her new project, Haven. Her best friend Shelley Jackson is now a psychiatric social worker about to handle the first case to arrive at this respite. A mother and three children held hostage by a strange assailant have just come in and Shelley is alone, in need of another pair of hands.

One look at the amazing woman he's admired from a distance and Jimmy is a goner. He has no hope of a relationship with the brilliant Shelley but stays to help out. Just for a night. Until the children reveal that the bad man disappeared and is on the loose. The family is in danger. The police are called but Jimmy, a sucker for anyone in peril, is compelled to stay and protect those he cares for.

Anne - Is it part of a series? If so, include other titles.

Charmaine – This all began quite innocently toward the end of RECONSTRUCTING CHARLIE.

Anne – Tell us about that book.

Charmaine - Charlie Costigan is Jimmy’s older sister. After running from her home at age fifteen, she finds a new life with wonderful relatives in Chicago and begins again. Years later, Jimmy joins her in her dream of a haven for people in need of refuge. She finds a house on acres of land in a town North of Chicago. When I typed 'the end' I and cried, I knew there was more to be told. Thus. HAVEN came to be. Now I’m working on the third connected story to be out in the winter. Like the pyramid, the stories grew one on top of the other.

Anne - Of all the characters you’ve created, does one hold a special place in your heart? Why?

Charmaine - In my book Now What? the protagonist Carly Evans is closest to my heart. Why, you ask? Because she is most like me. I admit when suddenly widowed after a long and happy marriage where our theme song was “Marriage is one long conversation,” I didn’t know how to put one foot in front of the other. I cried and laughed a lot while writing Now What?

Anne - What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself from writing?

Charmaine - I’ve learned if you hide behind a curtain of memory, you’re cheating yourself and the reader. Better to lift the curtain, open your heart and maybe a vein or two (not really) to let the emotions spill.

Anne - Tell us about the defining moment when you felt as if you’d finally made it as an author.

Charmaine - I made it as an author when. . .drum roll, please. . .a contract was offered to publish my baby! No longer a writer, now an author. Tada! And since you’re only as good as your last book, (my advise is to) write another and another. I thank Vanilla Heart Publishing and Kimberlee Williams, and to you, Anne for inviting me to visit with you today.

Anne – My pleasure, Charmaine, but one last question before you leave. Where can readers reach you online?

Charmaine – At my website, blog, or Facebook - 

Anne – Thanks so much, Charmaine. I'm so glad you could take time away from your busy schedule to visit my little corner of cyberspace. Happy writing!

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Sun Singer said...

"I’m thinking romance and suddenly there’s a bad guy who held a family hostage..."

I gotta love a comment like that, where the writer's thinking one thing and the muse and/or the universe and/or the characters are thinking, baby cakes, you don't know the whole story yet.


Anne K. Albert said...

That's always been the fun in writing for me, too, Malcolm. I love it when the muse kills off who I thought would be the villain at the end of the first chapter! Then she makes me sweat until she gives me a clue who it really is.

Sun Singer said...

And, as Charmaine said, it all begins innocently enough.


Smoky said...

This is why I cannot write mystery. I fear sweat. 8-)

Thanks for sharing your chat with us!

Charmaine Gordon said...

Smoky-I didn't mean to write a mystery but oh those bad guys. Thanks a bunch for tuning in, Sun Singer. You have a special way with words.
Anne, you bring us all together with your interviews. Thanks again.

JL Walters said...

Charmaine, I lived through Charlie and Haven. Now we're messing with your ideas as you start the next story. We'll get it on track yet.

Shoshanna Evers said...

Great interview! It's always fun to get a little behind-the-scenes of how a book came to be :)

SR Claridge said...

Awesome interview!

It's so much fun to learn the secret soft spots in the soul that lie hidden behind the words.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Resconstructing Charlie and am in the middle of Now What... loving that book as well! :)

Charmaine Gordon said...

Janet, you can 'mess' with my stories any time.

Charmaine Gordon said...

Susan, thanks for the boost. We belong to a mutual admiration society.

Charmaine Gordon said...

And to you, Shoshanna, thanks for stopping by. Always a pleasure reading your snippets.