The Write Way Café welcomes author Charmaine Gordon, who knows a thing or two about sleep reading and other useful tidbits.
When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book?
As an actor for many years, my comfort zone was performing so when my voice was attacked by spasmodic dysphonia, a rare disorder of the larynx, I knew I had to kiss the sweet time goodbye. A friend suggested I put my creative juices to writing and that’s how my new career began. And yes, recently then I was widowed and knew about survive and thrive so I wrote about a woman whose husband left her and she had to build a new life.
What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I didn’t know the first thing about writing, formatting and the word query was like foreign language to me. Determined, I bought a few books and taught myself. Actors have a tough hide. When we’re rejected we must believe it’s no biggie and move on so a few rejection letters didn’t bother me. And then, to my surprise, Vanilla Heart Publishing expressed interest in my first book, To Be Continued and offered a contract. Thrilled that somebody loved my baby, I signed with them and we’ve found a good home there.
Where did the idea for your story come from?
The idea came in my dreams. I call it sleep writing. I pictured this woman and what happened almost word for word in the beginning. In the morning, I began to write. Since then, To Be Continued has been optioned for a television movie.
Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
Moving along to Farewell, Hello, a recent release, suddenly I couldn’t forget the picture of me as a fifteen year old girl in Chicago going after the most popular boy in high school. This is true. I had the nerve to go after this adorable senior to ask him to a dance and how he said yes without knowing who I was. So I began to write. The story evolved. The first half is based on truth, meaning there’s fiction woven in to the story. The second half is fiction. The words flowed until the story ended. It’s very important to recognize The End and not proceed just because of word count.
What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I cried and laughed a lot while writing but then I always do. Writing is emotional and I don’t hold back. That’s why I love my quiet office although cats wander in and out demanding attention.
What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about dealing with crises, tornadoes, and the Korean War?
I learned, once again, not to be afraid or be lazy to Google for a bit of research. MS, hospitals, dogs, and planes all required hit save and google before I moved on. It’s an adventure all by itself. And then Telegrams with STOP between sentences. How well I recall them. A trip down memory lane.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished Housebroken. No, it’s not about a dog. . .yet. Empty nest syndrome hits a mid-years couple and they move to a wonderful town, River’s Edge. Housebroken is Book 1 in this new series.
Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
At this moment, I dearly love Joy Davison and Danny Wilson in Farewell, Hello. They will always bring back memories of when I was young in love and married my high school sweetheart who died suddenly at age 58.
One more thing: I learned a lot reading scripts, watching directors like Mike Nichols, Rob Marshall, and so many more and working with wonderful actors like Gene Wilder, Billy Crystal, Anthony Hopkins, and singing with Harrison Ford in Working Girl. I’m a watcher and I pay attention. When writing, that’s a good trait. Anthony Hopkins told me to learn my lines and don’t trip over anything on the set. Then we had lunch. How cool is this? Now I’m 83, writing daily and loving it.
Readers, leave a comment about what you love to do. I’d like to know. For a chance to win an e-copy of Housebroken, leave a comment about empty nest syndrome - share a quick story with us!
Thanks with best wishes,
Thanks with best wishes,
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