Tell us a little about Breaking New Ground.
When the CEO of a major Construction Company claims a part of Celia Brown's property, he has no idea what he's up against. The elderly widow and her six year old granddaughter prepare for battle. River's Edge, the town that believes in kindness to strangers, jumps into the fray. Add romance, kids, and pride to the mix; there are lessons to be learned in Breaking New Ground.
If Breaking New Ground was made into a movie, who would play your main characters, and why?
I haven't lost my acting chops so I cast myself as the sassy widow Celia Brown. TaDa! Ryan Gosling is a possibility for the arrogant CEO who has much to learn. If Amy Adams can be made up to look native American, I'd like to see her as Anna Youngblood, the young woman who teaches James Chandler how to be a real person and last, CassidyRae Malone, known to me as my granddaughter, who gave me the idea for Breaking New Ground, will definitely gain the role of the six year old who helps her granny save the old homestead while her Marine Mom is on deployment to the Middle East.
What's the best writing advice you've been given? What's your best writing advice for others?
Kimberlee Williams, my publisher of Vanilla Heart Publishing, is wonderful. From the beginning five years ago, she believed in me and therefore I believed in me. My suggestion to other authors is this. Never give up. Keep writing every day and don't let rejection get you down.
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
Funny you should ask. Just last week, a so-called young friend told me never to stand up at a book signing. Sit down always and stay seated. I was born in the early thirties when women/girls didn't speak their minds so even now at the ripe age of 84 I still can't think of a snappy comeback unless it's in a script. I thought about this for a few days and when our paths crossed at a meeting, I said, "I've been engaging with the public longer than you were born so don't tell me what to do." Actually I could have used a lot of 2 word combinations: not Happy Birthday but she got the picture.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I've heard gorgeous descriptions, delightful dialogue and words to live by like that. Then the critical nasty stuff, nit picky-not my word-you used the same word twice close together and you began at the wrong place or I love it BUT ... Big Butt.
We're adding books to our Cafe menu. Would your book be a drink, an appetizer, an entree or a dessert? What would you call it?
Breaking New Ground is a long/short rich with love, romance mature and young and belief in kindness to strangers. In my humble opinion I say this story is an entree. And how about my full length To Be Continued book-optioned for a television movie? There's a book worthy of an entree plus dessert. Sorry, I got carried away.
What is your favorite social media? Why?
I like blogging about my acting experiences and family exploits. FB is great for keeping in touch with friends all the country.
Tell us about the book in your closet.
I'm in the middle of another River's Edge story, no name as yet, and someone I met on FB has a fascinating story she's agreed to let me write. I plan to do her justice.
And now for the fun stuff!
Are you a glass half empty or glass half full personality?
Full to over flowing, that's me.
What is something you do that people would be surprised at?
I build flagstone patios from found stone in upstate NY. They are there in stacks under dirt or near the roads. Once built, it's time to transplant hostas and climbing flowers to trail along the fences. I was a professional dancer years ago and gave it up due to arthritis. Now I dance with my grandest granddaughter to wild and crazy DVD's on a flat screen with WI. She said the other day after a hot session, "Grans, you dance great for an old lady!"
Are you a dog/cat/other person?
Dogs I've loved are long gone and passed away. Now we have 3 hand-me-up cats from daughter-all sweet and loving except for Tony who can be a mean S.O.B. sometimes.
What is your favorite season and why?
Forget winter. I'm over that. Too fearful of falling and breaking old bones. My hubs used to take me for a walk. Now he takes me for a drag. Give me the three seasons to embrace. Although I do wake up each day and think, "This is a plus."
There are a lot of top ten lists. What list would you be number one on?
If Mature Romance/Suspense ever becomes a bona fide genre then I'll make the top of the list. Been there and still doing that. My motto is "it isn't over 'til it's over."
Thank you for inviting me to be your guest. I'd love to read some comments so bring them on. Are you embarrassed reading about older romance? Let me know.
I'm offering an e copy of Breaking New Ground to one incredibly fortunate commenter and for another a copy of To Be Continued. How would you survive and thrive if, heaven forbid, you were abandoned by your husband?
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About Charmaine: 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? Known in New York as the voice of Betty White, never met the lovely lady, whenever her voice was needed and they didn’t want to pay the big bucks, they called on me. My first job was as the leg model for Geraldine Ferarro, first female vice presidential candidate. Secret Service men guarding her and two daughters as they filmed a Diet Pepsi commercial and there was me with my nice legs. Show business. There’s no business like it.
Now I’m an oldie, a goodie writing daily and loving it.