It’s our great pleasure to introduce you to Charlene Raddon. Not only is she an award-winning author but she’s a talented cover artist as well. She has a true artist’s eye for book covers and designs her own covers. She loves writing western historical romances with dashes of the supernatural (swoon-worthy hero ghosts). She agreed to sit down for an interview. Her honesty is breathtaking as are all her stories. Take it away, Charlene:
Do you have any odd writing habits?
The only thing odd about my writing habits is that they are so erratic. I keep trying to be organized but it just doesn’t work for me.
What book do you wish you could have written?
The Way West, by A. B. Guthrie
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Names are very important. They often give the reader’s first impression of the character and should be carefully chosen to reflect the character’s personality. I also have a thing about names that are wrong for the era. I hate seeing authors name a 19th century girl Sidney or some other name that wouldn’t have existed at that time.
Have you always liked to write?
No, unlike most authors, writing never occurred to me although, looking back, I can see that I had a natural affinity for it even when I was young. I didn’t start writing until I was nearly forty. I woke up from a dream and knew the scene had to be in a book. So I wrote that book. Unfortunately, it isn’t published. Yet. Before that fateful morning, I was an artist.
What is your next project?
Right now I’m working on a novella and editing a mystery for a friend. I have so many writing projects to choose from, I’m not sure where I’ll go next. Probably work on The Secret of Nugget Gulch. I have one chapter written on that one. It’s about a heart surgeon who loses a patient, plus her grandfather to heart attacks and decides not to operate ever again. She inherits her grandfather’s ranch in Montana where there is a protected ghost town. There is a mysterious key that unlocks a certain door in this town and allows her to slip into the past. There, in 1884, she becomes the town doctor, but comes and goes from past to present.
Do you write naked?
What a horrifying thought. Are there authors who do that?
What is your biggest failure?
In 1999, when the historical market crashed, I became discouraged and gave up writing for some time. That was a very stupid, costly error.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
The ability to control people’s minds so I could stop them from being cruel idiots.
What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
I was a dreamer and liked to play house with my dolls and make up stories about their lives. I also created my own paper dolls and designed clothes for them. Even as a child, I was artistic, which is why, I guess, I design book covers for authors, as well as write books.
Title: A Ride Through Time
Author Charlene Raddon
Genre Western Historical Ghost Romance
Ghosts. Murder. Love. P.S.I. Agent Burke Jameson travels to Eagle Gulch, Colorado to investigate a report of ghost activity at a house where a murder took place in 1881. When his vehicle carrying his P.S.I. equipment dies, and a riderless mare appears, he mounts up, hoping the horse will lead him to her fallen rider. What he finds is a whole new life beyond his imagination.
Burke’s gaze cut to the house and that eerie deja vu sensation washed over him again. Cold wafted around him like icy arms. He shivered.
Likely scared off the mare with his unprecedented howl at the moon. Nothing more.
Didn’t matter anyway.
What counted was doing his job.
He drew in a deep breath and smelled smoke.
Gray plumes curled up from the chimney, ghostly pale against the darkening sky. Someone must be inside. Why hadn’t he noticed the scent right away? And the faint candlelight behind the lace curtains? Burke prided himself on his powers of observation. Hadn’t done too well this time.
Whoever was here had likely come to check the house’s condition and do repairs. They had set a fire for warmth while they worked. Nothing spooky or dangerous about that. They must have parked in the back. He shook off the niggle of dread on his spine, stepped onto the wooden pallet that served as a porch, and raised his fist to knock.
Plain, unadorned wood.
Where was the plaque proclaiming the place a historic site? And the vinyl-protected display stand that related the Halstead story?
Had the historical society given up maintaining the property? That could explain the house’s poor condition—the peeling paint, the sagging porch roof—but not the missing deadbolt lock that had been there seventeen years ago. Who would ignore badly needed repairs, yet replace a perfectly fine door with one that had never seen a deadbolt?
Whatever was going on here, he’d get to the bottom of it. In fact, he couldn’t wait.
If only Gabe would arrive with the P.S.I. equipment. Burke’s instincts screamed paranormal, louder than ever. His nose itched with urgency. He looked at Spook. The Vizsla sniffed among the leaves; just a normal dog.
Lifting the cuff of his jacket, he checked his watch. Not an ordinary watch, but a specially fashioned piece of modern equipment that not only gave the time, date and weather but acted as a recorder as well. It contained an EDI meter, an Infrared thermal scanner, an EMF detector, and GPS. Right now, the detector showed red, indicating a disruption in the electronic field. That likely meant a ghost disrupting the frequency. The scanner also showed the temperature continued to drop.
So why had Spook’s highly trained instincts gone offline?
Burke pressed the communication button and texted Gabe. While he waited for a reply, he walked the grounds searching for an injured man thrown from a horse. He found nothing and received no reply. Damn.
On his way back to the house he tried his phone again. Nothing. He would have blamed it on the multitude of trees that had surrounded the place, but they were gone.
He peered through an old, distorted glass pane, past the lace curtains. The furniture appeared much the same—what hadn’t been stolen before the historical society took possession. No sign of occupants but they could be in the kitchen or upstairs. Each floor had two rooms, the living area in the front, kitchen in back, and two bedrooms upstairs.
Flummoxed. Burke felt plain flummoxed.
Hell, where had he come up with that antiquated word? The house and its atmosphere were getting to him.
He glanced at the window again. A face—stark, shadowed, creepy as hell—looked back.
Charlene Raddon’s first serious attempt at writing fiction came in 1980 when a vivid dream drove her to drag out a typewriter and begin writing. She’s been writing ever since. Because of a love for romance novels and the Wild West, her primary genre is historical romance. At present, she has five books originally published in paperback by Kensington Books. More recently these were published as e-Books by Tirgearr Publishing. In May, 2016 Charlene self-published her ebooks with new covers. Charlene also designs book covers and other graphic materials for authors at her site, http://silversagebookcovers.com.
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