It’s our great pleasure to welcome to the POTL Blog, Charmaine Gordon. She’s a prolific author with more than 85 books to her credit. We asked her to sit down for a candid interview and to share her latest release, Chef’s Surprise. She agreed and without further ado, here she is. Give her a warm welcome. Take it away, Charmaine:
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
The day I spread my wings to drive into New York City in my quest to be a professional actor is a major highlight. The fact I succeeded against all odds is remarkable since I was already in my fifties, my credits filled with community theater plays. And so this mother of many, devoted wife and homemaker, became a butterfly. I was cast in daytime dramas for twelve years, all the while getting bit parts in movies and commercials and then this sweet time collapsed during the run in an Off-Broadway play. My good stage voice felt wrong. A voice doctor examined me. He said I have spasmodic dysphonia. My acting career ended right then. Creative juices flowed and I wrote my first book. A publisher agreed to work with me. Suddenly I became a writer.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
Although I write Romance/Suspense with humor and often therapy dogs fit into the story, I read murder and mayhem. My favorite is John Sandford with his humor mixed into crime and best of all is James Lee Burke with his turn of phrase, charm, and depth in every book.
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 stream by as if they’re on ticker tape. This may be due to my acting career. I don’t worry; it just happens.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
You ask about looking five years ahead. Good question. I just celebrated my 86th birthday. In five years, I expect to celebrate many more, ever the optimist.
Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?
I have a cozy room with a wrap-around desk. When my granddaughter was born, daughter, a teacher, expected me to care for her during those hours. I’m just a woman who never says no. My office became filled with baby equipment. I wrote while she napped; rocked her baby seat with my foot to calm her when I had to finish the hot scene in progress. What a special time. I laugh to recall the fun I had with that little girl grown to be nine years old. Now she’s the one to hold my hand and say be careful. We have four cats; one sleeps next to my hand while I type. The big guy sleeps at the door guarding so I step over him with care. The other two sleep until the dinner bell rings. A circus.
What is your best marketing tip?
Marketing is a mystery to me. A presence on Facebook takes valuable time away from writing and yet it’s part of the marketing process. Twitter is faster. All I can say is just do it. You write and promote.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
I’ve written a bunch of novels and short stories, many about Mature Romance because ‘it isn’t over ‘til it’s over’. That’s how I feel. Some of the short stories are wrapped in a Volume of three in one. Humor and love prevail in every story. Survive and Thrive runs through every story.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I’m writing a story, another one that came to me in the night. Blue eyes look into blue eyes and then. My youngest son lives in Denmark. He is my confidante and writer superb. He cautioned to find the major flaw. Wow! I lit up inside; my heroine lit up because I gave her the path to follow. Almost thirty thousand words, possibly the end is in sight.
Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?
You ask if I drink/smoke—what’s my vice? If still being very romantic is a vice, I’ll vote for that. I don’t smoke, half a glass of Chardonnay makes me climb on a chair and tap dance.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Cremation for me but the eulogy will include, What a woman, best Mom ever!
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
If I had a superpower, first I’d heal the damage done to me when I fell last April. Doctors said I’d never walk again yet I can. Yes, I can. Then I’d spread my power to heal ailments wherever I knew about folks who suffered. There are many charities I’d contact to discover who needs the most help.
Do you have any scars? What are they from?
Surgical scars are not worth mentioning and here I am almost writing it down. In New York-ese I say fugetabodit!
What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
As the first girl born into a large male family, all my parents expected this cute little girl was to be good, also find a nice husband and be a wonderful mother. As for me, I wanted to dance and sing. No way as far as the family rules stated. I waited my time, married my first love, my pilot and we lived a different life. Slowly I grew as a real woman, not the secluded Chicago girl. What a change until, as I mentioned before, I spread my wings.
Thank you for this truly interesting interview.
Title Chef’s Surprise
Author Charmaine Gordon
Publisher Vanilla Heart Publishing
One night, she ran. For the bus to freedom and a new life. She had a plan, and a small box of cash.
With grit and determination, the young girl learned more than lessons at nursing college, the first part of her plan.
Someday, she would become a top chef, but for now, she’d claw her way up the ladder.
There is payback for every crime, and sometimes the payback is more than satisfactory.
Six years after Reva Mercer graduated from a Nursing College in Southern Florida, her job as head chef in a fancy penthouse apartment came true. She laughed to herself with past thoughts racing through her mind. Clayton, the youngest son in the Randall household had fallen for her yet she only had eyes for the older son, a widower, president of the law firm and handsome as all get-out. Tonight the occasion was Clayton’s partnership party. The elder Grandmother found Reva with fine credentials and hired her on the spot. She’d never forget that afternoon.
The head chef at Raos needed a break, so he said. The boss called Reva over. She’d been baking all morning, fascinated with the fluted rim on the special pies. She hid her annoyance and blinked her flirty eyes to give him false hope.
“Take care of those two old ladies and do it now.” She put on her best smile and hurried to take their order. The minute her green eyes connected with the oldest woman, she cared for her, felt the kindness and quality in her.
After the party, when the penthouse quieted down, Reva had an intuition; something was wrong with dear Grans. She hurried down the quiet hall to find her room, heard moans and pushed the heavy door open. Grans lay on the floor whimpering. Reva lifted her on to the big bed. She knew right away. Grans had a Transcient Ischemic Attack. She yelled for the older son to hurry. “Get your doctor friend, call for an ambulance, we need 911 now. We must save Grans.”
My first job as an actor: I was booked as the legs of Geraldine Ferarro, the first woman to be nominated as vice president to run with Michael DuKacus Governor of Boston. Five o’clock in the a.m., Secret Service men everywhere and me. This job gave me entree to the three Unions. After that, day time dramas, and my first movie, Working Girl where I sang Happy Birthday to Melanie Griffith and shared a hot dog with Harrison Ford. So much fun until my voice failed and now I write every day and love it. Life is a jewel to cherish every day and enjoy. Don’t frown, people. Put a smile on your face and share it.
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