Can you tell us a little bit about where you are from?
I was born in the big bad city of Chicago where you could hear the rat-a-tat of machine guns in the night. Later, when Father came up in the world, we moved to a nice home in the outskirts called Albany Park. Al Capone and his gangsters were gone.
What does your writing desk look like? What would we find on it right this minute?
I raised my grandbaby in this room. Crib and all with toys galore. As she grew up, Daughter, a teacher, gave me hand –me-up cats so now I’m looking a two cats, one twenty years old who sits behind me, the other an adorable kitten and then there’s Tony, the cop at the door ever vigilant.
Do you have any news you’d like to share with us?
I’m definitely not pregnant. Don’t laugh. After six kids, enough already, I say. Of course, at my age, 84, yes, I said it, my youngest grandchild is plenty.
My news is, I sleep write. A story comes in the night and in the morning I begin. In January, The fourth book in the series Reconstructing Charlie will be released. Titled Together Again, it completes the Costigan family and the wonderful aunt and uncle Stuart and Eleanor Alfred who embraced them and gave them a home in Chicago. Also a Valentine’s story is in the works.
When and why did you begin writing?
I was an actor for many years in NYC; daytime drama, stage, movies and commercials. One evening toward the end of a run in a terrific play, I noticed my voice was way off. Scary for an actor, I went to a voice specialist who gave me bad news. I have spasmodic dysphonia and need botox injections every 3 months in the larynx. Bye, bye acting. Creative juices flowed but what to do? A friend said write a book. Great, but I didn’t know how. A story came to me and somehow I wrote it and actually found a publisher who offered a contract. I’ve been with Vanilla Heart ever since.
At what point did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I signed the contract!
Do you have a specific writing style? In other words, are you a plotter or a pantser?
This pantser doesn’t know enough about plotting so I just barrel along and hope I get it right. The titles jump out as do the names of the characters.
Is there a message in your book(s) that you want readers to grasp?
Survive and Thrive is my motto in life. Take one step and then another.
How much of your book(s) have a bit of you in the characters?
All of them-just a bit.
What book would we find you reading right now?
Stephen King Mr. Mercedes YIKES!
What are you currently working on? Can you give us a sneak peek?
Untitled Valentine’s Day story. Bear with me. The main character is a not so mature woman, kind of goofy who opens a card shop on funny 4th Street in NY.
“Happy Birthday to me,” Joanne sang to herself while arranging the last shelf of greeting cards in her new shop in a funny little corner on Fourth Street in New York. Let the customers race in to watch me design some unique cards. Oh Yeah. Valentine’s Day approached in a week and she hadn’t started but ideas flowed in her creative mind.
She rolled up her pristine white sleeves, tied the big painter’s apron around in the back and began. On a cream colored blank card, she wrote in a fine script using red ink, ‘I see London, I see France, I’d like to see your underpants.’ Joanne shook her red hair and wondered, “Does this work?” With care, she added ‘Happy Valentine’s Day to my loved one.’
“Perfect.” She designed eleven more; let them dry and set them in a rack aside from the regular cards she ordered from a supplier. The sign above the cards said Original cards by Joanne Daniels.
“Now for the next one. ‘Come with me, Climb a tree, I’ll help you up holding your B cups.’ Happy Valentine’s Day to one who is stacked.’ She laughed, clapped her hands and thought, I’m a nut. These poems are stupid and I’ll be out of business in a month. Forty eight years old and still scrabbling along. Harvard Business School be damned.
Any comments? And then a guy comes in and laughs.
Here’s a blurb from When Double Becomes Single. This is a Survive and Thrive Story. I’ve been there. Blurb:
Before that awful night, Sharon Michaels had never even driven by herself at night. . .eaten at a table for one. . .or made plans on her own. Alone after losing her husband-her rock- she’s left with a business to run, a great son and his wonderful wife and children-far way in Denmark, a bad son and his nasty wife and two teenage grandchildren she barely knows. Step by step, she finds her way into the world of singles and learns to Survive and Thrive!
Purchase from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Double-Becomes-Charmaine-Gordons-Survive/dp/0692507213
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
John Sandford. I love his books, his clever way of phrasing and description.
Do you have any advice to offer other writers?
Write, write and write some more.
Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
Don’t give up. Love the life you live.
Who I am - A fun loving mature woman
What genres I write in - Romance/Suspense
Favorite genres to read - Murder and Mayhem
Favorite TV shows - Ray Donavon series
Chocolate or Caramel - DARK CHOCOLATE Yum.
Rock N Roll or Country - Country Music
Lumberjack or Police Officer - Love the Police Officers!
Tropical Island or Winter Cabin - Tropical Island-Oh yeah!
I kissed my acting career goodbye, leaving on a high note with the lead in an Off Broadway play, “The Fourth Commandment” by playwright Rich Knipe. “It was great fun and time to move on since my voice was gone, kaput, bye, bye,” Before that, I had a full schedule working on movies like “Working Girl”, “Road to Wellsville” and having the pleasure of Anthony Hopkins’ company at lunch. I worked with Mike Nichols in “Regarding Henry” and sang outside with Harrison Ford during “Working Girl”, cried with Gene Wilder over loss on another set, and sang ‘It Had to be You’ with the whole cast of “When Harry Met Sally”. There were lots of fond memories; “Especially my first job as a stand-in leg model for Geraldine Ferraro in a Diet Pepsi commercial with Secret Service men guarding Ms. Ferraro and her daughters. Eleven years on One Life to Live, a few years on All My Children, Another World kept my calendar full.”
Charmaine’s Social Media links