Previously Published…

One of the reasons I love to re-read, and in some cases re-post, old interviews is to see how far I’ve come as a writer. Ideally we should all be learning and growing in our fields and I believe I have ~ and hopefully improved.

The following interview was posted nearly 2 years ago on Romancing the Book

AUGUST 01, 2009

Interview with Chelle Cordero

Jen: Readers, please help me welcome Chelle Cordero to Book Talk. Chelle, will you please share a short bio with us?
Chelle: I am a full-time freelance writer with both non-fiction articles (newspapers and magazines) and romantic suspense novels to my name. The younger of two daughters, I was raised in the Bronx (NYC) and studied theatre and drama in high school and college. My parents were very progressive and supportive; they encouraged both my creativity and my individualism.

Today I live in the lower Hudson Valley suburbs, married for 33+ years, and am mom to 2 grown offspring’ daughter is married and son has a special gf. I volunteer for my local ambulance corps as an EMT and do my darnedest to try to keep busy and out of trouble.

Jen: Tell us about Hostage Heart and where it’s available.
Chelle: Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents’ home and livelihood…Deanna did the only thing she could do. She moved to New York City, found a job, worked hard, scrimped and saved to send what little she could manage back home to Louisiana to her parents. An errand for her boss – a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers – a kind man who tried to help her and deserved her courageous help in return… But he wasn’t the man she thought he was…no, he was so very much more! It’s available through Amazon in both print and Kindle and at Smashwords in various formats.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Chelle: I “discovered” writing in high school and enjoyed making words work. I wrote on my high school yearbook staff and in college I wrote for my school newspaper. I was about 19 when I wroite a hard news story about a 16 year old boy who had been killed when he came to the aid of a woman who was being mugged – this story was run by both my college newspaper and in a local weekly paper in the Bronx where I lived. It was a rush to see my first professional byline.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Chelle: Actually I create my characters, give them a situation and let them write their own story. Occasionally I will throw them a few extra curves.

Jen: How do you pick the character’s names?
Chelle: Mostly I pick character’s names that I like the sound of; sometimes I will modify a name slightly if I think it suits my character better.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Chelle: The most challenging part of fiction writing is typing “The End”. I wind up getting so involved in my characters’ lives and suddenly I have to put them back into a manuscript and get all business like and start promoting my story to a publi8sher and eventually to the public. Like a mom often finds it hard to cut the apron strings, I find it difficult to let go of my characters.

The easiest part of writing is allowing my characters to become real and working with them to create a story.

Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Chelle: When someone reads one of my books and then after either writes to me or leaves a review somewhere and expresses how much they enjoyed the book – then they follow it up with comments about my characters and emotions and it just seems the really “got it”.

Jen: Do you do anything special to celebrate a sale, new contract, or release?
Chelle: Depending on how quickly money comes in afterwards, I try to pay a bill or two,,,

Jen: What five authors or people, from the past or present, have been important to you as an author? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?
Chelle: I think I would just tell each person what they have meant to me in my writing career 1) Daisy Alden- Ms. Alden was my creative writing teacher in high school and encouraged me to use words to communicate and get inside people; she was also a published author and poet and she inspired me since she was the first “real person” I knew to have books in print. 2) Hank Spallone- former NYPD Detective and eventually Yonkers Mayor. Hank was the liaison between the community and the local police and I was an Auxiliary Police Officer that had the wonderful opportunity to shadow him and learn the true importance of communication. Hank was certainly my mentor. 3) My sister Bobi Du-Bois, she has always told me “you can do it” and has managed to be there just whenever I need an ego boost. 4) Barbara Moroch – she [was] an editor with my local newspaper and I have had a wonderful and long term working relationship and friendship with her for almost 2 decades. 5) Kimberlee Williams – she is the managing editor at Vanilla Heart Publishing and believed in me with my first manuscript, Bartlett’s Rule and each manuscript since. Her enthusiasm is definitely the “vitamin” every writer needs.

Jen: If Hostage Heart was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
Chelle: LOL, whenever I write my stories I cast my characters in my head. The role of Ryan would be played by Eric Martsolf (Brady Black from Days of Our Lives) and the role of Deanna would be played by Christel Khalil (Lily from The Young and The Restless)

Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished that goal, is there anything else you dream of doing?
Chelle: I dream of writing the next book. Eventually I would love to see one (or more) of my books made into movies,

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Chelle: I don’t know if I really have what you call free time. It certainly isn’t that I work all of the time – I enjoy writing so much that it is hard to realize (most times) when writing for work and writing for pleasure begins and ends. As I said earlier in my bio, I also volunteer to ride as an Emergency Medical Technician with my local ambulance corps where I also sit on the Board of Directors. Then, and this is certainly NOT in order of importance, I try to spend time with my family (hubby, son & his gf who live at home, my daughter and her hubby who love nearby, and 3 rambunctious cats).

Jen: What’s next for you?
Chelle: I just want to keep writing and maybe one day get on some best seller lists for my novels AND maybe a Pulitzer for my non-fiction articles? Who knows, I believe that anything can happen.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Chelle: My website is and I have blog all about my writing at

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Chelle: Aside from asking everyone to read my books, I would love to ask 2 favors – 1) If your local bookstore doesn’t already carry my books on their shelves, please ask them to and 2) I love to hear from my readers so please let me hear from you. Tell me what you thought of my writing; let me know what you would like me to write about. Mainly, I just want to hear from you, my email address is

Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through,
destroying her parents’ home and livelihood…
An errand for her boss – a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers –
a kind man who tried to help her … a man who isn’t all he seems…
no, he is so much more

An Interview With Deanna

Welcome to today’s CC-Talk show…

We’re talking with Deanna Blair Hunter from the pages of Hostage Heart about being married to an F.B.I. Special Agent…

Hi Deanna, thanks for coming in today. One of our listeners sent in an interesting question: What is it like to be married to an F.B.I. Agent?

They don’t use the title Agent, they are all Special Agents. Actually it’s not really any different from being married to a police officer. I met my husband Ryan in kind of unusual circumstances – he was working undercover – so I didn’t really know who he was when I fell in love with him. That was difficult because I thought he was killed and I really never dreamt that we’d be together again.

Oh wow. That must have been hard. Does he go undercover a lot?

Fortunately he doesn’t get many undercover assignments anymore. There are a lot of times he can’t speak to me about his work especially if he’s involved in an investigation. I had to learn not to keep asking him too much about his work.

Does he spend a lot of time away from home for work?

Most nights he comes home to our little ones and me. He is based out of a local office and he does most of his work locally. You get assigned to an office but once you are there, you usually remain in the same place for a long time. Once in a while he has to go away for a few days for a special investigation or a training exercise.

Is there a lot of danger? Are you worried that he night get hurt?

Sometimes he has to deal with some bad people and there is always a danger. But there is a lot of his work, like many law enforcement people, that happens at his desk, he hates paperwork. The day that we got married Ryan was in a wheelchair because he had gotten hurt. I’ve learned to count my blessings each day he comes home to me in one healthy piece.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to marry an F.B.I. Special Agent?

Understand that your husband, or wife, may get moody sometimes because they are working on a case and they really can’t talk it out in front of you. They are under a lot of stress so it is good if you try to keep calm and happy. It’s also real important that they stay fit and healthy, that you can support them a bit and help them live a good lifestyle.

My daddy gave me advice early in my marriage – he said to see if I could speak to wives of other F.B.I. Special Agents. There is a lot of support within the families, it’s a little bit like military families. That was the best advice I ever got.
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Deanna did her mourning in private. The police psychologist suggested that she speak to a counselor. No one understood. A few nights after she was home, Deanna had a dream about Ryan – she was in his arms. Her mamere was in the dream too and she was happy that Deanna was with Ryan. She knew that Ryan was meant to be her soul mate, she just couldn’t understand why it was over so soon. Her dream mamere told her that the best was yet to come, but when she woke, she was confused.

Although she had to make a statement for the District Attorney’s office about the bank robbery, they had kindly allowed her to give a taped deposition. She was extremely relieved not to have to face the surviving kidnappers again. The DA assured her that the bank robbers turned kidnappers would be put away for a long, long time. To her dismay, she learned that the robberies they staged were used to help finance suspected terrorist activities. She still couldn’t accept that Ryan had been involved in something like that.

Fortunately Rob let her come back to work. He told her he understood that the loss of the money wasn’t her fault. Then he told the police, the F.B.I. and his insurance agency that the loss was twice the actual amount. Deanna kept quiet and she felt guilty. But she was desperate to hold onto her job. She had told her parents about the bank robbery but not the kidnapping. Deanna knew they would have made her come home if they had known the whole truth.

Rob told her how worried he had been when he got the phone call from her kidnapper. He said he prayed for her safe return to him. He became possessive. Deanna found herself working with him more and more, he scheduled her work hours closer to his own. She briefly suspected that he might not trust her alone with the cash register. Then Rob made it clear that he wanted to be with her. Deanna suspected that his ultimate plans included a more personal relationship. There had been several unsolicited invitations for a quick bite to eat or more after work. It wasn’t long before he stopped being subtle.

The feeling wasn’t mutual, but Deanna decided she had to move on or she would never recover from her all too brief love affair with Ryan. Ryan was gone, she was still alive. Rob was there and he didn’t hide the fact that he wanted her. He had more than once offered to comfort her after her terrible ordeal. Despite her denials, he let her know that he suspected she had suffered after she was held hostage by four men for several days. Rob said he wanted to help her heal her wounds.

Before this, Deanna had never considered the idea of involvement with Rob. He was her boss, but he kept planting the seed in her mind. She accepted his dinner invitation for that Saturday night. She tried to concentrate on her work for the rest of the week, but she couldn’t ignore the nervous twinges in her gut. It was enough to get her sick and she left work early on Friday and stopped by the clinic on her way home.

Rob had given Deanna Saturday off and teased her that she would have all day to get ready for their date. Deanna got herself dressed and was standing in front of the bathroom mirror when she burst into tears. She had been in control ever since the doctor told her that she was expecting the day before but after having all day to dwell on it, Deanna was scared. She had no idea how she was going to be able to manage; certainly she would have to stop sending money home to her parents.

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Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents’ home and livelihood…Deanna did the only thing she could do. She moved to New York City, found a job, worked hard, scrimped and saved to send what little she could manage back home to Louisiana to her parents. An errand for her boss – a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers – a kind man who tried to help her and deserved her courageous help in return… But he wasn’t the man she thought he was…no, he was so very much more!

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…and the results are in

On Tuesday I posted my contest for the Creative Blogger Award that my friend Lindsay Townsend nominated me for.

Participants had to choose which statement/trait of one of my heroines that I did NOT share – only two people chose correctly and (drum roll please) the winner by random draw was Tina Poznansky. Tina won a copy of Forgotten.

The correct answer, by the way, was #4I grew up in da’ Bronx NYC, the only borough to start with a “D”. ;>

…and for those who guessed other choices:

  • #1: I worked in the publicity department of McCall’s Magazine through a temporary agency while I was in college.
  • #2: I went to the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan.
  • #3: I love collecting glass miniatures and even have a shadowbox shaped like a house filled with small glass cats (a cat house?)
  • #5: Duh, I live and breath about my volunteering as an Emergency Medical Technician with my hometown ambulance corps.
  • #6: I didn’t say I married him folks! But yes, one of my ex’s was in the F.B.I. (this was apparently a favorite choice…)
  • #7: The year was 1977, Mark and I were just leaving my parents’ when we came across the scene of a raging and size-able rubbish fire outside an apartment building – there was a car next to the burning rubbish and kids hanging out on a fire escape a few floors above…
Thanks so much for playing along.
I had a lot of fun and hope that you did, too.