I have been receiving a lot of questions about my novel, Bartlett’s Rule. so I chose a few of these questions and I am posting them here – with my answers of course!
1.) Q: Tell us how your interest in writing developed. How and when did you decide to write your first book?
A: I have always enjoyed telling stories ever since I was a kid. I loved watching people and thinking “what if”. I would often embellish real life occurrences and put them to paper, I found real life to be exciting as it was. One day I decided to see how long I could make a story, how many words I could put together and still make it cohesive. That story, never published and now totally out of date, was called “More Than a Friend” and it was a 65-thousand word love story.
2.) Q: Who are the inspirations for your heroes and heroines in your novels?
A: Every hero that I write about is basically my concept of who and what a man should be in every unique situation – then I try to throw in a few traits from my hubby just because I think that’s appealing – I try to visualize the hero as I create him (usually some hot, sexy actor), and none of my heroes are perfect men, that just wouldn’t be real.
3.) Q: What “hot sexy actor” would play your hero in Bartlett’s Rule? How about your heroine?
A: Lon Bartlett would be played by David Conrad (the hunky paramedic husband in Ghost Whisperer). Paige Andrews would be either Liv Tyler or Neve Campbell.
4.) Q: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing Bartlett’s Rule to life? Did writing this book “change” you?
A: The trauma of rape changes a person, it is something that can certainly be “lived with” but it can never be undone. I needed to make Paige a real person, a real “Survivor” because she did survive this horrendous act. At the same time, what happened to Paige left extremely deep scars. Rape victims often suffer triggers and have major trust issues. The people that love them become secondary victims as they have to also cope with the after-effects of rape. A secondary has to at times be much more patient than usual, but they are also human beings and sometimes understanding strains them. As a writer, I did my best to “get into the minds” of both Paige and Lon, and even into the mind of the rapist – you can’t not be changed after that.
5.) Q: Tell us about your other writing? What subjects do you write about for newspapers and magazines? Do you find it easier to write short articles or novels?
A: I have rarely done hard-news reporting, the closest I have come to that is covering things like school board meetings and reporting on what went on. Most of my writing is very close to advertorial, business coverage with a positive slant. We (I sometimes get to team up with my photographer husband) will often cover grand opening or other special retail events, or I interview prominent people in a field or business. I have a monthly column in a NY trade paper for emergency service issues where I will research new protocols, legislation or opinions and advice about running an emergency agency. When it comes to fiction, I definitely prefer the novel length writing because it gives me time to get into the characters.
6.) Q: How did it feel the very first time you ever saw your name in print as a byline?
A: It was a little bit scary and a whole lot of proud. I was about 18 or 19 and I wrote two articles on the same event. A young man was killed defending a stranger during a mugging in a NYC subway. A community organization I volunteered with was sponsoring a posthumous awards ceremony and I was asked to put together an article for a local weekly on the event. I also wrote one for my college newspaper. Both pieces were published. While I was certainly proud to see my byline, I also panicked because of all those people who were relying on my words to tell them the facts.
7.) Q: What recommendations can you make for those who are trying to break into the field?
A: Never give up. Understand that not everybody is going to like your writing and you will almost always receive many, many rejections before you find someone who is willing to take a chance on you. Read a lot and make sure you read different kinds of writing, study the different styles, and write. Ignore destructive comments and really listen to constructive criticism. You have to develop a thick skin because you will encounter folks who think an insult is always acceptable. Never run away from your dream, keep writing.
8.) Q: What does it mean to be successful? According to your definition, how successful have you been so far? Where do you see yourself five years from now?
A: I think that having who you are and what you do be recognized and respected is a big part of being successful. Too many people try to put a price tag on success when in reality it has nothing to do with money. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a bestselling book (at least 10-thousand copies!) and a whole lot of royalties, but being known as a writer and knowing that people are willing to take time out of their lives to read my words is absolutely wonderful. Since I really love writing, I think I will continue to write something, anything, for the rest of my life.
9.) Q: What is going on with your writing these days? What is your target audience? What can readers expect when they read your work?
A: I have another romance novel coming out this July, Forgotten. So I am very excited about this second book, as a matter of fact, a preview of Forgotten is in the back of Bartlett’s Rule. Romance novels are typically “womens’ books”, but I like to think I put in enough story line to make it interesting for all readers. Readers can expect to meet characters that are fully dimensional, that have both bad and good qualities, and real life events that the characters have to deal with.
10) Q: Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog? Is there a place where readers can reach you?
A: Everyone can always check my author site right here, http://chellecordero.blogspot.com/ for the latest news about any of my fiction writing. My online portfolio with clickable links to some of my published (non-fiction) articles can be found at http://www.geocities.com/bylines333/res_chelle.html. I also blog frequently on MySpace, http://blog.myspace.com/Rikki613. My readers are welcome to contact me via email anytime, just write to firstname.lastname@example.org.