Perhaps reading recent posts from fellow Vanilla Heart Authors Malcolm Campbell and Joice Overton about the research they put into their stories for authenticity influenced my subconscious… boy did I ever wake from a confusing dream this morning!
How many times have you succumbed to a movie or book plot just to be jolted awake by a glaring addition of something so very out of place like a wrong year car driving over a bridge that collapsed years before the manufactured year? Or maybe it’s a pineapple tree growing (naturally) on the streets of New York City? The last time I was bumped out of the fantasy, it had to do with a police uniform and the color of a shirt. Not everyone will realize or catch mistakes, but why ruin it for anyone? Just because it’s fiction doesn’t mean it shouldn’t seem real.
Some research may come along easily especially if we write about areas, customs and time periods we are most familiar with. If I wrote about my community, my experiences, my lifestyle and my life in every book, I doubt readers would be fascinated (at least not beyond one story). I have to learn as much as possible about other occupations, religions, areas, cultures and more in order to make my stories real and believable.
We have muses, we have voices in our heads, and we live in fantasy worlds – but we do try to stay grounded in reality.
Please visit my website for more info about my books http://ChelleCordero.com/
Please give a warm welcome to author, Chelle Cordero! Chelle will be talking about her latest release Common Bond, Tangled Hearts.
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Writers write about the “what if’s” and “if only’s” – we write of lives that could have been different if only a different set of events occurred. “Happily Ever After” means that thingsalways work out anyway.
In real life things don’t always seem to work out the way we want, but maybe they do work out for the best. For all of the wants and desires, everything that happens to us makes us who we are and leads us to do what we do. So maybe things never were supposed to be different after all.
There have been things in my life that I thought I had planned out, career choices, even romances – and things happened out of my control to change my path. I studied theatre and drama determined to be an actress and decided I didn’t have the necessary commitment . Then I tested for the NYPD and did very well, but that was the 70’s when there were huge budget cuts and layoffs. Other job experiences, some very interesting and lots of fun, and finally the desire to work from home led me back to my passion for creative writing. Not what I had planned, but oh so very happy doing it.
And while my dear hubby isn’t the first to have proposed to me – or even the first I considered – he was the only one I accepted. So at one time my dreams were different until things I saw weren’t as desired as I thought they were. I had even known hubby for a while before we became involved and hadn’t once thought of making a life with him. But “events” threw us together and boy did I ever make the right choice. Perhaps the others I considered helped me to see who I really wanted to be with.
I love the lyrics to the Sinatra song “My Way” – It’s a tune I hum frequently as part of my personal philosophy:
I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no, not me
I did it my way
Common Bond, Tangled Hearts
Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son. When Layne’s abusive “ex-husband” shows up, they are torn apart by danger, kidnapping and lies.
“Hey Layne,” He caught her hand. “Talk to me. Tell me about you.” He felt a need to be close to her. Justin didn’t feel at all surprised that he wanted things to work out between them.
She smiled at him. “Like what?”
She had such a sweet smile, he thought. “I don’t know. What are your dreams?”
Layne lost her smile. Then she shrugged. “People like me don’t have dreams, Justin.”
“Come on, everybody has dreams.” Whether they get to follow them or not is a different story.
“Maybe, when I was a little girl.” She laughed. “I wanted to invent a robot to collect the eggs on the farm so I could stay in bed later.” Her voice faded. “After my grandma died, I just dreamt that I would wake up on the farm again.”
He paused for a moment. Justin knew so very well how difficult things had been for her. She had told him about being bounced around between foster homes. She had also told him how she met Charlie.
“And now, Layne, do you have dreams now?” He sounded so serious.
He saw her eyes well up with tears. “Actually yes, I do have a dream. I dream that I will always be able to protect my son. I dream that I’ll always be here for him and that he’ll never be so desperate for a hero that… he’ll do something totally stupid.” Just like his mother, she thought. “I dream that I can do something to shield him from people who will just use him.”
Justin put his arm around her shoulder and leaned down close to her ear. “Layne, I’ll do whatever I can to help you.”
She nodded. “Thank-you.”
“How about for you, Layne? Don’t you want something for yourself?” He continued to gently probe. He smiled. “Don’t you have any frivolous dreams?”
She shrugged. “There isn’t much I need. I have my son, that’s all I want.”
He wanted to ask if she wanted a family, a husband… a real one, a home. He wanted to know if she could want him. “But how about just for you, just for Layne?”
Thinking about it, Layne finally grinned. “I guess it’s dumb, I don’t know. I never got my high school diploma. I guess I don’t really need it, I mean I’ve managed okay without it. But sometimes it’s, well, when folks talk about their degrees and all, it’s embarrassing.” She looked innocently at him. “I… haven’t really admitted that to anyone before.”
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Chelle Cordero is a multi-published author with Vanilla Heart Publishing and a full-time freelance writer with local and national newspapers and magazines. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, family and three spoiled pussycats. In addition to her books and articles, Chelle pens a weekly writing course available by subscription at Amazon Kindle Blogs http://bit.ly/Wmg8W and volunteers with her local ambulance corps as an EMT.
Chelle’s website: http://ChelleCordero.com
Chelle’s blog: http://ChelleCordero.blogspot.com
Smashwords BuyLink: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/chellecordero
Check out the VHP Authors’ Blog
Organization, or rather the extreme lack of it, is the bane of my existence. As a self-employed – and too broke to hire assistants – writer, I have to keep track of my different projects, deadlines, invoices, bills and other “I gotta do it(s)”. Organization has NEVER been my forte… (Read More)
Our Online Writers Conference is aimed to offer you, the writer, whatever resource we can to give you the opportunity to enhance and improve your craft, to offer the opportunity to make contacts to reach that next level all writers seek – publication!
Our vision for organizing this online and very FREE writers conference as an annual event is to bring the writing world a bit closer for you. I understand many writers out there do not have the monetary resources to attend face-to-face conferences, or perhaps they are situated far, and even some writers may be incapacitated making it difficult for them to travel.
Within the world of the Internet, everything is possible and with this in mind we offer you this chance to come out, chat with our Presenters, ask them questions and even attend a few of our FREE workshops to be held throughout the week.
…and I am very excited to announce
that I will be teaching a week long workshop
Giving Birth to Your Characters
don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity
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 email@example.com.