Monday, February 22, 2010

Author Spotlight: Chelle Cordero

Hello everyone! Today, I am excited and honored to welcome multi-published author, and all around good gal, Chelle Cordero! :)



Welcome, Chelle! I've seen other blog hosts offer you virtual coffee, cookies, etc. Here are some virtual store bought cookies. Even in the virtual world, I'm still inept in the kitchen! :)



Yummy cookies – just let me finish chewing…






First off, I seriously want to thank you for being here. You're an increedible author. I'm not just saying that. I'll admit that I am a picky reader. With what little time I have to read, I really need a book to sweep me off my feet from the get-go, and that is one of the things I love about your books. Your reader is instantly swept into the story. Can you tell us a little about how you're able to immerse your readers right off the bat?





The last time you visited an amusement park, while you may have had some excited anticipation while you were waiting on line to get in, it was when you actually were inside and on the rides, that you really started to enjoy. Basically that is what I try to do with my stories – you’re not waiting to get inside – you are already there and on the roller coaster or in the fun house. I try to drop my readers into the middle of the action.





When I read Forgotten and Within the Law, one of the things that I thought was so interesting was the tie between them. I hope I'm not giving away too much! :) Did you have that planned or did those two just happen to end up sharing that connection?




LOL, I really hadn’t planned that at all – honest. Forgotten’s story brewed in my head and that was my focus. But while I was writing Forgotten I created Tom, the heroine’s older cousin, and I totally fell in love with the guy. I use a form of “method acting” when I create my characters and since Tom was important in Forgotten both to his cousin and eventually as a friend to the hero, I developed a full character “dossier” on him.

When I finished Forgotten it seemed that Tom just stayed with me. He had had a tragedy in his life and while he didn’t immerse himself in pity, he was a real cool guy, I wanted to see him have some happiness in the love department. His tragedy, the loss of a childhood sweetheart, made him who he was and he was very supportive to Caitlyn and Brandon in Forgotten. I just had to write Tom’s story.





Ok, I have to admit Final Sin was quite the branch out for you, so to speak. It REALLY creeped out my partner! LOL. She shuddered through the whole book! LOL. Tell me, where did you get the idea for that story, especially since it's so different for you?






Final Sin creeped me out too especially while I was researching some gruesome aspects. The opening scene in the book was inspired by a true-life crime story that happened near where I live. While the crime was not the same, the basic setting of a cabin in the woods was. As I said, I live near this site and I’ve often driven along the road – it filled me with such an unbelievable case of the shakes whenever I would see the mailbox number and the driveway leading to the scene.

Would you believe though that by taking that setting and “making it my own” by using it in my story actually put me in control? That setting was really the springboard into the story. As far as my two main characters, I just can’t avoid matchmaking and a good hot love story… and what better way to keep folks on the edge of their seats than to put the lovers into peril?

Between research and what I know about Emergency Medical Services and police procedures the rest of the story just kinda’ grew.







Who would you consider to be your most influential writers and why?


As far as influence in my career, that has to be the late poet Daisy Aldan. Ms Aldan was my high school creative writing teacher – I was so very fortunate to have known her. She was phenomenally encouraging and helped us find and nurture our voices. One of the things she detested was conformity and she instilled in her students a need to be and sound like individuals. Unfortunately Daisy Aldan passed away in 2001, but I would have loved the opportunity for her to read my novels.

In modern days I enjoy reading popular novelists – some of my faves include Dean Koontz, Jonathan Kellerman, Faye Kellerman, Danielle Steele and Patricia Cornwell. Lately I adore reading books by people I know, especially those by other VHP authors – I love to see everyone’s styles and reading the stories and seeing the methods they use actually tells me a lot about the people who wrote them.



Getting back to your stories, one of the phenomenal things that you do is that you not only draw from your own experience (i.e., you paramedic work), but you also research other careers for your characters (such as computers & technology). Do you enjoy learning about new jobs/careers? Where do you go to find your information? As a reader, I love the fact that your characters come from all walks of life. As a writer, is that something you enjoy? I'd love to hear your take on it! :)






I take a lot of pride in the fact that I am a full-time writer and while novels are only a portion of that, I spend hours a day six days a week at my computer doing research, conducting interviews (both by phone and email, although sometimes in person) and writing pieces for various magazines and newspapers. Research is a huge part of my life.

I’m an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) which is actually less training than a Paramedic (my daughter is a Paramedic) but I’ve been doing this (as a volunteer) for nearly 25 years so I have seen a lot of calls and a lot of treatments. As I said, my daughter is a career Paramedic and my son is a career EMT – my husband is also a vollie EMT; I get to draw on a lot of their experiences as well.

I always joke that “I’ve lived a lot of lives” because I’ve gotten to do a lot of things. Aside from the medical emergency services, I also was an Auxiliary Police Officer in NYC, I worked my way through college as an undercover retail fraud investigator, went to school for (and did some work in the field) drama and theatre, and was raised by a Latin machismo dad who had 2 daughters and encouraged us that we could do whatever we wanted despite gender (he wanted a son and wouldn’t be denied, lol, he wanted to do traditional father-son stuff). I also gleaned experiences from the people around me, family, friends and even guys I dated. I think I might have been born a sponge.



Ok, here comes the GOOD stuff! ;) Could you give us a brief synopsis of each book and a short quote from each as well? I KNOW how good your books are, I'd like our readers to get a taste of just how exciting and interesting your stories really are! :)



Here are the synopses for all 8, but only quotes from the last 4

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.

“"You and I need to talk. I'd really like to do this calmly." Justin knew she wasn't going to react very well. She was being too overprotective without knowing the reason for his visit. Once she found out…
"What do you and I have to talk about? There’s nothing for us to talk about." She wasn't letting her guard down for anything. And if he thought he could just come in here and shove her around, he'd soon learn differently.
"Layne…" He tried to reach out for her, she sidestepped him. "We need to talk about… our son." He saw her look of shock. "We need to talk about Dennis."
She slowly turned her head to look at a photograph of Dennis that was sitting on the top of her television set and made the comparison to the man standing in front of her.
Suddenly she screamed at him and began to beat at his chest with her clenched fists. "Get out! Get out of here! Get the hell out of my home!"”




A CHAUNCE OF RICHES

Ben Johnson was hired as a bodyguard for a rich widow and her kid, but he never expected to be working for the woman who had abandoned him just when he had needed her the most. Damn it all, he still wanted her. Samantha Chaunce never thought she would have to explain why she married the rich man instead of Ben. Or that her husband had been murdered...and Ben was the prime suspect.

“He chuckled softly and cynically. “Well, now I know why you left.” He wasn’t smiling.
“What do you mean?” Her hand froze in mid air.
“I never realized how much money meant to you.” He couldn’t help it. He would always be bitter. “When I heard that you got married and left for Europe, I thought it was because you thought I could never be a whole man again. But I thought you would have at least waited to see. Now I understand, he probably flashed some bills in your face. That was all that it took, wasn’t it?” Ben was failing dismally at ignoring the stinging pain he felt around his heart.”




HOSTAGE HEART

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.

““Finally, you’re awake.” He walked over to her and pulled the tape from her mouth. It stung. “Why the hell you couldn’t just lie there and mind your business? What’s your name?” He stood over her. Her porcelain skin was in stark contrast with her dark hair and even darker eyes.
She looked at him in fear. “Deanna. Deanna Blair.”
“Well Miss Deanna Blair,” he mocked her southern accent. “You really screwed us. Kidnapping is a federal crime. We never planned to take any real hostages.” He shook his head as he looked at her. He realized he could easily stare at her for hours. There was no way he wanted this kind of complication in his life. The last thing he wanted was to be attracted to her, to be distracted from the things he had to do.
“I thought you were in trouble.” He looked even taller and broader from this angle. “I thought you needed help.”
He exhaled loudly. “Crimes happen every day in New York and no one ever wants to get involved. And then Miss Goody-Two-Shoes has to come along. Damn!” Now he felt responsible for her.”




FINAL SIN

Deputy Sherriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full... investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife. He meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both of them in danger...

“He entered the autopsy suite passing the heavy wooden sign next to the door. It said, “HIC LOCUS EST UBI MORS GAUDET SUCCURRERE VITAE”.
Once before when Jake had been here, he had asked for a translation of the Latin words and was told, “This is the place where death rejoices to teach those who live.” He was anxious to learn and he hoped Holly would be anxious to teach. He had high hopes that they could learn something, anything that would lead them to the murderer. Two men were waiting for him as he donned a surgical gown and protective eyewear.
Holly’s body was already lying on the shiny, aluminum dissection table. The table, a little more than waist high, was edged with an aluminum channel to allow blood and fluids to drain away from the body. The room was uncluttered and glaringly bright. It was a stark reminder of the lifelessness of the cadavers stored in the drawers along the wall. Soft music played from a radio on the counter in contrast to the harsh reality of the body lying motionless on the sterile looking table. Jake was always impressed with the clean up after an autopsy, the table always looked totally fresh and unused in time for the next patient. And there was always a next patient to fill the spot. That supply never seemed to end.”





COURAGE OF THE HEART

Courage of the Heart shows us that sometimes love is the only cure for the very deepest of emotional wounds. The story of the two lovers takes a series of unexpected and fast paced turns where lives, sanity and love are put in jeopardy. Their commitment to one another results in a spirit that binds them together and helps them to overcome physical and emotional dangers.




WITHIN THE LAW

Tom gave up on ever falling in love again the day that he buried his high school sweetheart and fiancé. He started a career in law enforcement just so that he could find her murderer and rapist. Just when he is about to see justice done, he meets Alli Davis-the defense attorney for the murdering rapist who took his love from him.




FORGOTTEN

Forgotten is an unforgettable romance about two people who meet by chance, love by choice and are torn apart by intrigue. Their romance survives a foreign threat to national security, kidnapping, personal tragedy and a murder attempt.




BARTLETT'S RULE

Bartlett's Rule shares the story of Lon and Paige's love affair; a romance filled with hardship, emotion, danger and triumph. Falling in love was never the challenge; being there for each other, knowing just what to say and making it work is the real test. Paige and Lon are real; they are human, they cry and they laugh. Paige has to learn to trust. Lon has to learn to be patient.






If our readers were to know one specific thing about you, what would you like them to know?

I am so grateful to them for inviting me into their lives for the brief while it takes to read my stories. I love writing and I am in love with love.




Last but not least, could you please tell us (a) where people can find your books, and (b) where they can find you (websites, etc.).



You can find my books online at Amazon (http://bit.ly/db70Hk), Barnes & Noble and other online retailers for print copies – the occasional Barnes & Noble carries them on the shelf as well (just ask!), as does the Arts Alliance in Haverstraw NY and other indie booksellers.

My web-site is

http://ChelleCordero.com

and I have an author blog at
http://ChelleCordero.blogspot.com

My publisher also has a page for each author, mine is http://bit.ly/aXYsPG


Chelle is a VERY buys lady! You can keep up with all of her appearances from her blog, her website, and the VHP Yahoo Reading Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VHP_Readers_Club/

Thank you so much for joining us today, Chelle! It was great having you here!! :)

In case you all missed it from Friday, the GRAND PRIZE contest for Unbreakable Hostage is going until Friday, 2/26. Send in your submissions! :)


For your own PERSONALLY autographed copy of Unbreakable Hostage, go check out he coloring page of the cover at the VHP Yahoo Group - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VHP_Readers_Club/

Go to the VHP Time Out Coloring Pages Folder, find the Unbreakable Hostage cover and have at it! :) Send in as many submissionas as you want! :) The only rule is that NO PHOTOSHOPPED IMAGES WILL BE ALLOWED! Scan or up-load your pictures and e-mail them to me at leharvey77@gmail.com by Friday, Feb. 26.

ALL ENTRIES WILL BE FEATURED ON LEHARVEY.COM, FACEBOOK AND MYSPACE! :)


Many thanks again to the FABULOUS Chelle Cordero! :)

Happy reading, all! :)

6 comments:

Chelle Cordero said...

Lauren, thanks so much for featuring me here today and for those delicious virtual cookies!

Sun Singer said...

Nice interview, ladies.

Malcolm

Kimberlee Williams, VHP Managing Editor said...

Terrific interview, Chelle and Lauren! I thoroughly enjoy reading the bits and pieces from authors, especially the background details. Nice work, ladies!

Chelle Cordero said...

Thanks Malcolm & Kimberlee for stopping by. Lauren really made this painless.

L. E. Harvey said...

I'm so glad it was painless! LOL. I try! Since I'm still recovering from the surgery on both feet, I wanted to be sure there was no pain involved for either of us! LOL. :)

Sandy Nicks said...

Great interview! Chelle, your stories are intriguing and wonderful! I also think you have great covers!

Lauren, great job on the questions! I learned a lot about Chelle. I have to agree she is pretty amazing!

Chelle's Final Sin & A Chaunce of Riches are on my TBR pile - as is L.E. Harvey's Unbreakable Hostage!

Have a great week!

Sandy