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 is 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: 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 ChelleCordero@gmail.com
Jen: Readers, Chelle is giving away a ChelleCordero.com t-shirt (XL) to a random commenter. To enter, you first must leave a comment. Then you have to either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to email@example.com letting us know you’d like to enter the drawing. A winner will be chosen on Friday, August 7.