I met Chelle at a RWA meeting and got involved with several of her projects. Have read several of her books and enjoyed them very much. She's also responsible for my latest publisher Vanilla Heart Publishing.
1. What is your genre or do you write in more than one?
My main concentration is Romantic-Suspense although I have attempted a few forays into Mystery/Thriller.
2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
I started out writing the type of story that I enjoy reading - Suspense; add to that, I am a hopeless romantic and think everyone should be in love.
3. Is there any genre you'd like to try or one you would rather avoid?
I have never been a huge Sci-Fi fan although I've been pleasantly surprised by a few good stories, but I don't think I have the type of knowledge necessary to write a successful and believable Science-Fiction... maybe one day I will try only because I believe in stretching oneself.
4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?
Love stories, romantic fiction, romantic suspense - I don't care for the old stereotype of romance with the helpless damsel in distress (most romance has NOT been about that thank goodness). I like to read about men and women who are strong (emotionally) and yet human with flaws,
5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing?
I've been writing... forever. My writing career has grown in stages but the earliest writing goes back to my childhood when my sister and I wrote a poem/story about Martians! I went to school for theatre and drama, and my courses included playwriting and reviewing. I also studied Creative Writing under the guidance of poet Daisy Aldan.
I wrote my first (published) newspaper article when I was 19. "Many" years later when I was pregnant with our daughter I started writing full-time for newspapers and magazines (hard news, advertorial, human interest, and opinion pieces). My first novel with Vanilla Heart Publishing came out in 2008.
6. Which of your characters is your favorite and where can she be found?
This is difficult because I tend to fall in love with all of my main characters.
It's a choice between 2 for heroines - Caitlyn from His Lucky Charm (formerly Forgotten) and Julie from Final Sin. Caitlyn lost a lot in her young life and yet, while it has left her with some insecurities, she is an amazingly upbeat person, very devoted to family and very supportive of those she cares about. Julie in Final Sin has a wild, untamed streak which I can relate to - she is also a Paramedic which is a profession I hold in very high regard. She is intelligent, devoted to her patients, thinks quickly and shows courage in her job and life.
Although you asked "where can she be found", I also have a favorite male character - Tom Hughes. Tom is introduced in His Lucky Charm and has his own story in Within the Law. Tom is Caitlyn's cousin and best friend, he is patient, down to earth, emotionally and physically strong - and ALL Alpha male with just a touch of bad boy in him.
7. Are there villains in your books and how are they created?
What is life without some "bad guys"? Villains can be bad or evil for a variety of reasons - cruelty, selfishness, obstinancy, and of course outright dastardliness. I don't believe that anyone is all good or all bad, people make their own choices as to which path to follow. Believe it or not, a "good guy" and a "bad guy" can share the same motivations, it's how they go about achieving their goals that makes a difference. The villain, or bad guy, thinks only of their needs and wants and is inconsiderate of other people's feelings. Most bad guys are rationale even if not admirable - although the occasional psychopath (as in Final Sin) certainly makes life interesting!
8. What are you working on now?
I am following up on one of the supporting characters from Final Sin - Matt Garratti, Julie's good friend and former Paramedic partner. Matt is now married with a family and he's made changes in his career and venue - he is now a Flight Medic in North Carolina. Like Final Sin, this book will also be a Mystery/Thriller.
9. How did the idea for your latest release occur and what is the name of the book?
Common Bond, Tangled Hearts. I had overheard a conversation about a woman who decided she had reached a point in her life where she wanted to be a parent so she was going to a clinic to be artificially inseminated. My overactive imagination wondered how much connection there was to the biological donors/parents.There is an expression that any man can be a father but it takes a special man to be a dad; Justin and Layne find out just how true that is.
10. How does your latest book open? Include the first bit 400 to 500 words.
Confrontation - both my readers and the main characters are thrown directly into the first abrasive meeting between parents of the same child. A lot of questions remain to be answered.
If he was reading her surprised expression right, she was expecting somebody else to be on the other side of the door when she swung it wide open. Cautiously, the willowy blonde pushed the door partly closed before politely inquiring if she could help him.
Justin took his time letting his eyes roam from her short, tousled hair down to her very long legs. He noticed, in typical male fashion, how very shapely those long legs were. She was wearing a loose fitting shirt and cut off jeans, her feet were bare.
Layne felt uncomfortable as the stranger's eyes made their leisurely excursion. She closed the door just a little bit more and then fortified her courage with the thought that her nosy neighbor, Mrs. Addamson, would open her door at the least little yell she might make.
"Is there something you want?" She impatiently asked him and then blushed when his eyes flew up to meet hers with an amused smile.
Oh baby, where have you been all my life? He thought and then smiled politely. "I was looking for…" he carefully checked a piece of paper he held in his hand. "…for Layne Gillette." Justin said 'Lane'.
She refrained from correcting his pronunciation. For the last few years, Layne had explained to people that it was pronounced like Janie except with an L.
"Who's asking?" No matter that he seemed to fit the exact description of tall, dark and handsome that she and her friends always joked about, she was wary of any stranger who came looking for her.
"My name is Justin Ross…" He waited just a moment to see if there was any recognition, he was disappointed. "I was told that Layne Gillette lives here."
"It's Lay-nee…" She was expressionless.
"Hi, I take it you're Lay-nee?" His eyebrows arched as he emphasized the proper
"What do you want?" Layne inconspicuously braced herself against the door so she could slam it forcefully in his face if need be.
"It's… uh… personal. May I come in?" He was mesmerized by her golden eyes.
"No." She was firm.
It took a moment before her refusal totally sunk in. Not many dared to refuse Justin Ross anything. He took a deep breath in and started to patiently explain to her that he needed to speak with her privately. "Look, I just came a long way… and we really need to talk…"
"Hey Mom, is that Rita?" The childlike voice startled the both of them. Layne turned her head to answer when Justin pushed on the door with his hand and knocked her off-balance. The door swung open and Justin got his first look at the little boy who had his mother's golden eyes. Like his own hair, the boy had jet-black curly locks and the contrast was extraordinary.