Sunday, October 30, 2016
RW: Tell us about yourself, your family, where you live…
CR: Growing up near LA I dreamed of living in a small town. I wanted to live in the wild west, but since that wasn’t possible, I took a chance and moved to a small town in Utah in 1971. Life here is unlike anywhere else, and finding a good job in a small town is impossible. My husband and I have camped and fished all over the state and beyond. I have a wonderful step-daughter and two fabulous grandchildren. I still dream, however, of living in a small town.
RW: How many hours a day do you spend writing?
CR: About six to eight hours. I’m in my office all day, but promotional efforts and other duties, plus my work as a book cover designer, cut down on writing time. Some days I do good to get three hours in.
RW: What is the best thing about being a writer?
CR: As a writer you get to create your own world, people it with your own characters, and try to rule their lives. I say, try, because sometimes they take over and make their own demands which is rewarding too. Writing, like reading, is a form of escape, I guess, but the richest a person could come up with.
RW: Has your life changed since you became a writer?
CR: Oh, yes. I was an artist before I discovered romance novels and went from painting pictures with brushes to creating them with words. I doubt I could live without writing now.
RW: Who are your favorite authors?
CR: So many. Lynn Kurland, Maggie Osborne, Penelope Williamson, A.B, Guthrie, Larry McMurtry, Dorothy Garlock, Catherine Anderson, Linda Howard, Roseann Bittner, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell, Patricia Potter. These fantastic ladies, and others, helped to form me as a writer.
RW: Who are your favorite characters among the books you’ve written?
CR: Jenna Leigh-Whittington from Taming Jenna because she’s so independent, feisty and strong. Tempest Whitney from To Have and To Hold, for the same reason. I like strong women but don’t always succeed in creating them. I generally do better with men.
RW: What makes a good book?
CR: A good book sweeps the reader away into a foreign land of new experiences, deep emotion, and lasting fulfillment.
RW: How does reader feedback matter to you?
CR: It matters to me a great deal that I give the reader a satisfying experience, a feel-good experience that stays with them afterward.
RW: How do you celebrate the mile-markers of publishing?
Signing the contract!
Going over the ARC or galleys
CR: Signing that first contract is a commitment to life-change. Feedback is what lets a writer know if she’s giving the reader the satisfying read she aims for. Edits allows the author to find the best words to create the image and emotion she’s trying to convey. Galleys can be interesting and educational, frustrating and boring. Release day brings excitement, anticipation, and fear.
RW: Where do you hope to be five years from now?
CR: I’d love to be in a different location, but can’t leave my grandkids behind. I hope to be where I am, I suppose, still writing, still at least as healthy as I am now, but more successful.
RW: Why did you decide to write?
CR: I didn’t exactly decide to write. I woke up one morning from a dream I knew had to be in a book and no one else was around to write it.
RW: How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
CR: A great deal. My life experiences make me who I am. It’s those experiences that taught me about love, pain, sorrow, and joy so I can convey those feelings in my writing.
RW: What kind of research do you do for a book?
CR: I do a lot of research. Finding details about the world I’m trying to create on the page enhances the experience for both me and the reader. Details and, of course, emotion bring a story to life and make it memorable.
RW: When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms? What genre is it?
CR: My genre is historical romance set in the American West. I didn’t think about writing, I simply did it. It took a long time to write my first book because I had to learn to write at the same time. Eventually, I decided I may as well try to get published so my work would mean more.
RW: Would you like to write a different genre or sub-genre than you do now?
CR: Not really. I have a “historical” voice. It’s where I fit in best, where I’m happiest and do best.
RW: Tell us about your latest book. What motivated the story? Where did the idea come from?
CR: My story in The Good, The Bad, and the Ghostly, came from my research into ghost hunting. As often happens for me, I became enthralled with the idea of “what if” my character had to solve his problems while being forced to live life in a whole new world.
RW: Do you feel humor is important in fiction and why?
CR: I love a bit of humor in fiction. Some stories are so heavy they need humor to lighten them up.
RW: What about your family? Do they know not to bother you when you are writing, or are there constant interruptions?
CR: My family has no idea what life is like for a writer. They know it’s important to me but not why or the depth of my feelings about writing. I’m constantly being interrupted. That’s life.
RW: What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
CR: I read, crochet, take my granddaughter shopping, but mostly I design book covers.
RW: Bubble baths or steamy showers? Ocean or mountains? Puppies or kittens? Chocolate or caramel?
CR: Baths, mountains and ocean, kittens and lots of dark chocolate.
RW: A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
CR: She Endured.
RW: If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
RW: Can you describe the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
CR: Well, recently, I was with a bunch of writers in a ghost town. We dressed Victorian style and the tie holding up my bustle skirt gave way. The skirt plunged to my knees before I grabbed it. Victorian ladies wore several petticoats. I wore none.
RW: What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels?
CR: Love scenes are a part of the experience of love. I don’t believe you can have one without the other, though you don’t need to show the event, especially in detail.
RW: What does your husband think of your writing?
CR: My husband would prefer I spent my time with him.
RW: Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
CR: One woman who was elderly and bedridden told me my books were what made life bearable for her. That touched me in a way I can never describe.
RW: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
CR: Beware of sassy attitude. That or “Boring”
RW: If I were a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
CR: I would recommend Tender Touch because it’s my best seller.
RW: What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
CR: Taming Jenna came to me as if I were channeling for a ghost or a medium of some sort. I had more fun writing it than any other book and it came the easiest. The Scent of Roses, was my most difficult because of events going on in my life at the time.
RW: What are the elements of a great romance for you?
CR: Emotion, emotion, emotion
RW: Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?
CR: I try to control them, but don’t always succeed.
RW: What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
CR: Knowing you are entertaining people
RW: If I could (fill in the blank) I’d (fill in the blank).
CR: If I could afford to travel, I’d go everywhere in the world.
A Ride Through Time
Ghosts. Murder. Love. P.S.I. Agent Burke Jameson travels to Eagle Gulch, Colorado to investigate a report of ghost activity at a house where a murder took place in 1881. When his vehicle carrying his P.S.I. equipment dies, and a riderless mare appears. He mounts up, hoping the horse will lead him to her fallen rider. What he finds is a whole new life beyond his imagination.
Clorinda Halstead believes she’s a widow. After all, she was the one who shot her husband, Horace, on a violent night in 1881. He deserved it, the jury concluded. Living with the town marshal and his wife, all Clori wants is to be left alone. Then a stranger, Burke James, joins the household and nothing is ever the same again.
How did Burke find his way through time to the year 1881, and who is haunting the lovely but distant Widow Halstead? Can Burke find the ghost of Eagle Gulch without his P.S.I. equipment? And how will he ever choose between going home to his own time and a life of love and happiness with Clorinda?
Charlene Raddon’s first serious attempt at writing fiction came in 1980 when a vivid dream drove her to drag out a typewriter and begin writing. She’s been writing ever since. Because of a love for romance novels and the Wild West, her primary genre is historical romance. At present, she has five books originally published in paperback by Kensington Books. More recently these were published as e-Books by Tirgearr Publishing. In May, 2016 Charlene self-published her e-books with new covers. Charlene also designs book covers and other graphic materials for authors at her site, Silver Sage Book Covers.
Frowning, Burke halted. Thanks to his years on Pop’s ranch, he’d learned horse talk and had little doubt what this one wanted. “Gabe, I think he wants me to go with him. I’m going to try to ride him, see if he’ll take me to his owner. Follow in the van but don’t get too close.”
“How am I going to do that with a dead motor?”
“Just try it.” Years at Psychic Specter Investigations had honed Burke’s understanding of the unusual, and instinct told him this was no ordinary situation.
The car door creaked open, and Gabe cursed. In the next instant, Spook stood beside Burke. He barely glanced at the Vizsla, keeping his eyes on the horse instead in case it bolted. “Bad dog. I told you to stay.”
Behind him, the van’s engine roared to life, sweet as apple pie.
Burke considered putting the dog back in the van, then relented. “Stay close, Spook. Understand?”
Shaking his head, Burke inched closer to the horse. “You want to take me to your owner now? We’ll help him if he’s hurt.” Rather than lying in wait to scare the shit out of him like his peers had twenty years ago.
This time, the animal stood still, watching him over its shoulder. Burke hadn’t dealt with horses since leaving for college, but some things never changed. Including the urge to sneeze around equestrian dander. He walked up beside him, allowing the full beams of the van lights to fall on him. Only he saw now that it wasn’t a him; she was a beautiful dappled gray mare. He patted the long bridge of her nose while she sniffed his hand. As if in approval, she snorted and nodded.
“You like that, huh?” Burke continued to stroke the sleek gray coat, checking her neck, withers, and shoulders. She seemed in good shape.
Skittish, though. She danced away a few steps, whinnied and looked back at him as if to say come on.
“You want me to go with you, show me where your rider is?”
The beautifully expressive creature communicated effortlessly. “Damned if you aren’t a clever one. I’ll call you Silver.”
She stomped her hooves with impatience.
“All right, all right.” Burke retrieved his hat from the van before returning to the mare. He felt naked without it. A quick check of the cinch strap later, he hoisted himself into the saddle. Silver snuffled. To Burke’s surprise, Spook leaped into his lap.
The mare allowed her canine passenger—a bigger surprise yet—and trotted up the road.
Gabe followed in the van.
As he rode, Burke kept a close watch for the absent rider. Not knowing where her missing rider might be Burke gave the gray her head. She’d know where to take him.
A rickety old fence bordered the road on the right side. Didn’t look as if anyone had tended to it in a long time. Fence poles lay on the ground like pick-up sticks.
A few miles later, Burke caught a glimpse of the dark, hulking Halstead house in the distance through the trees. His pulse ratcheted up.
He’d made it back!
This time, as a full-grown, established ghost hunter instead of a fifteen-year-old kid, scared, breathing hard, and wishing more than anything he could turn tail and run home.
Course, home no longer existed. Tract housing occupied the land his father, and his grandfather before him had farmed. Home now was Aurora on the outskirts of Denver, the Colorado headquarters for P.S.I. His parents resided in Heaven.
He realized he was grinning from ear-to-ear and shut his mouth, lest he end up with his teeth plastered with bugs. Spook looked back over Burke’s shoulder and panted doggie breath in his ear. Tree limbs slapped Burke’s face, and he grabbed to keep his Stetson from flying off. A spider web caught on his whiskery cheek. He wiped it away. The horse leaped over a deadfall, and he hung on tight. A skunk scurried away, its tail a black and white banner in the wind.
Silver leaped over a fallen gate and the trees thinned to nothing, leaving only stumps that dotted the uncleared land.
What the...? Burke tried to turn to look back at the forest they’d left behind but couldn’t with the dog in his lap. Why had someone cut them down? Was the historical society planning to put a parking lot here?
The van’s engine faded to silence. Gabe couldn’t follow across the field. He had to keep to the lane leading to the house. The separation troubled Burke. Number eighteen of the psychic investigators code book: never leave a team member behind. He reached into the pocket of his lamb’s wool coat for his cell phone.
No service. Shit. He could try texting his partner but decided to wait.
He continually scanned for the fallen rider and cursed his inability to see in the deepening shadows. The house remained in view with no trees to block it, but he saw no man on the ground.
At last, they arrived in front of the two-story clapboard structure, the dark windows like eyes staring at him. Spook jumped down and disappeared, probably after a rabbit or squirrel. Burke dismounted.
Halstead. At last.
Lifting his face to the moonlight, he gave in to his earlier whim and howled.
The house appeared pretty much the way he remembered it, although something seemed different. He would figure it out. First, he had better find that injured man. Once that was taken care of and Gabe showed up, they could get to work.
“All right, girl.” He turned to Silver. “Where is your ri...?”
Gone. Vanished. As if the horse never been there.
Burke looked down at his hand that had held the reins.
How had the horse pulled free without him noticing?
The hair on his arms and neck rose.
You can find Charlene at:
Book Cover Website: http://silversagebookcovers.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Charlene-Raddon/e/B000APG1P8/
Buy Link: http://mybook.to/GoodBadGhostly