Monday, December 28, 2009

Author Chelle Cordero

Please join me in welcoming, multi-published author, Chelle Cordero. Thank you for joining me today, Chelle. Help yourself to a brownie, sit back and relax, and tell our visitors a little about yourself?

Hi Anne, thanks for the Brownie. I live in the lower Hudson Valley of New York. Boy am I ever married – 34 years today (Dec 28)! We have two grown kids who constantly continue to amaze and delight us. Our daughter is married to a terrific guy and our son’s significant other is a wonderful young lady. I also have three rather mischievous cats.

Happy Anniversary, Chelle! Thrity-four years, that’s awesome. So please tell us how you get started in writing? How difficult was your journey to publication?

I actually got a start in professional writing when I volunteered with NYC’s Auxiliary Police Department. I worked with our PD liaison and he asked me to put together an article about a young man who had been murdered when he came to the aid of a mugging victim. The article was picked up by two newspapers, a local community weekly and my college paper. Hank, our PD liaison, taught me how to write press releases and work with the media.

Prior to that, as far back as high school, I was privileged to have a creative writing class taught by the late poet Daisy Aldan. Ms. Aldan was very encouraging and taught me how to reach down deep inside and put my feelings on paper.

When I was pregnant with our daughter in 1981 I decided to combine being a stay-at-home mom with work that I loved – writing. I only worked part time, from home, when the kids were small and wrote newsy articles and copy for several local newspapers. Eventually I decided it was time to grow up and become a novelist. I had already written a few manuscript-length novels (unpublished) when a friend introduced me to Kimberlee Williams at Vanilla Heart Publishing. Here I am seven published works later…

I hear you have a new release, tell us about it?

My latest “official” release (I’ll explain in a moment) is A Chaunce of Riches. In this book our heroine has to make a desperate decision where she forsakes the man she loves and her own dreams in order to help him, but he doesn’t know this – he only knows that she abandoned him.

Years later the hero, who now works as a bodyguard/security consultant, meets up with the love of his life again. She’s been recently widowed, is quite wealthy, and the target of threats against her life and the welfare of her son. The hero is humiliated to be in her employ and tries unsuccessfully to deny his desire for her.
They then find out that her wealthy husband was murdered and her former lover is the prime suspect.

By the way, A Chaunce of Riches is available in both print and ebook. Since Vanilla Heart Publishing is a small traditional print publisher we tend to go by the release of books in print as the “official” dates. However my next novel, Common Bond, Tangled Hearts, is already available in ebook formats although the print copy won’t come out until February.

Where did you come up with the concept for your story?

LOL, I really don’t know. I am a rather random thinker and ideas seem to arise out of otherwise unrelated events. (My family knows to humor me…) I did wonder how far a woman would be willing to go and what she would be willing to do to protect the man she loves.

Okay, say you have this great idea for a book, what do you do next? How much plotting do you do?

I dwell on it for a while. I don’t lay out any outlines because I find that too confining. Eventually I create characters – when I create them I give them their own pasts and allow them to make their own decisions based on their experiences. By the time that I have scenes literally running through my head like snippets of a movie I know that it is time to start putting these thoughts on paper. Since I allow my characters to respond and write their own story, with only a little occasional corralling on my part, I try to write it in order of the events. Sometimes my characters really surprise me.

In your opinion what are the most important avenues an author should take in promoting their works?

Exposure. Retailers believe that the average consumer has to see a product about seven times before making a decision to purchase – so authors have to get their own name and the titles of their books out in front of the public frequently. The internet is a wonderful resource for exposure. Use social networking to “meet” people and let them know who you are. Join writer’s forums to share knowledge and hints as well as being mutually supportive. And rely on the kindness of blog hosts now and then to feature you and your books. (Thank you for this opportunity to guest here!)

I also see where you have a Kindle Blog Writing Workshop. Can you tell us about it and how Kindle users can sign up?

I am very excited about the Kindle Blog Writing Workshop – this is a once a week lesson on various aspects of writing. I’ve posted articles about character development, blogging, making a business of writing, sending queries, promotion, overcoming writer’s block, and more. I also try to add a writing exercise and writing prompts with each workshop article.

I often conduct in-person writing workshops. While I love the interaction and seeing my students face-to-face, it’s limiting because folks have to be in the area and the times have to be convenient for their schedules. The Kindle Writing Workshop allows many more people to utilize each of the lessons and they can do so whenever they have the time.

For just 99-cents a month (certainly less than the gas it would take to drive to a workshop), Kindle owners can subscribe to Living, Breathing, Writing at Each weekly lesson will be automatically downloaded onto your Kindle.

What is one of the most memorable things that has happened to you since you’ve become a published author?

I will never forget the very first time that I was asked to autograph a copy of a book that a customer had purchased – I was absolutely amazed and very flattered. It was after a book discussion of my first novel with Vanilla Heart, Bartlett’s Rule. The customer made sure to tell me how much she enjoyed my writing and when she found out that my second book was on the market, she went right over to the counter and purchased that too. My ego simply soared.

Now for a little fun! Do you have any unusual or not so unusual hobbies you’d care to tell us about?

Scramble on Facebook! …and I talk to myself while I work. LOL. I also volunteer with my local ambulance corps as a state certified Emergency Medical Technician and I sit on the Board of Directors. It’s very time consuming but I love knowing that I am serving an important purpose in my community. There is a euphoria when you see that you’ve been able to help someone during an emergency. And I can’t deny that seeing so many different types of emergencies helps me, as a writer, to come up with terrific ideas.

What snack are we likely to see sitting next to your computer when you’re typing away on your next best seller?

Usually a massive cup of herbal tea – my son and his gf gave me a 20-ounce cup for tea! Now and then I also like to chomp on crackers and cheese.

What advice can you offer for any aspiring authors out there?

Don’t ever give up. Regard rejections as a challenge to reach for more and not just a criticism about your work. Always keep your mind open to learn. And always have paper and pen nearby.

Where can we purchase your books? And do you have a website we can visit?

My books are available online at and Barnes and as well as several other online retailers; there are also some brick and mortar shops that carry my titles on their shelves, just ask. You can also download ebook versions of all of my titles on Smashwords, All Romance and OmniLit.
My website is

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’m on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and I love to hear from my readers.
Thanks so much for having me stop by today! Oh, and please let me wish everyone, a little bit early, a wonderful New Year.

Happy New Year to you too, Chelle, and thanks again for joining me today. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better and hearing about all your projects.


Anne Patrick said...

Good morning everyone! Questions and comments are welcomed. And help yourself to a brownie, they're calorie free :)

Chelle Cordero said...

Hi Anne,
You do make the most delicious virtual brownies, thanks.

Thanks so much for this opportunity to guest here. You really made me feel quite welcomed.

Irene Jacobson said...

Ooooh brownies. I'll take one. I enjoyed the interview ladies. Happy New Year to both of you!

Chelle Cordero said...

Happy New Year to you too Irene & thanks for stopping by.

Miss Mae said...

Nice interview, Chelle, and I loved reading about you and your background. But I've beat you on the years of being married. Next month I'll be wed 38! LOL

Yes, I know it's a wonderful feeling for readers to say words of praise about our works, and then to autograph them...oh! The bliss!

Congrats to you. It sounds like you're on the way up! :)

Nona Sebastian said...

Nice interview and I wish you a happy Wedding Anniversary!

jenningsalicia said...

Great interview. I used to be a victims advocate when I lived in Florida. It was one of the most rewarding jobs I've had. Good luck to you with your writing career.

marcusdweston said...

Great interview ladies! And Happy Anniversary Chelle!

Sun Singer said...

Somebody are all the brownies before I got here. Nonetheless, a fun interview with a very talented author.


Susan Whitfield said...

Anne and Chelle, what a great interview! I've been married 42 years and they're all still special anniveraries. The best to you and yours!

Julie Compton said...

I was surfing your site and it led me here. Great interview! I was hooked as soon as I saw you also had three cats. A kindred spirit. . . Good luck with your books.
Anne, have you posted the recipe for those brownies? ;-)

Chelle Cordero said...

Hi Anne and all - Happy 2010 !!

Thanks for stopping by everyone and especially thanks for the anniversary wishes - wow, I thought that 34 years was a long time and to see folks at 38 and 42, very inspirational Miss Mae & Susan.

Malcolm, sorry all the brownies were eaten but you can enjoy them vicariously - yumm.

Hi Julie, personally I think hubby just likes being able to tell people that he lives in a cat house...

Alicia, kudos on the work you did in Fla, of course that must have given you much material for stories.

Hey Nona & Weston - so glad you enjoyed the interview.