Welcome to the two hundred and ninety-third of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with paranormal and YA contemporary romance author Charlene A Wilson. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Charlene. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.
Charlene: I was labelled a writer when I was 16. I’d write short stories about dreams I had and shared them with my friends. One of the favourites was a little story called Misty Moon. I was shocked when a few years ago I ran into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen since my youth. Honestly, I didn’t remember her until she reminded me that she was a friend of a friend. She had been invited to a church youth function and evidently on the way (it was an hour drive to the dance), I shared my stories… as usual. Well, she was all smiles and told me she remembered Misty Moon and actually told the story to her children at story time before bed. I was floored and a little shy about it all. She asked if I still wrote and, of course, I had to tell her about my published work.
Morgen: And Misty Moon went on to be a best seller? What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Charlene: I write paranormal romance and I do have some YA contemporary romances on the side-lines. Actually, I do have several story ideas and that bring me into science fiction and suspense. I don’t think I could ever write horror. That’s one genre I don’t enjoy. Sorry.
Morgen: That’s OK. A lot of people don’t (but then a lot of people do). If we all wrote the same genre we’d have even more competition. What have you had published to-date?
Charlene: My first novel, Cornerstone Deep, was published in November 2010 by Class Act Books. I never felt such an amazing array of emotions as I did when I held my first book in my hands. I couldn’t believe it. My baby was in print. And now, Cornerstone Deep Echoes was released February 15th. There’s just nothing like it. I hope this feeling never gets old.
Morgen: I think if you’re passionate enough about what you do, it won’t. I’ve interviewed a few authors who have written more than a dozen books and they say they still get a buzz each time. Do you write under a pseudonym? Do you think they make a difference to an author’s profile?
Charlene: I don’t have a pen name but have several friends who do. They do very well with them. I’m not sure I could take on the task of promoting and marketing two or more names. Lol. That would be a lot of work I don’t think I’m up for…not yet anyway. For now, I’ll concentrate on Charlene A. Wilson. *smile*
Morgen: Do you have an agent?
Charlene: I don’t have an agent, though I would like to have one. I think if you have someone who knows the business and how to make things happen, it can be a great asset. Especially for someone like me that finds it hard to push my own work. Give me someone else’s that I believe in, and I’ll shout it to the world.
Morgen: Oh I’m rubbish too. I put a sentence at the end of each post but it’s definitely not enough. It’s easy to shout out about other writers’ works because then we’re supportive not touting – you just have to hope that they do the same for you. You say you’d love an agent, do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Charlene: No. Some authors do an amazing job on their own. There’s not just one right path when it comes to this career.
Morgen: Indeed and I, for one, am really excited. One of the paths is eBooks – are your books available as eBooks? If so what was your experience of that process? Do you have any plan to write any eBook-only stories? And do you read eBooks?
Charlene: Yes, my books are available in e-formats and paperback. I’m not planning on writing books only for e-readers. I’d like to have them available for those who still love the feel and smell of a book. Of course, that isn’t meant to take away from the e-books. Not at all. I love reading with my Kindle app.
Morgen: Very few of my interviewees have said they’d only read eBooks. The ‘feel and smell’ is still a huge part of the reading experience. I do think they’ll chug along side-by-side. For me it’s pBooks at home, eBooks away. How important do you think titles are?
Charlene: I think titles are as important as the cover. There was no problem with the titles I chose for my books. There aren’t many books out there called Cornerstone Deep. *wink* Lol. And I love the titles, so I’m glad they were accepted.
Morgen: Many authors have little say so you were very fortunate and yes, I don’t know of another (although there is a literary consultancy company in the UK called ‘Cornerstones’). Do any of your books have dedications? If so, to whom and (if appropriate) why?
Charlene: Yes, my books have dedications. Those closest to me get that honor. Cornerstone Deep was dedicated to my mother. She never told me it couldn’t be done. She was a poet and I think it makes her proud to see I “got that talent from her.” Lol.
Cornerstone Deep Echoes was dedicated to my daughters. If there is anyone who might go without that little extra attention during revisions, edits, meeting deadlines, etc., it’s them. And they supported me wholeheartedly with encouragement, quiet time, and—dare I say this out loud?—cooking and helping each other. I love them with my whole soul.
Morgen: Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Charlene: Is there an author alive that hasn’t had to deal with those nasty rejections? Lol. Of course I have. Several. I have them all tucked neatly away in their own file and I plan to keep every one of them. From the first one I received, I took it as a guide on how to make my writing better. Luckily, I haven’t received any that were ugly. I’ve heard horror stories of agents or publishers that threw the boot, stinky socks, and kitty box back at the author instead of constructive advice or even a form letter rejection. In those cases, if that had been me, I would have been glad I found out they were like that then instead of signed with them and had to work with that person for x amount of years.
Morgen: I have had a handful of authors who’ve not received rejections but most haven’t sent anything out which always helps. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Charlene: I’m revising the first book in another series called Aumelan. There are three books written in that series, and I’d like to have things ready to submit by the end of the year. It’s the story of Chad, a Tsosey Master who’s sweet on his server, Dee. His heart feels at home with her even though he has a girlfriend—his childhood sweetheart. He dreams of what might be if the only thing that stood between them was the air between them. But, there’s more than just placement separating them. His people have a unique need. They can’t produce life sustaining energy and require a host to survive. Before there could ever be a true love between them, he’d have to free his people of that need and then free Dee.
He leaves his cavern home and steps beyond the borders of the World Beneath the Rock to the World of the Sun to find answers. And he finds them alright.
Morgen: Wow. What an imagination you have… and it sounds like you won’t be running out of ideas any time soon. What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Charlene: “Believe in the magic that’s in you, its potential, what it can achieve. But, most of all believe in yourself and create a world where dreams become reality.”
Morgen: I love that. Where can we find out about you and your work?
Morgen: Woo. Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Charlene: Oh, yes. I’d love to let everyone know that I’ve been celebrating the release of Cornerstone Deep Echoes with a month long blog tour and prizes! There have been special blog stops that gave extra chances to win and weekly giveaways including PDFs of both books and a Bath & Body Works gift cards. All leading up to a grand prize that will be given away on March 3rd. You can find all the details at http://ShiloManor.com/cd-echoes-tour. Drop by use the form provided to enter and Good Luck Everyone!
Thank you so much for having me here today and being a part of my virtual book tour, Morgen! It was a real treat.
Morgen: My goodness, you’re so welcome, Charlene. Thank you for having me as a stop.
I then invited Charlene to include an extract of her writing…
Exhaustion racked Cole’s body. He squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath to cleanse his lungs. The harm he’d caused Anna pulsed through his fatigued mind in fits of memory—distorted flashes that reminded him of the deceit, broken covenants, and ethereal anger. Pressing his palms onto his brow, his head sank deeper into the pillow. Did his actions really cost her soul six life times?
He dragged a hand down his face and blew air through his pursed lips. He’d bound her soul and even with his formidable skill with spells, he was unable to undo his wrong. Whatever cost Arylin saw fit to impose, he was grateful for the intervention. Only the Goddess of Love, with her boundless benevolence, would have found a way for them to continue their souls’ progression.
His gaze returned to his love at his side and he listened to the sweet sound of her steady breathing. Strands of sleep-messed hair fluttered along the pillow each time she exhaled. As the morning sun’s light inched up the comforter’s patchwork pattern, he hitched his knee around her legs, forming his body to hers. For Arylin to return Anna’s soul to a previous life blessed them both beyond his dreams. It freed the binding and… He buried his face in her long waves and the scent of roses filled him. He had Mianna back.
A writer of paranormal romance, Charlene loves what magic can add to relationships. She currently lives in a small rural town in Arkansas and enjoys close family ties with her two beautiful daughters.
Charlene’s interest in writing began in her early teens and she took any creative writing courses available.
Many of the attitudes and personalities woven into her characters were taken from those she worked with while serving as a Deputy at a large detention center. From kindness to bigotry, the variety of personal outlook was amazing. As time now affords her, she is able to pursue her love of writing and incorporates those experiences into some of her work.
Her first novel, Cornerstone Deep, was published in November 2010 by Class Act Books. Her second, Cornerstone Deep Echoes, was released February 2012, also by Class Act Books.
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