Sunday, January 15, 2012

Interview with Charlene Wilson - Romance Author

Welcome to Charlene Wilson
Romance Author

Ssshhh.....come on, follow us farther into the alley but keep an eye out for suspicious characters! We're glad you could all join us this week to chat with Charlene. I don't think we'll be noticed down this alley which will give us time to get to know our author. Let's gather 'round so we can all hear....

Reader’s Haven:  Charlene, we so excited to have you as our first guest author here at Reader's Haven. Thank you for joining us. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Charlene: While I have a few tidbits I don’t usually share with everyone, I think I can put this one out there. LOL Everyone knows I write Romance. Being born on Valentine’s Day, it’s almost a given that would happen with being a writer. I love how a hero overcomes insurmountable obstacles to be with his chosen. But can I admit to loving a good…Western too? I enjoy the old-time themes with swashbuckling characters that take over the untamed territories—strong men and women that take it all on in hopes of conquering the odds.

Reader’s Haven:  Our characters usually end conquering the odds, don't they? What made you want to become a writer?

Charlene: What made me become a writer? That would probably be my characters. LOL They wouldn’t shut up. I decided I had to sit down and write all the conversations and scenes out if I was going to get any rest. The problem with that was, it’s just like eating a good truffle—one just won’t do. Gotta have another.  And as soon as I got that scene out, another would surface and the whole thing would repeat.

Reader’s Haven:  Both of us can relate to the characters bugging you until you get them on paper! What type of hero or heroine do you like best?
Charlene:  While the typical answer here might be hunky heroes and bolt heroines, I like mine how nature makes them. If the hero is a crusty old sort living in the back woods and the heroine is a space alien running from a dominant race it doesn’t matter. If the characters are written in such a way that they come alive and grab me, I can fall in love with them.
Reader’s Haven:  How many plots do you include in one of your books?

Charlene: I don’t have a set amount of plots, but I definitely always have more than one. I can’t just focus on one. Life is complicated. Even from your own view point, there a mix of intermingling plots in your life, several that hinge on and affect that one circumstance. My books do too. I feel they add to the story and make it whole.

Reader’s Haven:  We think readers enjoy more than one or two plots to a story also. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Charlene: A typical day has to start with my email. While I have regular things I work on throughout the day, I have to be flexible to include anything that might come up that’s more pressing. 
     My social networking is ongoing—Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (I focus on three though I pop in on several) can be done sporadically, of course, since people are on at all times.  I think what takes the most brainpower (for me anyway Lol!) is manning my sites, Charlene Blogs (my personal writer’s blog), (my author site), (the Chronicles of Shilo Manor series site), and (a site that features published authors). I also blog at Ravencraft Romance Realm and Night Writers, so I complete any posts I’m scheduled to make there. The best part of this career is when I can settle down and write…and that happens late at night when all is quiet and my characters speak up. I’m very thankful for having a lifestyle that allows me to do that. I’m able to be a full-time author which is a dream.

Reader’s Haven:  We're finding the majority of authors have many things going on with having to promote and be out there for our readers, but we love it! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Charlene: Other than romance?  My stories have several themes. While the Chronicles of Shilo Manor circles around soul mates that reunite over lifetimes, my Aumelan series has Fate and Destiny playing tug-of-war with my characters’ hearts—love crosses national borders and challenges placement and traditions.  My YA stories tackle the courage of accepting who we and others are and my heroines must decide how far they would go to stand up for themselves and their loves.  So… The answer would have to be that they are pretty different.

Reader’s Haven:  How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Charlene: This really does vary. My Aumelan series came out in a rush and I had the equivalent of three books written in a few months. I’m in the process of revising book one now. The Chronicles, books one and two, each took about nine months to write and edit.  The editing process definitely takes the longest and most effort. But I’m finding that to get them to where I feel they’re ready for publication, it takes almost a year. I marvel at those who are able to publish a good piece in a few months. Boggles my mind.

Reader’s Haven:
  We can't imagine doing a full length novel in less than a year so kudos to those authors who can write that fast! Do you have to be alone to write?

Charlene:  Define alone. LOL My characters always have to be there. But, I do better in a quiet environment when I’m in deep edits. I do enjoy going to the park or coffee shop to watch people and get personality or reaction ideas.

Reader’s Haven:
 How do you go about naming characters?

Charlene: Some characters name themselves. It just comes with their personality. Others I have to pass by them, and many times I get a definite, “Not a chance will I be known as George!”

Reader’s Haven:  LOL We haven't heard that one before, I love it....passing the names by the characters to hear what they think! Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Charlene: I write and then find pictures. And that’s a chore in itself! Lol. My characters are who they are and if I happen to find someone in real life that fits their image, well then that’s icing on the cake.

Reader’s Haven:
How do you pick locations for your stories?

Charlene: The locations develop as the story unfolds. It’s like a natural progression. I world build from there out, filling in the details.  Cornerstone Deep required a lot of world building as the Arched Spectrum of Realms was revealed. As I write fantasy, the locations are imagination made real through my books.

Reader’s Haven:  Cheers to the authors who can create those fantasy worlds. What an imagination that has to take! What’s coming up for you in 2012?

Charlene: The release of book two in the Chronicles of Shilo Manor series, Cornerstone Deep Echoes, is on February 15th. I have a month long blog tour set up for that. With it being the month of Valentine’s Day, I’m thrilled that my Romance is coming out then. You can get all the details at my blog, Charlene Blogs. I have a page set up with all the stops and prizes I’m offering throughout the tour.
     I’m also working to finish up revisions of Aumelan and want to get that sent out. It’s an exciting year! Here's the blurb and excerpt for your readers:

Cornerstone Deep blurb

     It's their nature - long lives and rebirth. They're from another dimension, one gifted with advance abilities, but they serve in Cornerstone Deep. They're the Wizards of Shilo Manor.
     They outlive the mortals of this realm by thousands of years, and when it comes to love the cruel fact is reinforced. Reincarnation doesn't exist on this plane. They lose their wives to death with no hope of reuniting. Yet they continue to accept others for whatever time they have together. Save for Cole. His love for his last wife still burns in his soul four centuries after her death.
     When the service they render to the noblemen of Cornerstone Deep brings him face to face with Anna, something unexpected happens.  In a realm of silent souls, hers calls to him.  He responds with a kiss—one that joined with the spell of servitude she inhaled, binds her soul.  
     Breaking ancient covenants, angering the lords, and bringing the gods' wrath upon him, Cole tries desperately to undo his wrong and free his love—despite the determination of the nobleman to keep her.
~ * ~
My life is a mirage of endless time. But you in this moment engulf me, rivet my mind, encompass my soul. (Cole Shilo)


     As Anna emerged from Cantrell Artisan, she shivered in the spring air. The industrial West Side’s sulfuric odor rode the breeze from across town, and the fragrant fire flickered out. She cradled the holder between the large granite lion paws that sat beside the steps. It fit nicely. She sniggered at the sight. Kyle Dressen’s artistic contribution to the sphinx.
     She stepped onto the sidewalk and looked around. Humor faded. Vapor loomed over the empty streets like phantoms gathering warmth from the asphalt. She briskly rubbed her sleeves. The slight warming did nothing to ease her insecurity. Street lights blinked on but offered little comfort as the newscaster’s announcement flooded her mind. “After much deliberation, the new curfew of 2024 has been set into place. Lord Kyle Dressen, Grand Marshal of the courts, announced the bill’s passing, and urges all to adhere as strict measure will be taken to ensure vandalism of the East Side is eradicated.”
     What a ridiculous notion. The impoverished East Side getting aid from the lawmakers. Yet now, unease filled her. Her co-workers’ gossip on the matter didn’t help her anxiety. An apprehensive tone caught her voice as she repeated the warning. “Curfew breakers will never be seen again.” Her whisper sent mist through the chill. She wished she hadn’t spoken.
     Anna hurried across the open court and down an adjacent street. Awnings rustled in the wind. Neon signs that once invited late-night commerce hung dead behind barred windows. Her rushed steps echoed through the air.
She looked to the sky. A blanket of stars covered the firmament. She’d worked too late. Again. “God, I’m not going to make it.”
     Her steps quickened, and she caught her breath as she approached the shortcut through the park. The wide corner entrance stood closed, the ancient stone griffin perched high on the gateway glaring down at her. She shook the bars with disbelief. “When do they ever lock Shilo Park?” Scanning the long gates that fortified the urban green, fear clutched her stomach.
     She whipped around. The sound was like a whisper to her mind yet clear as if spoken. Her gaze intensified as she studied the shadowed pavement. Beneath the dim light of a street lamp, dense smoke billowed, taking the form of three men. Her throat clenched. “What…in…the…world?” She spun around and ran.
     “There’s no use in running.”
     Throwing her hands to her ears, she tried to block out the voice. An abandoned shuttle van propped half way up the curb offered the only protection along the vacant street. She darted across the road to find refuge.
     Her long hair netted her face as she stumbled past street-side clutter. She swiped the strands away. Catching her balance, she raced along the storefronts and spotted a weak halo down an alley. She rushed into the darkness with hope of an open door.
     Puddles of discarded waste filled the dips in the pass, and the air held a foul stench. Her frantic feet beat the pavement as she raced to every locked door.
     Steady footsteps followed.
     She gasped with each failed entry. “Come on. Just one open door.” A cry ripped her throat as she turned to the final promise of safety. The small lamp flickered. Obscene graffiti sprawled the length of the wall that blocked her escape; the dim halo highlighted the neon paint.
     She turned to the way she came. Her body trembled as she backed into a corner for support. “This is a nightmare.” Her shallow voice quivered and sent denial through her. “This isn’t happening!” The tomb-like closure briefly echoed her claim but the measured steps resounded as they approached.
     She stared at the forms as they overtook the narrow alley. A man led center, his companions flanking. Each unified stride caused their capes to furl with controlled motion. Their gazes focused on her. The bleak lamp lit their approach--a dark trio,reapers, all of them--black hair, black eyes, black cloaks. Curfew breakers are never seen again. At that moment, she believed. Anna held her breath as if to ward off the imminent danger.
     They stopped a few feet from her, and the leader stepped forward. Endless time filled her as she gazed at their resolute faces. She swallowed hard to ward off the want of air.
With graceful motion, he lifted his hand as if setting a butterfly free. A mist, the brilliance of snow crystalline encircled her and lingered.
     Anna struggled to withhold a gasp.
     “You have to breathe sometime.”
     The voice sifted through her mind. Her lungs burned, begged for relief. Fear gripped her as she succumbed to need, and the tiny crystallites flowed past her lips. The taste of divinity touched her senses, and the promise of bliss sang in her mind. The invitation was overwhelming, irresistible. A wave of serenity coated her emotions.
     She met his gaze. A small smile touched his coal eyes. It penetrated her soul and opposition dissolved.
     He inhaled the sparkling mist and leaned close. Cradling her face in his hands, he touched his lips to hers. They were warm and seductive, unexpectedly tender. The aroma of licorice and cream flowed through her. She accepted his attention, intoxicated by the offering. In a gentle motion, she felt the loving caress of his tongue on hers. Eternity echoed in her heart.
     With a breath, the magic spell filled her. Heat steamed her lungs and filtered throughout her body. Every wave carried with it memories; the last words of her father, the aged photo of her mother she clung to as a child. Subjection engulfed her mind. All wonderment ceased under its capture. Rapture sealed her senses and final will vanished.

Contest:  One lucky commenter will win a PDF copy of Cornerstone Deep, drawing will be held on Saturday Jan 21st

Charlene:  Thank you for having me here this week! Okay, who has questions or comments? Don't forget to leave your email addy in your comment so I can contact the winner!


  1. Charlene, thanks for being our guest this's a bit eerie down the dark alley! *tugging the collar of my coat a bit tighter* Your books sounds really great! Good luck with the sales and hope they hit the stars!

  2. Hello, everyone, it's great to be here! Thank you so much, Deanna and Louise, for having me. I look forward to spending the week with all of you.

    I'll be popping in and out to answer questions all week so don't be shy. Let me know what kind of refreshment you'd like and I'll pour you a cuppa. I'd love to get to know you. ;)


  3. Hey Deanna and Charlene,
    I'll have a bottomless cup of coffee to go with the everlasting love story of Cole.

    The books sounds interesting. You talked about naming your characters. The name "Cole" reminds me of "Black as coal". Does Cole have a dark side that will be revealed to the readers? Or is he a diamond in the rough, a gem to hold on to?

  4. Hi Steve, Welcome to the Haven. Sit back and relax. *hands a large mug of hot coffee*

    Cole's dark side is pretty evident. He doesn't bother hiding it or why he has it. But he's definitely one to hold onto. In Cornerstone Deep Echoes, he discovers he's more than he ever thought he was. A little tidbit--The Shilo brothers are from another dimension. Cole his short for his given name.


  5. It's good to see you, Charlene. I enjoyed Cornerstone Deep and look forward to Cornerstone Deep Echoes. I see what you mean by Cole having a bit of a dark side. But he really is one that I couldn't help but love.

    I have a question. Not about the books...but the titles. Why, if you have a series name, do you keep with "Cornerstone Deep" for the second book and not just call it Echoes?

    I'll have a tall sweet tea if you've got it. ;)

  6. Hi, Martha. Welcome. *hands her a tall glass of tea*

    I know it's a little different to keep the "Cornerstone Deep" in my titles here. And the third book will have it too--Cornerstone Deep Destiny. But the Chronicles of Shilo Manor take in the records kept in the Manor's Candle Vignette. It's an enchanted album containing pictures, thoughts, official records of the dealings of the Sentinels throughout the Arches Spectrum of Realms.

    Aumelan, in fact, is part of this and will have the overall heading of Chronicles of Shilo Manor also. It will be the story of the plane Midway Summit, and has three books in it, just as Cornerstone Deep does. --Aumelan, Aumelan~World Beneath the Rock, and Aumelan~Kingdom Rise--

    That's a great question! I'm so glad you brought that up. :)


  7. Hi Charlene! What a great interview! I already have Cornerstone Deep. But would love Cornerstone Deep Echoes!!!! I don't mind waiting for it if you'd be willing to sub it if I won?? I gotta find out if James and Linda get together and if Mechenzie really is who I think she is. Lol. And according to the Echoes blurb I read I can't believe Mianna would actually maybe choose Dressen over Cole?????

    Sorry. I'm really not as crazy as I come across. But I'm your biggest fan I think. Lol!

    mslilac at live dot com

  8. Hi Lilac. Lol. I think you're right about being one of biggest fans. I put your letter under "Fan Fare" on the site.

    There will be a lot of ways to win CD Echoes during my tour. And you know I can't give away that info. ;) But Mianna's in a unique situation. You'll see.

    Thanks for coming to the Haven to see me!


  9. Hello Charlene - Hi Deanna *waves* Great interview, ladies. Love how you name your characters...I can sort of relate to the characters being happy or not with their chosen name...they do choose, don't they? LOL

    Like Lilac, I also have Cornerstone I'll need to wait for Echoes.

    I wish you all success, Charlene.

  10. *milling through the crowd in the dark alley* So glad we set up the coffee/latte stand out here to keep all of us warm! Oh, I think there might be a bottle of Bailey's under the counter...probably several for that matter. Gotta keep the crowd happy and hanging around. Thank you all for stopping in to learn more about this series. Congrats, Charlene, and may your e-books continue to sell out! LOL

  11. Thanks for stopping by, Kay Dee. Yeah, I have some picky characters. Lol. I know you understand how that is.

    Thanks for keeping us supplied, Deanna. You do do an alley proud. *wink*

  12. *tighyly holding a cup of steaming coffee and baileys, shivers* Man, its cold and spooky in this alley! Charlene, you grabbed my attention with 'from another dimension'. I loved the excerpt. And your description of the kiss - Wow! Definitely going on my TBR list. Thanks everyone stopping by and good luck in the drawing.

  13. Thanks for braving the cold weather and dark alley, Louise. I'm glad you liked the excerpt. Cole may have that dark side, but he's a most romantic soul.

    Thank you for inviting me to the Haven. :)


  14. How fun is this...meeting in an alley to hear an excerpt about being followed by strange men. Mind you, I wouldn't mind a kiss like that. Lol.

    Good luck, Charlene

    abicharlton @ live . com

  15. Hahaha. I think the ladies here at the Haven have made it quite safe here for us. And are serving drinks to warm you up. Or I could call on Cole to warm you up a bit. ;)

    Thanks for stopping by Abigale.


  16. Good job Charlene and Reader's Haven. Best of luck to you both of you.


  17. Thanks, Ellen!

    And thank all of you for stopping by. It was great to visit and talk about Cornerstone Deep.

    The contest is closed. We'll be drawing a winner and posting it Saturday. Good luck, everyone!

  18. woohoo!!! Charlene, you've had 130 peeks this week! Way to go! We hope your sites recd hits too! Thanks for being here with us!

  19. Congratulations, Ellen! You're the winner of a PDF copy of Cornerstone Deep. I'll be contacting you shortly.

    Thank you Deanna and Louise for having me at the Haven this week! :)


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