I'm super excited as I have Char Chaffin here today to talk about herself and her new release Promises To Keep. I am so glad you could make it here, Char. Pull up a cozy seat and let's get started.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Upstate New York, married an Air Force man and have traveled all over the US and Canada. We’ve been in all fifty states, Mexico and much of Canada, and right now we’re living on a sixty-acre farm about twenty miles from my hometown. We’d chuck it all tomorrow for a chance to return to Alaska!
What is the most romantic thing your significant other or anyone has done for you?
Every time I’ve needed to grow, to stretch my wings, he’s encouraged me. There’s nothing more romantic than a man who understands me. And he holds my hand while we sleep.
Wow. That is definitely romantic.
Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
Well, I don’t wear PJs, or anything else like that, so I’d have to say “no.” I’ve been known to write in my underwear, though. ::wink::
What are your pet peeves?
What are your pet peeves?
Sarcasm, overuse of the word “basically,” people who ask me a question by beginning the sentence, “Question,” and drivers who cut across parking lots. I once got hit in a parking lot by a guy driving a truck who cut across instead of following the lanes like a sane person.
Cats or dogs?
Definitely dogs. Cats don’t understand me.
White wine or red?
Neither. I like beer.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee, but only if it’s loaded with French vanilla syrup, and pale with vanilla creamer.
Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
Chocolate. The only vanilla I ever want is in my coffee.
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
1. A wristwatch. I’m addicted to them and I collect them. I have about thirty that I wear regularly. 2. My cell phone. Not because I like talking on the phone (I don’t), but because if I get stuck somewhere, I can pull up my Kindle app and read a book. 3. A bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper. 4. Chewing gum.
Laptop or desktop for writing?
Lately it’s been my laptop. Got it for my birthday and LOVE it.
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I write in the living room with my laptop and my trackball mouse, with my Natural keyboard attached. I used to write in my office, but it’s sure nice to be in the same room with my hubby!
If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
George Bush, Laura Bush and Ronald Reagan.
An actor you have a crush on?
Oh, why focus on one when so many are cute???!
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
I adored ‘Friday Night Lights’ and ‘Lost.’ Two shows I hated to see end.
What made you decide to be an author?
It was something my hubby said. He told me I wrote the most wonderful letters and maybe I should try my hand at writing short stories. Then he encouraged me to try writing something longer. Then he persuaded me to try my hand at writing a novel. By then, I was hooked on writing, and I’ve never looked back.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I don’t know; I just started writing and it fell into the mainstream romance category. Which is crazy since my favorite reading material is horror and science fiction. I do adore romance and I read a lot of it. But my first love was always horror.
Are you a punster or a plotter and why?
I just start writing and let it fall where it will. After a few chapters, if I feel I have something worthwhile, I might do up an outline. Sometimes I think up a title and then write around it.
Is there a particular author who may have influenced you?
Nora Roberts has definitely influenced the romance side of my writing. I’ve probably learned the most by reading her.
What is your all time favorite book?
Not a single book but a series: The Quinn Brothers series, by Nora Roberts. Nobody writes men and relationships like Nora.
What is your favorite sentence or quote in your new release?
“The day I fell in love with you was the day you gave me half your fish and all of your worms.”
How much trouble did your characters give you while writing your new release? Which one?
My lead characters were a dream to write. I knew where they were going, how they’d get there and what personality traits they’d show, along the way. My secondary character, Ruth, was much more difficult. I needed to show her as a terrible person while still giving her vulnerability and writing her in such a way that the reader would ultimately feel sympathy for her.
Where do you get your ideas from?
All over the place. Songs, dreams, a nightmare or two. Places I’ve traveled through. It’s hard to just pin it down to a few things.
How did you choose your title?
From the way my characters relate to each other as well as a line from a Frost poem: “I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”
How do you cure writer’s block?
I don’t. I let it take me. It’s no use fighting it, at least not for me. Fighting it only makes it worse. It may mean I don’t write a word for weeks, but if I tried to cure or work through it, I might not write again for years. I think writer’s block happens for a reason. Maybe I really need the downtime.
Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer?
Never stop writing. If you have something to say, then say it. When you think it’s done, it’s not. Polish your work to death, then give it to a critique partner and polish it some more when they send it back to you. You might love it but others have to love it, too. Follow the basic writing rules but don’t concede your impulses when you’re sure you’re right. Most of all, learn humility and learn to listen to others who have already published and know the ropes. Join writing groups, participate in social networks and enter a few contests now and then. Read as much as you can, as often as you can, and read in your genre as well as in other genres. Pick a favorite author and read everything they have written. But most of all, WRITE.
What sacred advice have you been giving by another writer?
See above! Someone said it to me, I took their advice and now I pass it on to others. It’s sound advice, trust me.
Where can your readers stalk you?
My website: http://char.chaffin.com My author group blog: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/ Facebook and Twitter: http://twitter.con/char_chaffin http://facebook.com/char.chaffin
Tell us about your new release:
PROMISES TO KEEP is a mainstream/family drama set in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. For Annie Turner and Travis Quincy, social status doesn’t matter. Like two halves of a whole, they’re only complete when they’re together. And nothing is more important than the vow they make to someday marry.
But the rich, privileged boy and the girl from the wrong side of town will find that when it comes to keeping the pledge they made to each other, it's easier said than done. Travis's mother, Ruth, has plans for her son and they don't include a girl like Annie. With cold determination she sets out to destroy their bond.
Love is magical at any age … and a promise is forever.
Sure is Char! Thank you so much for being here on your special day. For those who would like to win a free copy of Promises to Keep, go to SMP Authors Blog and comment on Char's blog.
You can find Promises to Keep at Soul Mate Publishing
And tune in tomorrow as I will have Angeline Bishop in the house for an interview about herself and her new release out today North Star over at Soul Mate Publishing.
AVAILABLE NOW @ Soul Mate Publishing: The Swan Cove Murders Coming in December: Secrets of Jenkins Bridge