Interview with Charlene Raddon

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up south of Los Angeles so I guess I'm a city girl, but my heart belongs to the country. I hated living in the city and always dreamed of moving to a small town. Even as a child I was sure I had been born in the wrong century. I thought I would like being a pioneer or at least a farmer. Now that I'm grown up, I know better the hardships pioneers endured. Don't think I'd make a good farmer either. But I'd still love to live in the country. I've always loved the Old West. That and a love of romance are what drove me to begin writing my own books.
When did you first start writing?
My writing career started late. I meant to be an artist but somehow ended up creating pictures with words instead of oils or water colors. It was a dream that actually inspired my first book. It was so vivid I dragged out a typewriter and began writing. I've been writing ever since, over thirty years now.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm going to call the book that will be released in November my latest book because it has a fun story behind it. I had just finished another book and needed a new story idea. For once, which doesn't happen often, the idea well was dry. I was at lunch with my critique group and asked one of the member I knew had a lively imagination to give me an idea. Without batting an eye she said, "Write about a woman who has to find a man she can only identify by a scar on his bottom." So I did. Taming Jenna is the tale of a young woman determined to find her missing father. She becomes a Pinkerton agent and gets an assignment to go to Utah (where her father is rumored to be) and catch a train robber she can only identify by a scar on his bottom. The first chapter opens with her finally catching up with her prey at his camp. She orders him to drop his trousers but there is no scar. She skedaddles fast but Branch McCauley, a known gunslinger, goes after her to get even.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm not an indie author. I have a fabulous publisher, Tirgearr Publishing, that I love.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
By making my e-books available everywhere.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing "The End". No, actually I love the research process. In fact I have to school myself to avoid using all the research I do. I also love the editing process, finding just the right word with the most accurate nuance to bring my book alive.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Without them, writing is a lonely business. The fans make all the work, the uncertainty, the agonizing, worth the effort. They mean joy and justification.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on re-editing the first book I ever wrote, Time Weaver. As a time travel, it wasn't salable at the time when I finished it. No one wanted time travels. But now I think it will do very well. Time Weaver isn't a typical time travel in which the protagonist happens into the past and stays there. In my book my heroine is the reincarnation of a powerful medicine woman and is called back by a committee of medicine men who want her to relearn all she knew of the dances, songs, and traditions of her old people so she can return to her own time and help the Native Americans there. Of course, there are all sorts of complications.
Who are your favorite authors?
Penelope Williamson, Lynn Kurland, Jodi Thomas, Maggie Osborn, Susan Anderson, Kristin Hannah, Susan Wiggs, Susan Elizabeth Phillips...I could go on and on.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Having another chance to write.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to travel. Otherwise, I research my family genealogy, crochet, needlepoint and create digital scrapbooks. Lately I've been doing e-book covers for other authors. I also like to play with my cat, spoil my grandchildren and spend time with my husband.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Through blogs and websites, word of mouth. Sometimes I'll see a beautiful cover and buy on the spot.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was when I was about ten and it was about a little girl whose mother was unfair to her.
How do you approach cover design?
With an artistic eye. My background is in art so creating covers comes naturally to me.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle Fire
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Lots of hard work, blogging, tweeting, social media, grabbing at any exposure I can get, but first and foremost, the most important thing is writing a good book.
Published 2013-09-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.