Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Authorsday: Charlie Kramer

Charlie Kramer lives in Melbourne, Australia with her partner.

She has worked in the building and facilities management industries for a number of years as both a General Manager, private contractor and author of specialised technical manuals.
Charlie is also an award winning speech writer and published short story author. Today she enjoys writing romantic comedy screen plays and novels.
In her spare time, Charlie enjoys creative cooking and watching chick flicks.
Her ultimate dream; to write a one woman stage play.

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was five years old I picked up a text and penned my first short story on my bedroom wall. At five I didn’t have a grasp on characterization or character development. I certainly didn’t know the first thing about plotting. My story involved Cinderella, Snow White and a couple of very kissable frogs who naturally turned into two very extraordinary Princes.

I left out the wicked witch and the step mother. They didn’t do justice to my five year old dreams of romance.

2. How long have you been writing?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. Writing for me is a passionate craving and every day some form of writing takes place. Whether it’s working on my novel, making notes for my next book or screenplay. I find too that I get a lot of satisfaction from writing in my personal journal and on my blog. I have been writing since I could hold a pencil. It took a bit longer though for me to create my own characters. I have moved on from borrowing Cinderella and characters from fairytales.

3. Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?
I would have to admit to being a little bit of a plotter and a lot of a pantser. For each novel or screen play I create a beat sheet or essentially a plot outline. I have the beat sheet open whilst I write. Every single time I get halfway through the manuscript and the outline seems to just disappear into some wide abyss. From there on in I let my characters lead where they want to take the story. It is their story and over time I have learnt to trust my characters in this way.

Some would say not a good way to write, but it works for me.

4. What drew you to the subject of “Don’t Quote Me”?

I met my heroine Claire Montgomery in December 2008. Claire simply showed up one day in my imagination and as I got to know her I found her fascinating. Here was this young woman who thought she knew it all, when in fact she didn’t have a clue.

Claire is such a unique personality that I wanted to do her story justice and to tell the story in a different way. Then it came to me. Claire loves the movie stars of the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s so why not use quotations from the starlets of this era. Each chapter contains a number of quotations from the stars that Claire applies to her everyday life. She has a quote for every situation.

5. How many rejections have you received?
LOl. I have lost count. I have kept each and every rejection letter I’ve received. There’s a quote by Julie Andrews I read when I was writing “Don’t Quote Me” - Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th. I now have this quote above my desk.
Every time I receive a rejection I simply read Julie’s quote and it keeps me going.

6. Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know?
I’m a Taurus. This proves rather difficult for me as a writer. One part of me is creative and passionate about writing, whilst another part of me loves structure. In the early years I had difficulty uniting the two. The creative part handles the writing, the structural part of me is used more in my writing environment, eg. Filing, administration, etc.
Thankfully I have found a balance that works for me. I give both the creative and structural parts of me equal time at the helm. Self-promotion has been a blessing in disguise in terms of that structural part of myself.

7. Describe your book.

“Don’t Quote Me” is a romantic comedy and the first of four books in the “Quotable Women” series.

This is Claire Montgomery’s story. She’s a fun loving flirt who lives life according to her own rules. Claire thinks she is leading the life of her dreams. Then she meets Sebastian Gionis.

Meeting the man of her dreams has Claire’s life in tatters and she realizes that she is not relationship material.

“Don’t Quote Me” is her emotional journey to find herself and how to actually be in a relationship.

It’s a romantic comedy with a lots of laughs and lots of heartfelt moments on the road to love.

8. What’s your favorite quote?
“It’s a blip, not a catastrophe” by Donald Trump. It’s a reminder to me that not everything in life is as bad as it seems and that I am strong enough to overcome the obstacles on my path.

9. What is your favorite word?
Proud. Not because I particularly like the word, but more because it usually appears several hundred times in every first draft I write.

10. What’s your favorite thing about your book?
I love my character but what I loved most about writing the book was the use of the quotations intertwined in the story.
Publishers often tell us there are no new plots/stories, its how the story is told. They look for something different. I searched for a unique way of telling Claire’s story and found it in using quotations from movie stars.

Book 1 of the Quotable Women Series is Don’t Quote Me .

In this romantic comedy London’s hottest fashion photographer, Claire Montgomery has a problem. Several actually. One; she remembers every event in her life by the shoes she is wearing at the time. Two; she has rules around dating. Three; her belief in monogamy stops her from marrying and four; her little hot pink book is literally on fire. She sees no problem that she lives her life from quotes of the movie stars of the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Then she meets Sebastian Gionis. Sebastian shakes up Claire’s and forces her to re-evaluate her life and beliefs.

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