Hi and welcome to my blog, C. L. Kraemer. Please make yourself at home and grab a drink from my hunky cabana boys, Zeke and Jake. So tell us a little about yourself.
Q: What genre do you write and for what publisher(s)?
I write multiple genres for two publishing houses. For Wings ePress, I’ve written ‘Encore L’Amour’ or romance with older heroines. Two of the books fall into the romantic suspense category and one in romance. All my romance is written as Celia Cooper. The fourth book I have at Wings is a suspense novel written as C. L. Kraemer.
For Rogue Phoenix Press, Inc., I write all my novels as C. L. Kraemer in the fantasy, mystery and crime genres.
Q: Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?
Shattered Tomorrows is a novel loosely based on a real incident that occurred in Salem, Oregon in May 1981. A lone gunman entered a popular nightclub called the Oregon Museum Tavern. He pulled out his Browning 9mm and unloaded the clip into the crowd. He stepped outside, reloaded the weapon and proceeded to again fire at people inside the bar. Several young men in the crowd pulled themselves from their stupor and tackled him to the ground, dislodging the gun. At the end of his fifteen minute shooting spree, four were dead and twenty were wounded.
What prompted my writing of the novel is I had been inside the nightclub a mere fifteen minutes prior to the gunman’s shooting spree. I nearly became the story, not the storyteller.
Q: How do you build characters and their personalities and looks?
I have traveled extensively in my lifetime and mingled with many different types of people. Consequently, my characters are built on conglomerations of several folks I know. I grab personality traits I feel each character needs to possess and form the personalities and looks accordingly. Some characters come to me fully developed. Others build themselves chapter by chapter and, often, turn out completely different than I’d imagined.
Q: Tell me about some of your heroes/heroines.
In one of the many articles or classes I took, I read/heard that a villain can’t be all bad [we’d be happy to see him/her killed off immediately]and a hero/heroine can’t be all good. [we’d get bored to tears.] I try to sprinkle some good in the bad guys and put a little bad or ‘not perfect’ behavior in the good guys. I like strong, independent women who don’t really need a man, but won’t argue if a really great guy comes along and men who have no problem cooking dinner or grocery shopping if necessary.
Q: What do you do when the muse decides to take a holiday or become really difficult? How do you try to coax them back to the drawing board?
One sentence at a time. If I can sit down at my computer and put one sentence on the page, then another and another, I’m usually fortunate enough to have the juices begin to flow and before I know it, I’ve written several pages. When things get really tough and my muse is balking or a plot point seems to be escaping me, I’ll get up and do housework. Something about the repetitious movement gets my brain working and the ideas flowing. Besides, my house gets cleaned without me whining.
Q: Do you have any specific things (or rituals) that help you to write or that inspire you?
I like to have something to drink, i.e., coffee or sugar free iced tea, and as much quiet as I can get.
Q: If the world was to end tomorrow, what three things would be on your bucket list?
I want to travel to England to connect with my maternal side of the family, Australia to visit a land so different from anyplace on this earth and the Middle East to visit places where the first civilized people lived to admire their handiwork.
Q: Are there any authors who have influenced your work?
I grew up devouring all of Agatha Christie’s works but read voraciously. In my household, most entertainment was what could be done for free. The library was our sanctuary. We checked out armloads of books a week. So I was influenced by those writers who could write me into another world.
Q: What comes first for you: Setting? Storyline? Characters?
It’s a toss up between storyline and characters. As a fantasy writer, I have a multitude of faeries, night elves and dragons I’m privileged to write about but without a purpose [storyline], they sit on the page wondering what’s happening next. Then again, if I have a great storyline and mediocre characters, I run into the same brick wall.
Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your main characters?
My husband is certain my Dragon series should be made into movies, and to be honest, I’ve played with the idea myself. However, my characters in the dragon stories are all very tall for the average human, approximately 6’4″ to 6’9″ both men and women, and the nationalities span the globe. I think most of the film would have to feature CG [computer graphics] to get the proper effects. Beside, I’m so far behind the ‘new’ faces in Hollywood, I wouldn’t know who to ask to star.
Q: What do you have coming next? Anything you want to tell us?
I’m currently writing another crime mystery story about a motorcycle poker run where the rider who draws the Joker winds up dying. It’s called Joker’s Wild. I’m also beginning the third in the dragon series featuring the Norwegian and Swedish dragon clans, Dragons Among the Ice. I think I’ll be introducing dragon babies and youngsters.
Q: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Contents may differ from picture on package.
Q: What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
I draw from my surroundings and, if someone irritates me enough, they’ll wind up as the next victim in my story. I love being able to kill people without going to jail. I have an unusual sense of humor that creeps into my writing. I only hope I’m entertaining others the way I was entertained as a child.
Q: Where can we find you on the web?
http://www.celiacooper.com; http://www.clkraemer.com;www.roguesangels.blogspot.sableangel.com; http://www.WingsePress.com/celiacooper or http://www.WingsePress.com/clkraemer and http://www.RoguePhoenixPress.com/clkraemer
Shattered Tomorrows by C. L. Kraemer
Lucy Daniels has a secret–a deeply guarded secret.
Her life was going along just fine until she accompanied her best friend, Cassie, to her attorney’s suite on top of the Equitable Building in downtown Salem, Oregon.
Once inside the lawyer’s office, the world turned upside down and Lucy was forced to face a demon from her past. Thirty years previously, life had been different. Lucy had discovered Prince Charming and was headed to her happily ever after.
That’s when the devil intervened and because of her brush with the devil, innocent people died.
Available at http://www.RoguePhoenixPress.com in ebook and print on demand.
I started to rise but stopped halfway up when Cassie laid a hand on my arm.
“Lucy, please? For me?”
What I do for my friends… I sat back down and folded my arms. This had better be good.
I watched my friend morph before my very eyes. Her shoulders sagged, bottom lip took on a quivering life of its own, and she again sucked a deep ragged breath into her lungs.
I lifted my left eyebrow. I’d never heard Cassie use her ex-husband’s proper name.
The young barrister leaned closer concentrating all his attention on my well-endowed, and rich, friend.
“What has he done now, Cassandra?”
I choked, feigning a cough. If I’d called her Cassandra, I’d have worn the impression of her knuckles on my bicep for two weeks.
“I… I… I just can’t take it.” Cassie picked up her purse from the floor and pulled out a lace-edged hanky which she dabbed to the inside corner of her right eye.
I sat with my mouth gaping. I’d seen this delicate flower drag a 6’ 2”, drunk, rugby player to the front of the bar where we’d both worked at the time and THROW him into the parking lot—by herself.
The person sitting next to me now was nobody I knew.
Donald leaned over and murmured just low enough I nearly missed it. “I know just what to do.”
He gave a curt nod of his head and stood.
I panicked. There was no way I wanted to be witness to fooling around even if she was my best friend.
Donald turned from the desk to the wall of fabric behind him. Picking up a remote control from the desktop, he pointed it at the curtains. Slowly they slid toward the corners revealing a wall of glass from ceiling to the floor.
It was at that moment, I must have lost my mind.
Outside the sky was pewter-toned with horizon-to-horizon clouds pelting fat raindrops to the ground. Tiny rivulets ran down the outside of the glass wall. Even with the gloom of the rain, natural light from the sky brightened the space overpowering the subtle glow of the lamps in the room.
Donald turned to face Cassie and took his place in the leather captain’s chair behind the desk.
“There. That should help. Now tell me everything that’s happening.”
Cassie launched into a diatribe about Bobby and his girlfriend, now his wife, and droned on and on.
It all faded to so much background noise. Something about the act of revealing the floor to ceiling windows set off a trigger in my mind.
The cloud-filled sky faded to darkness and city lights twinkled in the distance. I felt a thump, thump, thumping in my chest and vague strains of a Donna Summer song echoed somewhere in the distance. Tracer lights tracked around the floor, which was oak parquet now. Stale beer and cigarettes tickled my nose, and there was a subtle undertone of prime rib tinged with horseradish and baked potatoes. I ran my tongue over my lips in anticipation, the tangy bite of lemon tweaking my taste buds. The thrumming of the disco beat set my heart racing, and I found myself sweating. Man, it’s hot!
Someone was tugging on my arm. I was not in the mood to deal with amorous drunks tonight. I was going to introduce his face to my tray if he didn’t stop tugging on my arm.
How can this drunk know my name?
Light slowly filtered through my fog. The thundering of the music was gone, and the obsidian night sky melted into the dreary, sullen gray of weeping clouds. Gone were the tracer lights on the floor. Carpet now covered the space and the bouquet of prime rib had fled the room. No stale beer. No stale cigarettes.
I glanced up into the worried eyes of my friend Cassie.
“Are you all right? You, like, went away for a minute.”
I smiled weakly. “Yeah, I’m all right. How about I stop at the ladies’ room while you finish up? I’ll meet you by the elevators.”
“Fine. I’ll be done here shortly.”