Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Meet Spunky 81 Year Old Author Charmaine Gordon, Once The Stand-In Leg Model for Geraldine Ferarro

So happy to be visiting with you, Morgan. I’ve enjoyed many of your senior blogs and decided to jump in.
  A bit about my past: Born in the good/bad old days of Chicago when sometimes you saw big Packard’s with hoodlums riding on running boards, tommy guns at the ready. Later Dad prospered and we moved to a better neighborhood. I married my high school sweetheart and became an Air Force bride raising too many children as we moved from base to base. Writing, directing, and performing in skits for the Officer’s Club helped develop a sense of self while my pilot was on temporary duty overseas. As civilians we settled within driving distance to NYC and there I pursued my dream of working professionally as an actor. Daytime drama, commercials, movies and off Broadway kept me busy. I never expected to be a star but it was a sweet time working with Harrison Ford, Michael Douglas, Anthony Hopkins, and Billy Crystal to mention a few. My very first job was stand in leg model for Geraldine Ferarro in a Pepsi commercial. She was on the Democratic ticket with Michael Dukakis at the time, first female ever to be in that lofty position.
During the run of an Off Broadway play, an idea for a story came to me. I’d read many scripts, knew my way around dialogue and set direction and with no other prep, I began to write. Luck smiled upon me as I wrote queries, shrugged off rejections and before long a publisher offered a contract! An author is born. After two years, her company went out of business BUT another author, Chelle Cordero, bought my book and told her publisher about me. So here I am at 81 with six books to my credit, a few short stories, and more books on the way.

Charmaine's Daughter Jumping

Charmaine's Granddaughter Jumping
When I wrote Reconstructing Charlie I never dreamed another story began after I typed The End. But two minor characters kept bugging me and so I wrote Sin of Omission.
Reconstructing Charlie:

  Charlie Costigan has a secret. Home life gone from bad to the worst when she protects her mother from another vicious attack by her drunken father. Midnight. Clothes thrown into an old suitcase, she races for the bus with a letter to an unknown aunt and uncle. “This is my daughter. Embrace her as if she were your own.”

Determined, Charlie begins again. Alone with her secret.

Sin of Omission:
  Seems easy enough. Jimmy Costigan will deliver supplies to sister Charlie's project Haven, a respite for the needy, and leave.
Instead, Shelley Jackson answers the door, says she needs him and soft-hearted Jimmy stays to protect the family seeking refuge from a sociopath. He didn't count on falling in love.
A twist of fate intervenes when Shelley keeps a secret that threatens to break apart the Costigans and her future. A mysterious client, Deanna Rose, enters Haven, victim of a savage beating under strange circumstances. Using Internet resources, Shelley digs in to find Ms. Rose has an unsavory past.

With the reputation and safety of Haven at stake, Shelley is at risk to lose everything ... and everyone she cares about.\

In this tech world that makes me dizzy, if you’d like to chat I can be reached at the following links.

About writing: Nothing prepared me for the glorious feeling and power of writing. Imagine the thrill, the control over fictional characters. You decide when they meet, how they appear and feel using your senses. And how about the evil someone? Should he/she die of a disease, get stabbed, shot? It’s all in your imagination. There is so much to explore and have fun with if you open your veins and let your emotions out. Yes, it’s messy with all the tears but remember the reward of laughter and sweet memories you can incorporate into a story. I don’t outline because I fly by the seat of my pants with an idea of what lies ahead and how it ends allowing the characters to live and direct me. Maybe I’m not a real writer, trained in school. I’ve come to this amazing craft late in life so all I can do is bring my life experience, leave fear behind and write in a style I call loose. That’s me. Loose.
My advice to a newbie is this: You say you have a story to tell. TELL IT! Maybe begin with Remember When and write a short memoir without censoring yourself. Have a little fun with the blank white page.
The hard work comes after you’ve written a book. Promotion. OMG! No one prepared me for this. On this happy note I say thanks again to Morgan for this lovely opportunity to visit and talk about my books that my publisher, Kimberlee Williams at Vanilla Heart, calls Survive & Thrive stories.
Check out for more about Charmaine Gordon.

Please welcome Charmaine to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents by Leaving a Comment.


  1. What an exciting life! Great post, Charmaine.

  2. Hi Liz, thanks for stopping by to check me out. I'm so pleased to be among the Spunky Senior authors on this blog thanks to Morgan Mandel.

  3. Not only spunky, but beautiful, too!

  4. Hi Charmaine. I'm always so fascinated by the stories you tell about your life. I can't believe all the wonderful things you done. Amazing. Thanks so much for sharing more of your stories with us!

  5. How many vitamins does it take to be spunky?


  6. Welcome to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents, Charmaine. Sounds like you've had some amazing experiences. Have a fun time here today!

    Morgan Mandel

  7. Malcolm, it takes an ocean of vitamins to remain spunky and attitude helps. Aging isn't for sissies.
    Melinda, beauty is only skin deep-someone said that once or twice. I second the motion if it comes up for a vote. Thanks for the sweet compliment and Heather, I hope to regale you with many stories-all true except for my fiction-in the future.

  8. Our Charmaine is nothing if not spunky!

  9. What a super blog, Morgan. I'm a new follower. :)

    Charmaine, I'm honored to be associated with you via Vanilla Heart Publishing. You're an inspiration. Keep on doing what you're doing, and yes, attitude is everything!

  10. Hey Smoky, I may be the elder but you are at least as spunky!

    Anne, my nomadic friend, I'm so pleased you stopped by to cheer me on. Thanks.

  11. Wow! What a great post. You've led such an interesting life. Best of luck in all you do.

  12. Thanks, Cheryl. As in all lives, add one part great, one part struggle, one part moving along. And above all-a sense of humor to carry you through.

  13. Charmaine, Great post, You have me by a few years but I know about your determination. There's a character of yours who still interests me and that's the young man who befriends Charlie in high school and then they drift apart. He would make a great hero for a book

  14. Loved visiting with you - you can check me out at Amazon where theres a list of my books in so many places it's practically impossible to avoid me witha 'Dorian Gray' picture on my profile (I'm never going to get any older on dust covers LOL). I'm 85 going or 58 and am thinking about going public about my age if I can get a pic done that doesn't look like I've been dead for thre days-ha~ or maybe I'll just stick to one one that was taken about 15 years ago at a book signing, I've got 3 audios due out Dec. 15 & don't want to scare anyone????!!!Going now to like you everywhere I can, Jackie Griffey


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