Friday, 29 May 2009

Welcome to the Online Book Discussion for Final Sin

Good morning everyone!

I have been looking forward to today's discussion - it should be a lot of fun. I'll be answering questions until 7PM (EST) tonight. And on Sunday I will put everyone's name who participated today into a hat and draw one for a free & signed copy of Final Sin.

Deputy Sheriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full with the investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife when he meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. He is immediately drawn to her and finds himself unexpectedly falling in love. Julie finds herself just as drawn to him. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both of their lives in extreme danger...

Whether or not you've read Final Sin, I hope you will participate - you can take a peek at some excerpts if you would like: Read the First Chapter or another scene further into the book. There is also an interview with Julie Jennings, the heroine of Final Sin. Read up on some suggested discussion topics...

Finally I want to remind everyone that EVERY purchase of Final Sin thru May 31 (print, Kindle or .pdf e-book) will benefit the Stony Point Ambulance Corps Youth Squad. Read the details...

Q: What is the difference between EMT and EMS?
A: An EMT is a trained person, an Emergency Medical Technician, who works within the EMS system: EMS is Emergency Medical Services, the umbrella term for the emergency response system.

Q: Is the training the same for a paid EMT as it is for a volunteer EMT?
A: Yes, the training is exactly the same. Whether paid or volunteer, all EMTs have to take the same classroom and field training. They are all medical professionals.

Q: What kind of training goes into being a Paramedic?
A: All paramedics must have been EMT-Basic first; In NYS there is an additional 1000-1200 hours of classroom training. Paramedics are also required to have an extensive knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology. Additional training includes Bloodborne Pathogens, Haz-Mat response, emergency vehicle operations, and rescue in special circumstances. In order to maintain Paramedic certification, there are required Continuing Medical Education credits as well.

Q: How can you recognize a stalker?
A: Most stalkers seem harmless... they may be very charming, or seem socially awkward. Watch for frequent appearances at places they don't really belong (ie: YOUR workplace), frequent phone calls, random gifts, any "threatening" behavior.

Q: What can you do to protect yourself against a stalker?
A: Don't send mixed messages, be firm that you are not interested in a relationship. Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you lock your doors and safeguard your property. Do not engage in confrontations with a stalker. Do not hesitate to get police help if the stalking continues or escalates.

Okay, please ask questions or leave comments below:


Chelle Cordero said...

Okay, I stopped in early... I hope that everyone enjoys todays discussion.

I'm off to catch some ZZZs now and I will be back later to answer all of your questions.


Lindsay Townsend said...

Hi Chelle! Hope you have a great day today: I'm really looking forward to the discussion.

Reading the opening chapter of 'Final Sin' I'm struck by the swift, vivid pace and the smooth changes of viewpoint between the characters. Did you know when you began to write where you would begin 'Final Sin' and which viewpoint characters you would use?

Also - did you find the romantic suspense genre focused your writing so the pace was urgent and yet at the same time never missing the emotions of your people?

One more question - it is a very stark opening. Did that scene stay with you for a time after you'd written it?

Chelle Cordero said...

Hi Lindsay,

Writing Final Sin took a lot of planning, not planning sduch as outlines and such (I'm a pantser not a plotter) - I knew exactly where (& who) I wanted the story to go.

The opening scene was inspired by a real life crime that had happened = the crime was different but the setting was almost the same - this happened years before not far from where I live. The memeories of the newspaper reports still stay with me, so writing this scene was haunting.

Being a romantic suspense author kept making me want to put more romance and less gore in, lol, but as I said, I knew what I wanted to do with this book and I literally was driven.

A technique I have used in my previous books that has been liked by my readers was the change of viewpoint, almost like watching a movie. I "watched" the story unfold in my mind and tried to tell it the same way.

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Chelle, I skimmed your first chapter (brushed over details that make me squeemish, lol) and it is very real, just as your character interview with Julie. I know I have to pull back and take a lot of refreshing breaks when I'm writing something intense. Do you do the same?

Chelle Cordero said...

Can I admit that I actually had nightmares when I wrote this book? True.

But I was very determined when I wrote this and I kept plodding ahead through the first draft. After that I had to take a break.

LK Hunsaker said...

Oh I believe it, Chelle! I love your research, by the way. I have an EMT in an upcoming novel but it'll focus more on his life after EMT so I'll avoid the detail. ;-)

Chelle Cordero said...

That's wonderful that you have an EMT in your next book - we need more focus on our first responders.

Sarah Simas said...

Hi Chelle!

I loved your intensity. Very griping and suspenseful!

My senior year in High School, I had an older college boy who stalked me. Luckily, he showed up at the flower shop I worked at (he used to work there too) and my boss ran him off. He left me alone after that.

But you were right when you describe a stalker as being flattering. He was at first and then he became possessive. I enjoyed your interview. You sure know your stuff! :o)

Great job, Lindsay. Wonderful interview, ladies. I hope book sales sky rocket to support such a worth cause.


Chelle Cordero said...

Hi Sarah, so glad that your stalker was relatively easy to get rid of.

I think most stalkings are innocuous and merely annoying which is why we so often don't take them as serious as we should. But they do have the potential to turn...

Lindsay Townsend said...

Hi Everyone,
Fascinating so far. So relieved for you, Sarah, that your stalker was,as Chelle says, relatively so easy to get rid of. And I agree with all of you about the vital job paramedics do. Have you a title yet for your upcoming novel, LK?
(When my husband fell down the stairs and broke his ankle badly the paramedics were brilliant.)

Chelle - another question. (Well, anyone else, too, if you wish to answer!) With your characters did you 'find' their 'core' nature first, their names, their jobs? Or did it all come together, in a piece?

Chelle Cordero said...

Lindsay, with all of my writing I always build my characters first - give them backgrounds, likes, dislikes, habits. I usually place an actor into the part so I even have a physical description in my eye. Generally my characters, within my set parameters, will write their own stories as they react to the events I put in their paths - I call it method writing (a holdover from my drama training in college).

Hope your hubby'a anle is okay now.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Hi Chelle,
Yes, hubby's ankle is ok now.
Interesting about how you 'draw' and give life to your people. I love the term method writing!

Did you 'know' who the adversary was from the beginning? With one of my romantic suspenses, I began with one 'baddie' in mind and then changed my mind. I found it added an additional 'layer to the character, so that was ok.

Chelle Cordero said...

I did know who tghe main bad guy was from the beginning and figured he had a helper - I surprised myself though by how he turned on his assistant.

Through high school and college I studied theatre and of course Stanislavki Method Acting was a big focus back then. I use that same technique to build my characters and allow them to really react to things.

Chelle Cordero said...

Question for all - (aside from Lindsay's hubby), have any of you been a patient in an ambulance in recent years? How were you treated? Do you fee that it made a difference to your recovery?

Aside from being a NYS EMT myself, I have also been a patient in an ambulance - twice. Once after a car accident and once from an asthma attack. Both times it weas my own ambulance coprs I was takern care of by (yeah, they had fun with me ;> ) I honestly believe that the care I got after the asthma attack saved my life.

Kimberlee, Vanilla Heart Publishing said...

Hi Chelle and Everyone!

What fun discussions, Lindsay, thanks for having them.

Chelle, as your publisher, I have to be careful not to brag about you 'too' much, but I just have to say you have never disappointed us with a manuscript! Each is uniquely perfect and wonderfully delightful.

My question is - Do you still feel concern that someday you will wake up in the morning and be out of ideas, or have you seen how you come up with great stories and deep plots time after time?

Kimberlee, Vanilla Heart Publishing

Chelle Cordero said...

LOL, thanks Kimberlee, I thrive on your praise.

My imagination seems to work overtime and I am ALWAYS playing "what if?" with everything I see and hear. I would worry if I ever met up with a mindreader - they would probably have me locked up!

So until the day they "find a cure", I guess I will always find ideas. ;>

Lindsay Townsend said...

Wow! Chelle, how cool from your publisher! That's super!

To answer your question, Chelle: my dad and mum have both ridden in ambulances and at all times the medics were calm, efficient and caring. I was utterly impressed.

I love your 'What if' ideas! I play with that quite a bit myself.

Do you tell yourself stories? I do, to send myself to sleep. Sometimes, though, I lie awake plotting my own bedtime story!

Chelle Cordero said...

Lindsay, I am happy that the ambulance rides for your parents were positive. So long as we are able, we try to "treat the whole patient" which means the medical AND emotional.

Someimes I think I "multi-think" during my life, LOL, it's like having a virtual world running with the real one. Okay, now I am sure somebody is going to want to lock me up...

Kimberlee, Vanilla Heart Publishing said...

LOL, Chelle! Only if they lock you up in your office so you can continue to write amazing novels!

Chelle Cordero said...

(I am really having too much fun with my job)

Jenni said...

just popping in to say hi.
I think currently, there's a fine line blurred frequently regarding appropriate behavior towards people. We see aggressive pursuits of romantic interests in movies and songs and the rest of today's pop culture. But life is not a romantic comedy and a lot of these overtures, in real life, if not welcome, might be cause for restraining orders. I think it come down to mental illness in some cases and a lack of self respect in others. Your stalker in your story is obviously ill.

Chelle Cordero said...

The stalker in this story is definitely ill and very, very dangerous.

You are right, too often we allow aggressive behaviour because it doesn't seem harmful - but then it can turn and may be out of our control.

Think about a recent commercial about the "cable guy" following his competition - it seems laughable and is used by the company to sell their product - but now, play a little what if and it could be scary.

Sun Singer said...

When real events inspire you to write a novel, how do you ensure that things you know about those real events don't get into the book and cause legal problems? Maybe you read XYZ in a newspaper, then forget it, then months later something like XYZ springs to mind "out of nowhere" and looks like something nice to include in the book.


Chelle Cordero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chelle Cordero said...

Very good question.

As an EMT I often deal with cases and patients and am bound by HIPPA laws so it is just a matter of mental control and discipline ot keep those things private. If it is something I have dealt with firsthand, it sort of gets "filed away" in a special drawer - there are times legally I need to recollect these facts.

If a writer reads about an incident in the newspaper, it is already public knowledge so while we may want to change facts and all for a novel, we are not bound by the same privacy issues.

Lastly if a writer reads about an idea in someone else's work, professionally we may want to avoid rewriting it, but legally (& yes, there is a fine line) ideas are not copyright-able, the actual story/writing is.

The actual crime that inspired my use of the opening scene involved a sadistic murder of a young man who was picked up in NYC's village. The crime scene was about a mile or two from my home off of a winding mountain road; I have never seen the smokehouse that was used bgut I have driven past the driveway to the property many times. Once again, I allowed my mind to wander and Final Sin was born.

Anonymous said...

(due to some technical problems, this response was sent to me via email...)

I'll just tell you that the details you included from your EMT background were wonderful. They really made the scene come alive. The same with the autopsy scene, and that scene also revealed more of Jake's background and serious dedication to his job. The interview scene at the police station between Julie and Jake was beautifully constructed, with each of them looking at each other and thinking about their attraction, while simultaneously conversing about inanities. Very cute!

I was wondering if you based some of the crime scene material on that old, horrid, murder case near the top of that road?

I was sad when the excerpt came to an end, because I wanted to enjoy the scene of their meeting at the diner. You did a great job. How do you come up with all your other ideas, plot twists, etc? You are amazing. Keep up the good work.

-Jane C.

Chelle Cordero said...

Yes, as I was saying earlier, the crime scene was inspired by an actual event in the community (& obviously Jane lives nearby ;>)

Hopefully those who were intrigued by the free excerpts will eventually read the entire book!

Thanks for stopping by.

Jenni said...

Obviously that crime from Buckberg Mountain affected you, not only did it inspire your scene, but it gave your Dr. Ramos a keen familiarity to Dr. Zugibe! I found myself pulling his books off the bookshelf along with "Murder Along the Way" by Kenneth Gribetz, the D.A. at the time of that gruesome event! Both in that book and "Dissecting Death" by the aforementioned Frederick Zugibe, Md, I was able to refresh my memory of the story and was impressed at how while inspired, you were able to create an original scene for your story. Bravo!

Chelle Cordero said...

LOL, actually the inspiration for Dr. Ramos was a cross between the ME in CSI (Las Vegas) and the real Dr. Baden - "Dr. Michael M. Baden is a medical doctor and board-certified forensic pathologist; He is known for his work investigating high profile deaths and as a host of HBO's Autopsy."

I hadn't intended to portray Dr Zugibe - Dr. Zugibe was the Rockland County (NY) medical examiner at the time of the Buckberg Mountain crime.

I'm glad you mentioned the book "Murder Along the Way" -this book is full of true accounts of crimes and gives credence to the line, "you can't make this stuff up".

Thank you for your kind words ;>

Chelle Cordero said...

On another note, those who would like to should go to Story and play cast the roles in Final Sin. It's interesting to see who we do envision in the roles.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Hi Chelle! Your book-party is really going! I'm so thrilled. I'm off to bed now (It's 10.30pm in the UK and really hot so I'm wiped.)

One last question from me tonight - What is it you particularly love about the romantic suspense genre?

Eva Gordon said...

Chelle you are leading such an informative discussion.

What do you do when the cops can't stop a stalker? Sometimes restraining orders don't do a thing.

Chelle Cordero said...

I guess I love the romantic SUSPENSE the way folks like roller coaster rides, it's a thrill. I like the tension that builds and then the wonderful relaxation and satisfaction of a good kiss.

Have a good night's sleep, hope that talk of stalkers and murders hasn't given you reason to have a restless night...

Thanks Lindsay.

Chelle Cordero said...

Hi Eva, didn't see your comment there.

Restraining orders don't always work - hyper vigilance, locked doors, varying your patterns, don't let your pets (or even laundry) out at night... It can seriously affect your lifestyle and comes out rather unfairly. But you have to protect yourself.

Don't confront your stalker or otherwise erngage him (sorry, more stalkers are male) - sometimes, sometimes they will give up. Take whatever steps are necessary such as the restraining order and then CALL, CALL, CALL everytime it is violated.

Chelle Cordero said...

Hi all, it's 6:55PM. You are more than welcome to continue leaving comments (in fact, I would love it if you would!), but I am now "on duty" to ride the ambulance so I don't know when I will be back on. I will definitely check in later tonight.

Thank you all so much for coming by today - remember, I will pull a name on Sunday to win a free copy of Final Sin.

In the meanwhile, why not check out this blog today Mark's Writer Bloc (it's Mark O'Neill, & NOT the Mark I am married to, btw)

Have a great weekend.


LK Hunsaker said...

I'm late to get back but wonderful party you had here!

Lindsay, no, no title yet - it's in the future but in progress. ;-)

Chelle, I love that you have a theater background and it comes out in your writing.

I did have an ambulance ride after a car accident several years ago but I was too out of it to remember more than a very friendly EMT who was quite comforting.

Chelle Cordero said...

Friday was an absolutely marvelous book discussion party - thank you all for coming by and making such great comments and leaving terrific questions.

Thank you Lindsay, LK Hunsaker,Sarah Simas, Kimberlee, Malcolm "Sun Singer", Jenni, Jane C, and Eva Gordon (I hope I didn't miss anyone)

Well, it's sunday monring (okay, VERY early morning) - (drum roll please) and I just pulled a name from the hat (really a little metal tin) Congratulations & a copy of Final Sin goes to SARAH SIMAS!!!!!

Lindsay Townsend said...

Congratulations, Chelle, on a fantastic book discussion and congratulations to Sarah for winning a copy of 'Final Sin'!