For this interview I have a special treat for you, which was kind of a surprise for me also because I gave up all hope that Chanel Cleeton will agree to answer my questions. I admire her soooo much after reading “The Capital Confessions” and “International School Series” and when she said yes, OMG, I danced a silly dance:)) She shared with us so many wonderful bookish things, but also details regarding her future projects and her hobbies, likes and dislikes. I am very happy about this one, hope you enjoy it as well 🙂
Ramona: Please share something about yourself so that the readers can get to know you better.
Chanel: I’m a true believer in instalove 🙂 I met my husband on a cruise in the Caribbean and knew right away he was the one for me. Over a decade later, it’s proven to be an excellent choice 🙂
Ramona: How did your priorities change throughout the years and determined you to start writing?
Chanel: I think making time to write and treating it as a career rather than a hobby was really important. At the time I started writing seriously, I was working and in law school so time was ever in short supply. But that forced me to get serious about my writing and prioritize it in my life. I knew that I wanted to be an author and realized that in order to make that happen I would have to put in the time.
Ramona: What does Chanel when she is not writing?
Chanel: I love spending time with my family and I’m also an avid reader. I read every night before bed and usually read a few books a week.
Ramona: How do you manage to blend politics with romance so beautifully?
Chanel: Thank you for saying that! I think it comes down to writing what you love. I studied international relations and global politics for many years and it’s one of my great passions. I’m also a hopeless romantic, so I think it comes down to marrying two of my greatest interests.
Ramona: How realistic do you feel your books are?
Chanel: I try to make my books as realistic as possible. I base a lot of my stories off of elements in my own life, so I usually use a real-life situation as a starting point. That said, I’ve always viewed reading as a sanctuary and as an escape, so I try to leave my readers with a hopeful and uplifting message.
Ramona: Tell us somethings about your writing style, how is it different from other contemporary romance authors?
Chanel: The publication of my eleventh book, “Next Year in Havana”, marks a big change for me as I move from contemporary romance to writing women’s fiction and historical fiction. I’m really excited about this new adventure.
Ramona: Which is your favorite couple from your books and why?
Chanel: Ooh that’s a tough one. My favorite tends to be whichever story I’m working on at the time because I’m so immersed in their lives. It’s really hard to pick just one 🙂
Ramona: What would you like the reader to think or feel after reading one of your books?
Chanel: I hope the reader enjoys the book, and with each series I try to have an overarching message or theme. For example, with the “Wild Aces” series it was really about sacrifice and courage, and I wanted my readers to glimpse some of the sacrifices made by military families. With my upcoming release, “Next Year in Havana”, I hope readers learn a bit more about Cuba and come away with a message of hope.
Ramona: Do you like to dedicate your books to persons in your life?
Chanel: I do. My dedications are usually inspired by someone who is connected to that particular book. For example, with “Next Year in Havana”, I dedicated the book to my grandparents because it was inspired by their experiences in Cuba and the stories they told me growing up.
Ramona: What was the inspiration behind the “International School Series”?
Chanel: I attended an international university set in London for my undergraduate degree and my experiences there inspired the “International School Series”.
Ramona: How involved are you in social media and keeping a strong communication with your readers.
Chanel: I try to be on different platforms since I know readers have different preferences and I try to share different things on each platform. I have a monthly newsletter and a Facebook reader group which I really enjoy. I’m new-ish to Instagram and I really love posting there as well.
Ramona: Tell us something about your next book, “Next Year in Havana”.
Chanel: “Next Year in Havana” alternates between present day Cuba and Cuba in 1958/59 during the Cuban Revolution. It was inspired by my family’s experiences and the stories I grew up on. It is a family saga, love story, and love letter to Cuba with a hint of mystery thrown in.
Ramona: Say hi to the readers 🙂
Chanel: Hi! Thank you all so much for stopping by! Thanks for hosting me today, Ramona 🙂
You can read more about Chanel by accessing the links blow:
Official Site: http://www.chanelcleeton.com/
Goodreads Site: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7383025.Chanel_Cleeton