The nicest things often happen when you least expect them to! Good morning and welcome back to Living the Dream’s Friday’s Featured Author. Today my guest is an author I met while on vacation. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Chele and her aunt at a Jungle Fantasy dinner aboard the NCL’s Breakaway a week ago. How I miss the sun and and the heat.
Meet Chele, pronounced shell, Pedersen Smith. Chele enjoys the wild ride of writing off the cuff, nestled in the breakfast nook overlooking a woodsy view with her golden retriever and a mug of decaf– if it’s not waiting under the brewer for hours, forgotten as usual. Add snow and writing chocolate: Perfect!
Fortunate to grow up a Navy brat, she has enjoyed living in the exotic likes of Hawaii, California, and Florida but one of her favorite places has always been Waukegan, Illinois where she got the seasons back, graduated high school, fell in love with Chicago sports, wrote for the college paper, was pursued by a Green Phantom, and married a sailor. Even though she now roots for New England teams, she still holds a fondness for those windy city jerseys.
After sensible careers in health care, she finally let her dream as an author take center stage when her first published novel, Behind Frenemy Lines, hit the market in January 2017. Taking a leap of faith, she dropped out of dental hygiene school and is now in the middle of a professional writing degree.
Writing has always been a part of her life. In sixth grade, she and best friend Debby won a school hobby contest with their April and Cherry mystery booklets.
In junior high and beyond high school, Chele began scribbling a Sherri Whitman teen mystery series as well as writing for the high school paper, West Side Story , in 1981-82. She also jumped into a reporter gig for the College of Lake County paper, The Chronicle, in 1984.
While married life happened with children and jobs, she kept her skills sharpened with family newsletters and writing anecdotal spiritual nonfiction, which became her second published book, The Pearly Gates Phone Company.
Currently a journalism and second-year creative writing student, her stories and poems now appear in the college literary magazine as well as the college paper.
While romance and mystery are her favorite genres, Chele also writes realistic and speculative fiction, short stories, poems, and creative nonfiction.
A rom-com novella, a sequel to Behind Frenemy Lines, and a romance mystery featuring the Green Phantom are all in the works.
You can stay in touch with Chele, as I plan to do by following her links.
Want to know more about her books? Check them out too!
Best of luck, Chele. It was wonderful meeting you!