Episode #355 Air Date: 10/26/14
Charlene Wexler is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She has worked as a teacher and dental office bookkeeper and as “a wife, mom, and grandmother,” she said. In recent years, Wexler’s lifelong passion for writing has led her to create numerous essays as well as fiction.
She is the author of the books Lori, Murder Across the Ocean, Murder on Skid Row, and Milk and Oranges.
Her work has appeared in several publications, including North Shore Magazine; the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry’s Vision magazine; Alpha Omegan magazine; the book and CD Famous Poets of the Heartland: A Treasury of Beloved Family Poems, Talent, OR: Famous Poets Press, 2014; and the Gazette newspaper of Chicago.
She also has had essays and fiction published on the websites AuthorsDen.com, The Best Short Stories, Cat Stories, Cats and Dogs at Play, End Your Sleep Deprivation.com, Funny Cat Stories, Funny Cats Playing, Funny Passport Stories, How Old is Grandma?, Laughter Is My Medicine, Moral Short Stories-Ethical Tales, One Bright Star.org, Scribd.com, Short Stories for Women, True Cat Stories, and Way Cool Dogs.com.
Poetry of Wexler’s appears on Poetry.com.
Wexler’s first novel, Murder on Skid Row, was published in 2010. It is the story of a double-murder on Chicago’s Skid Row in the 1960s. Murder on Skid Row won an international Apex Award of Excellence from Communications Concepts, a writing think tank outside Washington, DC.
Published as an e-book on Smashwords and as a print edition by Central Park Communications in 2012, Milk and Oranges, is a collection of her short fiction and essays examining life, love, and the tragedy and comedy of the human condition. Whether she is tackling fiction or essays, Wexler writes from the heart. With a keen eye for detail and a way of looking at the world a bit sideways, Wexler’s writings in Milk and Oranges entertain while they make you think.
Milk and Oranges received a Bronze Award in the Women’s Issues category of the eLit Book Awards competition sponsored by the publishing services firm Jenkins Group Inc. of Traverse City, MI, and a rare international Grand Award in the Apex Awards competition by Communications Concepts in 2012.
In 2014, Charlene published two novels as e-books on Smashwords and Amazon Kindle: Lori, a family saga spanning several decades, and Murder Across the Ocean, a murder mystery set in England. Murder Across the Ocean also is available from Amazon as a paperback.
Her short story Abracadabra Magic received a “Very Highly Commended” rating in the AuthorsDen.com Tom Howard Prose Contest, 2009.
Wexler is active with the Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity, the Authors Marketing Group, the Chicago Writers Association, Children’s Memorial Hospital philanthropy, the Geneva Lake Museum, Lungevity (an organization that fights lung cancer), the McHenry Bicycle Club, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Mystery Writers of America, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Richmond IL Book Club, the Jewish United Fund, and the University of Illinois Alumni Association.
“I have always used writing as therapy,” Wexler said. “Now I have the time and opportunity to pursue it as a career.”
"Her advice for other aspiring writers—even grandmothers like herself—is to “follow your dream. You can do it, and it’s never too late.”