Lifestyle

Richmond author Charlene Wexler wins Apex award for 'Murder Across the Ocean'

At 72, Charlene Wexler doesn’t care about facts. She’s more interested in fiction.

“At my age, I forget a lot, so it’s easier to just make things up,” Wexler said. “I have a lifetime of stories from the past, from people I know, from incidents that happen, from everyday life. I’m constantly observing.”

The Richmond resident recently earned an Apex Award for publication excellence in the one-of-a-kind publications category for her book “Murder Across the Ocean.” The story is a follow-up to another of Wexler’s books, “Lori.”

“We leave Lori in the first book in her middle age,” Wexler said. “I wanted to bring the story back to Lori, but she is now in her 70s. I wanted to show that even at that age, we’ve still got it. We can handle tragedies and triumphs. They’re not strangers to us anymore.”

“Murder Across the Ocean” follows Lori and her granddaughter, Cate, as they work together to solve the murder of Lori’s whirlwind lover, her old high school boyfriend, whom she reunited with at the airport on her way to visit Cate in London.

“While it’s a sequel, it can stand alone as a murder mystery,” Wexler said. “ ‘Lori’ was a family saga, and this one has a little more spice and mystery.”

Wexler has written most of her life but said she really became an author in the past five years after the publication of her first book, “Murder on Skid Row.” Before then, she had several essays and short stories published in magazines and online.

“The hardest part about writing now, even though I’m retired, is finding the time,” Wexler said. “There is so much marketing that you have to do it can be difficult to find time to sit down and just write.”

The Apex award winners are chosen by Communications Concepts, a journalism and communications think tank, in 11 categories from among 1,900 international entries.

Wexler said she plans to do another book focusing more on Cate’s character as well as write a book of short stories and essays.

Information on Wexler’s works can be found at www.charlenewexler.com. Her books are available from Amazon and Smashwords.

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