Monday, February 15, 2010

Celia Yeary Interview & Book Giveaway!

Joining us today is Celia Yeary. Celia is an eighth-generation Texan, a former science teacher, graduate of Texas Tech University and Texas State University, mother of two, grandmother of three, and wife of a wonderful, supportive Texan. Celia and her husband enjoy traveling, and both are involved in their church, the community, and the university as retired faculty. Central Texas has been her home for over thirty-five years.

Thank you for joining us today, Celia. Please make yourself at home and let’s begin. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

After I'd written about ten stories, all novel length, one after the other! Okay, I thought, maybe I'll turn to writing now! Publishing was a different thing. I had to study how the industry worked.

Were books a big part of your life growing up? If so, what books would you say influenced you most as a child?

The Strawberry Girl Series was a favorite, and I read every book in a large historical series for ages eight to twelve. Each book told the life history of a famous person. I can still see those books, just the right size, with lovely drawings. In particular, I remember Nancy Hanks (Abraham Lincoln's mother), George Washington Carver, and Sacajawea.

Will you share with us a little about your publication journey?

Well, it's a short journey, began in 2007. I have three books with one publisher and two coming soon from another one. I also write essays and anecdotal stories about my childhood, and I've have the good fortune to sell some of those.

Where do you usually get your ideas for your Historical Romances?

I find my ideas from Texas History—people, places, events, wars. I know the state so well and much of its history, so it's easy to formulate a story. I have ancestors back before Texas was even a Republic, so that would be over two hundred years ago. A few of my stories have snippets from something I know about an ancestor.

How much research do you usually do?

Too much! Editors have rejected more than one manuscript because it reads like a history book. This has been a huge learning curve for me. "Do not include everything I know about an area or its people." I say this to myself when I write.

I’m afraid I’m with you in that boat. It’s hard to find a happy medium. Are there some new releases you’d like to tell us about?

Yes, thank you! My second Texas Historical was released January 29. Title: TEXAS BLUE, from The Wild Rose Press. It's somewhat related to my first one—ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS. I hope Texas Blue is as successful as the first.

Here is a blurb about TEXAS BLUE:

She wasn’t a fit mother…

So said the county judge who hired Buck Cameron to retrieve his little daughter. But when Buck finally locates the pretty mother and child, he finds the claim very hard to believe. Now, he faces a dilemma. Should he obey the order? Or should he defy the judge and rescue Marilee and her child from isolation?

She’d been banished…

Rejected and abandoned by her father, Marilee Weston used the pain of betrayal to survive. Now, she needs a way out of the forest, where she and her daughter had lived for five years. But the towering pines and fear of the unknown imprisoned her. How could she begin a new life for herself and five-year-old daughter? Will the alluring stranger free her, or prove to be even more dangerous?

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you first started writing?

I wish I had known about POV. You realize ordinary readers don't know a thing about it—I certainly didn't. But when we begin writing, POV seems to be an overriding task to master. Even if my story is the novel of the century, if the POV hops all over the place, then it's no good. I still read novels in which POV seems to have been thrown out the window, yet, with romance novels, one must learn pure POV or remain unpublished.

Since becoming a published author, what has been your best experience (book signing, an email from a fan that really made your day)?

Interesting question. I have two examples. One—many friends here in town bought my book, loved it, and now they're signing up to buy my second one. That means a lot to me to have a little fan base. Second—my husband bought his own book, asked for my autograph, read it, and sent me a fan letter! How sweet is that?

That is sweet! We all need fans like that. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers out there?

Try to take rejections as a matter of course. They are part of the process. Also, love your own book! Even if others might not, it's your creation and someone else probably will love it, too.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I always write at my little desk in my little corner. I have everything I need right here, plus a big window to my right. We live in a wooded area, so I see wildlife all the time.

Oh, that sounds great. I can almost imagine you sitting there writing and a little doe comes into the clearing…Awww. So are you listening to any music while you’re sitting there at your little desk, watching the wildlife?

Sadly, I must have complete silence to write. I listen to music only when I'm answering mail and reading messages and replying on Yahoo loops. Then, the radio is set to a classical station. I listen to whatever plays.

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

Reading, of course. I have coffee once a week with my writing group--we call ourselves The Write Girls—and we talk shop. My husband and I travel some, although less and less each year. I'd rather just stay home, but my husband has itchy feet and wants to go someplace. And we enjoy our three young grandsons. What a joy.

What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?

I'm competitive—I don't look the part, and don't act it, either, but underneath, I'm thinking on how to do better. I learned to play golf at age forty, and worked and studied books until I could beat everyone in my group. Second thing—I don't become angry if I lose—at golf, or getting a contract. I save my anger for important things, such as the injustices often heaped upon the unfortunate children of the world.

You’re at the checkout counter in your favorite department store and you’re purchasing something from the book, music & movie sections. What are you buying?

Oh, a great question. I'm buying Linda Lael Miller's new McKettrick Brothers Series; a cd by Taylor Swift; and the movie Open Range.

Do you have a favorite TV show?

No, because there's so little on that interests me. I choose something we both can watch, then both of us read.

What’s your favorite movie?

I'm not a big movie fan, but I loved Titanic, Dr. Zivago, and I love the newer James Bond movies.

Where can we purchase your books, and do you have a website?

My website is:
Purchase the print or eBook from The Wild Rose Press:

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you, Sweetest Romance Authors! I'd love to give a pdf of TEXAS BLUE to one person who comments. Celia

How generous! Thank you so much for joining us today, Celia. It’s been both a joy and pleasure getting to know you better, and your books sound wonderful. Folks, be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if your name is drawn. The winner will be notified Saturday afternoon. What are you waiting for, start commenting!


Miss Mae said...

Hi there, Celia, Texas lady! Love your new book cover, it's awesome!

I'm like you...gotta have silence to write. When I'm trying to concentrate and "put myself in the action", I don't need the doorbell to ring, or the dogs to start barking! LOL

How adorable that your hubby bought your book too, and had you to autograph it. Awww, precious! :)

Danielle Thorne said...

Wow, got to learn more about you and your new book. It sounds wonderful and so do you. I totally understand needing to write in complete silence. Silence is truly golden--I need it to read, too. I've never met a Texan I didn't like! Best of luck with the new release!

Sandra Sookoo said...

Congrats on your success. The song "Will the Sun Ever Shine Again" from Open Range is my all time favorite. :-)

Best Wishes!

Anne Patrick said...

Hi ladies. Thank you so much for dropping by and supporting Celia.

Celia Yeary said...

MISS MAE--hi!I love the book cover, too--it matches the title--"blue." Thank you for stopping by--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Danielle--Oh, thank you so much. I admit, there are a few Texans we ought to ship off to Siberia, but most of us are okay. Just a note--I'm writing a short Texas Christmas love story, and my heroine's name is "Daniella"--I put an "a" at the end, though. Love the name--Celia

Laurean Brooks said...

Hi Celia! It was as much fun learning about you as it was your books. I do love Westerns. Cowboys and feisty ladies.

Put my name in the hat for the drawing. The new book cover is a real attention getter.

What a sweet hubby to buy your book, then ask for an autograph.

Good luck and God bless you.

Celia Yeary said...

SANDRA--it's one of my favorites too! I bought the CD of the soundtrack, and as it plays, I can picture the scenes in the movie--I know it so well. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

LAUREAN--THANK YOU! it's a real blessing to have a husband as good as mine--and we've been married for so many years, you might not believe how long.We'll definitely put your name in the hat.Celia

Joyce Henderson said...

Nice interview. From one Texan to another (I was born in Central Texas), isn't Texas a fertile field to write about? I never get tired of researching, either. Gotta be careful, though. Not spend too much time researching and forget to write!
Beautiful cover!

Edna said...

love the interview please enter me into the contest.

I have not read any of Celia's books so if I win this will give me a great read.


Edna said...

I follow you on twitter

I follow you on goggle


Celia Yeary said...

JOYCE--ah, a kindred spirit! I usually become quite bogged down with the research. I've written a few comtemporaries, but none are published--they seem bland to me without those exciting scenes in the west! Celia

Celia Yeary said...

EDNA--I wish I could give one to everyone! With my first book, I sold quite a few, but did give them away--prints and all,too. I finally realized--hey! I'm losing money! But I enjoyed giving those away I did.Thanks for stopping by--Celia

E.A. West said...

Wonderful interview, ladies! I enjoyed learning more about you, Celia. And your husband asking for your autograph and sending you fan mail...I can't think of a sweeter thing!

Wishing you tons of sales on your new release, which sounds like an awesome book. :)

Tanya Hanson said...

What a fantastic interview, Celia. I get so envious of you Texas natives!

Your hubby sounds as wonderful as mine. He read my book in public, sitting in a hotel pool as a resort. I was truly honored!

Cover and excerpt are great. I enjoyed learing more about you. oxoxoxox


Debra St. John said...

Hi Celia,

It's so nice to hear more about the Texas series!

I'd be buying that Linda Lael Miller novel and watching a Bond movie as well, although I prefer Pierce Brosnan to be my Bond. (And I'll be his Bond Girl any day!)

Celia Yeary said...

E.A. West--oh, thank you so much!Yep, I have a great husband. I appreciate the good wishes. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

TANYA--how did we deserve such great men? But then, how did they deserve us??? Isn't it fun, to see your husband reading your romance novel? Mine actually liked the story and discussed it off and on as he read. I was amazed. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

DEBRA--YES, don't you love Linda Lael Miller's series? Oh, how I wish I could do as well. What a dream. Pierce Brosnan--yes, what a guy. but I really like this new guy, too. Celia

Lady_Graeye said...

Hi Celia!
You know, there's nothing like looking at a cowboy, reading about a cowboy, wanting a cowboy and having a cowboy! I can admit to the top three. LOL!
Your book sounds wonderful and I love the cover! Congrat on it's release!

Celia Yeary said...

LADY GRAEYE--Well, three out of four ain't bad!! Thanks for visiting--Celia

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Celia and Anne,
I love the cover for Texas Blue. Hope you don't mind that I included it in my cover slideshow at my blog. Great interview, ladies.

Celia Yeary said...

REBECCA--thank you so much for including the cover for Texas Blue in your slide show--I'm thrilled, and don't know how to thank you. Maybe I can return the favor some way--Celia

irenejacobsonrn said...

Enjoyed the interview. Please enter me in the drawing, ladies.

Maggie Toussaint said...

G'morning Celia! Another fine blog post. I was particularly interested in your POV perspective. I thought I understood POV perfectly at first but I didn't get a basic tenet - POV is enhanced when the story is told by the character with the most at stake in the scene. When I first started writing, I was just mechanically rotating from hero to heroine POV whether I needed to or not. Fixed that with the "who has the most to lose" question and the resonance of my books improved dramatically. Enjoyed it and best of luck with Texas Blue.

Morgan Mandel said...

Hi Celia,
I agree, your book cover is really awesome! He's a hunk!
I also agree there's not much interesting on TV any more. I'm forever being disappointed in the selections and can't figure out how there can be so many cable channels with nothing good on them.
I do like to listen to country music when I write, so I don't need absolute quiet.
Thanks for hosting me on your blog today.
Morgan Mandel

Celia Yeary said...

MORGAN-thank you for the post filled with pertinent information. Maybe you've converted one or two, and we'll see more Indie Authors. I liked Cal's comment that we--you--should stop using terms like self-published and vanity publisher.Just in the last few months, I've seen more and more self-published--there, I said it, too--authors and each one seems to be doing great and to feell very good about their choice. I congratulate you on your hard work that paid off beautifully. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

ANNE--I love being on your blog. The visitors have been wonderful and I'll choose winner to give a book away. Thank you so much. Celia

Crystal Ennis said...

Nice interview, ladies. Please enter me in the drawing.

Pam said...

Your books sounds wonderful, Celia. Please enter me in your drawing.

Thanks for another great interview, Anne!

Diane Craver said...

Sorry I'm late again. I think I better get off digest. LOL

I love your cover for TEXAS BLUE and I am going to get my copy on my Kindle to read soon. I'm anxious to start reading it. I have two books ahead of it to finish.

And congrats to you on your successful road to publication - mine was rocky and long. You are amazing!

Anne Patrick said...

Thanks again, everyone, for dropping by and for all your wonder comments.