My guest today is wonderful Texas author Celia Yeary, who also helps ride herd on Sweethearts of the West, a fabulous team blog I’m proud to be part of.
Celia Yeary, a native Texan, former science teacher, graduate of Texas Tech University and Texas State University, is mother of two, grandmother of three boys, and wife of a wonderful, supportive Texan.
She has published nine novels, seven novellas, and articles for a Texas Magazine, Texas Co-op Power.
Celia and her husband enjoy traveling, and both are involved in their church, the community, and the university. Central Texas has been her home for thirty-nine years.
Welcome, Celia. Please tell us how and when you began writing.
Mind-numbing boredom drove me to it. Honestly! And it was only about nine years ago. I loved to play golf, and play bridge, travel, all those things I was doing in early retirement. But I hurt my back, I broke my ankle, and had to be somewhat immobile for weeks. During that time, my sweet husband bought a laptop at a garage sale for $1, brought it home and placed it on my lap. “Here,” he said. “Microsoft Word works on this enough that you can just play with it.” That’s the truth. I pulled up a blank page and began to write…something, anything, and about three months later I had an entire manuscript–my first book–TEXAS BLUE. I had no idea I could write a story.
Then he took me to Best Buy and said, choose a laptop. Yea! I got a new computer.
He sure sounds like a keeper! Do you use scented candles, music, wine, chocolate, etc., to put you in the mood to write?
Oh, Lyn. I’m laughing here. If I set out scented candles, put on some music, poured wine, and placed chocolate on a pretty plate, do you honestly think I’d be in the mood to write?
Use your imagination here.
Oh dear, my imagination is running wild. Anyone have a fan handy? Uh, back to business. Please describe your favorite place to write.
That would be the only place I write–at my pretty desk in the corner of our bedroom, next to a window to my right so I can watch the birds and the deer, and occasionally a red fox or a road runner.
You paint a lovely scene. Can you write amid noisy distractions or do you need absolute quiet?
Absolute quiet. No music, no TV, no nothing. My husband is on the other side of the house, and he likes music playing, but I can’t hear it. If I hear music, I stop and listen. Not good for writing.
Definitely not good! Are your books published by a large publishing house or small press? If so, how did you come to be with this publisher?
Thanks for asking. I’d like to brag on my Independent Publisher–Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery. After having books with five other publishers, and going through the submission/rejection/acceptance/re-write/waiting process, I was thrilled when Rebecca J. Vickery invited me to submit something. I’ve been with her now through numerous novels, anthologies, collections, and novellas. I could not be happier.
Lucky you! How do you develop your plots and your characters?
Interesting question, but I don’t think I can answer it. It seems they just happen. Often, a flash of a scene or a character will appear and I begin daydreaming, and soon I see a story. It’s a good process most of the time, but then a period will begin in which I cannot think of anything. Sometimes, I “hear” or “see” a scene as I begin to fall asleep. And when I wake up, there’s the scene…or premise for a novel.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
That I could write books! Really, it still surprises me that I’m doing this. I have a lovely group of “fans” here in town, and so often, one will say, “I loved this story. How in the world did you think of it?” How? I have no idea. Still don’t.
It’s a mystery. Do you have a favorite charity that you support?
I won’t name it, but it’s a denomination-based group of Children’s Homes in Texas. I think there are a total of five “Homes” scattered around the state. These Homes are just that–a grouping of houses, just like yours or mine, with parents in each, and they “raise” 3-4 young people. They may range in age from four to sixteen. The live like a family, and there are about ten homes grouped together in each place. These children are not orphans, but have a great need to live somewhere besides with their family. They go to school as other children do, come home to “parents” who love them and take care of their needs until they can go home…or graduate.
Sounds like a very worthy cause. Do you hear from your readers? If so, please quote your favorite fan letter.
I do hear from readers. Many of the comments come from people here in town, and I cherish each and every bit of praise I get. I just sold The Stars at Night to about 25 buyers, and several have caught me here or there, and asked, “When is your next book?” (So far, I’ve sold nine novels here.) Also, I get emails and comments from my website.
But the best praise comes from my greatest and most loyal fan–my husband. He buys his own copy of every book, asks me to autograph it, and then he emails a “review” to me. Now, how sweet and supportive is that? I have a file with every one of his comments copied and saved.
The very best review/comment? “I like your books better than Nora Roberts’ books.”
How about that?
That’s awesome, Celia! Now let’s give readers a look at your newest release, a contemporary Texas romance.
THE STARS AT NIGHT–
“New York meets Texas–and the story begins”
Kate Norwood from New York arrives in Texas with her young motherless nephew, Nicky. She quickly decides the plan to relocate him with his grandmother is a mistake. With the help of Nicky’s uncle, Jesse McCoy, she learns the boy’s father is dead. Her boyfriend interferes with his own agenda for Kate, using lies, deceptions, and cruelty.
Jesse McCoy falls for Kate Norwood the minute he stops her on the outskirts of Sendera, Texas for speeding. He soon learns they share a family connection and a common problem. His goals become finding the proper home for his nephew, saving Kate from a devious man, and loving her for the remainder of his life. But will she give up her New York lifestyle to live a simple life in Texas?
“Jesse,” she managed to whisper into his mouth. “Jesse.”
“What,” he mumbled, holding tightly, not moving.
“This is dangerous, don’t you think?”
“Damned right. Dangerous as hell.” He moaned low in his throat.
Kate giggled slightly. “Does this part go with a waltz?”
“Never before, but it seems like a good idea right now.”
He resumed kissing her senseless, as he performed his own private dance of seduction. Jesse, Jesse, what are you doing to me? Turning them in a tight circle, small steps at a time, he kept her trapped between his legs and fused to his body, with his hand cupped on the back of her head to keep her lips exactly where he wanted them.
AMAZON LINK: The Stars at Night
This full length novel is available at Amazon, B and N, Smashwords, Sony, Kobo, Apple, Diesel, Page Foundry, Blio, Axis 360, Library Direct, and FlipKart.
It’s received five great reviews. And it’s just $1.99 for you!
~*~An excellent Romance! (5 Stars-Diane C.)
~*~This Sweet Romance is one you’ll enjoy. (5 stars-TRS)
~*~Another fine Texas romance from Yeary (5 Stars-Muddy Rose Reviews)
~*~A heart-warming story-(5 Stars-Paula M.)
~*~An engaging read-(5 Stars-LAS Reviewer)
**Celia Yeary-Romance…and a little bit ‘o Texas
Love your answer to the “setting of the mood” and not being in the mood to write! Awesome!
Thanks, Jennifer–I’m glad you liked it. I appreciate your visit!
Great interview, Celia. I am in awe of all you have managed to achieve in the last nine years!
Hi, Paula–I got a late start…but when I did, writing became obsessive. Thanks for the visit!
Celia, nice to see your here on Lyn’s lovely blog and learn a little more about you. STARS AT NIGHT sounds so intriguing and I can hardly wait for time to read it. Best wishes for a gazillion sales.
Caroline–I appreciate your kind and uplifting words! I needed those today, believe me. This story is special to me–I only wish it were special to more readers! It’s a reissued novel, one I pulled from another publisher, and I can’t complain about the number I sold when they had it. I think I have not found my “new” audience. Thanks bunches.
Great interview, Celia. Your comments confirmed my already high opinion of Jim. And I agree with your writing setup of total quiet. I also agree with the other commenters that prefer your books over Nora Roberts. And The Stars At Night is one of your very best which says a lot as they are all excellent. Please continue writing these wonderful Texas stories.
Linda–thank you, thank you, thank you. I love your kind words. I will continue writing Texas stories–that’s pretty much all I know. So many stories…so little time. I do appreciate your visit and comment.
I loved your brief excerpt – very moving and sensual dialogue in just a few and wonderful words!
I like your books better than Nora Roberts, too!
Hi, Diane! Well, thank you. I’m glad you liked the excerpt. It’s difficult, isn’t it, to find just the right one. I appreciate your visit and comment.
Wow, you definitely have a “keeper” hubby. Loved learning a bit more about you and your work. And I enjoyed the excerpt very much.
Ciara–yes, my dh is a keeper. But sometimes he looks at me a little funny and says, “At times, I don’t even know you. I look at you and think…who is this woman?” My writing has bewildered him, as in, where did this come from? It’s so different from anything else I’ve ever done. But he has loved every story I have written. Thanks for visiting.
Celia, you made it! I’m glad you got past the WP problem. It’s so nice to have you here today!
Thank you, Lyn. I’m so happy I discovered the “sign in using FB”. I’ve noticed that more and more on blogs or website or whatever. It’s very handy, and it doesn’t bother me that they will take my website address, etc. I want them to!!!
That is a handy little button. I’m with you, the more they spread my name around, the better!
Well Celia, I have to say I love your books better than Nora Roberts’, too. I envy that you have a fan base in town asking about your next book. I think that’s wonderful. Your work is always so heartwarming. And I love that they all take place in Texas. I agree with you about your workplace preparation. I’m afraid mine is lacking candles, wine and music, too. I just get coffee and go to work. I so enjoyed reading your interview. I like learning more about you.
Sarah–what lovely things to say. The Nora Roberts comment came through my Website comment box from someone I did not know. Still don’t. I just thought it was sweet.
Definitely my workplace does not include that wine and candles. I couldn’t work a minute with all that in front of me.
Glad you liked the interview. I often don’t know what to say, but Lyn has a wonderful list of questions from which to choose. That really helps. Thank you!
Fun interview! Love the cover!
Lovely interview. I tweeted.
Ella–thanks for reading, and especially for Tweeting! That really helps.