Friday, February 13, 2009

Interview with Celia Yeary

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Celia Yeary. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.  

I understand you have a new release out called All My Hopes and Dreams. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book? 

This is a story about a striking Spaniard, Ricardo Romero from the far western edge of the Texas Frontier, and a prim, proper East Texas lady, Cynthia Harrington, who are strangers, yet they impulsively marry. Each has a reason for the quick wedding.

All My Hopes and Dreams is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name? 

The heroine, slightly spoiled by her only relative, her banker father, believes one day all her hopes and dreams will come true. All she needs to do, she thinks, is choose her beloved, and he will propose, and they will live in the East Texas town forever where she holds a coveted social position.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I read all kinds of genres, and I especially enjoy western romances. A number of years ago, new western romance novels became fewer and fewer. The dreaded term—the western historical is dead—upset me. So, I began to play around with writing one. In two years, I had five written, but you can imagine how badly I put them together. I had a lot to learn. But, oh, I had so much fun writing about love and adventure, set within the excitement of the old west.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book? 

The first western romance I wrote was TEXAS BLUE (it’s now contracted and in final edits.) In that story, two secondary characters, Ricardo Romero and Cynthia Harrington got together behind my back while I wasn’t looking. They clamored around in my head until I agreed to write their story.

What are your favorite historical research books and why?

I hate to admit this, but I Google almost everything. However, I am a native Texan, and all my stories are set in Nineteenth Century Texas. I know Texas very well. The most commonly used books are a Texas History textbook, an American history textbook, a book about women titled Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine, a book titled Way Out Yonder, an old Life book series on the American West, and various others I find in the library. Clothing is important, so I researched websites that sell authentic clothing. I did such a good job, I wrote an article and listed all the websites and their line of historical clothing. It’s posted on my publisher’s website under The Garden for other authors to use.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why? 

Prissy Miss Cynthia Harrington, of course. This young lady needed to be taught lessons on standing up for herself against powerful forces and adversaries, on making her husband love her, and on changing into a worthwhile individual who could make a contribution instead of believing everything would be handed to her. I did a great job redeeming her, and boy, did she need it.  

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

I do none of those. Characters appear and develop as I write. It seems that every character I use vaguely resembles someone I knew sometime in my life. Real people, themselves, are the best subjects. You might call me a panster, because I usually have no idea how this story is going to move along. I don’t change it much, either, once I have the plot down.

What are some common speech terms, dress modes, transportation or housing facts that you found interesting for your time period? 

Don’t get me started. You’ll wish you hadn’t asked that question. Speech: Western men typically say ma’am and call women Miss or little lady. Dress modes are tricky, because the real costumes men wore in the 1800’s really were not attractive. So, Western romance writers dress heroes in clothing close to modern dress. I love to dress my heroine up in the fashions of the day, but sometimes she must wear men’s clothing or pass-arounds for one reason or another. Oh, and if you’re undressing the hero and heroine, you must use the proper terms. Housing? My files are full of snapshots of historic homes, inside and out, cabins, barns, etc. I photograph physical objects more than I do people. A hero or heroine is always only in my head.

Do you have any authors that inspired you? 

Absolutely. Dorothy Garlock, Janet Dailey, Linda Lael Miller, Jodi Thomas, Kathleen Eagle, LaVyrle Spencer, Maggie Osbourne—to name a few favorites.  

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I don’t know. This is new to me, and I did not do as much as most. It was overwhelming. This interview is only my third. For some reason, my book has done very well. It stayed on the Publisher’s Best Sellers list for several weeks. I actually attribute that to the fact I believe there are others out there who are looking for Western romance books, and the fact that my cover is outstanding. Who can resist a sexy cowboy, a horse, and a sunset?

What do we have to look forward next? 

Texas Blue, a novel starring Buck Cameron and Marilee Weston. Also, a Wayback, Texas series book contracted titled Showdown in Southfork (Wayback, Texas is a fictional town that features the rodeo every Saturday night—where a cowboy falls in love every eight seconds. An author must follow the guidelines of the town and premise.) I have two free reads on The Wild Rose Press: The Wedding Auction and Merry Christmas, Victoria. Look on the left side of the home page and click on FREE READS (each ten pages.)  

Thanks, Celia!

To celebrate her book release, Celia Yeary is offering a free ebook of All My Hopes and Dream to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Bio. As a fifth generation Texan, I love to read and research all aspects of the state. Even though my degrees are in science and education, I find the history, the people, and our ancestors much more interesting topics, which provide endless characters and situations to create love stories.
Although my husband and I travel, no place on earth is more precious to my heart than our home in the Texas Hill Country, surrounded by acres of live oaks and whitetail deer. Romance novels are not my only form of reading material, but they are my favorite, and I wouldn’t leave home without several tucked away in my luggage. Being a member of Romance Writers of America has provided information, encouragement, and guidelines to help me on my exciting journey. What fun it is!

Check out author’s website at www.celiayeary.com . 

Buy www.thewildrosepress.com .

29 comments:

linda swift said...

Great interview, Celia. I've read your book and it is wonderful. I wish you the great success with it that you deserve. Also loved the way your characters develop. I share your philosopy about that. Leave them alone and they will make a wonderful story. Another pantser or panster. I'm never sure which way to spell this!
Linda

Destiny Rae Booze, Novelist said...

Wonderful interview! Google has become the all-knowledgeable entity, has it not? I love reading western romances, too! I love tough men!

Emma Lai said...

Lovely interview ladies! Celia I've read your free read, The Wedding Auction, and loved it. My next round of purchases will definitely include All My Hopes and Dreams. Congrats!

Cindy K. Green said...

Enjoyed your interview, Celia. Kim always asks great questions. I'm more interested than ever about your book, Celia. The historical western is a new love for me.

Celia Yeary said...

Linda, my dear friend--thank you for reading my book! Don't you love your characters? Later--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Destiny--love your name. it could be a character, right. Destiny Rae.And I love tough men, too--but one who is a marshmallow inside. Ahhhh, love. thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Emma-thanks! You know, I love to write those Free Reads. There's something satisfying writing a concise, nine-page story. I also have a Free Read titled "Merry Christmas, Victoria," if you care to read it.If you intend on buying "Hopes", Fictionwise has it on sale,along with I think all the romance books. So, it's very cheap there. But! You may win a copy--who knows? Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Cindy--words dear to my heart--"the Historical Western is a new love for me." Thanks for your comments--later, Celia

Francesca Prescott said...

What a lovely interview, Celia! But then that doesn't surprise me because you're a lovely lady and your book is gorgeous. I'm looking forward to your next one!
xx Cesca

Chiron said...

Fabulous interview!

I do a lot of internet research too. It's so much fun, sometimes it's hard to tear myself way!

Your story sounds so delightful, Celia. Congrats on your continuing success!!

Smiles,
Chiron O'Keefe
www.chironokeefe.blogspot.com

Celia Yeary said...

Francesca--look who's talking about being gorgeous--Miss Beautiful herself. But thanks--I so need compliments! How's this for a nice one--my dh is buying my book! Isn't that the sweetest thing in the world? I told him I'd get a free author's copy, but he said he wanted his own, autographed copy.Ah, love.Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Well, hi there, Chiron--how odd. Just before I opened this site, I was on WRDF--I voted for you as the site's best member! That's because you are.Thanks for stopping by--I so appreciate it. Celia

Anonymous said...

Wonderful interview doll! You sound like a very down home woman. Also you like to write about cowboys, especially from a woman's point of view. I am very please to find another western author! Bobby

Author Ernie Johnson said...

I love the title and also the cover. knowing you, the inside is filled with good writing. Nice interview about a down home author.
Good luck with the book.

Ernie (Author of Destiny Of The Divas)

Celia Yeary said...

Anonymous, indeed! I know who you are, Bobby Robert!! You can't fool me.Thanks so much for the sweet comments--but of course, that's what you are--sweet through and through. Happy Valentine's Day--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Thank you, Ernie! I'm so pleased you dropped by--what a guy!Happy Valentine's Day! Celia

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Celia,
Terrific interview. You love for history and Texas certainly shows up in your writing. Being an historical writer, I was particularly interested about your comment on men's clothing. You are quite right, but I guess we are allowed a little "author's leeway." Good luck with all your other projects.
Regards
Margaret

Celia Yeary said...

Hi, Margaret--glad to see you here. You've seen old photographs, well, here in the states--of men on actual cattle drives at the turn of the century--UUUgly! And the uniforms the Civil war soldiers wore were ill-fitting and poorly constructed. We cannot put our heroes in unvecoming clothing. thanks for stopping by--Celia

Kim Watters said...

Hi Celia,
Thanks for blogging with us today. I hope you're enjoying your chocolate and having a great time. So my question for you is: are there any scenes that you absolutely adored that either you or your editor took out?

Celia Yeary said...

Hi, Kim--no, not really. We did move scenes around--mainly she did, to keep the action going so the reader wouldn't lose interest.It would have been all right as it was, but it read so much better with her suggesitons. I might add, I had the most wonderful editor. She spoiled me for any other, now. I expect all of them to be as kind and professional as she is (We're working on a second now.) I want to thank you again for giving me this opportunity. I had so much fun, and I check in Monday to see won my book. Celia

Maggie Toussaint said...

What a fun interview! I so enjoyed seeing you open yourself up a bit more, Miss Celia!

And I'd never heard the term "pass-arounds" for hand-me-downs, so I learned something to boot.

Very nicely done, ladies!

Maggie
www.maggietoussaint.com

LK Hunsaker said...

Celia! I love that you're working to bring back your beloved genre!

I have this ready to read and look forward to it. :-)

Celia Yeary said...

Thanks, Maggie. Actually, we said hand-me-downs, but this is an older term. You see what I do with any free time--look up trivia. Later--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Oh, Loraine, how sweet you are. I appreciate your kind words and support. We can't wait for your Wednesday interview at the Spa. Celia

liana laverentz said...

Hi, Celia, just stopped by to say hello...great interview!

Many happy sales!

Celia Yeary said...

THANKS, LIANA--I hope many sales for me, too? don't we all? Thanks for visiting. Celia

Mona Risk said...

Celia, I am late but I had to stop and read your interview. I am so happy I got to know you. You are a lovely lady and your book sounds like a great story.

Celia Yeary said...

Thank you, Mona.I do so appreciate your stopping by and leaving a message--and I'm glad to know you, too.Celia

Kim Watters said...

Congratulations Mona. You're the winner of Celia's book. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) hotmail.com to claim your prize. Thanks for checking out our blog.