Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Interview with romance author, Celia Yeary
Today, my guest is romance author, Celia Yeary. Ms. Yeary is here to talk about her latest release, Texas Promise, a Western Historical Romance
1. Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
After a teaching career, I settled down to be a good grandmother. However, one day in 2004 as I was playing around on the computer, a story popped out. It was a Western Historical Romance, and when I finished that one, I began another. And another. By 2007, I had my first contract, and now in 2011 I have five published novels, five coming soon novels, some short stories, articles, and essays. I still don't know what hit me. Oh…and I'm a good grandmother, too.
2. Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.
TEXAS PROMISE is the third "Texas" book in a group of four. But this one and the next make a two-book series titled The Cameron Sisters. TEXAS PROMISE is Jo's story, the older daughter, who marries her childhood sweetheart, but after three weeks, he joins the Texas Rangers and leaves her. Some time later, she receives word he is dead. But while learning to live as a widow, her husband returns, a changed man, very different, and very angry. Why? Thereby lies the story.
3. Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?
I've never written an outline or plotted out a story, but after years of writing as a panster, I know the pitfalls in that method. Now, I'm trying the outline method, at least writing the plot out to some degree so that it doesn't become bogged down in the middle.
4. What comes first: the plot or the characters?
The characters usually come first. I see a character--who is she, where is she, and what does she want?
5. Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
Penny, this is like asking which of my children do I love most! I love Jo Cameron King in TEXAS PROMISE the most. She was abandoned at age five along with her very young mother, and was left to live in isolation in a thick forest until a tracker, the hero finds them. There's a villain in TEXAS BLUE, the first book, who is truly despicable and gets what he has coming! Even I feared Felicitas, the manipulative, hateful MIL in ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS, that nearly destroyed my heroine. Pity? I pitied the weak father of the heroine in TEXAS BLUE, because he threw away the chance to help and defend his young daughter.
6. Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?
I do research as I go. Some authors of historical fiction sit down and research a place, an event, a character, or a setting. Since I begin with the characters, that doesn't work for me, except in one case. The story had to take place in a specific area between specific years with specific kinds of characters. Now, that's difficult. In that case, I had to learn about the setting before I could begin. But you see, those were guidelines set down by the publisher for a series. I won't do that again, I don't think.
7. What are some of the challenges in your writing process?
I had to learn about POV, tags, sequencing, story climax, "show don't tell," and brush up on passive vs. active writing. I'd never written anything in my life except science research papers.
8. Describe your writing space.
A small corner of the master bedroom by a window, close to the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. If I do any multitasking, it's writing between loads of laundry, watching something bake or boil, or watching the birds and deer out the window. My bookcase is in a hall, and since I like to get up and walk around, my books stay there.
9. What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?
I like this question. Right now, eBooks are exploding, but I see a market overwhelmed with not only books from many new ePresses, but from self-published authors, both unknown and well known. The reading public can read just so many books. In other words, we're in a "honeymoon" period with the e-readers and e-books. Ten percent of the reading public chooses e-books. That leaves ninety percent who prefers traditional print. Yes, readers will choose more e-books in the next year or two, but I firmly believe we'll see a little discontent with the electronic versions, and the playing field will level a little.
10. What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release?
At this moment, I have five novels released, and five novels coming in 2011. Also, I have a short story in an anthology and will have two more in 2011. Plus, I have a novella Christmas story. I'd list them, but they would take too much space. (See my website.)
11. What is your marketing plan?
Once I learned a little about marketing, I quickly made a list of what I was willing to do and what I would not do. Yes, I spend time chatting and supporting others, but even that is valuable networking. In short, I have a personal blog, am a member of two group blogs, co-own a group blog, am a member of about a dozen Yahoo Groups, not including those required by publishers, maintain my own website, read other authors' books and write reviews, guest blog, participate in Goodreads, LinkedIn, Book Blogs, Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction, Author's Den, and one or two more.
I don't participate in FB, Twitter, or MySpace. This is purely a matter of choice, because those seem to work for others.
12. What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Make a decision early on if you wish to be with a NY traditional publisher with an agent, or take the small press route. With the former, the new author has a vast number of others to compete with for only a few slots, and a book will take three years to publication. With the latter, the new author can more easily sell a book and see it published in a fasterer turn around. For the younger author with excellent writing credentials, she may be the one to try with the larger publishers.
Whatever the new author decides, don't give up when road blocks appear in your path to publication. If others can do it, you can, too.
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress
SYNOPSIS FOR Texas Promise
After two years, Jo Cameron King’s life as a widow abruptly ends when her husband returns home to Austin. Unable to understand her angry and bitter husband, she accepts a call to travel to the New Mexico Territory to meet her dying birth father whom she knows nothing about. Her plan to escape her husband goes awry when he demands to travel with her.
Dalton King, believing lies his Texas Ranger partner tells him about Jo, seethes with hatred toward his wife. Now he must protect Jo from his partner’s twisted mind, while sorting out the truth. Jo’s bravery and loyalty convince him she’s innocent. But can they regain the love and respect they once shared?