Sunday, May 15, 2011

Featured Spotlight Interview with Celia Yeary

This week my guest author is Celia Yeary. Celia resides in Texas and spends most of her time writing. She usually writes women’s fiction and romance and is a multi-published author.  Visit Celia’s webpage at Celia also has a blog which she updates often at
I recently had the pleasure of reading her newest book called Texas True, which is also the second book in her Cameron Sisters Series book, for Coffee Time Romance and More.  I can not go into detail here about the review I wrote for that story as it is still going through edits and won’t be published for another week or two.  But, what I will say is that Celia is a darn good storyteller.  

Hope you will enjoy this interview. 

Who is your favorite character from a book?
Oddly, my own novels center on the female protagonist, but when I think of favorite characters in books, a male protagonist comes to mind every time.

To find favorite novels and characters, I always return to LaVyrle Spencer's novels, written in the 80's and re-released now with new covers. I adore all her stories and have a collection of every one she wrote. My #1 Favorite? The Hellion, written in 1985. "The hero is Tommy Lee, the all-time hellraiser of Russellville, Alabama, he had three marriages behind him and a string of fast cars and women. The townsfolk said he'd never change. But Rachel knew differently…"
It doesn't get much better than the reuniting of sophisticated Rachel and Tommy Lee, after a couple of decades of mistakes and heartache. See? I have goose bumps, just thinking of this story.

What can you tell us about your current release?

The Cameron Sisters-Book II: Texas True is my current release. True Lee Cameron is the younger daughter of a wealthy Texas rancher/oilman. I consider this novel the best of the previous "Texas" books, all related and connected, but each one a stand-alone story.

In the novel, True moves from her world as a pampered younger daughter to marriage to an experienced man ten years her senior, who manages an oil field for her brother-in-law. When she learns he has deceived her, she grows up fast and takes matters into her own hands. From a comfortable home in Austin, she follows him to the oil camp and learns to live in a tent, returns to Austin without him, and finally gets her wish—the ranch home he'd vaguely promised. She also teaches him the ways of true love.

As I mentioned in the introduction I just finished reading Texas True and really enjoyed it. Could you please share a short excerpt with us today?

Sure! I would love to.

At last, they had time for each other, and while not precisely alone, he guessed True considered it so. She motioned for Sam to sit on her cot beside her. Reluctantly, he did and felt childish sitting beside her as the children had sat by him.

She removed her boots and stockings and wiggled her bare toes out in front of her.

     "Ohhh, that feels good. I've been running around all day. It's nice to be able to sit alone like this, don't you think, Sam?"

     He knew what she was doing and she was good at it. But he needed to return to the rig site and make sure everything was running well. He was lying to himself, but there was not much
point in staying here any longer. The children slept close by, after all.

     True whispered to him, "Would you kiss me, Sam? Just a kiss? And maybe hold me a little? I've missed you very much."

     Against his better judgment, he placed his arm around her waist and pulled her close, and with the other hand, tipped her chin up so he might give her that little kiss. Mistake. Her scent and warmth instantly set him on fire. He kept her mouth in place as he ravaged it with his tongue, teeth, and lips. With the other hand, he cupped her soft, full breast from the side.

     Slowly turning in his arms, True leaned into him and began tugging his shirt from his pants. As soon as she could move her hands under the shirt, she placed her palms flat on his ribs
and brought them around and up his back. His skin turned hot where she smoothed the corded muscles of his shoulders. Sliding her hands up, she neatly and efficiently pushed his shirt off his back. Mumbling against his mouth, she instructed in a low, husky voice, "Let me get this off your arms."

     Startled, he came to his senses and hissed through clenched teeth, "Whoa, whoa. What are you doing? Stop, True. The children."

     Speaking softly and quietly into his ear, she explained that an earthquake would not awaken them. "When they fall asleep, they don't move, and you would be hard pressed to wake them up. I assure you, they won't hear a thing. Please, Sam, make love to me?"

     Oh, well, why the hell not, he thought, through the red haze in his brain.
-----------end of excerpt-----------
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

This question made me laugh. Why? Because the most surprising thing I learned was that I could do it! I'd never written anything, having spent my adult years earning degrees and teaching high school biology, and raising our own children. But on a whim, I began to write a story, and it turned out complete and finished, with another one already churning in my mind.

Of course, I then had to return to the beginning and learn about POV, scenes changes, Show Don't Tell, passive writing, and more dialogue/less narrative. And do massive amounts of re-writes.

Do you hear from your readers? What are the most common questions they ask?

Oh, I do hear from readers, which much of the time is as good as any five star review. Questions?
"Which bookstore do I find your books?"
"What is an ebook? Is it a real book?"
"When is your next book out?"
"Can I get your book in a print? I don't like eBooks."
"Are you going to write a story about (fill in the blank)?"
Readers often become enamored with some other character and wish they knew what happened to him/her. 

What do you think makes a good story?

Definitely the characters. Most reviewers speak of the hero and heroine the most. I have learned that I'd better have a heroine readers will love, care about, cheer for, and cry with—or I won't have a story worth spit. (excuse my language)The same is true for the hero, although I believe readers will allow a hero to be more flawed than the heroine. Okay, I can do that. I love to create a hero that has internal problems and flaws so that I can redeem him.   

What book are you reading now?

I read more than one book at a time, one in each room. The bedside book is Maggie Toussaint's On the Nickel, A Cleopatra Jones Mystery, the second in her series. Actually, I'm on the last chapter. The living room book is A Historical Collection by Victory Tales Press (The authors: Karen Michelle Nutt, Kate Kindle, Miriam Newman, and Cheryl Pierson.)

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

I have a series now—those I call my "Texas Books," although the first two are with one publisher, and the second two are The Cameron Sisters: Books I and II. The four complete
a family saga in Nineteenth Century Texas.

Readers like a series, and I love to write them. If I wrote another series, I'd probably take two related characters from the previous Texas novels. It may sound goofy, but I have a complete genealogy chart made with the beginning Cameron parents, their three children, etc. I think I can count about ten characters in that chart that would make a series. However, the next series will be into the Twentieth Century—1900-1905, maybe. Hmmm, I need to think about this a little more.

What makes you happy?

It doesn't take much to make me happy. That's why I'm answering this question and saved it for last. I'm probably happiest when I'm in my own home with my husband—of several decades—and I'm in the midst of writing, editing, or posting blogs. He's in his office on the other side of the house, and I'm comforted that he's happy here with me, too.

Even though we have traveled Europe numerous times, cruised, toured the US, Mexico, and Canada, I still prefer staying home. Maybe I appreciate my home more because I've seen how so many others live.

There is a major thing that makes me very happy—that is a child somewhere who gets a permanent home with real parents. The world is filled with orphans or throw-away children, and if I could change one thing in this world, it would be to give every lost child a permanent home. (Note: Novels Texas Blue, Texas Promise, and Texas True each has a child or two who are in need of a home. I can't get away from that.)

Thank you so much for sharing a bit of yourself and your books here with us today.  It really makes me happy when I can find out a little more about my favorite authors and share with other readers, too.

BUY LINKS for both Texas Promise and Texas True:
Desert Breeze Publishing
Barnes and Noble
The Cameron Sisters Book Two: Texas TrueThe Cameron Sisters Book One: Texas PromiseCelia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


Sherry Gloag said...

Celia, as ever, I enjoyed your interview, and have a question.
Did you find it easy to split your series between two different publishers?

Paty Jager said...

Fun interview Celia and Laurie. LaVyrle Spencer was the author who made me love western romance, and I in turn read everyone of her books I could get my hands on western or contemporary.

Celia Yeary said...

SHERRY--Hi, I'm so glad you came to visit.
To answer your question--NO. I had every intention of staying with the first publisher, for I truly loved it, and got the first two out. The third--Texas Promise--my editor took it and was excited. The head editor didn't like it, though--said it was actually two stories, I had to completely rewrite, then she'd look at it again. It wasn't an outright rejection, but I took it as such, because I could not see rewriting it.
In addition, the last one--Texas True--was hanging out there. I feared finally getting the third published, but the last one...unclear. So I pulled both of them.
I researched all romance publishers and found one who LOVED series--Desert Breeze. She had a provision that an author could submit the one, and partially the other. If she rejected the one, I knew the other one wouldn't go either.
But I followed the directions, and got a two-book contract.
I've learned a series is fun to write, many readers like them, and readers will follow a series.
However, we run the risk of the next one being rejected if we leave it open-ended.
It was a huge learning experience for me.
I'd still love to get back with that first publisher, though...You know...first love, and all that.

Laurie said...

Hi Ya'll - Thanks so much for coming by and for your comments. My internet connectivity is on the fritz this's frustrating, so I may not be around too much even though I want to be. We have an appt first thing tomorrow morning so I'm hoping for the best!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Celia, talking about homeless children touches my heart. Bless you for thinking of them.

Diane Craver said...

Great interview, Celia.
I love Spencer's books too. I've reread several of them.

We get the same questions from readers. LOL I hate it when they ask if my books are in the bookstore or in the library.

Laurie said...

Hi Caroline - The two orphans in Texas True are TRULY little heart tuggers. They will really grab you!

Diane - I guess there are readers (like me) who much prefer the ebooks and then the traditionalists (who just don't know any better...LOL). I can see how, as an author, that is a difficult question to deal with. For years my husband and I had an on-line book store and we got inquiries all the time from readers who wanted to "borrow" books from us..

Mona Risk said...

Hi Laurie I thought I knew a lot about my friend Celia, and yet everyday I discover a new facet to her character and appreciate her more.

Celia- It's a strange coincidence that you mention a home for homeless kids, as I am about to blog about a very difficult subject on children that are no more real children.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Celia,
I love the way you swear without using the actual words. Same meaning conveyed, but in a kinder, gentler way.
Your soft heart for orphans is a wonderful thing. I enjoy your writing and I'm touched you mentioned my book as being on your bedside table.
God Bless!
maggietoussaint at darientel dot net

Celia Yeary said...

CAROLINE-thanks.They are dear to my heart, but we can do little. I do like to create one or two who need a home and parents. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Diane--I'm always surprised how many authors love LaVryrle Spencer's books. Oh, yes, those question from readers--some just crack me up about where to buy this book--"will it ever be in Wal-Mart?" That one makes me laugh.
Wait...I buy books at Wal-Mart! Celia

Celia Yeary said...

MONA--bless your heart. I love that compliment.
I'll look at your blog on the homeless children..Yes, I often sneak one or two in a story I'm writing. I've heard editors say keep children out of romances...but I say if they belong there...we must! Celia

Celia Yeary said...

MAGGIE--well, she asked which books I was reading!
I had to stop and think about my "swear" word--then I laughed--a "kinder gentler way to swear."

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi Celia and Laurie,

What a lovely blog, and what a wonderful post! Celia, I'm so glad you DIDN'T re-write that story. Sometimes it's best to just go with your gut feeling and keep the story as it is. Your stories are always so heartfelt and touching, and your voice is always "yours" --I wouldn't change a thing.

I haven't had a lot of reading time lately, but you can bet I will be getting Texas True soon--here's my e-mail addy, "just in case I might win." LOLOL

Great post--I enjoyed it very much.

StephB said...

Nice interview. I get those questions a lot. I am enjoying True's story so far. Sam tries my patience but I have hope he'll come around *wink. Sometimes we put up the biggest obstacles on our way to true love.

Hope you have many sales!

Celia Yeary said...

Hi, Cheryl! I'm so glad you agree! You know I have a real aversion to rewrites, but a couple of times, it worked out for the good. But with Texas True...or Texas Promise--uh-uh--just couldn't do it.
I know, I know...I run the risk of not getting a contract...but that just happens sometimes.
Early in my writiing life, if a ms was rejected with the caveat that "if you rewrite and do this and do that," I'd just say "I'll just write another story. But now? I think I may be running out of stories! Yikes, I hope not.
Love you....Celia

Celia Yeary said...

STEPH--in my opinion, no man is worthwhile if he comes fully formed into the A+ hero. No man does, and I just love to have a man that feels so deeply inside, but just can't do the right thing when it's staring him in the face.
If a reader doesn't have to work to love the hero, it seems rather pointless.
Thanks, Steph, for all your hard work. Celia

liana laverentz said...

A darn good storyteller...praise doesn't get much better than that! Congratulations on your newest release, Celia!

Celia Yeary said...

LIAN--I know! I loved that phrase, too, Liana. To even be called a "storyteller," I think, is a high form of praise.
That's what we want to do....tell stories.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I think Texas True looks like a fantastic read, Celia. I like a woman who can show a man a thing or two about love. I wish you every success.

Celia Yeary said...

Thank you, Sarah! Yes...we women like to think we know a thing or two...the man doesn't always know the ways of love....Celia

Linda Swift said...

Hi Celia and Laurie. I've been looking forward to this interviw and it didn't disappoint me. Good questions, good answers. And I've read all the books mentioned and can recommend them all. You don't have to be a fan of Western romance or of Texas to love Celia Yeary's books. She is and I quote, "a darned good storyteller."

Laurie said...

Hi Mona - thanks so much for dropping by...Is you blog for awareness or is it geared toward helping the kids through a charity or charities???

Laurie said...

Hi Maggie, Cheryl, StephB and Liana - So happy to see all of you here.

Hi Sarah - Yep, Sam's pretty hardheaded. I enjoyed watching True grow and along the way become such an agent of change in the book.

Linda - Thank you! :)

Margaret Tanner said...

Great interview Celia,
Your love of Texas certainly shines through in your stories.


Rebecca J Vickery said...

HI Celia and Laurie,
Loved the interview and I learned something else new about Celia.
I admire your heartfelt wish for the children and hope it comes true someday.
Best wishes for many more great stories -- love your writing.

Celia Yeary said...

LINDA--thank you from the bottom of my heart--not only for patiently reading all my books, but for giving each one a "category"--Most adventure, most sensual, most.....etc. I love that!
Any compliment coming from you means a lot, as I consider you one of the best. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Hi, Margaret...I always enjoy seeing your name and comment. It feels like my lost long cousin from across the world coming to visit!Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Thank you, Rebecca--I love writing the short stories for Victory Tales Press. It's opened up an entirely new venture for me, something I didn't think I'd like to do. But I've found writing short stories are extremely satisfying, and I've also discovered they're fun to read. Your publishing venture is an excellent idea. Celia

Sherry Gloag said...

Thanks for your answer to my question, Celia :-)
Now, I'm going to have to follow your short stories too :-) :-)

Sandra Crowley said...

Great interview, Celia. I, too, loved your answer to Laurie's question, "What makes you happy?"

Great site and interview, Laurie.

Congratulations to both you ladies.

Celia Yeary said...

SHERRY--great! Just what we love to hear. Thanks for being here--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

SANDRA--thank you for visiting today. I, too, think Laurie has a wonderful blog. She's very thorough and makes an interview very interesting. Celia

Laurie said...

Finally! It's been a really long day for me with horribly slow and inconsistent internet but the technician hopefully has found the problem and now all should be good. Hope for the best, anyway. :)

Thanks Margaret, Rebecca, Sherry, and Sandra. Thanks so much for coming by and leaving your wonderful comments.

P.L. Parker said...

Hi Celia - great post and the book sounds great. Congratulations

katekindle said...

Lovely site. Celia, I am looking forward to reading Texas True. Funny hearing Lavyrle Spencer's name. Her writing is very great! Yup! Put me down for a chance on your book, Celia.

Celia Yeary said...

Thanks. P.L.--I appreciate your stopping by and readiing the interview. Laurie has a wonderful site. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

KATE--I had no idea so many others admired Lavyrle Spencer so much. It makes me feel good that we all recognized a great romance author.
Thanks for your comment--Celia

Sandy said...

What a wonderful interview, great questions and answers.

Celia Yeary said...

Hi, Sandy--glad you made it. Thank you so much...Celia

Laurie said...

Hi P.L., Kate and Sandy!! Thanks so much for dropping by and taking the time to add your comments. I appreciate you!

Also, I am happy to announce that my review for TEXAS TRUE just became live at Coffee Time Romance and More. I will also be posting it on GoodReads and my review Blog later today. :)

Lyn Horner said...

I enjoyed your interview with Laurie, and your books sound wonderful. I'm especially moved by your feelings about "throw-away" children. I certainly agree, and I feel the same way about the lost and abandoned pets roaming our city streets. Which is why I've taken in so many cats over the years. Best wishes with your new publisher! Lyn

Wicked Leanore said...

Another great interview Laurie! Celia sounds like a wonderful author.

N. R. Williams said...

Great interview Laurie. It is nice to meet you Celia. I liked what you said about creating flawed characters. They need redeeming, and that is how they become real to us and the readers.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium