Monday, 27 September 2010
Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with Celia Yeary
I'd like to welcome author Celia Yeary to the blog day. Celia is a dear friend from the Book Spa and I'm tickled pink to have her here today.
STEPH: I don't know much about Texas Promise. Can you tell us a little about the story?
CELIA: It’s the first in a two-book series called “The Cameron Sisters,” which developed from the first novel about their father Jeffrey “Buck” Cameron and their mother, Marilee Weston, titled TEXAS BLUE. In the end of that first novel, there were two daughters—Josie and True. So, I wrote a novel for each of the sisters and the two became The Cameron Sisters: Books I and II.
TEXAS PROMISE tells the story of the older daughter Josephine Cameron who married her childhood sweetheart, Dalton King. But as adults, they don’t get along as well as they did as children, resulting in Dalton leaving after three weeks to join the Texas Rangers. The plot is complicated when he is presumed dead, but returns just as Jo is packing to leave for the New Mexico Territory to meet her birth father.
STEPH: What was in the inspiration for the story?
CELIA: I wanted Jo to meet her wicked birth father, but I needed a way for her to get from Austin, Texas to the wilds of the New Mexico Territory to do so. Also important was for her to marry Dalton, so I made him a Texas Ranger so he could lead her to her father and protect her at the same time. The rigorous journey gave me the opportunity for Jo and Dalton to become reunited and fall in love, for real this time, instead of childhood love.
STEPH: How long have you been writing?
CELIA: About six years. I’m still considered a newbie, I guess, but I’m a fast learner and very motivated when I learn something new. I never wrote a thing in my life before 2004.
STEPH: How do you create your characters? Do you cast them? If so, who are the leads?
CELIA: This question always stumps me. The characters just appear. I can’t explain “creating” them, can you? Sometimes I do cast characters, but not often, and if I do, I don’t remember the actor I used. Dalton is tall, dark, a little somber (unlike his sunny personality as a child), a good man who wants to do the right thing. Jo was an isolated child, which made her a little timid of the outside world. But when she did break out, she blossomed into a courageous, bold, independent woman.
STEPH: What attracts you to writing westerns?
CELIA: So many possibilities to write a story! I can include danger, adventure, hardships, Western vistas, horses, and a way of life that made our country great.
STEPH: How did the story find a home with Desert Breeze?
CELIA: Finding a publisher with an open mind to a two-book series ready to go isn’t as easy as you’d think. I heard “let’s do the first one, then we’ll see about the second one.” I could have gone that way, but I held on to them, and just as I wouldn’t separate sisters, I couldn’t take the chance I might not get the second one with the same publisher. But Desert Breeze stated in the guidelines the exact words I looked for—that they were interested in series, especially if they were fully developed. Yessss!
STEPH: Do you have any hobbies you'd like to share with us?
CELIA: Reading and writing—now—takes up much of my time. Before writing, I learned how to play golf at age 40, and played hard and fast for years. I had to give that up for various reasons, and I cast about looking for something else. In my younger adult years, I did crewel embroidery and created some very pretty things, mostly as gifts. When I tired of that, I made wreaths—for gifts. When I wore that one out, I painted t-shirts—to give away. After that, I made scrapbooks—as gifts! In between all that, I earned two degrees and taught high school biology.
SETPH: What's your favorite place to visit in Texas? A festival? A town? the coast?
CELIA: I have visited all over Texas, and lived in almost every corner. My favorite is Big Bend National Park, and the towns close by—Alpine, Marfa, and Marathon. Very interesting and unique and wild.
STEPH: Fun question: If you were a NASCAR driver, who would you want to sponsor your car?
CELIA: American Airlines and maybe they’d let me always fly First-Class and Free!