Monday, June 23, 2014
Interview With CELIA YEARY
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 ten novels, seven novellas, short stories, and articles for a Texas Magazine-- Texas Co-op Power. She is a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT), a local writing group called The Write Girls, and co-owns a group blog titled Sweethearts of the West.
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 forty years.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
Find Celia Yeary here:
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
(Celia) Probably becoming an author! No, as I think on it, probably it was beginning college at age 27 with two pre-school children at home and a husband who worked two jobs to pay our bills. I earned my degree in the allotted time, but oh, how difficult that was.
What adventure would you like to have that you haven’t done yet if money and skill were no problem?
(Celia) I would like to live in Manhattan for a year in a high-rise apartment and live and explore without a car. Visit all the museums, shop, eat wherever I wanted, see Broadway plays, ride the ferry to NJ and wherever, hire a chauffeur if I didn't want to walk, hire a taxi, or ride the subway, and write every day.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What commonality do you see in them?
(Celia) LaVyrle Spencer, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Kaki Warner, and Kent Haruf. Each author writes great characters who are somewhat normal people, but find themselves in abnormal circumstances. Each one makes me laugh or cry--either one will do. Their stories are quite emotional.
I believe color says something about a person’s personality. What’s your favorite color?
(Celia) Oh, magenta and lavender. Not plain pink, blue, or purple, but shades of those.
What is your writing process from conception to finished MS?
(Celia) First, a long stretch of thinking. Next, a character. Can't begin without one, and sometimes it's a male, sometimes a female. Next...names, which are very easy for me. And then...a title. I cannot begin to write without a title, and it rarely changes.
Are you a planner, panster or both?
(Celia) Mostly a panster. I rarely know what the plot is or the ending, but somewhere along the way I must stop and write a few notes...usually questions about the next scene.
How did you research for your book?
(Celia) This is the fun part of writing a historical novel. I do love to research, and since all my stories take place in Texas, I must have the facts straight. For example, I began a story set way out in West Texas, close to the New Mexico border. But my hero is a rancher, and he will need a railroad for cattle, etc. The year I chose presented the problem. No railroads existed out there to almost the 20th Century.
So, I had to move the ranch close to Fort Worth.
What is your all-time favorite movie? TV show?
(Celia) Movie? "Picnic," a fifties movie that appeared trivial at first glance, but the wonderful characters built tension with every scene. TV show? The mini-series "Roots"--I will never forget that series.
If you could learn one new skill, fear and money no deterrent, what would it be?
(Celia) Be a lecturer. I'd like to be on a lecture circuit about books, life choices and changes, the old days, etc. But alas, I don't have enough knowledge, and I don't have a dynamic personality. And you can't buy those!
If you had a million dollars to donate to any one charity, what would it be?
(Celia) The Presbyterian Children's Homes of Texas. There are about a dozen scattered throughout the state. Each is a "campus" with maybe 6-12 regular homes big enough to house 3-6 children and teens, and each has a couple who are the "parents." These are not orphans, but are children who could not live at home, but have a potential and a desire to live in a loving home, go to the local public school, etc.
These have been very successful, but money is donated through churches and individuals, and there's never enough. The kids also need money for camp in the summer, school supplies, clothes, health care and college tuition when and if they're ready for that. I'm sure you get the point.
What advice would you like to give to an aspiring writer?
(Celia) Never give up! But don't listen to everyone's advice, either.
Did anyone mentor you or help you along the way? Please tell us about your mentor and what you feel they contributed to your writing career.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
(Celia) Know how to take care of yourself. Get an education equal to your husband's and don't be dependent on him for all your needs. An elderly aunt gave me this advice. This is why I went to college at age 27.
If you could live anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would it be? (Language is no barrier)
Where do you write?
(Celia) In a corner of our master bedroom. My husband has a spare room all his own, and there's another one I could use as an office. However, it's on the other side of the house. Here, I'm by the kitchen (we do have to eat), the laundry room, our huge bathroom, and I have a big window to my right. It has enough space for what I want, in addition to bookshelves in a hall.
How much time do you devote to writing each week? Do you have a day every week that you take off?
(Celia) I write when I feel like it. There are no restrictions on me, so I can do what I want and when. I do stop every afternoon at three and meet my husband in the living room to "talk" over a little bourbon. My, lands, we see each other all day, but this has become a special time for us. I wouldn't dare try to write during that time.
What is a genre that you have not attempted that you would like to try?
(Celia) Science Fiction. But I'll never do it. I think it's probably way too detailed for me, but I used to read one Science Fiction novel after the other.
Is there anything you would like readers to know about you?
(Celia) That I have a syndrome called DWABS. That is "Dog With a Bone Syndrome." I do not quit or give up. I'm very competitive.
Lee King dreams big...but big enough to win Emilie McDougal's heart?
Lee King is a dreamer. When he realizes he was born under a lucky star, he went for the jackpot and won. But winning a big prize isn't the same as keeping it safe from interlopers and greedy fortune hunters--including women.
When oilman Tex McDougal crosses his path, Lee believes he has found the perfect man to help him. His daughter, Emilie McDougal, while not a buxom beauty, impresses him with her intelligence, her courage, and her selflessness.
Could he strike a financial bargain with her? One that would suit them both?
Emilie McDougal has no family except her father, and she has followed in his footsteps from age one. When Lee King enters their lives, she begins to dream--for the first time in her life. She only wants one thing from Lee, one tiny thing that would make her life complete.
Would he agree to her counter-bargain?
She put her arms around the mare's neck and whispered in her ear. The mare nodded, as though saying, "yes" to something. Emilie laughed, rubbed her ears, and patted her neck. She walked all around the horse, touching and talking softly, as though wooing a lover.
Lee couldn't take his eyes off Emilie. Here was her soft side he'd never seen. Would she treat a man...a lover...the same way? Whispering, softly laughing, touching?