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?



Sarah J. McNeal said...

Celia, I loved your interview. You have such a special spirit.
The charity you mentioned is so innovative and I like that a small amount of children live with "parents". What a great concept.
You say you don't have a dynamic personality, and yet, you choose magenta and lavender--not just pink and purple. Maybe you don't see it, but when you speak, we listen.
You obey the old school rules like our parents: "If you don't have anything nice to say, then say nothing." You are no schmoozer. When you hand out a compliment, you really mean it, and when you don't have something nice to say, you decline comment. No one could ever accuse you of insincerity. I really like that about you.
Your writing group has a great name and I bet they are so much fun to meet with. I imagine y'all learn so much from each other and have fun doing it, too.
I am surprised a science teacher would shy away from science fiction writing. I wrote one sci-fi story and saw my limitations. I sure do love reading sci-fi and watching it in the movies though. I like reading about real science, especially astronomy and paleontology.
I enjoy reading your stories. The characters are like the people next door and I love that they all take place in Texas.
Before I write a novella here, let me just summarize with, I think the world of you, Celia.

TracyG said...

Celia, I learned so many new things about you! Manhattan? Wow. I'm too much of a small town girl, I guess. :D

Cheryl Pierson said...

Celia, over the years, we've shared so much and become such good friends--I thank God for the computer/internet every day, even though some days I curse it in the next breath. You are such a unique person and one that I'm so thankful to have known over the past few years since our days at The Wild Rose Press.

Every time I read an interview by you, I learn something different. I never thought Manhattan would be your choice! LOL I think I've just become too much of a homebody in my "old age"!

How you ever managed to go to school, work like you did and all with two small kids and a husband, I will never know. You are one determined woman! That is SUCH an accomplishment!

I enjoyed this interview--Sarah always does so well with her questions and her interviews are very unusual and informative. Always love to learn more about my friends, and this was no exception. Sarah is right--when you speak, people listen--including me.


Kristy McCaffrey said...

Wonderful to get to know you better. I think living in Manhatten would be great fun, for a limited time. I like your 3 o'clock appt. with your husband. I too spend all day with my hubby (our desks are near one another) but it's always important each day to connect with each other. Our drink of choice is often wine, or tea if I don't want to fall asleep. I'm such a lightweight. Cheers!

Unknown said...

Sarah--I am speechless. I need to copy and save this and read it once in a while when I need a boost. One thing you nor anyone else really sees is a lack of self-confidence. Don't all of us 'good girls' really need a dose of self-confidence about every day?
Sure, I'm of the old school. I can't say it's because of my age, but it's because I saw no reason to act ugly or be mean or break rules. I bet you didn't either. I simply didn't see reasons to when my parents trusted me to do anything I asked. Not so with my younger sister--if there was a rule, she'd find some way to break it, get in trouble, then wonder why Mother and Daddy picked on her!!! (I think I'm rambling.)
Anyway, the PC Homes of Texas are truly worthy. I get a calendar every Christmas for the new year. It's the exact size for my desk, with blocks for each day big enough to write several notes in, and the photo on the opposing page is of some of the residents from the past year--sometimes two, sometimes a group, along with a Bible Verse. I just love to look at those sweet shining faces and read the verse.
For June: A beautiful Anglo girl and a gorgeous black boy in purple caps and gowns--high school graduates last year. Verse: "I hereby command you: be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
Isn't that perfect for new graduates?
Thanks for giving me a spot on the blog. You're doing such a wonderful job with it.

Carra Copelin said...

Celia, lovely informative interview. You are a unique and very lovely Texas lady. I'm tremendously blessed to have met you through Sweethearts of the West. When we actually meet one day, I'll feel like I'm seeing an old friend.

Unknown said...

Tracy--oh, you're looking at the original small town girl. We've visited New York twice, and stayed in Manhattan both times. We were with a tour group both times. The place is astounding. One amazing thing is the blocks of specific ethnic groups. You drive down several blocks, and every single person is Puerto Rican. You cross the street--I swear, I don't think any of them cross into other territories--and everyone is Orthodox Jewish (by the clothing and men's beards), and another--all black....and etc. I could live there a year--not longer, because it's really hard to see the sky!
Thanks for visiting.

Unknown said...

Ahhh, thank you, Cheryl. Oh, the old Wild Rose Press. I clearly recall the first time I saw your name--it was on the Cactus Rose Blog and Fire Eyes was right above All My Hopes and Dreams. I wondered, who is Cheryl Pierson? I thought you might resemble the girl on the cover! And I thought the story would be a sweet romance. Whoa! Was I wrong. That book grabbed me by the throat--then I wondered who you REALLY were!!!!

As I've said--I suffer from the DWAB syndrome--DOG WITH A BONE SYNDROME! You understand--you're one, too!

Unknown said...

Kristy--I think a little bourbon or wine together at 3:00 might save many a marriage! An older author I knew some time ago lost her husband of many years. And I recall the wrote that the hardest part of the day was the time they sat down together with a drink and "talked." I didn't get the idea from her. My husband started it--but I can't remember when or why. I'm glad to see someone else does this, too.
Now I'm thinking about Kathleen and getting all teary-eyed.

Unknown said...

CARRA--I love meeting authors through our Sweethearts blog--it's been one of the best things Caroline and I did. And weirdly so, we had the idea almost simultaneously! When she asked me about the possibility, I already had an idea outlined for such a blog. She and I clicked immediately. I'd love to meet you. The only one I've met in person is Ciara Gold...and she is a very unique person. That was fun.

Unknown said...

Celia, it's always so much fun to "peek behind the veil" at other authors' lives. I learned several new things about you from this post, although I have to say none of them really surprised me. Well, maybe the bit about wanting to live in Manhattan for a year... :-D

I've always enjoyed your unique take on the Old West and life in general. Unlike a lot of us who write WHRs, you take tiny slices of everyday life and make them into something universal and extraordinary. I love that about your work. :-)

BIG HUGS, sweet lady!

Unknown said...

Kathleen--well, I do love big hugs!
Just when I'm thinking maybe I should change genres, someone like you comes along and gives me a boost. WH is still my favorite to read and write. I've never been able to get into modern western romances--you know, there's just something missing. I don't know how to tell you how much I appreciate your comments about my writing. I suppose every writer in the world needs someone to point out things about ourselves.
Oh, and thanks for that Twitter! I swear, Twitter and I just don't mesh..but I'm trying to learn more. Lily Graison is trying, bless her patient soul.
Blessing for you on the day.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Celia, I'd never heard of DWABS before. LOL Love it. Nice interview.

Ashantay said...

i enjoyed your interview, excerpt and blurb! Congrats on another book under your belt.

Unknown said...

Caroline--oh, I made up the DWABS thing...I invite anyone to become a member, but you must grab on to something you think is special and don't let go until you have full control of it!
Thanks for coming by.

Unknown said...

Ashantay--Thanks! And I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

Barbara Edwards said...

Nice to learn more about you. Great intevview

Gina said...

What a wonderful interview, Celia! It was interesting to hear about your writing process and I laughed out loud here at work when I came across your DWAB syndrome - too funny. Loved your excerpt and I can't wait to read your book. Best of luck to you :-)

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Celia,
I'm a DWABS person too. I'll keep worrying at something until it suits me.I love hearing about your dreams to be a big city gal for a year and explore the metropolitan world. And your heart is so large for that Presbyterian charity.
I so admire that you started college and finished at a later age. That alone tells everyone a LOT about you. Celia Yeary finds a way to get things done. And she writes some mighty fine books too!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Barbara!

Unknown said...

Hi, Regina--thanks so much for dropping by. I just bet you have DWABS, too. Many do, but just don't know it has a name!
I hope you do read my book.

Unknown said...

Hey, Maggie--I always love to read your comments. Of course, you have DWABS, too! Many of us do.
I could have said I've I'd love to live on top of a mountain, etc...but most of those things people mention sound boring. In a Manhattan highrise, you can live like a hermit, if you want...or explore yourself silly.

Tanya Hanson said...

LOVE the interview, Celia. It's always fun to get to know you better. Yowzers...Manhattan is such an credible place, I'm with ya there! Take me along. xo Best wishes for many more successful books.

Linda Acaster said...

A great interview. I learn something extra each time I come across one of Celia's. And don't go letting her talk herself down! When I first joined the yahoo loops Celia's advice on marketing was top-notch. It helped me look at my own work in a different light. She is, as we say in the UK, a brick (strong & dependable).

Wishing you well with the book, Celia!

Unknown said...

Tanya--finally, a kindred soul who would like to explore Manhattan! We could room together! But what would I do about my sweet darling? He'd want to go, too.
Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

Unknown said...

Linda--Thanks! I wish I could remember what I said about marketing...seems like I need a new approach!
A brick? We would say, a rock. Same thing, right?

Kaye Spencer said...


Your interview responses were fun to read. Manhattan? 0_o Wow!

I really want to see a Broadway musical (Les Miserables or Phantom of the Opera), but I'd have to be magically transported to the theater (Beam me up, Scotty) and sent home the same way, because actually being in New York would be too busy and crowded for this Colorado prairie girl. *wink*

I'm looking forward to getting better acquainted with you as a sister 'Rose', and what you shared in this interview was a nice peek into your writing life. Thank you.

Unknown said...

And thank you, Kaye. If I ever get to stay in Manhattan for a while, I'll let you know how it turns out!

Morgan Mandel said...

I also write when I feel like it, but don't have as many books done as you, Celia. As for riding the subway, I had enough of that when I lived in Chicago and commuted to school and work.

I'm not a heavy research person myself, but do like going to wikipedia for answers, and also the Grammar Girl, if I'm stuck.

Morgan Mandel

Laurean Brooks said...

Celia, this is a wonderful interview. I'm blessed to have met you in person and I cherish our friendship. You are always ready to lend an ear or give sound advice.

Your characters have spunk, spark, and sass. I never get bored reading your books.

Your tender heart shows in your desire to help unfortunate children. I have a soft spot, there too

You don't seem to get writer's block like the rest of us. Please share your secret for writing one awesome book after another, at lightning speed.

Linda Swift said...

Cellia, this was a great interview and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Seems a lot of other people have as well. I'm blessed to call you friend. I relate to the DWABS title. It was been one of my husband's names for me forever. And he says it with admiration and love.

Unknown said...

Morgan--If I had to write for a living, I'd starve. I love doing it when I want, but if I had lots of deadlines, I couldn't do it.
Subway? Oh, in my fantasy I could hire a limousine and get around however I wanted. Sure, I'd try the subway, too.
Thanks for coming over.

Unknown said...

Laurean--spunk, spark and sass--I love it!
Oh, I get writer's block--like right now, but I can blame it on a respiratory infection which takes away my ability to think.
Oh, I know you have a soft heart, too. That's part of you. Thanks so much for being a friend.

Unknown said...

Linda--remember you and I are president and vice-president of the DWABS group! Thanks so much for making it over here to The Romance Room blog. More later, Celia