This week we are visiting with Western romance author Celia Yeary, who shares with us her ideas on inspiration, imagination and the art of writing. Celia is a prolific author of historical and contemporary romances, most of which are set in Texas. One of the nicest people you'll ever meet, Celia is talented, enthusiastic and very supportive of aspiring new authors. Welcome, Celia!
How I Tackle Writing
Did you know you can find numerous articles on the internet about how to write a novel? Most of them begin with “think of a good story.” Now that, in my opinion, is the most fascinating bit of advice I’ve ever read. “Think of a good story.” I've wondered if Margaret Mitchell said that to herself as she sat down at her typewriter. She certainly had a good story; I’ll admit that.
Recently, I learned from another blog that Margaret Mitchell actually did sit down at her typewriter in her small apartment to "see if she could write a book." She began with the last chapter, which I found to be of great interest, and when she finished Gone With the Wind, she was reluctant to allow anyone to read it. Amazing, isn't it? And that was the one and only book she ever wrote.
If I could be so lucky. But I'm not.
First, for me to think up a good story I need time to DAYDREAM. That’s step number one —time to stare into space and let my mind wander, imagining a scene or a character. This might occur while I’m watching mind-numbing television, or while we’re on a long road trip and I have time to stare at the highway in front of me, or best of all, if the house is quiet and I’m all alone.
Second, I need A PROMPT of some kind. This might be an old weathered gray house on the side of the road, and I wonder who lived there and why. Maybe I see unique person walking along the sidewalk, and I wonder who she is and where is she going. Perhaps I read a news article, and something in it turns into a scene with people acting out the story in the article.
Third, I need to ENVISION a character, male or female, doesn’t matter. Who is this character? What is her story?
I needed to write a 25,000 word Christmas story, and I thought of a couple I know who recently married. She is a nurse, very tall, and she married a doctor who was even taller. They worked together on a medical mission team in Guatemala and fell in love. So, my story is based on a young woman who is to be maid of honor to her brother’s best man. She worries about her height, but when she meets him, he stands even taller than she. And of course, he’s a hunk. In my story, my heroine is a pediatric nurse and my hero is an ex-Army medic. A Christmas Wedding was born.
Of all the things that might make me think of a story, the PROMPT is the most important.
For The Stars at Night, the PROMPT was an officer on a motorcycle who passed us on the highway to stop a big black SUV in the Central Texas Hill Country. At the time, I wondered--who was driving that vehicle? A woman? Where is she going in such a hurry? As we passed, I noticed the SUV had New York license plates. Aha! The story began.
The PROMPT for Addie and the Gunslinger actually came from a publisher's description of novellas they were seeking for a series. A story immediately came to me, about an outlaw who had gone straight but landed in jail anyway. A beautiful woman arrived to save him, and through his bewilderment at her claiming he was her long lost sorry husband, he played along to get out of jail. This novella has become my all-time best-selling story--and it was a reject from the publisher.
I'll bet many authors write stories based on something unexpected. Not many of us can sit down like Margaret Mitchell with the thought, "I'll see if I can write a book." On the other hand, maybe she had a prompt that we don't know about. Wouldn't it be wonderful to know what that was?
My most recent releases are Western Contemporary Romance novellas: "Rodeo Man" and "Truck Stop Paradise." I call these companion stories, as both are set in West Texas and Dallas. This was purely coincidental on my part. However, the novellas are stand-alone stories. I asked Karen Michelle Nutt, the artist, to create covers that resembled each other, and she did a great job.
BLURB for Rodeo Man
Marla Ellington inherits an abandoned town on ranchland near Arrowhead, Texas. When she arrives to claim her property, and finds Cody Matheson sitting on the porch of the dilapidated honky-tonk, her temper flares hotter than her pistol. Anger blazing, she settles in for a showdown.
Cody’s only goal for the week is to win the bull-riding event at the Saturday night rodeo. But when Marla receives an anonymous threat that forces her to leave town, Cody finds himself smack-dab in the middle of a mystery. ’Course, catching a criminal and lasting eight seconds on a bull are easy compared to winning the love of the feisty, strawberry-blonde beauty who wants
nothing to do with him.
Now it's his turn for a showdown.
Barnes and Noble--
BLURB for Truck Stop Paradise
Leigh Anne McClintock has spent her adult life shielding her addictive sister Crissy. But when Crissy abandons a horse, Leigh Anne borrows a pick-up and trailer and takes the horse from North Texas to the Panhandle ranch owned by a childhood friend, Chad Rogers.
Chad has wondered for years why his best friend Leigh Anne betrayed him and her sister Crissy on the night of their ten-year high school reunion. When Leigh Anne arrives, he willingly takes in the animal, and he cautiously tries to make peace with Leigh Anne. They feel the old attraction, but neither can let go of the past.
When Crissy makes a disturbing appearance, will Chad and Leigh Anne finally learn to put themselves first ... and find the love that had been there all along.
Barnes and Noble-
***I'd love to give away a copy of each novella. If you have a Kindle or a Nook, if I choose your name, I'll Gift both to you. If I choose your name and you've already read these stories, please feel free to find my Author Page on Amazon--or Barnes and Noble--and find two other books you'd like to have.
Thank you all for visiting and reading How I Tackle Writing.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
Celia, thank you so much for visiting! Best wishes for continued success with your writing. I hope you will come back again soon. :-)