(Be sure to read my review of her book below!)
Celia, thank you for taking the time to be here, especially on such short notice! First, let me give you a chance to respond to my review. Is there anything you would like to add, argue, or comment on?
You mentioned the POV issue. You're the first reviewer or reader who has mentioned this. I will explain: the Mother-in-law drives the story. Without her, the story would be full of holes. I could not explain through the hero or heroine her POV. For The Wild Rose Press, an author is allowed only two POV's-H/H. At first, my editor deleted everything she said. It took away a fourth of the book and I was upset. So, I explained it to her. Yes, she saw that, so she had the head editor read it, and they agreed that if a villain is a very bad one, she can stay in. And Felicitas was a very good--bad?-villain. You don't know how many comments I've had about the mother-in-law!!
Yes, the author's needs for the story should always be supported, since no one "gets" it quite the way we do. I'm glad you stood up and were able to keep what mattered to you. The mother-in-law was indeed key and a memorable villain!
What was your inspiration for this story?
Interesting that they demanded not only their right to a story but the first one published! Tell us a bit about your process of getting it contracted and how you celebrated.
The process took four years. I am not a life-long author. I wrote fifteen novels, long and short in four years. That's all I did--write. Then came the learning process, and my learning curve was--still is--steep. I celebrated by crying first, then my dh broke out a bottle of wine--it was two o'clock in the afternoon. He still cannot believe the things I do, now, on the computer.
Fifteen in four years is incredible. Talk about stepping up and running with it! From our personal chats, I know that racial themes are a highlight in your life from many perspectives. Did you purposely set out with this book to address that or did it just happen to develop within your characters?
Racial themes are natural, I guess. I never really thought about it. Maybe it comes from being a Native Texan. Hispanics and Spaniards--there is a difference--are a big part of our state--then and now. I never have an agenda when I create a person other than Anglo. I'm not trying to make a statement. It just seems natural. In other stories, I have Blacks (African-Americans), Hispanics, Spaniards, Apache, and Comanche. All part of our state, even in the 1880's.
What do you like to do in your play time (I won't say free time since writers don't tend to have actual free time)?
Movies, but we don't see many. Traveling, even though we slowed down in recent years. We've been to many countries, and really became tired of the hassle. We like day trips in Texas to find something historical, take a lot of photos. Friends, certainly, are a necessity for play-time.
Is there anyone you would like to mention as inspirational or supportive of your work? Authors, readers, family, groups, etc.
I had no inspiration in my life to begin writing. No one knew I wrote--it was my little secret life. It was a form of entertainment, never thinking I'd have anything published. A writer friend here in town gave me confidence to submit. She's been a wonderful support system.
Ah, I kept that secret for a long time, also. Good for your friend! So, tell us a bit about what you're working on now.
"A Life Worth Living"--a romance set in North Texas just as the first World War ended and the Spanish flu took more lives than the war did. "Reunion"--a contemporary women's fiction novel. It's complete--but something is wrong with it. My mind is cluttered with that story. Right now, I have nothing contracted and I'm finished with all edits. In September, Showdown in Southfork (a Wayback, Texas series) will be released. and Texas Blue sometime in 2010.
Celia, thank you so much for being here and best of luck with all of your current and future projects!
And thank you, Loraine. I do appreciate your support.
Find more about Celia and her work on her website: http://www.celiayeary.com