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Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Stop and think—do you sabotage your own success? This can happen on many levels, most of them subconscious, but all are self-destructive. How do I know this? I’ve done so many things to make myself fail or at least feel like a failure, I can’t even count them. We can’t address all the ways we writers/artists/creators knock ourselves down, but we can discuss a few. You might be able to add to this list.

What is Your Passion? Mine is writing. I write novels, short novels, short stories, and blogs. Your passion may be writing, as well, but any creative activity counts: painting, photography, quilting, making doll houses, cooking gourmet meals, singing, dancing, playing an instrument--the list is long. Maybe you're like one of my talented friends who writes literary novels, but she also paints and is a wonderful photographer, too.  

Is Your Attitude Positive or Negative? Ever hear the saying: “Can’t never could do anything.” I do admit I often say, “Well, I just can’t do that.” Maybe the statement is in response to rewriting a story that seriously needs an overhaul; to a ten-day blog tour; to spice up a manuscript; to take a workshop that I really need. Instead, be the Little Engine That Could and tell yourself, “I think I can.” Doesn’t that sound much better than “I can’t?”

If you are a writer, is Your Book The Best It Can Be? Does it have reader appeal? Pretend you’re someone else reading your book. (I pretend I’m a lady I know on-line who is rather hard to please—will she like my book?) Does it have urgency, intensity, and enough drama to capture a reader’s heart? Does your own book interest YOU? Remember these principles, and you may just write a Best Seller.

Do You Treat Yourself As Well As You Treat Other Writers? Now, this is simple. If you have a writer friend who is faltering, what do you do? Don’t you try to bolster her confidence, telling her that she is competent, that she is as good a writer as anyone else, and that you have confidence in her? Then, why not tell yourself these things? Then act that way.

Do You Play At Writing Instead Of Taking It Seriously? By serious, I don’t mean act that way. The one thing you DON’T want to do is lose the joy of writing. Why write if it makes you miserable? Remember how excited you were when you first realized you were a storyteller, and you wanted more than anything to succeed? We need some level of obsession to take ourselves seriously and make others believe it, too. If writing is your dream, then make it happen. Write!

If you don't write, apply any of these bits of advice to your own particular talent.
If you'd like to try writing--by all means, sit down at the computer or grab a notebook and pen, and write!

Until next time--

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
My Website
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Sweethearts of the West-Blog
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

START Where the STO-ry Be-Gins

HOW to get a-WAY with MUR-der

No, this post isn't about writing murder mysteries. It's about great beginnings that "start where the story begins."

This new TV series starring Viola Davis (The Help) opened to a roaring beginning. The way she says the title, "HOW to get a-WAY with MUR-der," might be the most clever way to open a series ever. I read that the producers and Viola worked a long while to get the cadence and the emphasis just right. And, wow, did they ever. I listen for that before every episode.

What grabs your attention when you choose a book? It's been argued that the cover is most important, or the blurb alone determines whether you read it or not, or perhaps the first line, the first paragraph, or the first chapter.

Or if the book starts "Where the Story Begins."

Beginnings. That's what it's all about--how to make a reader choose your book. For this little exercise, I have chosen first lines from ten books written by author friends or acquaintances. In other words, this list does not contain, "It was the best of times, it was..." Or with the weather. You get the picture.

Want to take this poll? Read the ten lines and choose three you like best, or those you think would make you buy the book. Rank your three choices  using the letters...and tell me in a comment. If you want to take the time, tell me why your first choice caught your attention.

List them in order of best first in your comment. Ready?

A-The front door slammed shut, silencing Lizzy's eighteenth birthday celebration.

B-"He has walled us in alive! Our own lord has abandoned us!"

C-Gideon entered his sister's crowded SoHo gallery in Manhattan and glanced at his watch.

D-"Reese, if you weren't dead, I swear I'd kill you!"

E-Her swift fingers rushed over the keys like a flood of water tumbling over a dam.

F-"Sorry you got shot, Cole. Damn, this is gonna mess up all our plans."

G-Dallas McClintock sprawled on the ground, three rifle barrels pointed at his chest.

H-'...but other women my age have a lover.'

I-"Don't kill me! Please!"

J-Absorbed in her thoughts about Mark, the man who jilted her on what was to be her wedding day, she almost drove past the baby grand piano sitting out in the front yard of a little cottage.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
My Website
My Blog
Sweethearts of the West-Blog
My Facebook Page 

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Has it happened to you? You've repeatedly fallen in love while reading the wonderful romance novels by your favorite author.  Without warning, she decides to switch from western romance to...gasp...contemporary romantic suspense.
My world hasn't been the same since.

Another favorite romance author switched to suspense, and in the process actually denied ever having written a romance novel.

Notice I am not using names, but these are real authors.

However, now that I am on the writing side of the aisle, I understand the desire to write something different.

As of now, I do write western romance and contemporary romance which is much more like women's fiction.

Note One: My internet sales have always leaned heavily toward western romance. This category is how I make my money. (Notice I did not say "fortune.")

Note Two: I have written a few contemporary romances/women's fiction which are not big internet sellers, but the prints were well received here at home. 

My fan base here in town is a wonderful faithful group, and they will read anything I write.
If I publish a Western Historical Romance, they'll buy it and make very nice comments, and ask when will I have the next book available.
If I publish a Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction, they'll buy it, too, and still give me compliments and ask the same question.

Now, here's the interesting part.
Recently, I took a poll from my reader friends.

"Do you prefer Western Historical Romance, or do you prefer Contemporary Romance which is closer to Women's Fiction than pure romance?"

More replied they liked the contemporary/women's fiction for a particular reason.
Want to know what that reason ? They feel as though they're reading about "real people."
And they like that.

So do I. I've enjoyed writing all the western romances, long and short, but after a while I almost feel as though I'm writing "by the book," or "by a specified outline."

I've also enjoyed writing the contemporary novels, because I feel "freer." My story doesn't need the "Boy meets Girl; Boy loses Girl; Boy gets girl" specifics.

Although these always have love stories, they are not the focus of the story.
Am I making sense?

Here is one example:

Making the Turn: 39 year old Sara Daniels loses her luxurious lifestyle in Dallas overnight. To survive, she must go home to Del Rey, Texas and move in with her mother in the old farm house where she was born and grew up.
Sara is the main character and how she will redefine herself.
Her mother, Dorothy, is cantankerous and argumentative which confuses Sara.
Her college-age daughter, Laney, moves in for part of the summer because her mother no longer has the big house in Dallas where Laney grew up.
The story revolves around Sara and her relationship with her mother, her daughter, and the handsome physicist who is occupying a nearby farm house with his motherless young boy.
(I have the rights back to this novel and it has been filed in my computer over a year. I will re-write a little and rename it "Return to Del Rey."

The novels I've loved to write are my "Texas" romance books:
Texas Blue
Texas Promise
Texas True
Texas Dreamer

A little danger, some adventure, and of course, a romance. These somewhat follow characters from two families who helped settle Texas.

As difficult as it is to say, I've decided these four novels will be all of the "Texas" books.

Time to begin something new.
But what? Time will tell. So far, I've been fortunate that an idea appeared in some fashion that led me on to my next story.

Oh, never fear. I'll never give up Western Romance.