Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Welcome to Western Romance!

Why I Write the West
The first Western Romance novel I read was “This Calder Range” by Janet Dailey. Before that, my adult reading material came in groups. One genre kept me busy for months or years, until I moved on to another. I first read Science Fiction, dozens over a period of a year or so. But I cannot remember one author or one title. The plots and otherworldly creatures fascinated me at the time, but I soon selected something else. So many books—so little time! I began Willa Cather’s books, and when I’d finished all those, I selected a new kind of novel I’d not seen—women’s fiction. Maeve Binchy, Rosamund Pilcher, Belva Plain. Each author received my undivided attention until I’d read all I could find. Next, westerns. Plain old shoot-’em-ups, stories depicting cattle drives, rustlers, outlaws, and lawmen. Oh, I loved these novels, and Louis L’Amour became my favorite because he often had a little love story in there.

Romance? Didn’t read it. None, zip, nada. Too trite, I’d heard—the novels always ended the same way—happily-ever-after. Same plot, boy meets girl, they fall in love, have a falling-out, make-up, get married. “What’s wrong with that?” I asked a cynical friend.
Then, one day in 1990, I visited a used-book store and bought a paperback by Janet Dailey titled
This Calder Range.
 I couldn’t put it down. Remember, I love Westerns, and this even had a HEA. I fell in love. I searched the used-book stores and eventually the library until I’d found and read all ten in the Calder series. Her latest, I believe, was released a couple of years ago.
 From there, I discovered LaVyrle Spencer, a master of romance writing.


Maggie Osborne
—plus many more. I still search for new authors who write exciting, satisfying Western Romance.
In 2004, I sat down and began to write a story. And yes, it was a Western romance—a historical. Probably I’ll never be in the same category with my favorite authors, but each one has been an inspiration and a benchmark for me.
Why do I write the West? I find it difficult to put into words.

 The Last Frontier, perhaps? That’s the name for space exploration and Star Wars.
Romance in Sweeping Vistas with a love story set in a different time, perhaps? That’s how we describe novels set in early Scotland.
The Era of the Strong, Silent type who always gets the girl while he brings justice in full measure, perhaps? That’s how we describe Indiana Jones adventures.
See? I cannot exactly describe my feeling when I begin a new Western Historical novel, either reading one or writing one. Oh! Now I know Why I Write the West! It’s like falling in love.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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  1. Celia,
    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. I have never read the authors you metioned, but I've heard good things about them. I'm glad you enjoy writing westerns and that you've been able to share it us.


  2. The West is like falling in love. There is a wildness, a rawness that appeals to me. There is strength and a yearning for justice.

  3. I like Spencer's western, The Gamble. Anyhow I think that was the one with the two injured men from the train. I loved how the heroine fed the one severely man with a straw. It's been years since I read it but still remember some of the fantastic scenes. You need to read Spencer's contemporary romances too. They are wonderful. I used to read Dailey and liked her westerns - haven't read her recently, though.

  4. Geez, I shouldn't post while trying to get daughters off to their programs. I meant severely injured man.