Saturday, September 24, 2011


Anything? Or are you perfectly satisfied with your writing and publishing journey? I've had time to think and re-think some of my choices over the last few years, but since we cannot change the past, we must move forward, one foot in front of the other, onward to some goal that might be the perfect thing or...not.

I've accomplished so much in less than a decade, that I sometimes sit and did I do that? My learning curve was as steep as the Matterhorn, and I felt as though I climbed every day, never reaching my goal, but only moving a few feet forward.

Realistically, we'll never reach the top. Why would we want to? If we did, we'd have nothing else to look forward to, nothing to work toward, nothing else to learn.

Learning is the name of the game. I am convinced that continual learning keeps us mentally sharp, although some days I sit and stare, day dream, and wonder what shall I do next?

I wonder if I made a mistake by writing in several genres. All are related, but still there are distinct categories. The Western Historical Romances I wrote as a series seemed perfect to me. All four ms were completed, and all I needed was a publisher who would take all of them. But after having two published, the third and fourth presented a problem for that publisher, so much so I was forced to take the last two and move somewhere else.

The last two published as a "sisters" series made perfect sense. Yes, I'm very pleased with those, but still...they're separated from the first two. I still wish with all my heart all four were together.

"If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, then we'd all have a Merry Christmas." Ah, well. We can't have everything.

Then there are those contemporaries I wrote and successfully placed with publishers. Even though I felt a little out of my element writing contemporary, the books turned out well, and all have not only homes, but wonderful reviews and a nice reception from readers.

Two of these contemporaries are a mix of romance and women's fiction. While each has a light love story, the relationship between the man and woman is not the focus of the story. The spotlight belongs to the main female character and other females whom she relates to in some manner.

Lastly, there's a stand-alone novel that fits no exact niche. Again, this one contains a love story, and while that in itself drives the story it does not define the plot. The plot is a "coming of age" story about a sixteen-year-old girl in 1901 in North Texas. The story spans three years as she grows up and finds her place in the world as a woman--and not the "caretaker" for several other characters.

All the books or short stories do have one central theme which ties them together--they're "all Texas." Whether in 1890, or 1899, 1901, or 2011, every story takes place somewhere in The Lone Star State.

~*~*~*~All titles are found on Amazon. The titles are also scattered among B&N, The Sony eReader Store, the KOBO store, Fictionwise, and my six publishers.

So, what would you change in your writing life?
Thanks for visiting.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


  1. Celia, I think you've done amazing things in your writing life so far. I remember when you first knew each other, though you'd been writing a long time, you were just at the start of being published - now look at you and what you've achieved!
    I think you've probably done the right thing - you've written the books that were inside you to be written, and there will be so much more. As to genres, that doesn't mean much to me - a good book is a good book, regardless.
    The one thing that's wonderful in publishing now that we didn't have a few years ago is the felxibility we have. You can keep control so much more, and you don't have to rely on whims. I'm so glad I've found a place with a publisher who doesn't tell its authors what to write - they respect writers for their individuality and personal voice, and that's so refreshing.
    No, we never stop learning. At anything!
    And if I had to chnage anything....I'd not be so hard on myself, and believe in my strengths a little more. 'You're worth it,' as the advertisment says!
    You've had a fascinating journey, and it's not nearly over yet. :)

    Jane x

  2. Celia-- you've climbed your mountain and have done a terrific job as a writer tackling different genres successfully.

    Although the readers would like an author to stick to the genre they first loved them for, as authors we should write stories from the heart. These are the ones that turn into masterpieces, if not into bestsellers.

    If I could redo things, I would have started to write earlier in life. In fact I tried but I was way too busy with my career. Twenty years earlier, the publishers were less difficult in their demands.

  3. I can relate to this post on so many levels, Celia. I think it's good to diversify genres and publishers. You know what your mama told you about putting all your eggs in the same basket. Besides the fact that you have to write from your heart, you also want to have a wide reader base, some with very different tastes in what they read.
    You are doing a fantastic job of managing your career so far--just keep doing it.

  4. Celia, we have to start some where even if it's not exactly what we want.

    Some day when you get the rights back to those books, you could self-publish them and they will be together. Smile.

  5. Celia, I am one of those "If only I had" and "Why didn't I?" people. There are way too many things I'd change to go into in a comment. LOL Good post.

  6. Celia,

    I think it's wonderful you can pen tales in different genres. It widens your fan base. Readers will know what story they'll enjoy most and choose accordingly. Who knows, maybe they'll try one of the other books and find they enjoy that genre, too.

    What would I change? I would have researched about publishers. I didn't choose wisely the first go around. lol But you live and learn. It only gets better.

  7. Since my goals keep changing, I doubt I would change anything. My dream was to write a novel. That is accomplished four times now. All the rest is gravy and I am having the time of my life. Writers are so 'cool' to hang out with and I am learning something new every day. I love that I can now find my weakness in my story and know how to fix them. When I started out writing, I knew there was a problem, but even if I knew what it was, I wouldn't have known how to fix it. Now I can. I think the journey of learning and producing better stories and making what I have good, has been one of the greatest lessons I've learned. Maybe the lesson I was supposed to learn about myself is a matter of self pride. All the friends and experiences that have come along the way has been the gravy.

  8. Jane--you're right, you know. We do what is inside us, and really, I don't know how I would have done anything differently. I do know some readers are now comparing my historicals with my contemporaries, so I'm getting some wonderful feedback. No one seems upset with the switch, so all is well, for now.
    The flexibity you mentioned has been a good change in our publishing lives. I hadn't thought about it that way, but it's true.
    There are as manhy publishers who will not ask you to rewrite your book as there are those who demand it to fit their stringent guidelines.
    I'm so glad you're back with us. I'm selfish enough to want to keep all my friends--it's hard to make new ones to replace them! So, welcome back, and jump in with both feet--Celia

  9. MONA--very good thoughts. Like you, I might wish I'd begun to write earlier, but then I would have had to give up something else. This is just the way it is--and I intend to get everything out of it I can.Celia

  10. SARAH--you know, I've heard more than one friend tell me "not to put all my eggs in one basket." I'm seeing the value in that now,even though keeping all my eggs in one place was my original goal. So wise.
    You do know what I'm talking about, I know. Certainly, there are a lot of us who write across more than one genre. I suppose in the end, it's a good thing.
    Maybe we would become bored writing the same thing all the time.

  11. SANDY--you made it!!! I've thought of that--some day maybe self-publishing all of them together. That would make me really happy.
    Thanks for your persistence with this pesky Yahoo blog. Celia

  12. CAROLINE--I guess it's human nature for us to say "what if."
    I understand--thanks for reading the post. Celia

  13. KAREN--hmmm, good point. I never intended to write anything except Western Historical Romances, but stories have a way of oozing out whether you will it or not. Because honestly, the contemporarie just happened. I still don't know how.
    Now, that's a good thing to do over if we could--research publishers a little better. I have six, and two of them I'll not submit to again.

  14. PAISLEY--I love your comment. Yes, learning how to correct our mistakes is a valuable tool. I, too, found that out.
    Oh, and by all means--to me, it's all gravy! Celia

  15. I think I'd change everything, not only my writing but my life from about age 19. The things is, looking back, I think now that I know better I would never try to make a living off of just writing alone. I think the pressure would be tremendous and the only way you can do it is to either restrict yourself to strictly formula stuff for a dedicated fan base, or become a writing teacher and write on the side which is what a lot of writers end up doing. Stephen King said only 5% of writers in America earn a living (as he does) from writing fiction alone.


  16. GARCEUS--I believe you are exactly correct. I also have read Stephen King's statement, and yes, he is right about that. Unless you're a celebrity of some kind, or incrediably lucky--yes, I said lucky--then we will not make a living writing novels. Just won't happen.
    I said "lucky" because it's also been said that the most popular best-sellers are not the best authors. I truly believe that when I see the books that are on the NY Times BSL. We could talk about this all day, but I believe we do understand the situation.
    My writing "career" is something I took up after early retirement, mastering golf the best I could,and getting a couple of grandchildren. Out of sheer boredom, I began to write. I simply cannot say it's a career, nor can I say I'm earning a living. No way.
    But...I'm having a great time!
    Thanks so much for your comment. Celia

  17. Celia, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I wrote (well, co-wrote) my first book after retirement and I'm now working on my second. Although I do wish I'd gotten serious about writing earlier in life, I'm not sure I was ready! Now is the perfect time for me to get on with writing.
    Congratulations on all your success. Well deserved.

  18. Stories spark to life and then they burn to be told. If we do not let them out, they will drive us crazy, or crazier, and god knows we don't want that.

    I wouldn't change a thing about my writing journey because I wouldn't want to miss the great friends I've made along the way.

    Glad to know you, Miz Celia!


  19. Hi Celia,

    Well, you've heard me grumbling about things so you know pretty much what I'd change.:)But one thing I'd like to mention is looking back, I'd be more careful and read my publishing contracts thoroughly and realize I might not want to sign away certain rights.

    I don't regret not making writing my first priority and glad my family came first while raising 6 children. But it would've been nice if I could have done it all and been published at a younger age. I was in my fifties before I had any book published. And at 61, I'm still hoping to make it big. LOL

    But the best thing is having wonderful friends in the writing/publishing world as yourself! I'm so glad we met and your advice here and in emails have always benefitted and inspired me.


  20. Celia, great topic, and timely for me. I just celebrated my first anniversary as a published author.

    What would I do differently?

    I wish I'd known how much time it takes to promote oneself online. Actual writing time is scarce, and as a result I'm behind deadline on book #3.

    Learning to deal with this reality isn't something I could have changed, but I wish I'd been more aware.

  21. I wish I'd believed in myself sooner. Self doubt kept me away from publishing for waaay too long. But in that time, everything changed, and so I have no regrets. By waiting, I now have the freedom to tell my stories my way, and in my own time.