Alumni Profiles: Celia Yeary

Texas State alumna turns the page from biology teacher to romance author

By Billi London-Gray

Texas State alumna Celia Yeary never intended to become a published author.  Yet five of her novels have been published in the past two years, and she has three more in the works.

“I was not a writer, except for science research papers,” says Yeary, a retired San Marcos Academy biology teacher. But one day in 2004, “because of boredom,” she started writing fiction.

“I wrote one sentence, then another, and three months later had a full-length novel.”

Yeary completed a career in education before she discovered her talent for storytelling. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, she taught for three years in Oklahoma. In 1974, she moved to San Marcos and accepted a teaching position with San Marcos Academy. She taught there for 15 years while raising a family and earning her master’s degree from Texas State, then called Southwest Texas State University.

“Our lives have revolved around the school,” Yeary says of her 36 years as a San Marcos resident. After she retired from teaching and her husband retired from the Texas State faculty, they remained in the community and became actively involved with the Retired Faculty and Staff Association. Yeary had no plans to start a second career.

“Writing just happened,” she says. “One day I hadn’t written a thing, and the next day that’s all I did.”

Yeary quickly completed full-length manuscripts for her first Texas-inspired romance stories and independently started submitting them to publishers.

“The first manuscript I submitted was a Texas contemporary, and the editor rejected it with these words: While your story line is fairly good, your actual writing sounds like a textbook. I had much to learn,” she says.

Despite the “steep learning curve,” as she puts it, Yeary continued to write and expand her body of work. She wrote two articles for Texas Coop Power, and her persistence eventually paid off with book deals for her novels.

“Getting contracts came easier for me because most romance publishers don’t wish you to go through an agent,” says Yeary, who represented herself when searching for a publisher. “I thought I’d best go it alone. It worked!”

Yeary found a market for her Texas-themed stories with small presses that publish both trade paperbacks and e-books. Her romance novels and women’s fiction titles have been released in both formats through multiple publishers.

“I’ve watched the e-book market skyrocket,” Yeary says. “Print books won’t go away, of course, but with the e-readers, buying and reading fiction is very easy.”

Yeary’s first two novels – All My Hopes and Dreams and Texas Blue, both Western historical romances – were published in 2008 and 2009. Her other published titles include Making the Turn, Showdown in Southfork and The Cameron Sisters, Book I: Texas Promise. Her next book, The Cameron Sisters, Book II: Texas True, will be released in April 2011 by Wild Rose Press.

For more information about Celia Yeary’s writing, visit her website, www.celiayeary.com.

18 responses to “Alumni Profiles: Celia Yeary

  1. What an inspirational story! Thanks so much for sharing. Your passion for Texas shines in your writing. Question for you: Do you prefer writing the contemporaries or the historicals when it comes to your western writing?

    Smiles
    Steph

  2. Hi, Steph–of course, I prefer Western Historicals. I seem to have more stories about historical Texas than I do modern day. Thank you for commenting–see you around! Celia

  3. That’s how it happened to me. One day I was a reader, next thing I knew it I got bit by the writing bug. It can happen when you least expect it.
    Morgan Mandel

  4. Great to see you here, Celia. I want to know the answer to Stephanie’s question–but I suspect I already know. LOL

  5. I know you!! 🙂 So glad to have you as a writer friend. You’re a sweet and generous lady.

  6. Hi, Celia,
    Great interview. I’m so glad you found an editor to who took the time to tell you where the problem was with the first novel you submitted. So as a follow up to Steph’s question, why do you think historical Texas ring louder for you?

  7. Hello Celia, I enjoyed this article very much. I know you as an author and this interview gave me the picture of you as a teacher. We share so many commonalities. Going to college while rearing a family, teaching, then writing. It’s been an interesting and fulfilling journey all the way, hasn’t it? And we’re only at the beginning of this latest adventure into ebooks. I wish you the continued success that I know you deserve and will surely reap.
    Linda

  8. Very impressive resume, Celia. You’ve certainly had a great working career and now it seems your writing career is stellar as well. You go girl!!

  9. Celia,
    San Marcos is a beautiful place. I’ve been through there a couple of times. Since I live in west Texas I don’t get your way very often. But I remember San Marcos. We walked around the campus with our daughter when she was looking for a college to attend. I’ve always wanted to write but never got around to it until my daughter started college in Arizona of all places. 😉 Although at times it’s hard to write, for whatever reason, I enjoy recording the stories that fill my imagination just as I know you do. Congratulations on your success! Wishing you continued success!

  10. I’m glad you got the writing bug, Celia. You make it all sound so easy, but I know how hard you’ve worked to write for publication. You’re a true inspiration!
    Maggie Toussaint

  11. Great interview. Keep up the good work.

  12. Hey Celia,

    I love your writing and am so proud of your success. Keep the wonderful books coming!

  13. So nice to hear about your successes, Celia! Your writing isn’t “textbook-like” at all now, is it? 😉

  14. Celia– I enjoyed reading your bio. Somehow it mirrored mine. You went from biology to writing novels. I went from chemistry to writing novels. Like you, for years my writing consisted in research papers and contract proposals. I guess science taught us to be thorough and accurate in our writing.

  15. What a great interview. I wait for each new book to read and pass on to others. I am proud to say I know this author and consider her a friend.

  16. Celia,
    You are one of those people who has a real talent for telling a story and making it your very own–putting your “brand” on it! Very nice interview, and how exciting! Keep up the wonderful story-telling. I’m so glad you kept writing “one more sentence” — your books are wonderful!
    Love,
    Cheryl

  17. Late to the party, but just wanted to add my congratulations. How interesting that your first book “read like a textbook.” So glad you didn’t give up! And so glad your editor was positive in her rejection. That helped you to keep trying!

  18. I enjoyed learning about your past life and experiences.
    I also enjoy sharing your books with my daughter after I finish them. It’s exciting to me to know that I have a friend who also happens to be an author. Keep those stories coming because my daughter and I both are definite fans. Best wishes. Donna

Keep it friendly! Comment moderation will follow our Social Media Policy.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s