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