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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Why I Write The West

By Celia Yeary
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 read Science Fiction, classics such as Willa Cather’s books, Women’s Fiction, and finally, 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. I'd heard this from a cynical friend who only read literary works, and so I thought..surely there's something better for reading as a pastime. The idea of involving myself in deep literary works didn't especially thrill me, though--had enough of that in college.

In 1990, when I visited a used-book store and bought the paperback by Janet Dailey, 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, who retired from writing in 1997--at just the time I discovered her books. Dorothy Garlock, Maggie Osborne, and Linda Lael Miller are favorites, 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. The title was Texas Blue, and it's the beginning of my career--writing Western Romances.

Why do I write the West? I find it difficult to put into words.

The Final Frontier, perhaps? No, 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. Hi Celia,
    Let me be the first to say that I have read all of your books and I'm glad you chose to write about your beloved Texas and romance (is there a difference?) In my book (pun intended) you are earning a place with your idols, one story at a time. So keep inspired and keep writing. Linda

  2. Thank you, Linda--I appreciate your support more than you know. And tell Kaye she did a good job with your photo!

  3. I like westerns because cowboys have that basic code of honor, stalwart accountability, work ethic and, when they fall in love, it's forever. What woman wouldn't want those qualities in a man?
    I know Kat and the US Marshall is going to be a huge success,Celia.

  4. Love westerns and the old west. Living in Wyoming that is a good thing.

  5. I loved that Calder series from Janet. However you began, we are sure glad you did! I love all your stories and you certainly do Texas proud.


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