I am so happy today to have an author who for reasons I can’t name, slipped through my reading radar, so that I only recently discovered her books. Celeste Bradley writes delighful regency romances, and I am happy to have her on my blog today!
Nancy: I read that you were an artist prior to your career as a successful author. On your website you have lovely sketches of your characters, which is so cool! Do you plot out your characters looks prior to your actual writing of the story, or afterwards. Do you think that has effect on their behavior/personality?
Celeste: I usually find my characters while I’m plotting a story. It helps when I’m picturing a scene. Right now I have a smoldering photo of Bradley Cooper staring back at me–soon to be turned into a drawing of Cas Worthington, who looks a little–but not exactly!–like Bradley Cooper. I look for certain expressions that I know I’ll need. In WHEN SHE SAID I DO, the character of Callie reminded me a bit of Kiera Knightly in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Spunky and a little sarcastic. I like to base images on photos because it saves me time from making up people from scratch, but the drawing is all mine.
Nancy: How were you drawn into writing in general and historical/Regency romance specifically?
Celeste: It’s probably a well-known story by now, but I started writing by reading a book. I don’t remember what it was, but the beginning was so awful that I thought to myself, “That’s not what would happen!” and so I sat at McDonald’s playland with my two pre-schoolers and wrote what I thought should have happened. Then I just kept going. That was my first published novel, FALLEN, which has just been rereleased, the same year my youngest graduated high school!
Nancy: I recently finished Fallen and enjoyed it tremendously. Izzy was such an endearing character! Please tell us a little about the book.
Celeste: I love FALLEN. It’s the story of a fiesty spinster trapped into an faux engagement with a titled rake, only because he entered the wrong bedroom at a house party! I absolutely love Izzy. I didn’t know what I was doing half the time, but I channeled her from the very first sentence. Sometimes I felt like she wrote the book and I just did the typing! Reviewers criticize the book’s many beginner errors, but no one ever criticizes Izzy! She will always be one of my very best friends.
Nancy: You have written many series and only a few stand alone. Which do you prefer and why?
Celeste: I love series! I think in series. And I have never, ever written a stand-alone–they’ve just been published that way! FALLEN is actually the first book in a trilogy that was never finished. I would love to write the next two someday–FORGIVEN and STOLEN. UNBOUND also has a sequel, hopefully to be completed this year.
Nancy: What’s up next in the writing world for you?
Celeste: I am deep into the Wicked Worthingtons at the moment. The first book, WHEN SHE SAID I DO, has just been released, with the second book, AND THEN COMES MARRIAGE, due to be released this summer. I see at least 8 books, possibly 9. That family is a crazy cross between the Bennets and the Weasleys–a houseful of trouble on wheels!
Also, Susan Donovan and I will soon begin working on the sequel to UNBOUND, which we have tentatively titled BREATHLESS. It is the story of Brenna as she discovers the history of The Swan!
Nancy: I must say I love the different color pinks on your covers! I see quite a few interesting things on your website:
What is the Liar’s Club?
Celeste: The Liar’s Club is a secret society of spies in service to the Crown in Regency England. Some are gentlemen, some are rogues. They are the best, coolest, hottest men (and a few women!) that I have ever met!
There are 5 Liar books: THE PRETENDER, THE IMPOSTOR, THE SPY, THE CHARMER, THE ROGUE. And, in a series bender move, I put the character of Ren Porter into the first book of the Wicked Worthingtons, WHEN SHE SAID I DO!
Nancy: Just a few fun facts:
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Celeste: I am a lotta-plotter! There is no way I could keep all that in my head! Instead, I make 15-foot long flowcharts that I work from as I write the book. They include every single scene so I can make sure everything goes somewhere with no dangling ends. I do change things along the way, so I always keep scissors and glue handy!
Nancy: Sweats and a tee shirt or high heels and a dress?
Celeste: If I’m staying home, I live in jeans and tank tops, summer and winter. If I’m going out…well, probably jeans and tank tops with a sweater. No high heels–the Geek God is shorter than me!
Nancy: Favorite snack?
Celeste: There are these awesome seaweed snacks from Trader Joe’s that I can’t get enough of. I also like a local New Mexico jerky. When I am in need of it, there is a sugar-free candy bar called ChocoPerfection that is out of this world!
Who has been your favorite heroine from a romance and why?
Thanks so much Celeste!
Celeste will be giving away a signed copy of her new book “When She Said I Do.” I’ve started it and it’s another winner!