Dr. Seuss taught all of us about fantasy, about nonsense, and about red fish and blue fish. I’ve tried all my life to hold on to my sense of the absurd, to my willingness to look silly, to the dreamy sense of infinite possibility that I felt as a child, rocking in a rowboat on Lake Ponchartrain, staring at the sky.
I think it can be done. I don’t think you HAVE to grow out of something if you love it. I used to tease my daughters that if they declared there was no Santa, there would no longer be any need for me to pretend there was (in other words, no presents!).
Oh, Nathaniel, what have you gotten yourself into this time?
Known far and wide as Lord Treason, Nathaniel carries the burden of his ruined honor with fortitude, but he has vowed never to pass on that poor reputation to a wife or children. Let his ruined name die out with him, and let the Royal Four’s secrets be safe, and he swears to uphold the mystery of his true story.
That well-laid plan lasts about as long as a ride through the countryside, where a stray projectile from a slingshot wielded by a jinxed young woman cracks open his future like a shattered hornet’s nest. Forced at the point of a country innkeeper’s displeasure, Nathaniel must wed the young lady he has accidentally ruined. No one bargained on Willa, a quirky orphan with a sharp mind and a relentless belief in Nathaniel’s better nature, despite the rumors of betrayal.
I love all my characters. Even the villains, because I empathize with being misunderstood. Still, every once in a while someone comes along, just strolling down the lane of my mind, and becomes one of my favorite people in the world.
Willa from To Wed a Scandalous Spy is one of my dearest friends. She’s smart and funny. She’s so loyal that nothing can convince her of Nathaniel’s guilt. Her blithe confidence in herself and the people she likes makes me want to be a better sort of person myself.
I have another Halloween treat for you! Have you checked out the fantasy novels of C.J. Redwine?
The Shadow Queen begins the fairy-tale inspired Ravenspire series–and let me tell you, this ain’t your mama’s Snow White! Some people consider this YA, but I think it’s a fantastic tale for all ages. I’m not going to give you ANY spoilers (don’t you just hate spoilers?) but here’s a link to a big fat 4-chapter sample!
Many years ago, while I was living near Nashville, I met C.J. Redwine in a coffee shop. She tells the story much better than I could, but I will say that I am so proud that I knew her when!
People often want to know if I wanted to be a writer my whole life. The answer to that question is no.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” –Toni Morrison
These are the words that made me a writer. My story is that simple. I am a lifelong voracious reader. I read everything. I would read every word on the cereal box while I ate breakfast as a child. It never occurred to me that I could be a writer. Writers were special, crowned in glory, gurus on the mountaintop. I was a reader.
The predicaments Regency Era men got themselves into…
Men. Bored rich men. Bored rich drunk men with prickly self-esteem + guns = dueling.
So not sexy to me. Seriously? Here’s an idea. How about we get two macho men to compete for a woman with housework? The man who shoots the most laundry into the washing machine wins the bride!! He who swings the best Dyson gets the girl! Put them in front of the judges on Chopped to see which one is the best cook!
Now that would make my knees weak, I guarantee!
Every month, I choose a classic quote for whatever I face at that time. In May, my mind was on how long I could continue to be creative in my present genre. I began my journey in Regency romance in 1999! I have always tried to be consistent because I believe that my identity as a writer of humorous, action-packed sexy romance is a sort of promise to my readers. “I, Celeste Bradley, will continue to deliver books of the same kind and quality that I have done in the past, so that you always know what you are going to read.”
The Geek God and I are finally watching The Wire. Yes, I know, a decade behind the rest of you. At any rate, we recently watched that famous moment in “Old Cases” where McNulty and his partner, Bunk, are investigating an old crime scene. It takes place in an apartment that has since been cleaned and repaired. They crack the case with nothing to go on but a few crime scene photos and the F word. Seriously, the dialogue of the entire scene consists of them conversing in Vulgar Dude. The F word, and only the F word, for a solid 5 minutes. It is offensive, gripping, and absolute genius.
This past week I attended the SCSFe (Screenwriting Conference in Santa Fe) and I had an amazing time. I love learning about writing in any format and I learned many things that will definitely improve my novel writing as well as give me a new creative outlet in screenwriting.
First of all, screenwriters are so cool. Seriously. Unlike introverted thin-skinned novelists (unlike me!) they are tough, funny and determined. They have ideas coming out of their ears, more smart-assed comebacks than a roomful of teenagers and they are willing to be shot down again and again in the hopes that someone, somewhere will like just one of their ideas. I came out of that week tougher, funnier and more determined to be determined!
New York Times Bestselling Author • "I write Brain Chocolate."