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Celeste Bradley to visit Australia

20 February 2019

Celeste Bradley will be visiting Australia next month for our Romantic Rendezvous events in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. This month we are chatting with Celeste to get to know her ahead of her visit …

What kind of books did you love when you were a child?

With four book-loving older siblings, I was a very early reader. I read A Wrinkle in Time in first grade. I loved historical stories, too, like A Secret Garden and Sarah Crewe or What Happened at Miss Minchin’s (it’s called A Little Princess now). And the Chronicles of Narnia, of course!

Do you remember the first romance novel you read?

Well, I remember the first romance novel I loved. In my teens I shied away from the really torrid 70s novels. They upset me. As an adult, I discovered Amanda Quick. Mistress was a real eye-opener for me. It was so smart and charming and the love seemed really convincing to me, not just a bunch of pounding lust. I had to have more. I started reading all the romances I could get my hands on.

How old were you when you knew that you wanted to be a writer?

Thirty-five. It happened sometime during my third book. Before that, I felt like I was executing a wild scam upon the world. I never wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be an artist.

When did you first sit down and start to write? How long after that before you were published?

I was 33. I’d been snarfing up all the romances at the public library for about a year. I read one that began with a painfully unconvincing scene. It occurred to me that I could do better. The next day I took my kids to McDonald’s and sat there with a notebook, writing the first scene for Fallen. Fallen was published about 18 months later and nominated by the RWAmerica for Best First Book.

How hard was it to first get published?

Here’s the secret to the universe. Ignore the rules for simultaneous submission. It’s amazing how much faster things happen when you blanket all the publishers with your book at the same time. You can always plead ignorance. In my case, I truly was ignorant. I sent 25 submissions. While I waited (and waited) I polished and perfected my final manuscript. I got 24 rejections and one sale.

What authors do you read and/or admire now that you’re an author too?

So many. I read everything, so I have to list George RR Martin, Darynda Jones, Neil Gaiman, Jayne Ann Krentz, Lois McMaster Bujold, Lisa Kleypas, Julie Garwood, Phillip Pullman … I could go on for a really long time.

If you weren’t a writer, what career do you think you would have now?

I’d be some kind of maker. I craft a lot, so I imagine I would still be working in pottery (former career) or perhaps be a fabricator for films.

Other than books, what is one item you can’t resist buying?

Seeds. I have an addiction. I am a gardener, but it’s more like I’m a frustrated farmer with a postage stamp yard. We aren’t going to discuss the craft supplies. I’m still in denial.

You published a novella in the Liars Club series last year. Will there be any more stories in this series?

Yes. I’m considering expanding ‘A Liar Under the Mistletoe’ to a full novel and continuing the trilogy of the Vauxhall Vixens, the jewel thieving daughters of ill-fated Jackham from the Liar’s Club novels.

You’ve said that book 6 in the Wicked Worthingtons series will be On Bended Knee, Lysander’s story—what do you have planned for him, and when can we expect this story?

I released On Bended Knee on 13 February—just in time for Valentine’s Day! Lysander is still suffering from his experiences in the Peninsular War and seizes the opportunity to escape Worthington House to search for his brother Poll in Scotland. On the way, he has an episode in a Yorkshire village and must stay to make amends. He is taken in by Gemma Oakes, a former battlefield nurse and doctor’s widow, who hopes to help him. Gemma was left with very little when her husband died and struggles to survive while providing necessary medical care to her dale. Lysander helps lift her burdens and reminds her that love can still exist. There is a lot of humour in OBK but it is truly a story of healing.

How many books do you have planned for the new Haven Holiday series?

Haven Holiday will be an open-ended series, focused on reinterpreting the storylines on my favourite romantic holiday movies for the lonely-hearts occupants of the fictional village of Haven. I absolutely loved Nora Ephron. She was such an inspiration to me. It was her passing that inspired me to write Sleepless in Staffordshire.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you are in Australia? Will you have the chance to explore?

Oh gosh, I hope so! I am hell-bent on meeting a quokka. I’ve been wanting to see a wombat since I was in grade school. I love going to new cities, but I hope to take some time to explore the countryside as well. Beaches. Lots of beaches. I live in the middle of the desert!

You can find Celeste on her website or catch up with her on Facebook.

Come and meet Celeste Bradley (and Sherrilyn Kenyon and a host of local romance authors) at one of our events:

. Brisbane, 23 March
. Sydney, 24 March
. Melbourne, 30 March
. Perth, 31 March

You can find out more information here, and here’s the link to book a ticket.

 

 

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