Long and Short Reviews welcomes Celeste Hall, whose latest book Error: Please Try Again will be released soon. She published six titles last year, which included her Dream Seduction series. The series came to her in a dream, of course, yet not of the three incubi in the series were her original inspiration.
"The dream was actually about a sheriff that found a very young girl trudging down the middle of a highway in the Nevada desert. She had amnesia, but it was her leathery black wings which landed her in trouble," Celeste explained. " I titled the original manuscript All The Queen’s Men, but never did anything more than create a detailed storyboard for it. Instead, I wrote three sub-stories for the male versions of her species, and those became the Dream Seduction series. Considering how successful the series has been, I’m sure I’ll finish the original script soon and get it published as well."
She hopes to publish another six to twelve titles this year. Some have been completed and are sitting on the desks of potential publishers, while others she's still working on. One is a full-length, supernatural thriller she's had shelved for a while, but which has received some outstanding reviews from her editor and the small handful of critics that Celeste has allowed to read it, while the rest are romance or erotic romance stories.
"For you aspiring writers, a well written erotic story can really boost your sales. My erotic titles sell a hundred copies for every one romance title, although the romance titles are probably better written, with more actual story to them," she admitted. "It’s an odd phenomenon, but one that a beginning writer might benefit from knowing about. The key is writing it so you’re not selling 'porn' but an actual erotic story that draws the reader in and turns them on. It’s a tricky balancing act," she added with a smile.
When Celeste first started writing, she came up with a pen name for each of the genres she had written and wanted to publish in. Then she started doing some research and realized that she would have to market individually for each and every pen name.
"Whoa, that was a show stopper!" she told me. "I started reconsidering which manuscripts I would publish and which I’d simply box away for my kids to publish after I was dead. Yes, I hate marketing that much! Thank goodness for Tymber Dalton (aka Lesli Richardson, aka Macy Largo, aka Tessa Monroe)! She gave me a good, brain-rattling shake, and told me about her adventures in the pen name arena. As well as what she might have changed if she could do it all over again. After hearing her story I decided to go ahead and use my own name. One name to rule them all," she said with a laugh. "It would cut down on the amount of time I had to spend marketing – which I detest – and allow some crossover for my readers that enjoy more than one kind of fiction genre. I do the marketing a little differently for each genre, and the covers are obviously marked to show the distinction, but otherwise this system is working well for me so far."
Celeste's dad was a book dealer and collector who filled every wall in their home with his hobby.
"I don’t think he realized what a rabid reader I actually was, or he might have been a little more careful what he stocked those shelves with!" she told me. "By the age of eight I was devouring everything from dry old encyclopedias to an assortment of fantasy adventures, romance, and horror. With such ample fuel for my imagination I began writing my own short stories, and by the time I was twelve I was completing full length manuscripts. I’ve continued to write off and on for many years, but have only recently begun offering my work to the public. Can you guess which of my published books I wrote while still in my early teens? You might be surprised!"
"When did you first consider yourself a writer?" I asked.
"I knew I was a writer when I finished filling up the seventh thick journal my parents had purchased for me, and was begging them for another one for Christmas. I was probably around eight or nine at the time. I’ve always loved to write. I never considered myself an actual author – in my mind the titles mean different things – until I held the first edition of Fealty in my hands. That first cover looked nothing like a romance story, but it had my name on it and I thought to myself, 'Wow, I’m really going to do this.' To be honest, I’m still in that state of disbelief. I don’t think I’ll ever get over having complete strangers email or message me to say how much they loved my books. It’s the sort of praise you expect from your parents or friends, but I never expected to hear from anyone else."
Celeste is originally from Mesa, Arizona, and told me, "I miss it terribly! When I left home, I ended up hopping around the western states for awhile, but eventually moved to Utah to be near my siblings and all my little nephews and nieces. The move was a tough decision, because I don’t share their religious views - Utah is a very religious state - and I hate the cold weather in winter. But I love being able to spend time with my family, so everything worked itself out in the end."
She also loves to travel—in fact, travelling is a passion for her. She's trekked through the Amaon jungle, climbed to the top of Machu Picchu, meditated in Japan's most beautiful temples, hiked all over the European countryside, and enjoyed real Irish food and karaoke in the Hairy Lemon pub. She's hoping to get to India this year.
"What is your favorite food?" I wondered.
"I’m pretty carnivorous, but I like to think I’m open minded when it comes to food. I’ve been fed everything from live bugs and roasted guinea pigs to raw horse meat during my adventures abroad. My willingness to eat whatever you put in front of me has created a sort of ongoing challenge among my family members, who now have a special Halloween fear factor event they do every year in an attempt to make me gag. I think there are a few videos still floating around Facebook, and one that made it onto Youtube of me eating a live cockroach. My favorite meal is probably a rare filet mignon with sautéed mushrooms and mashed potatoes. That or Unagi sushi, if they don’t skimp on the eel."
And, for your viewing pleasure, here is the infamous YouTube video:
About the Author: I was tutored at home during childhood, first by my mother, and then a German woman with a passion for science and history. I could never find enough books to keep my mind busy, even with the vast library that my father kept.
I left home around fourteen or fifteen, staying with family and friends among the western States, and as the years passed I continued to read everything I could lay hands on.
In adulthood I began building towards a career in criminal justice, particularly criminal psychology. I received various certifications, awards and schooling in the field before discovering parapsychology and finding myself drawn into the mystery of the mind.
I received a PhD in Parapsychology but continued working towards a future in criminal justice until a car accident in 2005 left me with a traumatic brain injury and learning how to walk again in a swimming pool.
After two years of physical therapy I knew that my body was no longer capable of supporting the rigors of the career I'd chosen. I began channeling my passion for books into writing, and am surprised by how easily the words come for me.
Find the author online at:
Website & blog:www.CelesteHall.com