Saturday, July 12, 2014

Author Interview: Celine Garcia

I'm so excited to have interviewed Celine Garcia, author of Heart Tales, which I recently reviewed here on the blog.

Here's the official book trailer:

And now, for the interview:

 First off, can you tell us about Heart Tales?
CG: Heart Tales is a little book of three short stories that have unique tales about love and choice. I wanted my characters Geraldine, Dean and Ellie to each have a moment where they had to take responsibility for their own life and make the choices to make it better. I have written a lot of stories and didn’t know what to do with them. I was encouraged to self-publish them from people who had read them and decided to start small with Heart Tales. I myself conquered my fear and decided to publish my own work. So now readers can read about the characters I still hold close to my heart and think of them often. You never know, their stories may not be over quite yet. 

      About how long did it take you to write Heart Tales? Did any of the three stories take a longer time period than the others?

CG: Each story was written at different times. Audio Frequency took me about a month to finally finish after I decided to write all the song lyrics myself in case I ever decided to publish it. Legal U Turn took about two months and was probably the one story that came easier to me. Heart Set on You took the longest because it went through so many different storylines. I rewrote it when I had the characters visiting a cemetery and knew I had to begin Heart and Ellie's story there.

      In Legal U Turn, Gwen used some of her life experiences to influence her novels. Have you ever done this? Do people you know influence your characters?

CG: Absolutely they do! I have a variety of friends that continually influence my characters. I think my best friend Nikki heavily influenced Geraldine in Audio Frequency because she works in a music atmosphere as well. She actually received a box with song lyrics that inspired Audio Frequency. In fact people will be able to read exactly how my life influenced Heart Tales because I plan to sell published copies with a handwritten commentary by me. I will actually handwrite my thoughts and special little surprises throughout the book. They’ll be available through my personal store ChooseDuckie at, hopefully July 23rd.

      If you could bring to life any character from Heart Tales, who would it be?
CG: Hands down Heart! I love his straightforward attitude and his thoughtfulness when it comes to Ellie. Writing for him broke my heart because I always knew his fate. I did my best to give him a proper storyline and love the fact that he’s touched readers.  

Out of all the characters, which one can you relate to the most?
CG: I think it’s a tie between Geraldine and Ellie. Both characters are on the fence about putting themselves out there, and I felt this way about my writing for a long time. I didn’t think anyone would care or think I was kidding myself. I often thought people were just being nice when they said they liked my writing. Maybe in way Heart helped me come out of my shell like he did with Ellie.

           Out of the three stories, which was the most fun to write? The most difficult?

CG: The most fun was Legal U Turn because I couldn’t wait to write a story about a road trip. The most difficult was Heart Set on You because I was challenged on how to write for a character who wasn’t really there, and leaving out a detailed explanation of why Heart was around after the transplant. I didn’t want to risk boring readers and taking the story outside of Ellie and Heart’s friendship. I wanted to focus on their relationship and their goal. 

      Music seems to be an element in all three of the stories, especially Audio Frequency. What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have any favorite bands/songs at the moment?

CG: You just brought out a can of worms! I listen to indie, singer/songwriter, alternative and pop mostly. My favorite bands are The Drums, Blondie, Glasvegas, Blondfire, Best Coast, The Dum Dum Girls and much more. The songs I’ve been listening to a lot are “Chandelier” by Sia, “Overdose” by Little Daylight and “Wings” by Birdy. 

      I don’t know if I can speak for anyone else, but I absolutely love quotes. I get the quote of the day from Goodreads, and I have words all over my walls. There are plenty of great quotes from Heart Tales. If you had to pick one, which is one of your favorites?

CG: You’re killing me smalls! I think my favorite quote from Heart Tales is from Legal U Turn when Gwen and Dean are at the beach and she tells him, “Because…you’re my only place.” I mean I even made myself a necklace with that quote because it’s my favorite.


     Are you currently working on any other writing projects?

CG: I actually have a book I finished that’s set in a pizza arcade place called When Leo Meets Tes, which also involves music. But not sure whether I am going to self publish that one. I am in the process of writing another book of short stories but with more content than Heart Tales. 

     What is your favorite movie? TV Show?

CG: Favorite movie would be The Goonies but I also love all of John Hughes’ films. My favorite TV show right now would be The Mindy Project and Arrow.

     If you were stranded on an island somewhere and, for some reason, could only take one book with you, what would it be?

CG: I would take Amy & Rogers Epic Detour. Love, love, love that book! I love anything Morgan Matson writes. I encourage your readers to pick up any book of hers today.

Lastly, what advice do you have for writers still looking to get their works published?

CG: I am in a constant environment of books and see books come and go. I don’t write to become some massive success. I write because I like to share my stories and that’s what the goal of a writer should be. I chose to self publish my book to see what would happen. It’s tough work getting your book out on your own with limited resources but I’m very satisfied with the outcome. I have learned so many things by publishing my book myself and am grateful for this experience. If you want to get your work published then do research. Look into writing magazines, and books that offer advice on queries and synopsis letters. Find a group of friends who you can bounce ideas off of because they will be a great support system for you. Just keep writing, always. Whether it’s in a notebook, napkin or laptop, keep exploring your storytelling. Make mistakes, and take chances. Don’t try and write what you think people will love. Write what you want to say.

About the author
Celine Garcia resides in Central Valley California with her husband and three adorable children. When she isn’t writing she is usually found crafting, reading or updating her blog. Music is a great influence in Celine’s writing. She comes up with most of her stories during her drive to work on the freeway while listening to her latest playlist. You can find more of her writing on I Blog, You Read plus reviews of her favorite young adult and new adult books.

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