All month for Women’s History Month, we will be featuring women indie authors! Follow along every Tuesday and Thursday this month to learn about new writers and new reads.
Hi! I’m Celeste Castro, she/her, a self proclaimed American Mexican, Own Voices author from small-town, rural Idaho, where most of my stories take place. I grew up with learning disabilities though I always kept a journal. Some genres I’ve written in include romance, paranormal, fantasy, penny dreadful & crypto fiction.
How did you start writing?
I never saw myself in stories growing up. When I first started reading romances years later, nothing had changed. People like me existed in the periphery and served the interests of others. I started writing in 2015 because I wanted to see women who looked like me, with experiences such as my own, front and centered in stories. I am proud to be contributing to this body of work through writing.
What is your writing process like?
My process changes depending on the story. When I wrote Prize Money and Lex Files, I relied heavily on interviews with subject matter experts to create accurate portrayals of my characters. Not normally a plotter, I had to plot everything when I wrote The Taking (Part I of a future trilogy) because the story is told through multiple perspectives (which I had to keep straight), included a made-up language (this was so hard!) and world building– I had to keep track of everything!
What inspired you to write Prize Money? What is it about?
Prize Money is an own voices, small-town rodeo romance about a champion barrel racer and rodeo queen who strikes up a friendship with a former Hollywood stuntwoman turned bullfighter. My story touches on many themes, from reinvention and redemption to breaking down barriers that exist in the macho, male-dominated sport of rodeo.
Do you have any other books published/are you working on anything new?
Here’s my published works to date:
HOMECOMING, Bella Books, 2017
LEX FILES, Bella Books, 2018
THE TAKING, Bella Books, 2019
SAVE THE DATE, Bella Books 2021
PRIZE MONEY, Interlude Press, 2021
And yes! Currently still writing and hoping to announce exciting news soon, but nothing to report right now 🙂
What writers do you admire?
Some writers I admire are: Carmen Maria Machado, Octavia Butler, Nnedi Okorafor and Rebecca Roanhorse. I love these authors because their writing knows no boundaries which is incredibly empowering to me as a writer and a reader.
What is your favorite piece of writing advice?
Go easy on yourself, don’t force anything, take care of yourself, it’s okay to take a break from writing, be true to your art and read!
Time to promote you! How can people find you? What should they look out for next?
People can find me via the following outlets