Celeste O. Norfleet

Feature - Celeste O. Norfleet
Print book or eBook?
Both, plus audio books while I’m driving. But if I have to choose just one, I’d have to say print books.
2. Favorite genre?
Romance, of course.
3. Favorite author? Why?
That’s such an unfair question. I have so many favorite authors. Right now I’m gonna say Bernice L. McFadden because I love her powerful writing style.
4. What is your favorite hobby or way to relax?
I love to relax in the backyard. A few years ago I planted a serenity garden with an abundance of rose bushes, peonies, hydrangea and phlox. Now I read and write in the garden surrounded by butterflies and hummingbirds. It’s the perfect place to unwind.
5. I’ve read you are an art director and graphic artist. Tell us a bit about your ‘other’ career.
Yes, I was an art director in an advertising agency for many years. I loved creating prints ads, storyboards, and developing advertising campaigns for the agency clients. I still sketch, illustrate and paint, but now it’s mostly for family and friends. 
6. Describe a typical day in the life of Celeste Norfleet, the writer.
I’m an early bird. I get up, go for a walk, then do chores or run errands. At 9 o’clock I sit down in front of the computer and begin writing for the day. I take mini breaks then lunch outside in the garden or with friends then it’s back to writing. I have dinner with my husband and spend time togther. I read at night and sometimes continue writing or editing if I’m under a tight deadline. I go to bed late, usually around midnight.
7. How have you changed as a writer since your first book?
My first novel, PRICELESS GIFT, was released in 2002. Since then I’ve written extended romances, short romances, anthologies, young adult fiction and now women’s historical fiction. With over thirty-five novels behind me, I’ve grown and learned a lot about myself as a storyteller. Each novel I write challenges me to trust my instincts and move further and further out of my comfort zone.
8. This is 2019, somethings have changed, and others have not. What is your view of the changing taking place in the publishing word?
I’ve been in this business almost twenty years. The changes are a long time coming.
Tell is a bit about ONE NIGHT IN GEORGIA.
Set in summer 1968, ONE NIGHT IN GEORGIA is a historical fiction that takes place as the country is still reeling from the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Amidst civil unrest and the struggle for civil rights, the novel centers on three young women traveling by car from New York to attend their senior year at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Their journey begins pleasant enough, but then quickly turns dark and very dangerous. Eventually they find themselves caught up in a racially hostile situation that leaves a white person dead and one of the girls holding the gun. It’s an emotional story with many facets. It’s joyful, disheartening and at times very, very painful.
2. What inspired you to write this book?
The main storyline of ONE NIGHT IN GEORGIA came to me in a dream. It was so real and engrossing and the characters so powerful that the dream stayed with me for days. After a while I sat down and wrote the synopsis. The more I wrote the more the story evolved. It was far different from anything I had previously written. I knew right then I had to write the novel.
3. You haven’t published a full-length novel is several years. Why the hiatus?
I had been my mother’s primary caregiver for many years. When she passed away, there was a lot to do and I had to find my way through the emotional loss. I finally gave myself permission to step back and take time for my family and myself. Writing took a back seat. After a while I felt ready to come back. The thoughts, prayers, cards and notes of encouragement from readers were truly appreciated.
4. If you had to recommend a book for a new reader to start your books, which would it be and why?
For romance it would be PRICELESS GIFt. It begins the wonderful Mamma Lou Matchmaker series. For YA, I’d say Pushing Pause and for a soul-searching women’s historical fiction I’d have to recommend, ONE NIGHT IN GEORGIA
5. Mamma Lou Matchmaker has become synonymous with Celeste Norfleet. What is so appeal about this beloved character?
I think the reason the Mamma Lou Matchmaker series is so beloved is because the character is so endearing. An octogenarian, Louise “Mamma Lou” Gates is everything a matchmaking grandmother should be, kindhearted, loving and persistent.
6. What is next for Celeste Norfleet?
I’m currently working on another women’s fiction novel. 
If there was one thing you could tell your readers what would it be?
Thank you for being so dedicated. You are truly the best!
2. What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Read. Read. Read. Don’t get discouraged. Keep writing what you love.
3. How can readers reach you?
Email: conorfleet@aol.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/celeste.norfleet
Website: https://celesteonorfleet.com

The management and staff of Romance in Color would like to thank Nana for taking the time out of her busy schedule to visit us!