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Product Categories Archive: by Cely
Robert Cely was born as the last heir to the throne of Eularia. But as fate would have it the true kingship had been usurped long ago by the wicked half-demon, half man Aladron. Knowing his rule would never be secure as long as the true heir lived, Aladron hunted down the unfortunate child, and in a last attempt to save his life, his nurse put the babe in a basket and set him off to sea. The evil and powerful Aladron summoned storms to toss the little basket around, and the child would have died had not the good wizard, Cedric, not saved him from the stormy seas and magically transported him to earth, into the care of Robert and Debbie Cely.
But all was not well for the Eularian prince. He struggled through the mediocrity of earth schooling, only feeling truly alive as he stared out the window and dreamt of his lost home. Not to mention the continued machinations of Aladron who continued to try and destroy the prince. Before he turned eighteen the prince had four close attempts on his life, been kidnapped twice, placed under a spell five times, been harassed by minotaurs, chased by hellhounds, bound, loosened, and seduced by sirens on no less than three dozen occasions.
Knowing he must hide himself even more, the prince took the name Robert W Cely Jr., after the good couple that had raised him. He acquired a degree in history while hiding at the University of South Carolina. When he was found out there he moved to Union Seminary and managed a Masters of Divinity while frequently engaging in epic battles against Aladron’s henchmen to keep the gateway between the two worlds sealed.
After seminary the young Robert realized that to truly keep the line of kings safe he must produce many male heirs. Searching far and wide he found one woman able to bear his offspring, quickly secured her hand in marriage and produced three sons. As an added security, if Aladron were to eliminate himself and his three heirs, Robert also produced a daughter, hoping she would escape the demon king's eye.
Today he lives a mild-mannered life with his family in West Columbia, SC, working as a Chaplain. He writes part time to keep in touch with his true lineage, while secretly amassing an army with which he can regain his birthright. Until then he enjoys college football and making beer.
See Robert's latest releases with Bard and Book Publishing.
Q1: Why do you write?
I guess the easiest way to answer is because I have to. Or at least I have to if I want to be happy. Coming up with stories comes naturally to me. I am constantly imagining plots and stories and what I feel to be intriguing situations. When I come upon something that seems really cool to me, I think it would be a shame not to share it.
Writing is certainly a sacred calling. If you’re called to it you will feel empty without it. I go a few days without writing and I can almost feel it physically. It’s like something is missing or I am without a key nutrient. Sometimes I feel off and don’t know what’s wrong. Then I write for a little while and everything seems right again. I ask myself why I let it go so long and promise never to do it again. But you know how that can go.
Q2: How would you describe your writing ‘method’?
Not really sure I have a method. It all depends on how involved the plot is or how the story is flowing. Shorter pieces I usually just sit down and write. More complicated stuff requires that I plot out the major points, the lines I want to get in and what all needs to be included.
I prefer to write first draft by hand. I hate to edit, so typing it up forces me to. That way I actually write the piece twice. It’s not very efficient but I prefer my prose style when I write in good old pen and paper.
Q3: How would you respond to the classic question, “Is there Christian art, or artists who are Christians?”
My initial response is that there really is no difference. Whoever you are and whatever you believe will be expressed in your work, no matter what kind of art it is. An artist who believes in Christ will glorify Christ in his work, even if he didn’t set out to do so. I think it is nearly impossible to write against your own worldview. Maybe if you set out to do it deliberately, but even then it would be a struggle. The art flows naturally out of the artist’s being. So a Christian who is an artist naturally produces Christian art.
That being said, the rise of the Christian market and the demand for Christian-oriented material has led to a specific Christian genre in literature. Mostly this means evangelical, though it isn’t called that. Like it or not this is what is considered Christian writing. It must have an explicit evangelical lean to it, contain no profanity, little violence or sensuality, and promote clean, wholesome living. While I object to none of these qualities, I have to admit they usually make for pretty dull stories. Thus the vast majority of Christian literature feels forced and trite, and overall lacks any real power. The writer has to trust the story, the artist has to trust the vision. If it is in your heart, it will come out in your work. Jesus said it himself, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).
Q4: Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?
If you really feel called to write then it’s something you have to stick with. A lot of people I knew wanted to be a writer one day, and I am the only one of them that is still hammering away at it that I know of. It can be frustrating. But the difficulty of breaking through weeds out those who don’t feel deeply about writing. If you love it, don’t worry about success, simply give the world your gift as it was given to you.
Q5: Which of your creations has brought you the most joy?
I am always the most excited about the project I am currently on. Right now I am working on two different pieces, one an urban fantasy, the other a more traditional fantasy. Both of these have got me optimistic. Hopefully they will be ready in the near future.
Q6: Which has brought you the most heartache?
I can’t say any have brought me anything like heartache. However, when anything I write is misunderstood or taken out of context that brings me a great deal of heartache and frustration. Sometimes readers will latch on to one detail or scene and judge the whole work on that section. Also, people will often assume the actions of the characters are somehow endorsed by me because I wrote about them. Sometimes you have to write bad guys to do bad things. If you want to make it convincing you have to really sell it. But I guess being misunderstood is just occupational hazard for the writer.
Q7: Is there anything you’d like to say?
I have a lot of fun writing, but I am also enriched by the experience and end up learning about myself and God through the experience. Hopefully that joy translates into the narrative and whoever reads my work enjoys it and is enriched by it too.