WELCOME TO FAT CHANCE, TEXAS & switching genres with Celia Bonaduce

WELCOME TO FAT CHANCE, TEXAS is my fourth book, so while I’m still a writer with lots to learn, I did feel a little more confident when I started to tackle this one. For my first three books, a trilogy called THE VENICE BEACH ROMANCES – my “process” went something like this: I’d choose a theme I wanted to write about, then spend about a month or so thinking of characters, plot twists and jotting down ideas. Then I would create my storyline and finally, start to write. I assumed that now I had a writer-ly routine, it would be business as usual.

It wasn’t.

First of all, I was switching genres – moving from “romance” to “women’s fiction”. While the romantic comedy angle would still be paramount, this meant I was creating a storyline with a little more meat on its bones. The theme of WELCOME TO FAT CHANCE, TEXAS is complex. I wanted to explore the question – “Is there any possible way to pursue the American Dream in today’s society?” – but keep things light and funny and make sure the romance remained center-stage. I was more than a little nervous. Let’s face it, the concept of The American Dream – the philosophy in which prosperity and success is achieved through hard work – is hardly a laugh riot. I wasn’t even sure what the answer would be.

I started thinking and jotting, thinking and jotting…for a month…then two months…then three months. Finally, I felt I had enough components to put the story down on paper…well, on computer screen.

In my first three books, I had a firm grasp on my characters – I told them what to do, but in WELCOME T FAT CHANCE, TEXAS, I gave my characters more freedom. I had to listen to what they had to say. Even though I made up everything in this novel, my characters took me on one excursion after another, finally convincing me that the American Dream is still an attainable goal.


For champion professional knitter Dymphna Pearl, inheriting part of a sun-blasted ghost town in the Texas hill country isn’t just unexpected, it’s a little daunting. To earn a cash bequest that could change her life, she’ll have to leave California to live in tiny, run-down Fat Chance for six months—with seven strangers. Impossible! Or is it?

Trading her sandals for cowboy boots, Dymphna dives into her new life with equal parts anxiety and excitement. After all, she’s never felt quite at home in Santa Monica anyway. Maybe Fat Chance will be her second chance. But making it habitable is going take more than a lasso and Wild West spirit. With an opinionated buzzard overlooking the proceedings and mismatched strangers learning to become friends, Dymphna wonders if unlocking the secrets of her own heart is the way to strike real gold…


Celia Bonaduce is a producer on HGTV’s House Hunters. She is the author of the Venice Beach Romances and lives in Santa Monica, CA, with her husband in a beautiful, “no-pets” building. She wishes she could say she has a dog. You can contact Celia at www.celiabonaduce.com.

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