Today I am pleased to welcome Paty Jager! Paty is a western romance author with The Wild Rose Press.
How did you get started in writing?
Wow! Are you talking about as an adult or a child? LOL As a child I wrote plays for our stuffed animals. Then as a teenager I wrote an ongoing adventure story with two friends. Then when my children were small I wrote stories for them, took a couple writing classes and wrote freelance for the local paper. When I had an experience where I wanted to "kill" someone, I wrote a book and murdered them. After writing one book, I realized I liked writing and COULD write a book length story from start to finish that made sense. Then I read LaVyrle Spencer's "Hummingbird" and I knew I had to write historical western romance. And that's where my passion has been.
I find writing to be cathartic also! Tell us about your books.
My historical western published books are the first two in the Halsey brother five books series: "Marshal in Petticoats" and "Outlaw in Petticoats". These books are set in the 1880's in Oregon. The first book is in the gold country fo the Blue Mountains and the second book travels from Baker City, OR to The Dalles, OR and back. Each book has a Halsey brother as the hero and a feisty heorine who wins his heart. My other historical western is "Gambling on an Angel". This book is set along the Columbia River with a Saloon owner as the hero and a woman who believes in the temperance movement as the heorine. I also have a contemporary western, "Perfectly Good Nanny" which won an EPPIE for best contemporary romance. "Perfectly Good Nanny" is set on a cattle ranch in South Eastern Oregon. A rancher is struggling to raise a preteen daughter and a toddler son while keeping his ranch solvent. The daughter pretends to be him and orders a nanny, with the help of a neighbor, via the internet.
Can you tell us about how you research for your books? How much, where, how, etc?
Research, my favorite word! So far my books have been located in Oregon because it is easier for me to travel to the areas and schlep through the museums and visit with locals who know the history. I like the trivial historical facts. I do in depth research of an area when I use them as setting. I request the micro film from newspapers of the time and place to read and get a feel for what was happening there at the time. They also give an idea of the businesses. I contact the local museums and request specific information. And I purchase lots of used books about the history of areas. Trivial information I've gleaned so far- I learned miners came down to a small town and stole the post office so they wouldn't have to travel down the mountain for their mail. I made this town the setting for my accident prone heroine in "Marshal in Petticoats". While researching for Outlaw in Petticoats, I found out a saloon had holes bored out under the counter so a man could put his fingers in the holes to help him remain standing when he had drank too much. I incorporated this into the book. Both facts I found out while interviewing a historian. I always gather ten times as much information as goes into a book, but the more I learn about an area and time, the more I feel I can make it come alive in a story.I love research, too, which is one of the reasons I always ask about it. :0) What "writer dream" do you have yet to achieve?
My writer dream is to win a RITA. The highest honor a romance author can achieve.
What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on the fourth Halsey brother book,(the third is with my editor), a new historical western series, and a contemporary western.
What was your favorite experience with a reader?
I have several favorites. LOL When my first book "Marshal in Petticoats" came out, two of our good friends who happen to be male and in their 70's bought it. I was a little worried because Marshal has several racy scenes. I recieved a call two different mornings from each of the men. The calls started out: "You're in trouble." Which had me gulping and thinking, he's going to get after me for the racy scenes. Then they said, "You kept me up till four in the morning. I loved it!" My husband has been stopped by several people and told how much they enjoyed my books, and a month ago I attended a funeral. As my daughter and I were driving away, a woman came running down the parking lot after us. We stopped and she leaned in the window. "Ellie just told me who you are. I love your books!"
That's wonderful! Readers are awesome! What do you do when you aren't writing?
You mean there is such a thing as not writing? LOL I help my husband take care of our two places. One is 70 acres and one is 280. So I tend to drive a lot of tractor and change irrigation hand line. Also we spend as much time as we can with our grown kids and grandkids.
Here is your random question: Did you used to get excited for school to start back up after summer vacation?
I loved school! We lived in a small community. During the summer I didn't see my friends and we weren't allowed to talk on the phone because we were on a party line and my dad didn't want us holding up the phone. And I would have read all the books I owned! We made a couple trips a summer to the library. We had to or I'd go bonkers! I had a book in my hand all the time. I've always been an avid reader and I loved school because they gave us all those great books to read.
Anything else you'd like to share?
The second Halsey brother book "Outlaw in Petticoats" is available in ebook at: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_146&products_id=807
November 7, 2008 you can purchase it in print from any book store.
Thank you for having me at Armchair Heroines!
Thank you, Paty!
We have one of Paty's e-books available in this week's contest so let us know what's on your mind!