Friday, January 07, 2011

PATY JAGER ON WRITING HISTORICAL WESTERN ROMANCE


Author Paty Jager
Readers please welcome Paty Jager. She grew up in the Northeast corner of Oregon where riding horses and reading were her favorite pastimes. Many hours were spent roaming the Wallowa Mountains on her horse Junebug and making up stories in her head. She read anything she could get her hands on from the school and local library. Many school lunch hours she could be found reading the books she borrowed from the library, usually Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. While honing her writing skills she and her husband raised four children. They’re now empty nesters and loving it! Instead of kids, they now cater to three dogs, two horses, and thirty mother cows, and currently ranch 350 acres. Paty, thank you for joining me today.

Caroline: Have you always loved books?

Paty: Yes, I actually learned to read at an early age when my older brother was learning to read. Once I realized the power of reading-- visiting other places, meeting people I would never have met in the small town where I lived and being entertained through the words on the pages I was hooked.

Caroline: You teach online classes to adults, but I know that teaching children to love writing is dear to your heart. Tell us about your project to engage young minds


Paty: The local writers group I belong to, Central Oregon Writers Guild, partners with the local library and Rotary to give 4th grade children in our area the opportunity to write and illustrate picture books. I go into classrooms explaining the different picture books, how to come up with an idea, write the story, edit it, and then add illustrations. It’s been a project I’ve been part of for four years. And this year I was even on the first round judging team. I love reading the stories the children come up with.

Caroline: Teaching children to write a book is an admirable and important cause! Is there an author you credit with drawing you to write romance novels?


Paty: Yes, LaVyrle Sperncer’s historical romance, HUMMINGBIRD, was my first western romance read. Her characters and the details of the time both hooked me. I’d been trying my hand at contemporary mysteries until then, but when I finished that book, I had to try writing western romance.


Available Now From
The Wild Rose Press
Caroline: Readers always ask where authors come up with ideas. I’m curious about what drew you to write about the Halsey brothers in their series MARSHALL IN PETTICOATS, OUTLAW IN PETTICOATS, MINER IN PETTICOATS, and DOCTOR IN PETTICOATS. Can you tell us about writing that series?


Paty: The first book MARSHALL IN PETTICOATS came about after I attended a workshop on writing humor. After several tries I realized the only way I could write humor was to do slap stick or make the heroine accident prone. And that’s how the heroine in MARSHALL IN PETTICOATS came about. Then I added the hero who had four brothers. When I originally wrote the first book I had thought a series might work with the brothers. It wasn’t until the book was contracted and the editor asked me for a different title- It was originally titled Accidental Attraction. When I changed it to MARSHALL IN PETTICOATS because by accident the heroine becomes the marshal of a small gold mining town that has its post office stolen, it clicked that I could give all the brothers love interests male professions. The second book OUTLAW IN PETTICOATS started from a loose end I left in the first book. The third book, MINER IN PETTICOATS, came from 1) I needed to get the oldest brother married and he was invested in the family mine, so I made the heroine a miner as well, 2) to make it even more interesting she had been married twice before and has two children, making her the experienced one in the relationship. DOCTOR IN PETTICOATS came from one of the brother’s becoming blind at the end of the third book, and the heroine of course had to be a doctor. My goal is to finish the fifth book, LAWYER IN PETTICOATS this year.


Available Now From
The Wild Rose Press
 Caroline: I’m also curious about your Spirit series. Will you tell us about SPIRIT OF THE MOUNTAIN and the Nimiipuu? That must have required a lot of research.


Paty: SPIRIT OF THE MOUNTAIN is a paranormal historical and the first of a trilogy set among the Nez Perce or Nimiipuu as they call themselves. The first book is set before the Whiteman arrives in their beloved Wallowa country. The Lake Nimiipuu is Chief Joseph’s band. When at a writer’s conference editors were looking for historical paranormals. Since I write westerns it seemed natural to me to write a historical paranormal using Native American spirits. The trilogy is about three siblings who are Nimiipuu spirits. Himiin the oldest is a white wolf while watching over the Nimiipuu on the mountain and lake side. Wewukiye is a bull elk who is the spirit of the lake and was inspired by a Nimiipuu legend about an antlered lake monster. Sa-qan their sister is a bald eagle. She is wiser and able to talk to the Creator. Himiin falls for a mortal, the daughter of the Lake Nimiipuu chief. She has been asked for by a Blackleg, the Nimiipuu’s enemy. Her weykin, spirit, who came to her on her vision quest was a white wolf and he told her she would save her people. So she sees the marriage as fulfilling her gift, but she isn’t happy and falls in love with Himiin. Wewukiye’s story is when the Whiteman arrive in the lake Nimiipuu’s country and the third book with Sa-qan is set during the NezPerce flight to freedom.


As you can imagine writing stories based on real tribes and real occurrences has taken a lot of research, between books, museums, and visiting with NezPerce I hope I have conveyed their lives and thinking mixed in with my imagination about spirits.


Caroline: Beautiful cover, and I can tell you’ve invested a lot of time in research to accurately portray the NezPerce. What do you have in upcoming releases for this year?


Available May 15, 2011
From The Wild Rose Press
Party: On the 15th of May, SPIRIT OF THE LAKE, the second book of the spirit trilogy, will be released. It is the story of Wewukiye the bull elk who lives it the lake. He saves a Nimiipuu maiden when she is trying to drown herself in the lake because a White man raped her and she is pregnant. At the time the Nimiipuu were careful to not upset the White man in their valley to keep from being forced onto a reservation. Her family considered her bad luck because she was born during a solar eclipse. As you can guess Wewukiye falls for Dove and they work together to prove that Evil Eyes, the man who raped her, is also out to rid the valley of the Nimiipuu.

Caroline: Sounds like a powerful book, and that cover is hauntingly beautiful. What’s your WIP?


Paty: The WIP is SPIRIT OF THE SKY. Sa-qna’s story. She is torn while following the Nimiipuu on their flight. She has always been a stickler for following the Creator’s rules, yet she finds the only way to help the Nimiipuu is by showing herself in human form and eventually while in this form she discovers the attraction her brothers had found for one human-- Their mate. And that human is a soldier.


Caroline: Is there anything else on the horizon?

Paty: I have the fortune or knowing writers from all different areas of writing. My good friend Danita Cahill is a photo journalist for several newspapers and magazines. She submitted my husband and me to Farm and Ranch magazine. You can find out more about me in the April/May edition that has a month long journal I kept and photos of my life taking care of two properties.

Caroline: How exciting. What else would you like to tell readers?

Paty: Writing started out as a way to keep sane when our children were small. As my friends read my stories and encouraged me to keep writing, I found I enjoy knowing I entertain people with my stories and take them away to other places and introduce them to new characters. So as long as you keep reading my stories and let me know you like them, I’ll keep conjuring up characters and plots to entertain.


Caroline: Thanks so much for stopping by, Paty. Continued success with your writing.

Paty: Thank you for having me here, Caroline. I enjoy visiting other writer’s blogs.






13 comments:

Paty Jager said...

Thank you for having me here today, Caroline!

Donna L Bolk said...

Hi Paty,

I enjoyed the interview. My hat is off to you. Slap stick is hard to write, getting that equal balance of this could happen to just plain silly is an art. Happy writing.

Paty Jager said...

Donna, Yes, it is. Some reviews say I pulled it off some say I didn't.
Thanks for stopping by.

She said...

Nice interview. Both series sound great!

Paty Jager said...

She,Thank you for stopping by and reading the interview.

Vince said...

Hi Paty:

I like to read contemporary paranormal stories about the Amazon area Indians. I need to read “Spirit of the Mountain” and see if they are similar in their myths.

I am curious. When you write a paranormal historical do you have to be as careful in your historical facts? I think Lewis and Clark had dealings with the Nez Perce. Do you mention in the book when the stories take place. I love the line: “I will fight no more forever.”

Love your covers!!

Vince

Maeve said...

What a wonderful interview! All of your books sound great, Paty. In fact, it's difficult to decide where to start. ;-)

Paty Jager said...

Vince, The first book is set before Lewis and Clark meet the Nez Perce and the second book is after they traveled through. Yes, I tried to keep the everyday lives of the Nez Perce as factual as I could and then add the paranormal element as the fictional piece along with the characters.

There is a timeline at the beginning of each book. The one I'm writing right now is during the Nez Perce flight that spawned Young Chief Joseph's historic words.

Thanks, I love the covers too!

Paty Jager said...

Thanks for stopping by Maeve. If you go to my website and enter my monthly contest you might win one of the books and that's where you could start. ;) www.patyjager.net

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Great interview. I love learning how authors come up with stories. Thanks for sharing yours.

Beth Trissel said...

I really enjoyed this post Paty. What a full life you have and a vibrant writing life. Your stories sound fabulous. I love what you are doing with the kids.

Paty Jager said...

Anna Kathryn, Thanks for stopping by. Sometimes I wonder about my imagination when it comes to thinking up stories. In fact I came up with another idea today. Sometimes I wish I could just turn my brain off!

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Beth. I enjoy working with kids. I guess all those years as a 4-H leader and then working for the extension service wasn't enough.