Cate: Today, I'm pleased to have award-winning author Paty Jager as a guest. Welcome, Paty! Will you please share a short bio with us?
Paty: Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author, Paty Jager, not only writes about the western lifestyle, she lives it. Jager and her husband of thirty years have raised four children, built a house, and now ranch 350 acres.
Jager began her writing career as a freelance reporter for local newspapers. Found RWA (Romance Writers of America) and after eight years of attending many conferences, workshops, and being a finalist in eight contests, she broke into the publishing industry with a new e-book and POD publisher, The Wild Rose Press. She credits the RWA organization for helping her work on her craft to become a published author and giving her the contacts necessary to build her career.
Two western romance historical books were published in 2006. Marshal in Petticoats and Gambling on an Angel. Her third romance novel, Perfectly Good Nanny, a contemporary western romance, won the 2008 Best Contemporary Romance EPPIE. The second book of the Halsey brother series, Outlaw in Petticoats, was released November 2008. Her fourth historical western and third book of the Halsey brother series, Miner in Petticoats was released in June.
To learn more about Paty, her books, and to enter her website contest, go to www.patyjager.com.
Cate: Readers, Paty will be giving away a copy of Miner in Petticoats. Paty, please tell us about Miner in Petticoats and where it's available.
Paty: Miner in Petticoats is the third book in the Halsey brother series. The oldest brother Ethan is hell bent on securing the futures of his brothers and their families by starting up a stamp mill. The problem- the best place to put the stamp mill is on the Widow Miller's place, and she isn't about to give up an inch of land or let another man abuse her. The clash of two strong wills, bigotry, and familial devotion all play into the conflicts and ultimate passion between the hero and heroine. This book can be purchased in e-book at www.thewildrosepress.com and in print at www.amazon.com or you can order through any book store.
Cate: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Paty: As a child I rewrote poems into plays for my brother and I to act out with stuffed animals. Then I wrote "racy" stories with my friends in junior high. I had an aha momrnt in high school when an English project was read to the class and they all were silent after it was read and I realized my words could have an impact on someone. I took a writing class from the local college and using the confidence it gave me became a freelance reporter for the local paper. I didn't start seriously pursuing a writing career until my children were teenagers. I joined RWA and worked at honing my craft and networking. I finaled in a contest with nearly every ms I wrote, but never won. I had an agent tell me readers would love my stories, but I was a hard sell to editors because my stories are edgy or different. She suggested I try e-books and build a readership. So when a friend told me about the newly forming Wild Rose Press, I submitted and they contracted Marshal in Petticoats. I have since contracted four western historicals and one contemporary western with them.
Cate: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Paty: Nope, I am the only writer in my family. Not sure where it came from.
Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Paty: Engaging, Character driven
Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Paty: Yes, I get up make my dh's breakfast send him off to work, then I hit the computer and answer e-mails, write my blog and read blogs while drinking hot chocolate. Two hours later, I get breakfast, feed the animals and some days go for a walk or ride my horse. Then I write until noon. Watch news while I eat lunch, then work on my freelance job in the afternoon. If my dh doesn't have anything for me to do in the evening, I'll do research and catch up on blogs.
Cate: How many hours a day do you write?
Paty: Two to five. Depends on the day and what other things I have to do.
Cate: How do you pick the character’s names?
Paty: Sometimes a name will come to me before the character fully develops and sometimes the character is revealed and I look into their background to come up with a name.
Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Paty: The most challenging aspect of writing a book for me is keeping the conflict strong. The easiest is coming up with a premise and characters.
Cate: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Paty: The most rewarding aspect is having someone say they enjoyed reading one of my books. It made them laugh or they loved a character and didn't want the book to end.
Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Paty: Yes, my characters are always in my head as I write a book and while I do my stew and brew process. This is when I get a character or an idea for a book. They swirl around in my head for a month or two before I start writing down things about the characters and their story.
Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Paty: Well, a 70+ male I've known for a long time told my husband he was a lucky man! LOL This was after the man called me and told me my book kept him up until 4 in the morning reading.
Cate: That's a great tribute! So which authors or books keep you reading? Who are your favorites, and what are you reading now?
Paty: Some of my favorite authors are LaVyrle Spencer, Linda Lael Miller, Lauri Robinson, Kathy Otten, Karyna DaRosa, Alice Sharpe, and Agatha Christie. I like any book that is western, mystery/suspense, or humorous. At the moment I'm in between books. I'm trying to get a project done and am writing, writing , writing. I usually read books when I'm beginning a project or am in between projects. I don't like to read when I am on the downhill side of a project.
Cate: What's next for you?
Paty: I am currently working on a co-project with another author, Christmas Anthology, and I hope to have a historical paranormal contracted soon.
Cate: Ooh, that sounds intriguing! Can’t wait to hear more about it.
Where can readers find you on the web?
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Paty: What makes or breaks a romance book for you?
Cate: Thanks for being my guest today, Paty!
Readers, Paty’s giving away a book to a random commenter... so start commenting! She'll pick a winner on Sunday, June 14 around 8 pm EST and announce it here.