An Interview with Paty Jager

Thank you for having me on your blog, Cynthia.

Laying_Claim_Cover (1)_2Giveaway
This post is part of a week-long blog tour. I love to give and you could be the winner! I will be giving away an e-copy of my Christmas novella, Christmas Redemption, to one commenter at each blog stop where there are at least ten commenters. You can find the blog tour hosts at my blog: or my website:

Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
Oh yes! I took the long and winding road to becoming a writer. After one year of college and before I married, I worked as: a receptionist at a doctor’s office; a waitress; I stocked shelves in the toy department at a chain store during the holidays; a sales clerk at a cosmetics counter at a chain store; and made sandwiches in a sandwich shop. After marriage, I worked as an Avon Representative and a clerk in a stationary store. Then I literally forced the editor of a local paper to read a story I wrote and I worked as a freelance reporter for the two local newspapers for a few years. Before I became a published author, I worked 10 years as a 4-H Program Assistant.

What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I tend to wander with my genres. I have historical western romance, contemporary western romance, historical paranormal romance, and action adventure romance genres published. My problem is when a really great idea strikes for a story it doesn’t always fit the genre I’m already writing. But the one constant in all my stories are cowboys/western lifestyle or Native American elements. I started out writing the historical westerns because I am intrigued by Western U.S. history. I enjoy the research writing a historical book entails. The historical paranormal came about from a conversation with an editor looking for historical paranormal and the only thing I could wrap my mind around that would be considered paranormal was Indian Spirits. That is the paranormal element in my historical paranormal trilogy. When I was moaning about historical westerns having fallen off in sales, I was dared to write a contemporary western, that’s when I ventured into that genre. The action adventure came from once again, saying something and being dared to write what I thought an action adventure should be. And stay tuned because my next genre venture is into mystery. That series will roll out in late 2014.

Tell us about your current series/WIP.
My current series is actually a follow up trilogy from a five-book series called The Halsey Brothers Series. The first five books, Marshal in Petticoats, Outlaw in Petticoats, Miner in Petticoats, Doctor in Petticoats, and Logger in Petticoats were books about the five Halsey brothers and how they found their feisty, unorthodox wives. When readers wanted more with the Halseys I decided to make a Halsey Homecoming trilogy with the three boys who entered the Halsey family via the marriages. The hero in the first book and the current release, Laying Claim, is Jeremy Duncan, the brother of Darcy Duncan the heroine in Marshal in Petticoats. Jeremy has strong feelings for the Halsey family, but as a young man he sets out for the gold fields of Alaska and the Yukon to make his fortune. Five years later he’s accumulate money through packing, and not mining, and is ready to head home. This is where the book starts. He’s ready to do one last run and head home. But a strong-willed, fragile young woman arrives in Skagway and his protective instincts kick in. He ends up agreeing to take her to the Yukon Territory to find her brother.
I enjoyed the research on this book because I’ve been to Skagway and was interested in the history of the Chilkoot and White Pass trails. Reading personal accounts of the Gold Rush and the seeing the photographs gave me a pretty good visual of what my characters had to face on their journey.

What is your next project and when will it be released?
My next project is the third book in the action adventure or Isabella Mumphrey series. Secrets of a Hopi Blue Star. This will be Isabella’s third adventure. This time she doesn’t leave the United States. Her adventure will take place in Arizona along the Mexico border. There will be unveilings of human trafficking and her own family mysteries. My goal is to release this book January 2014.

What is your favorite part of writing?
My favorite part of writing is the initial idea taking root and growing into the story I start to see forming in my mind. I call that part of the process stewing and brewing. This is before anything gets put on the paper. It’s when the characters start evolving in my mind, I do research to see where the story can go and what real things I can incorporate into the story.

What is your least favorite part of writing?
My least favorite part, but the most essential part of writing, is the revisions or second, third, fourth, fifth drafts. It’s when you have to change something or add stuff to make the story stronger and enhance the writing. I like to be done when I write the last sentence of a story, but I know most times that is just the beginning of the process.

What advice can you offer to anyone deciding to self-publish?
If you do plan to self-publish, get books on the subject and learn all the stages: writing, editing, proofing, formatting, and how to upload to the various vendors. Get a good book cover. Send your book off to critique partners, go through the editing process, and then have a proof reader do a final read through. Don’t just throw a first-draft up for sale. If you have lots of mistakes, or a poorly written book, you’ll have a harder time selling the next book. Readers want a good story that is well written and edited. Don’t lessen your chance of more sales by getting in a hurry to publish.

All self-pubbed books are rumoured to be shoddily edited. What do you say to that?
Not all self-pubbed are shoddily edited, BUT if you read the previous question the problem is there are too many writers who either think their writing doesn’t need edited, so go ahead and put it up, or pay a vanity press that doesn’t edit well, and then believe their book has been edited, or they don’t want to pay an editor, or any number of reasons a writer doesn’t get their work edited. Those are the writers who are giving all self-published authors a bad rap.

What advice can you offer readers of self-pubbed books in making a decision on what to read?
My best advice is use the ability to read the first chapter or 20% of a book before you buy. Especially, if it is an author you don’t know. When you see a book that looks interesting check their back list, see if they appear to be a seasoned author. Read some reviews. Were typos and such mentioned in the reviews? But don’t ignore a book because it is self-published. Do a little homework and then decide. If you do get a book that is poorly edited or written leave a constructive not critical review and let the author know. Chances are the 4 and 5 star reviews are from friends and relatives and the author needs to know the truth.

Do you have critique partners?
Yes, I do have critique partners. I couldn’t write without them! When I’m stuck they help me brainstorm, when a book is done they help me find the weak points and straighten out my characters if I’ve gone wrong. They help me make my book the best it can be and I do the same for their books. I’ve been lucky that I’ve had some excellent CPs over the years.

What do you have planned for the future?
My future is starting a mystery series and finishing the Halsey Homecoming trilogy.
You can also find a Christmas Short story by me in Sweetwater Springs Christmas Anthology by Debra Holland and Friends. (I’m one of the friends. 😉 )

What genres are you drawn to as a reader?
As a reader, I’ll read just about anything but thrillers and paranormal with werewolves, vampires, and demons. I don’t read or watch anything scary.

Jeremy Duncan commits to haul one last load of supplies across the great interior of the Yukon before heading home. But, he has to trade his pack animals for sled dogs and leave Skagway in the middle of a blizzard due to one strong-willed, business-minded beauty.

Determined to find her older brother, Clara Bixbee doesn’t care how she gets across the pass, as long as she does, and soon. Hiring handsome pack guide Jeremy Duncan seems to be her best choice. Especially after she saves a young girl being beaten by the local gang leader and needs to escape Skagway fast.

“Excuse me.”

The words were spoken so quietly he almost didn’t hear them. But when he turned around, standing in the doorway was the woman who had kept him up half the night. Miss Bixbee.

“Miss.” He tipped his hat and waited.

Her gaze flicked around the building’s interior, and she walked three more feet into the building. She cleared her throat. “I’ve been discussing the prospect of procuring a guide to take me to Forty Mile with Mrs. Eiderly. She suggested you would be the least likely to knock me over the head and take my money.”

How had she said that with a straight face? Jeremy peered through the dim lighting at the woman. Cuz she was dead serious. Knowing it would only provoke the prim and proper woman, he laughed. Couldn’t help himself. The way she’d come out and said it, just tickled.

“Mr. Duncan, I don’t see anything funny about my trying to find a guide I can trust.”

“That’s not what’s funny. It’s the way you said it.” Jeremy dried the tears streaming down his face and walked closer to the woman. “Why do you need to go to Forty Mile? The gold there is starting to peter out and so are the jobs.”

“I’m not here for a job or to waste time looking for gold. I’m here to tell my brother our father has passed and the family needs him to return home and run the business.” She stood still, her intent gaze on his face.

There wasn’t a flicker of sorrow in her eyes. No, it looked more like smoldering fury. Her gloved hand gripped a black umbrella, making an indention in the middle of the fabric.

“Why didn’t you just send him a letter? Or send a male relative to collect him?”

She inhaled deep and let it out slow. “We have sent letters, but he hasn’t responded. We didn’t have a relative to send.” Her gaze flashed with annoyance. “We believe he may have moved on from Forty Mile and did not wish to send someone else on a goose chase.”

“Then why are you going there?”

“Because it is the last place we know he resided. When I arrive there, I’ll ask questions and find someone who can point me to his new claim.” Her chin pointed up at him, and she peered down her pert nose.

He laughed, this time not from merriment but from the foolhardiness of this woman. “You think you’ll get some old sourdoughs to tell you where your brother is? You’ll either end up dead or working in one of the camps as who knows what.”

PJ_Promo_shot_(232x300)_2Bio: With sixteen published books, three novellas, and an anthology, award-winning author, Paty Jager is never at a loss for story ideas and characters in her head. Her rural life in central and eastern Oregon, and interests in local history and the world around her, keeps the mystery and romance ideas flowing. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

You can learn more about Paty at her blog; her website; or on Facebook;!/paty.jager and twitter; @patyjag.

4 thoughts on “An Interview with Paty Jager

  1. Very good advice on self publishing and to readers looking for books. You’re right, don’t discount a book just because it’s self-published. I don’t understand reviewers who buy books and hate everything about the writing style, etc. The ‘look inside’ feature is a handy tool, and if you check that out, you can get a great feel for the author’s style, skill, and voice. If it doesn’t capture your interest in the excerpt, don’t buy. Your latest release sounds awesome. I LOVE Christmas stories!

  2. I agree, the self-published books should be carefully scrutinized before going to print, even more than traditionally published books are. There’s more at stake. Enjoyed the insightful post and the excerpt, Paty. Best luck!

  3. I really enjoyed reading this wonderful book. The story was full of adventure and pulled at your heart with the young innocent women that had a strong strength and determination. Her heart wasn’t as strong and she fell in love. I just could picture the who traveling. Great story!

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