Welcome! Deanna Jewel here with Louise James. Thank you for joining us today for our interview with Paty Jager, a romance author from Oregon that I had the opportunity to meet when she did a book signing in Clarkston WA, across the river from where I live. Her books will pull you into the vivid scenes to feel what her characters feel and just a warning - you won't want to put the books down until the last page is read!
We're on location in what is known today as the Geiser Grand, a hotel set in Baker City with old world charm. We've chosen the cozy Palm Court to chat with Paty. If you live in the area, taking a visit to this old hotel is worth the visit to meet the friendly staff and...perhaps a ghost or two! *wink*
Reader’s Haven: Paty, thank you for joining us today! I'm so glad we got to meet last summer when you visited. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.
Paty: Deanna, I enjoyed out meeting too! Thanks for having me here at Reader's Haven. My husband and I own 350 acres growing hay and cattle. I enjoy driving the tractor. It gives me time to think about books I’m working on. My husband has learned that when the tractor stops in the middle of the field it doesn’t mean here’s a break down. It means I’m jotting down something that came to me.
Reader’s Haven: Now that's cute! I hope it didn't take him long to learn that meaning from you! What made you want to become a writer?
Paty: I’ve been an avid reader since the age of five. In high school, the teacher read one of my assignments to the class. When there wasn’t a sound when she finished I realized the power of words. But it wasn’t until my children were small and I needed an outlet that I started actually writing.
Reader’s Haven: Please share a bit about your new release (Logger in Petticoats) without giving away any spoilers.
Paty: Logger in Petticoats is the fifth book in the Halsey brother series. This series has been fun to write. Hank is the last of the brothers to find the woman who captures his heart and makes him see life with a partner is better than going it alone.
Blurb: Hank Halsey believes he’s found the perfect logging crew—complete with cooks—until he discovers Kelda Nielson would rather swing an axe than flip eggs. As he sets out to prove women belong in the kitchen, he’s the one in danger of getting burned. Strong and stubborn, Kelda Nielsen grew up falling trees, and resents any man who believes she’s not capable, until Hank. He treats her like a lady and has her questioning what that means. As Kelda and Hank’s attraction builds, she hires a cook so she can sneak out and work in the woods. But will her deceit ruin her chance at love or will hardheaded Hank realize it’s more than his love that puts a sparkle in Kelda’s eye?
Reader’s Haven: Paty, I love the cover! That looks like the Lochsa Mountains! I love it. Do you write under a pen name?
Paty: No, I don’t write under a pen name.
Reader’s Haven: What types of hero or heroine do you like best?
Paty: I like strong heroes with a sense of humor but not arrogant or bossy. They know who they are and are just a bit surprised when they discover a woman who they can’t seem to get out of their system. My heroine’s are strong, know what they want out of life and go for it, believing their work will make them happy, until the right hero comes along and their bodies and hearts find a new life.
Reader’s Haven: Readers love to know what we do on a daily basis. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.
Paty: We get up at 6am. My husband leaves for work at 6:30. I get on the computer and do two hours of e-mailing and promotion work. I do chores, and get back on the computer to write for three hours. I have lunch and in the winter do more chores then back to write another 3-4 hours. Hubby comes home w eat and I might get back on the computer for more e-mails and promo in the evening depending on what’s on TV or if hubby is feeling needy. ;) That’s the winter schedule. Summer, when we are haying and irrigating, I can be at our property in Eastern Oregon. Then I do what needs done, irrigating, driving tractor or whatever and write when I’m done.
Reader’s Haven: You are a busy woman! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?
Paty: I think the common theme in my books even though they are romances is justice prevails. And, you never know when love will come along.
Reader’s Haven: How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?
Paty: A typical story about four months, but I’ve had a couple, the May release, Spirit of the Sky, for example, that took nearly six months. Partly because of company that wouldn’t leave and partly because of the intense research it required.
Reader’s Haven: Readers, you need to check out her Spirit books! Just sayin'.... Do you have to be alone to write?
Paty: I don’t have to be alone to write. I’ve sat in a restaurant waiting for a friend and wrote a whole scene with all the hubbub around. And I can write with grandkids playing as long as they aren’t coming up and asking me a question. But I prefer to write to music. I’m like Pavlov’s dogs. If I listen to the same music while writing a particular book, I’ll zone into the story and character’s faster when I hear the music.
Reader’s Haven: Our characters are special to us and we want the readers to remember them. How do you go about naming characters?
Paty: Sometimes the name comes to me out of a mirage just like the character does. Or I’ll have a story in mind and conjure up the character. If they have a distinct ethnic background I’ll look up baby names for that ethnicity or I’ll just to go a baby book and look up what names mean and then roll them around with the character’s attributes I know ad come up with a name I like.
Reader’s Haven: Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?
Paty: I never start writing a story without a clear picture(whether a clipping or a written description) in my mind. I have to have their features in my mind and their background all flushed out before I can start writing. I like to know the characters well before we leap into a story together.
Reader’s Haven: Both Louise and I agree with you on that one! How do you pick locations for your stories?
Paty: Sometimes the locations come about because I’ve visited a place and found something interesting I thought would be fun to put in a book. Sometimes the location comes from the plot or the character. The Halsey series came about because I love the area where I grew up in NE Oregon and picked the gold mining area of Sumpter to have the family located. The stories have sprouted out all around the area but the characters always return to Sumpter. The Spirit trilogy is set (first two books) in the county where I grew up. The other books are all in and around Oregon with the exception of Improper Pinkerton which I set in Montana because the area worked for the plot I’d concocted.
Kelda stood by the door, a man’s black wool coat buttoned up to her neck and a wool scarf wrapped around her head. Her flushed cheeks shone in the lantern light. Her gaze met his solid and unflappable.
To appease Karl, Hank said as he pulled on his coat, “If Kelda isn’t back in here in fifteen minutes you can come looking for us.”
The door hadn’t fully closed when Dag’s voice cleared the threshold, “I don’t know what you’re worrying about. No man is going to think of Kelda in the way you’re talking.”
Kelda’s shoulders drooped proving she’d heard her brother’s comment. She walked around the corner of the cookhouse to a fallen log at the backside of the building. Hank wanted to catch up to her and wrap an arm around her shoulders. She was a fine woman. Any man would be dang lucky to have her for a wife. He stood in front of her as she sat on the log, her face pointed toward the men’s logging boots on her feet.
Hank crouched in front of Kelda, tipping her face up to read her emotions. “Your brother sees you only as his sister. You’re a woman any man would be lucky to marry.”
Tears glistened in her eyes. “I’m the size and body of a man. Men want a small delicate woman.” She wiped at the tears and her hands clutched his. “Don’t make Far keep me out of the woods. It’s all I have to make me happy.”
Pleading in her eyes and voice sucker punched Hank. “Why would you want to work alongside men in the woods? Women belong in the home.”
“I don’t care to work inside. I love the outdoors and the labor of logging. Don’t keep me out of the woods. It’s the one thing I can do well.”
The strong grip of her fingers on his proved her strength. He had no doubt she was a skilled woodsman…woman. He pried her fingers from his hands and held them between his palms. “I’m sorry, but I can’t allow you in the woods. It isn’t proper for a woman to work like that. And what if you prove too weak to handle a job and someone else gets hurt?”
“Ooooo!” Her hands ripped from his grasp and rammed him in the chest. He started tipping backwards and grabbed the first thing in reach—Kelda’s arms.
He fell back into the snow dragging Kelda on top of him.
The surprise in her eyes quickly turned to interest as she gazed down into his face. Her body sprawled across Hank, pressing him into the snow. Even with the heavy clothing, her curves were evident as her relaxed body molded over his.
Hank pushed the scarf back from her face and stared into amazing eyes that glistened from the moonlight bouncing off the snow. Her gaze searched his. The rise and fall of her chest quickened. She licked her lips…
He held her head in his hands. Inch by inch, Hank drew her lips closer, wondering if the heat and passion he’d witnessed in her eyes would be in her kiss.
The male voice broke through the insanity of his actions. Hank rolled, rose to his feet, and pulled Kelda up with him.
Reader's Haven: Paty, it's been a pleasure chatting with you again and feel free to contact us when you release the next book. Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?
Paty: Deanna and Louise, it's been great being here but I'll be around all week to chat with your readers. I'd love for them to stop at my sites, check out my books and join me online! I'm also holding a contest!
Contest: One lucky commenter will win a gift card or an e-book of their choice so please....leave your email addy in your comment so we can contact the winner easily. Thank you all for stopping by this week!
Visit Paty's Web Sites: