Friday, May 25, 2012

Welcome fellow Contemporary Western Author, Paty Jager!!

I'm thrilled to welcome award-winning author Paty Jager to Tattered Pages, who brings an intriguing post offering a peek inside her world beyond the pages of her books! And don't forget to leave a comment, because she's graciously offered to send a $5 Amazon e-card to one lucky visitor!
Take it away, Paty!!

How my world shapes my writing
I’ve dabbled in different venues of writing over the course of my lifetime. First as a child writing plays for stuffed animals, then at thirteen writing stories of love and lust that my friends and I passed back and forth—adding scenes, to witnessing what words can do when an English teacher read one of my assigned fiction projects to the class, all the way through writing children’s stories for my kids, writing murder mystery when I wanted to kill someone (killed that person off in two manuscripts), writing for the local paper when it fit my lifestyle, and then to settle into historical western romance only to find myself still drawn to mystery/action adventure writing.

Each stage of my writing had to do with what was going on in and around me at the time so it only makes sense that I find myself writing about history—American History, specifically the 1800s has always been my favorite subject. I love museums, historical sites, and finding bits of history that were so integral to life when this country was spreading and growing.

I think having grown up in a semi-isolated part of the state that was slow to get technology brought out the pioneer spirit in me. Until I was twelve, my paternal grandparents lived with us. There were seven people in a three-bedroom, one-bath farmhouse. We had a woodshed where we chopped kindling and stored the wood for the cookstove. When we did get an electric range we still had a wood heating stove and used the wood cookstove when the power went out—which was fairly often. When the power went out we used kerosene and oil lamps, the outhouse, and hauled buckets of water to the house from the ditch. Looking back, it was usually in the winter that the power went out. And on many occasions the pipes from the well to the house froze, and we had to haul water to the house.

My family had a small herd of dairy cows and used an old hand crank separator to separate the milk from the cream. We used the milk for ourselves and the hogs we raised. We made our own butter from the cream and sold the rest to the creamery. We raised 100 chickens every year, butchering all but thirty, which were laying hens. I hated the smell of the wet feathers after I dunked them in the boiling water to loosen the feathers. And disemboweling them and cutting them up—I’d always offer to fold clothes, clean the bathroom, or whatever other chore I could think of, than spend hours smelling the feathers and butchered chickens. My grandmother sold extra eggs to neighbors and the local grocery store.

These are all events in my life that easily happened in the era of the historical westerns I write. I can feel the continuous heat of the woodstove, hear the clank of the metal plates as grandma put more kindling in the fire. Smell the acrid smoke that slipped through the chimney that went through my bedroom.  I more or less lived the life I write about in my historical westerns.

And now, ranching with my husband, I've encountered many of the obstacles that I write about in my contemporary westerns.
And I grew up in the land of Chief Joseph's Nez Perce band and have always had a fascination for them and believe I saw an apparition of a Nez Perce warrior one summer day while riding my horse in the mountains. That moment has stuck with me and I believe that to be the catalyst that pushed me to write the spirit trilogy.

Now, I’m drawn to action/adventure and mystery stories. I believe the mystery comes from the fact that as I age I wonder more and more about why people do what they do and find the reasons behind the good and bad things they do intriguing, and this sets my mind up to want to write mysteries for others to unravel. The action/adventure stories allow me to live vicariously through my characters and visit, even if only through research, places I’ve wondered about.

If you are a writer, what shaped the genre you write? If you are a reader, what is your favorite genre to read and why? I’ll pick a name from the comments and send the winner a $5 Amazon egift card.
Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently ranch 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children and grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

Her Contemporary Western, Perfectly Good Nanny won the 2008 Eppie for Best Contemporary Romance, Spirit of the Mountain, a historical paranormal set among the Nez Perce, garnered 1st place in the paranormal category of the Lories Best Published Book Contest, and Spirit of the Lake, the second book of the spirit trilogy, was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

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

Thank you so much for visiting with me today, Paty! I love your, so pretty. And everyone else, don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into the draw for a $5 Amazon e-card!



Ava Bleu said...

Hi Paty and AJ, what a great subject!

I have found that no matter how far departed from myself I believe my characters are they all have a piece of my life experience. As a military brat I was always trying to fit in and so are my heroines! The amazing thing is readers can pick up-and relate to-our theme even when we are clueless. :-)


AJ Nuest said...

Hi Ava! Thanks for stopping by. I can't tell you the reader friends I have that always tell me...that heroine is so you. I can totally hear you talking whenever she has dialogue. LOL I think a part of me is in each of them as well. Good think I'm sorta crazy...let's me be lots of people at once. LOL

Paty Jager said...

AJ, Thanks for having me here!

Ava, that is true in all writers. There is no way you can put feelings and characters on a page without putting a piece of you in there. That's why its an art. Thanks for commenting!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi AJ and Paty! I love your new picture, Paty - very American Gothic (but without a pitchfork, and you are much more beautiful than the original lady, and your horse is also more gorgeous than the old guy in that picture. LOL - so I guess it really isn't anything like it after all.) :/

So - I was always a shy young girl, preferring to observe than participate. I guess all those years of people watching have paid off in my writing. Watching and listening is important for believable dialogue and character traits. Since i write about everyday kind of people that works for me!

I loved reading about your history, Paty.

Katherine said...

Hi Paty and AJ. What a great way to grow up, Paty. Of course, I say that from the comfort of my furnace heated home. LOL. Great photo you and your horse.

AJ Nuest said...

Hi Katherine and Lynne! I told Paty how beautiful she is, but she didn't believe me. Thanks for backing me up, guys! Paty...Pthththth. Told you so. ;-)

Susan Macatee said...

Hi, Paty! Like you, I wrote plays and stories when I was a child and had a short horror story I wrote in high school praised as the best in my class. It was too long for the teacher to read out loud though. lol

I was always drawn to science fiction when young and love the idea of time travel.

It was as an adult that I discovered a love of history. I spent ten years as a civilian Civil War reenactor, while my husband did the military side. Much of the history of that was has ended up in my historical romances and I have one time travel out, with another under contract.

I do want to eventually branch out into other genres, but haven't decided what that will be yet.

Love your historicals! And good luck switching genres.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Lynne, LOL on the American Gothic pic! I was shy too and stayed on the edges of things watching. I think it does help a writer make believable characters.

Hi Katherine! Thanks!


Hey Susan! We have several things in common. Thank you, I hope the switching works as well as it's been fun.

AJ Nuest said...

Just popping on real quick to say thanks again, Paty! Off now for a camping weekend with the family! Hugs, hon!!

Sandy L. Rowland said...

Patty, you are the real deal.
No wonder you do such a realistic description of things most of us only read about these days.

A wonderful interview and post.
And I love the picture.

Paty Jager said...

Have fun AJ!

Hi S.L., Thank you for the kind words and stopping in.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Paty. I knew you lived out in the eastern part of the state and farmed, but I didn't know about your upbringing. I can definitely see how the wild west has come through in your writing. I'm sure you'll make a great contemporary mystery author too.

My books always generate from a more psychological place or a science question, and my characters tend to reflect what is going on in my life. For example, in EXPENDABLE I was working for a medical research college and had lots of questions. At the same time my son was in Iraq I feared for his safety and his sanity. It was that fear that had me write a veteran with PTSD solving a problem around the misuse of genetic research and a heroine who was caught in the middle of a murder mystery. I think all writers bring themselves to the creative process--some in more direct ways (like your westerns) and others in more indirect ways (like your wonder at what makes people tick).

I love your books and I wish you a long and successful career in many genres.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Maggie!
Thanks for stopping in and commenting. Your books have great reasons behind them for why you wrote them. I have expendable in my TBR pile.

I'm glad you like my books and thank you for the wishes!