Alexis: Hi Paty. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Thank you so much for coming. I think you are our first historical western paranormal writer. How exciting! What made you decide to incorporate the paranormal into the historical western romance genre?
Paty: Hi Alexis! Thanks of having me here! The first romance books I wrote were historical westerns. When several agents and editors at an RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference said they were looking for historical paranormal I couldn't wrap my mind around anything other than Native American spirits and to me they didn't even feel paranormal, they felt normal!
Alexis: Now that you explain it, I can see how that rich culture would lend itself so well to a paranormal bent. Your new romance being released this month, Spirit of the Lake, also fits into this category. Can you tell us a little about this book?
Paty: Spirit of the Lake is the second book of my spirit trilogy. The Trilogy follows the Nez Perce Indians from before the Whiteman arrived in their beloved Wallowa country (Spirit of the Mountain) to when the Whiteman arrives ( Spirit of the Lake), to the Nez Perce's run for freedom (Spirit of the Sky). The spirits in the books are siblings. Two brothers and a sister who were saved by the Creator when their father, many, many years before listened to coyote and put greed and selfishness before his own people. The Creator made them spirits. The oldest brother, Himiin, is a white wolf spirit, Wewukiye, the hero in Spirit of the Lake, is a bull elk who lives in the lake as the Nez Perce legend of the antler creature who resides in the lake and when Nez Perce children are bad he comes during the night and takes them to the depths of the lake. And Sa-qan, the sister, is a bald eagle.
In Spirit of the Lake Wewukiye saves a pregnant Nez Perce maiden from killing herself. She has been told to keep the truth about the baby(she was raped by a Whiteman the leaders believe to be their friend) quiet to not cause trouble. The story takes place several years after the U.S. Government once again reneged on a treaty with the Nez Perce. The treaty of 1862 was only signed by half of the Nez Perce and that treaty took away the land the Wallowa band lived on. They remained friendly with the Whiteman in fear of being taken from their home. Wewukiye decides that the baby is the way to prove the Whiteman's deceit and he sets about helping Dove, the heroine, remain healthy during her pregnancy and he falls for her.
Alexis: That sounds very interesting. Where did you get the idea for this story?
Paty: I grew up in Wallowa County and have always been fascinated by the Nez Perce. They were a passive band, living off the land, raising prized horses, and until they were pushed from their land had never killed a Whiteman. So when I decided to show their love for the Wallowa country (book one) How the Whiteman upset their lives(book two) and their flight to freedom (book three) I came up with the spirit element/characters to help me show all of this.
Alexis: It sounds like you know your subject. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?
Paty: I have a shelf full of books on the Nez Perce. Fiction and non fiction as well as biographical. Half a dozen sites on the internet bookmarked, and I found two Nez Perce on a Nez Perce yahoo loop who were willing to help me out. One was a descendent of Chief Joseph and the other was a woman who had older relatives who could answer the questions I had that she didn't know. Each of these books I spent just about as much time researching as I did writing.
Alexis: I believe it! Do you have any other romance novels in progress that we can look forward to?
Paty: I just finished the third book of this trilogy. I have self published a couple historical westerns of my back list to Kindle and Smashwords.
Alexis: I noticed you write contemporary westerns as well. What other stories can our readers find written by you?
Paty: I have an action adventure I’m looking for a home for. But if I don’t come up with one soon, I'll self publish. So watch my website and blog to find out what happens there. http://www.patyjager.net/
Alexis: I understand that Happily Ever After Thoughts is just one of the stops on your two week blog tour and that you have a special contest running. Could you explain to our readers how it works?
Paty: Leave a comment on as many of my guest blogs at you can and the person who travels with me the most will receive an autographed copy of Spirit of the Lake, a sweatshirt, and cowboy chocolate. To find all the places I’m visiting go to my blog: www.patyjager.blogspot.com The contest runs from May 18th – May 29th covering thirteen blogs. I'll notify the winner on May 30th. In the event of a tie I will draw a name.
Alexis: Thank you so much for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We like talking about romance novels here and learning about the wonderful authors who write them J
Paty: Thank you for having me here! I enjoyed the interview questions. Please let everyone know that I have a monthly contest on my website http://www.patyjager.net It's not running this month because of the blog tour but will be up again next month. And at my website you can read the first chapters of all my books and find a couple of free reads I have at The Wild Rose Press.