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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Guest Author: Paty Jager

 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.
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:  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  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.


  1. I appreciate the fact that the Spirit Trilogy books are very well researched. I want to learn as well as be enthralled by a story.

  2. Great interview! I remember reading something about the Nez Perce raising prized horses. I'm looking forward to the third book of this trilogy.

  3. Hi Marybelle! I'm the same way, I enjoy learning when I read a book even if I picked it up for entertainment.

    Hey Becky! Thanks! You're both loyal tour followers. I like that!

  4. Hi Paty,

    I know I've said it before and I'll say it again, I cannot WAIT to read these books!

    Great tour,

    Rachel x

  5. Once again, agreat interview. Good luck with the book. Hope you have fantastic sales.

  6. Hey Rachel! Glad you could make it.

    Hi Chris! Thanks!

  7. Great interview, it must have been interesting being able to ask questions of a descendent of Chief Joseph. I remember reading about how the Nez Perce raised beautiful Appaloosa horses.

  8. Hi Paty, great interview! Your book sounds fabulous and I would love to read it. Do you see yourself going back to writing historical westerns? They are my favorite type of read. I do read some paranormals though, but love westerns. I think I got that from my father.

  9. Jean, The descendent gave me the information that actually formed the spirit characters. He told me about the blonde blue-eyed Nez Perce from the North and how they (Chief Joseph's family) were from that band, and they had blue eyes that turned red when their emotions were strong.

    Hello Virginia, Thank you. Oh, I will never leave the western historical. If you catch my Monday blogs I'm showcasing snippets every Monday from a Christmas western that will be available for sale in December. And I have a couple things sent to Harlequin I"ve been waiting to hear about.

  10. I'm impressed that you put as much time into research as you do into writing...but that is what makes your books so grounded. Learning something when reading fiction is just an extra bonus!

    Judith Ashley

  11. Hi, Paty~
    Missed you yesterday! I'm very anxious to read these books!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Great interview! And your book sounds good!

  14. Hi Paty,

    Stopping by to say hello. Enjoyed the post and I have to say, I love the name of the blog--Happily Ever After Thoughts. :)

  15. I just love this post. The info about the Nez Perce is so exciting but of course it would be. I write Native American Mystery and I think the next one in the series will have some paranormal in it.

    Walk in harmony,

  16. Hi Karen. When I decided to start a blog I brainstormed about 20 different names then sent them to my sister who is a voracious romance reader. She liked Happily Ever After Thoughts the best, so I went with it. Glad you like it :-)

  17. Paty, once again I learn a new tidbit about Spirit of the Lake. :) Nice post!

    Alexis, enloyed your blog.

  18. Always lots of interesting info in your blog interviews, Paty! So pleased to see your SPIRIT books so well received!


  19. Judith, Thanks for stopping in! Yes, the research is the most fun for me and figuring out how to incorporate it into the book making it entertaining.

    D'Ann, You can go back to the blogs you missed and comment. I don't care when you comment as long as I can put a slash mark next to your name. !

    Robin, Thanks!

    Karen, I loved the name of the blog too. One of the reasons I was excited to be a guest. The other was the lovely Alexis. She is fun to work with.

    Thanks Melinda. Good luck with your next book.

    Sarah, Thanks! I tried to make each post be a little different so those following wouldn't get bored.

    Hey Genene! Thanks! Alexis asked good questions.

  20. As always I truly enjoy reading what you have to say.....looking forward to number three.

  21. Spirituality was such a large part of early native american life, that to consider its inclusion reason enough to push the story into the paranormal genre is a bit disconcerting. The role of spirits, shape shifters, ghosts, and evil spirits in their culture was different from their role in white society. They were beliefs, not superstitions or fantasy.

    Thanks for another interesting post in your Blog Tour.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

  22. Connie, Thanks! I"m glad you're enjoying the blog tour.

    Pat, I myself don't feel it was paranormal but my publisher did.

  23. Hello! This is a very interesting interview...

    Will you be revisiting this time, or do you think, with the next book,you're finished?

  24. Cindy, I'm not sure what you mean by revisiting this time. I usually write historical westerns and they're set in this time period. If you mean more Nez Perce stories. It's quite possible I might in the future write more stories with Nez Perce characters.

  25. Paty,

    My impression is that books containing alternative spiritual practices/beliefs (whether historically accurate or not) as a part of the story world are considered paranormal in today's publishing industry.

    This surprised me, too. I don't know what the logic is.


  26. I love how involved your research was. Great interview. I write paranormal historical, and part of the thrill is discovering something I didn't know, or being able to talk to someone familiar with that period, or read something one of my characters might have read.

  27. Hi Melissa, I agree there is a thrill when you run across a tidbit you can use in your story that is factual and interesting.

  28. Having thoroughly enjoyed Spirit of the Mountain, and about to read Spirit of the Lake, I'm going to check out your other books, including those on Amazon Kindle. You're a wonderful writer.


  29. Thank you, Joan! Can I set you on my desk for the days when I doubt myself and my writing??

  30. Hi Paty! I thought I'd wait till the rush cooled down and give you a breather.
    So great that you're in tune with the native spirits. I also think a publisher may consider it paranormal simply because the spirits aren't tangible.
    One of my favorite spirit legends come from visions of wolves, which from the little I know, has to do with death of close ones. I'm really interested to read about the spirits you've brought to life in your stories.
    Do know if different tribes have similar spirits, or do they all have a basic belief?
    Thanks for visiting!

  31. Hi Dawn, The spirit element of my trilogy is not Nez Perce beliefs. They are the figments of my imagination. Everything else I put in the book about the Nez Perce is accurate and factual. I made up the spirits.

  32. I'm enjoying this blog tour immensely. It seems to add something special when I'm reading one of your books.