How My World Shapes My Writing

~ By Paty Jager

Visit Paty at her upcoming Holiday Party on
Sunday, November 8th
4:00 – 6:00 pm PST

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. As an adult, I wrote children’s stories for my kids, wrote murder mystery when I wanted to kill someone (killed that person off in two manuscripts), wrote for the local paper when it fit my lifestyle, and then to finally settling into writing historical western romance.

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 1800’s, 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, it 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 use for cooking and cleaning.

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 you 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 that I write about. I can feel the 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.

My first historical western romance, Marshal in Petticoats, starts off an 8 book series about the Halsey brothers and the young people who come into their lives. Also available in October is A Husband for Christmas: Shaylas’ Story a novella that I hope brigs all the Halseys together one last time and leaves the reader feeling happy.

Marshal in Petticoats is FREE.

After accidentally shooting a bank robber, Darcy Duncan becomes marshal of a town as accident prone as herself. Darcy’s taken care of her younger brother the last five years, and she’s not about to take orders from a corrupt mayor or a handsome drifter, whose curiosity could end her career as a marshal and take away their security.

Gil Halsey arrives in Galena looking for his boss’s son turned outlaw. Getting the young man back to the ranch will seal the foreman’s job. When he discovers the town’s new marshal is a passionate woman with high regard for family, he turns to protecting her. Darcy reunites him with his estranged family as they romp through gold country after outlaws.

Marshal in Petticoats Cover small (432x640) Outlaw in Petticoats Final Final Miner in Petticoats Claiming a Heart (865x1280) Logger in Petticoats FINAL

Doctor in Petticoats (2) (427x640) Staking Claim (405x600) Laying Claim Cover A Husband For Christmas (338x500)

The order of the books in the series:

  • Marshal in Petticoats – Gil’s story
  • Outlaw in Petticoats – Zeke’s story
  • Miner in Petticoats – Ethan’s story
  • Doctor in Petticoats – Clay’s story
  • Logger in Petticoats – Hank’s story
  • Laying Claim- A Halsey Homecoming – Jeremy’s story
  • Staking Claim – A Halsey Homecoming – Colin’s story
  • Claiming a Heart- A Halsey Homecoming – Donny’s story
  • A Husband for Christmas – A Halsey Homecoming – Shayla’s Story

    Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.

You can learn more about Paty at her blog; her website; or her newsletter.  Paty’s books can be found on the Pioneer Hearts Book Store on Amazon.