I'm thrilled to have Jacquie Rogers here with us today. Her Faery Special Romances won the NOR Award for Best Sci-fi/Fantasy Romance 2007.
She's pen imaginary worlds of cowboys, dragons, faeries, and even mules. Whatever the adventure, you're sure to have a laugh. Let's give her a warm welcome.
***Contest: Be sure to read how you can be entered to win a coupon for a free copy of Much Ado About Marshals.
Good morning, Jacquie. In your own words, why don't you tell the readers a little about yourself:
I’m from a farming community on Owyhee County, Idaho. We lived on a dairy farm but also grew alfalfa, grains, corn, and sugar beets. I thought farm life was pretty boring so my daydreams were in the wild west amidst gunslingers, range wars, and saloons.
Didn’t want to be a writer, though. My heart’s desire was to be a television baseball announcer. Mom told me girls couldn’t do that, so I decided to be a foreign correspondent, mainly to get out of Dodge. I didn’t actually want to write about things, just travel. Well that didn’t work out, and after a variety of positions in retail, politics, and health care, I ended up being a programmer. Computer programming is the best reason I can think of to write fantastical stories. And there you have it. J
Much Ado About Marshals is your new release. What inspired you to write this highly entertaining western?
I love exploring the whole idea of who a character really is. Most of my books are a journey of self-discovery—maybe the conception we have of ourselves, the one we developed because of other people’s expectations that have come to be our own, isn’t really right for us.
In the case of Cole, he has never expected to be anything other than a cattleman. His idea of success was to own a ranch, which he does in the beginning of the book, so he thinks his journey to success is to help his brother get settled in that ranch, buy another ranch for himself, and make both ranches profitable. But then Daisy happens …
Daisy Gardner is the heroine. Tell the readers a little about Daisy. What’s she like? What is her first impression when she meets Cole for the first time?
Daisy is a pistol and has always befuddled her parents. They’ve done their very best to mold her into a lady, but she has other aspirations. She loves to read, and her favorite series is the Honey Beaulieu, Lady Detective series. She’s so much into these books that her own secret desire is to become a detective, too.
Cole is unconscious when she first sees him, and her first impression is superficial—how he looks. Of course this is a romance novel so he’s devastatingly handsome. J Since she’s the one who urged the city council to hire a town marshal, and because her motivation for hiring a marshal is to marry him so she could be a detective, she’s very happy to have a handsome marshal in town. Now all she has to do is drag him to the altar somehow or other.
Cole Richards is the handsome hero. Tell the readers a little about him. What is his first impression when he meets Daisy for the first time?
Cole was shot in the leg while preventing his sidekick, Bosco, from robbing a bank. Bosco managed to get him out of the bank and onto his horse, where they set off toward their Sinker Creek ranch. But Cole lost too much blood and passed out, so Bosco took him to the nearest town for medical treatment.
When Cole regains consciousness, the first thing he sees is the lovely Daisy. He thinks he’s dead and she’s an angel—for about five seconds. Then he finds out she’s mistaken him for the new marshal, and immediately thereafter it’s revealed that Daisy’s sister is the one who shot him.
Now he’s in quite a pickle. If he says who he really is, he and Bosco will be hanged for bank robbery, but if he’s quiet, then he’ll be sworn in as marshal under false pretenses. Being an honest man to the point of altruism, deception doesn’t set well. It’s his only choice, though, whether he likes it or not, because while he might give himself up, he will never betray Bosco.
Your tales always have a bit of humor added in for good flavor. This tale reminded me of Support Your Local Sheriff and Support Your Local Gunfighter. I loved these humorous westerns. I could even see a young James Gardner talking up the role as Cole Richards. Are there any old time westerns that have inspired you?
This is sort of a Cat Ballou in reverse. Remember Kid Shelleen/ Silvernose and the drunk horse? I also love the old western comedies, television and movies. Waterhole #3 is hysterical, and I can’t get enough of The Apple Dumpling Gang. The tone and pacing of Much Ado About Marshals are very similar to those movies—a brisk clip, and drama is used to set up the comedy. Most romances use at least some comedy relief, but my books are the other way around.
James Garner? More about him later.
Who created your wonderful book cover? How much say did you have in the design?
I had complete control of cover design. Mélange Publishing gives you enough rope to hang yourself first time out. LOL
Deborah Macgillivray (http://www.deborahmacgillivray.co.uk) is the cover designer. She’s so very talented—not just covers but she writes great books, too. I sent her a blurb and a bunch of graphics, she sent me back her concept (not having read the book, but just knowing me and how I write), and voila! we had a great cover.
The cover model is Kyle Walker, and I did the photoshoot with the help of my husband, who was great at helping me get the lights aimed correctly. Kyle was very patient with me. This was the first shoot I’ve done since college and I’m not even gonna tell you how long ago that was. Anyway, I had to relearn and remember a whole lot of stuff.
Kyle had never modeled before but I couldn’t have found anyone more cooperative. If I asked for angry, he gave me angry. His best expression was puzzled, and all those pictures crack me up every time I look at them. Anyway, he has agreed to model for the next book in the Much Ado series, Much Ado About Madams. That Cover will have a female model as well, so a little different look. I’ve also hooked up with another photographer so together we should come up with some cool shots.
You’ve recently started a new blog, Romancing The West with Jacquie Rogers. What inspired you to start this blog and what do you write about? (Don’t forget to supply the link.)
I could make up something or I could tell the truth. Hmmm. Okay, I’ll tell the truth.
I was showing my friend how to set up a blog. She was concerned that the name for her blog had already been chosen, and I wanted to show her how blogger dealt with that so her worries would be allayed. So I typed in the first thing I could think of, “romancingthewest” and guess what? I now had a blog associated with my email address. My friend asked me what I planned to do with it and, just like that, I told her I was going to use it to raise awareness for westerns and western historical romance.
Within two days, I had all the slots booked for July, August, and September. So there you have it. I hope everyone will drop by and take a look: http://romancingthewest.blogspot.com. Romancing The West has an interview with a western author and an excerpt from the featured book every Monday, and on Thursdays we have an interesting article on some aspect of western life. Nearly all the authors give one commenter a free book. It has been quite a popular blog so far and I’m a bit amazed by the whole thing.
What are your current projects and works in progress?
My next fiction release will be Faery Hot Dragon. I need to get my rear in gear on that one. It’s a novella set in the Idaho Sawtooth mountain range, and has dragon shifters, faeries, elves, and an assortment of animals, including an arthritic cougar who is addicted to catnip. Then of course is Much Ado About Madams, which will be released before the end of the year, at least in ebook. A third book, Much Ado
About Rustlers, is in the works. I have another series of novellas in the works for 2013 that takes place on the railroads of Colorado in 1883. This is where James Garner and Maverick come in. You’ll have to wait to hear more about this. :ornery grin:
Non-fiction: Nail It! The Secret to Building an Effective Fiction Writer’s Platform: Level 1: Laying the Foundation, is currently out in ebook and will be in print any day now. I co-wrote it with my 1st Turning Point partner, Ann Charles. We have another book nearly ready called Growing Your Audience: A Workbook for Published, Unpublished, and Under-published Writers. I have so many irons in the fire that GYA has sort of taken the backseat, but now that summer vacations are over, we’ll be working on getting that one published, as well as writing the next four books in the Nail It! series.
Tell the readers where they can find you:
Romancing The West: http://romancingthewest.blogspot.com
1st Turning Point: http://1stTurningPoint.com
Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?
Thank you, Karen, for inviting me to your blog today. You do a fantastic job of creating interesting content here and you do great interviews. Also, I’d like to remind your readers that you are also a 1st Turning Point columnist and you have a column coming up soon, so stop by and take a look: http://1stTurningPoint.com.
Contest: I invite everyone to comment—one commenter will win a coupon for a free copy of Much Ado About Marshals. Be sure to include your email address with your comment or we’ll have to draw another name. (Contest ends on August 27th at 12:01 PM PST and Winner will be announced on Sunday.)
Also, anyone who posts a review of Much Ado About Marshals on BN.com, Amazon, Smashwords, or Goodreads will receive a sneak peek of Much Ado About Madams. Just send a message to jacquierogers @ gmail.com (without the spaces) and tell me where you posted and the address to which you want me to send the excerpt.