What inspired the idea for your book?
I wrote a short story for a contest a few years ago and the main character stuck with me. I liked Dela Alvaro, a disabled female veteran who grew up on a reservation. In the short story she was Miwak, but for this series, I moved her to NE Oregon and instead of being Native American, she just grew up on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation. Since that is where she’s called home, it’s where she returns after her rehab. I’ve always had a soft spot for the underdog and thought this was a good platform to enlighten readers about the world inside the reservation and the struggles that go on. Also about the hardships disabled veterans face when they return home.
What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book?
Discovering how amputees deal with things that so many of us take for granted. I’ve been researching and have joined an online amputee group to learn their struggles with everyday tasks and the ongoing care that persists.
If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together?
If Dela and I were friends, we would have our love the all things Native American in common. We could go to the Native American museum near the casino. I could teach her to bake, and we could go to movies.
What does it mean to you to be called an author?
Wow, great question! I LOVED reading and books growing up. I couldn’t imagine how people came up with such wonderful stories. And now, I come up with stories (this is #51) that are published, and readers enjoy the books. I feel like I’ve come full circle and am doing what I’m meant to do. Saying I’m an author, acknowledging I wrote a book…that is the best feeling in the world.
How do you define success as an author?
Success to me as an author was finally getting more than 10 reviews on a book. I don’t know what it says of me, but I get more fulfillment from over a hundred reviews on a book than the number of books sold. Validation that my books are worthy of being published due to reader feedback defines my success.
What do you look for in a story as a reader?
I want characters who are three-dimensional, believable and that make me care about their outcome in the story. I also like books that are about history or a culture I don’t know. I enjoy learning while being entertained and I try to do the same with my books.
What is your all time favorite book or author? Do you think this has influenced your writing?
I would have to say LaVyrle Spencer’s Morning Glory, and November of the Heart. They were the first books I read that showed real life. Nothing was sugar-coated. I tend to write books like that.
What was the defining moment that made you say to yourself, “Today, I am going to write a book that I will publish.”?
I read a lot of mystery books as a new mother whose husband was gone a lot trucking. One day I was watching a talk show and they had a woman on the show who wrote a book “How to be Your Own Detective”. She didn’t have the money to hire a detective. The author had read everything she could on the various ways a detective discovered what they needed to know to do her own detecting and then wrote the book for others in her situation. At the time I had been reading Sue Grafton’s alphabet series. I thought, “I can write a book with a woman using this book to solve a crime. The main character was a free-lance photographer and mother of two who gets a call from her ex-husband asking for help. He’s in jail for a murder he didn’t commit. Using that book I had her do the sleuthing to prove his innocence. The book didn’t get published but it sparked a fire in me. I joined writing groups and learned more about the craft of writing. Seven more books written, and I finally had a book worthy of a contract with a small press. And now, I’ve published 51 books!
Name three fun facts about you or your work.
I have driven in a Powderpuff Derby,
I broke my collarbone when I was thirteen but didn’t know it until I went for a college physical and the doctor asked me when I broke it. I had fallen off a horse and held my arm in a comfortable way. That had been the correct position for the collar bone to heal.
My favorite animals are pigs, tigers, horses, and dogs.
If you had a secret room that opened by pulling a book on a shelf, what book would you choose?
A wildflower book. A person looking for a secret room would be looking for a book that was mysterious.
Dela Alvaro is a disable veteran who grew up on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation. When an IED in Iraq ended her military career, she came home to reassess her life and landed a job in security at the Indian run casino on the reservation.
Not even a year into being the assistant to the head of security, the head of security is found working with a human trafficking ring and Dela is promoted on a trial basis. When one of the casino employees is found stabbed and stuffed in a laundry chute, she knows she can kiss head of security good-bye if she doesn’t find the killer before the media gets hold of the story.
While she is in over her head, she can’t decide if the FBI Special Agent called in to help is a blessing or a curse. It’s a man she ran across in Iraq who overrode her authority. When a second casino employee is killed, Dela has to decide if she can trust the special agent with not only keeping her job but keeping the rest of the casino employees safe.
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 51 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/PatyJagerAuthor/
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Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/paty-jager
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