Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay, award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently ranch 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children and grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
With sixteen published books, three novellas, and an anthology, Paty is never at a loss for story ideas and characters in her head. Her rural life in central and eastern Oregon and interests in local history and the world around her keeps the mystery and romance ideas flowing.
Secondary Characters- When do they go from being secondary to main characters?
Secondary characters in my books aren’t always expected. In that I mean, I usually figure out the sidekicks and the important secondary characters in the beginning when I do my process called stewing and brewing. This happens in the early stages of a book’s conception where I start thinking about the main characters and what hurdles can I put between them and what the premise of the book is going to be about.
Once I have the main characters figured out, I sit down and write up bios about them starting as far back as is pertinent to their role in the story. This is when a sidekick or friend might come into the mix as a secondary character. With the first book of the Halsey Brother Series, Marshal in Petticoats, I came up with the idea of an accident prone young woman becoming marshal of an equally accident prone town. But to make her plight more compelling she’s on the run with her younger brother (sidekick) from their evil uncle. She dresses like a young man to be able to move about without being hindered by the proprieties of the times. But that also lands her with the job of marshal when she accidentally shoots a bank robber.
The secondary characters in this story that popped up out of the blue were Gil, the hero’s, brothers. I hadn’t thought too much about his background only that he was a drifter and trying to hide from something. When I gave Darcy, the heroine, strong family values, I decided Gil would be estranged from his brothers, but, lo and behold, their names popped up one day and the reason he fled the family mine and before the book ended the reader has met each of the brothers. In their short appearances in the first book, I fell in love with each of them and knew once Marshal in Petticoats was published, I’d be writing a book for each of the brothers.
There are always secondary characters who are only in one or two scenes. Those I add as they pop into the scene and only give them as much life as is needed to move the book forward and give needed information to the story.
To answer your question: Do you prefer writing series or stand-alone books?
I like to write both. I enjoy the challenge of a new stand-alone book, I have three historical and two contemporary westerns that are stand alones. But I also like the familiarity of writing a series. After a couple in the same series, the rest of the books are easier to write because you know at least one of the main characters so well and the secondary characters that were in the previous books. This familiarity make the books write faster in my opinion.
This month you can purchase Paty's five book Halsey Brothers Series in an ebook box set for $.99. The reason the set is at such a good price this month only is to get readers involved in the Halsey family so they will be clamoring for the first book of a Halsey Homecoming Trilogy that will be available in November.
Laying Claim is set in the Yukon during the gold rush. Jeremy, Darcy’s little brother in Marshal in Petticoats is all grown up and making money in the Yukon as a guide and packer to prove he can make it on his own without the Halsey family backing.
Laying Claim starts out with a young woman arriving in Skagway, Alaska and determined to travel over the treacherous Chilkoot Trail to find her brother. He is the heir to the family business in Seattle and the only person who can help her mother and siblings avoid ending up out on the street. Duped several times at her arrival to Skagway, it becomes clear to Clara Bixbee she needs to find an honest guide. Everyone has high praise for Jeremy Duncan so she seeks him out. And that is where the sparks begin to fly.
Halsey Brothers Series - Five historical western romance novels set in Oregon in the 1800's.
Marshal in Petticoats
After accidentally shooting a bank robber, Darcy Duncan becomes marshal of a town as accident prone as herself. And she’s not about to take orders from a corrupt mayor or a handsome drifter.
Gil Halsey discovers the new marshal is a passionate woman hell bent on proving the mayor is corrupt and dodging outlaws to clear her name.
Outlaw in Petticoats
Maeve Loman accepts Zeke Halsey’s offer to help her discover the truth behind her father's disappearance even though she hasn’t met a man who can keep his promise.
Zeke Halsey has wanted Maeve Loman since he first set eyes on the prickly schoolteacher. Offering to help her find her father, he hopes to prove he’s not going anywhere.
Miner in Petticoats
Ethan Halsey is determined to fulfill his father’s wishes to provide for his brothers. The only drawback is a feisty woman who refuses to part with the land he needs.
Aileen Miller has had two husbands. She isn’t about to allow another man to dictate her life or the lives of her two children.
Doctor in Petticoats
Dr. Rachel Tarkiel gave up on love after a devastating accident and settled for a life healing others.
Blinded by a person he considered a friend, Clay curses his circumstances and his limitations. Can their love overcome their internal fears and the obstacles life throws at them or will a mysterious man keep them apart forever?
Logger in Petticoats
Hank Halsey believes he’s found the perfect logging crew—complete with cooks—until he discovers Kelda Nielson would rather swing an axe than flip eggs.
Strong and stubborn, Kelda Nielsen grew up falling trees, and resents any man who believes she’s not capable, until Hank.
You can purchase the Halsey Brothers Series box set at:
Learn more about Paty at her blog; www.patyjager.blogspot.com
website; http://www.patyjager.net or on
and twitter; @patyjag.