Author Spotlight: Jacquie Rogers

Hello, All!

Taking a break this week to paint my toenails passion pink as I drink a good cab sauv, and contemplate why chocolate should have its own place on the food chart.  (Come to think of it, so should wine!)   JacquieRogers_150w

Meanwhile, fellow Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America chapter mate Jacquie Rogers has graciously agreed to entertain you.  Yay, Jacquie!  Stick around and find out what makes this author so amazing — apart from the fact she’s agreed to answer my interview questions.

Melia:  If you were stuck on a deserted island with one of the heroes of your books, who would it be?  Why?  (Keep it clean, girl!  LOL.)

You mean I can’t have them all?  For practical purposes (practical, meaning to get off the island and go back home), I’d choose Caedmon, the hero in a short story I wrote called Much Ado About Faeries, in Faery Special Romances.  He’s a tall, macho faery of the Sun Clan and no red-blooded woman would mind having his boots under her bed (or hammock).  Besides, he has wings and magic so he could get us home—or zap up a nice margarita on the rocks and some Barry White tunes.  Very versatile.

In the Hearts of Owyhee series, I’d have a hard time choosing, but the man who’d be most handy to have around for other than (ahem) recreational purposes would be Cole from Much Ado About Marshals (Hearts of Owyhee #1).  He’s accomplished at a variety of skills (including the aforesaid recreational purposes) and could build a nice hut complete with furniture.  He also knows how to cook, which is always a plus.

But the most fun of all my heroes would have to be Brody from Down Home Ever Lovin’ Mule Blues.  He’s a rodeo bullfighter and clown—fearless, crazy, and pectorally endowed.  There’d never be a dull moment and in no time we’d have a pet gecko trained to serve those drinks that Caedmon made.  Oh wait, you said I could only have one.  At a time.

Melia:  What’s the weirdest or most memorable experience you’ve ever had as a writer?

Weirdest: That could be a booksigning in the Boise Hastings, when my 8-year-old granddaughter chased down a lady, made her take some of my swag, grabbed her hand and dragged her over to my table, then stood there and stared the poor lady down until she bought a book.  Probably not the best way to win readers.

Memorable (not that I’ll forget the above anytime soon): Holding the paper copy of Much Ado About Marshals in my grubby little mitts for the very first time.  It’s like seeing your newborn baby for the first time, only not as messy.

Melia:  If you could have dinner with anyone in the world (living or dead), who would it be?  Where would it be?  What would you ask him/her?

Little Joe Monaghan, and I’d ask her (yes, her) exactly who she was and why she chose to live as a man.  She came to Owyhee County in the 1860s and apparently no one knew she was a woman.  Hard rock mining is backbreaking work but she did it.  Rode with a wild west show as the bronc rider, too.  Bought and worked her own ranch in an area that brought most men to their knees.  Amazing person.

Once we got that mystery solved, I’d love to know all the boring details of life in the Old West—the stuff they don’t put in history books.

Melia:  You’re a time traveler — where would you go?  Why?

I’m afraid I’d get in trouble no matter where I went because most people, especially those in power, aren’t particularly fond of questions, and I have plenty.  Let’s stick with the warmer climates, though, because I have a serious love affair with central heating.  That puts me in the South Pacific about a thousand years ago, but I’d have to get a tan first.  The House of Taga on Tinian is intriguing.  Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to whenever it was built and find out just who built it, how, and why?  The culture is interesting, too.  Same with Nan Madol.

Or maybe it would be fun to visit with my own ancestors, especially Sir Hugh De Alsop who came back from the Crusades and, at age 50, married an 18-year-old woman.  They had 24 children and lived at Alsop-en-le-Dale in Derbyshire.  It would sure be fun to go to a real live tournament and see the tilting.  No wonder the cowhands in the Old West were so tough—they had dozens of generations of hard knocks to make them that way.

Speaking of the Old West, my current series is called Hearts of Owyhee, and is set in Owyhee County, Idaho, where I grew up.  The county is large and takes up the entire southwest corner of Idaho, but is sparsely populated.  The first explorers of European descent were fur trappers, three of whom were lost there and never found, and so the area was named after their homeland, Hawaii (“Owyhee” is the original anglicized spelling).  Next came the Oregon Trail immigrants, but few stayed—most were headed for Willamette Valley in Oregon.  After that, you guessed it—gold!  But silver was the real boon.  In the 1860s, Miners flooded the Silver City area and they needed to eat, so we got ranchers and merchants, too.

Like the original immigrants to Owyhee County, I wanted to tap its resources as well—its rich history.  Very few people know anything about the area, or even that the place exists.  What a perfect setting for my own western historical romances!  (Visit my Owyhee County board on Pinterest.) So here are the books:

Book 1:  Much Ado About Marshals  MAAMarshals_230x350-72dpi

Daisy wants to be a detective just like dime novel heroine Honey Beaulieu. But her parents insist she marry. What better solution than to marry the new marshal!

Cole, on the lam for a botched bank robbery, is mistaken for the new marshal.  He faces a dilemma few men have to face—tell the truth and get hanged, or live a lie and end up married. Either way could cost him his freedom.

Available in Kindle or print.

MAAMadams_230x350-100dpiBook 2: Much Ado About Madams

A suffragist schoolteacher with a hidden past,

Six shopworn whores cooking up plans for a better future,

And a hunky cowhand who isn’t quite sure what to do with all these women…

Life isn’t always comfortable at The Comfort Palace!

Rogers’ talent shines as she creates a stunning portrait of what it was like to live in the old west. Her characters leap off the page and she handles humor with as much skill as she does the deeper emotions. MUCH ADO ABOUT MADAMS was a fabulous read. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the Hearts of Owyhee series. ~ Gerri Russell, author of Seducing the Knight

Available in Kindle or print.

MAAMavericks_230x350-72dpiBook #3: Much Ado About Mavericks

Benjamin Lawrence is a highly respected attorney in Boston, but in Idaho Territory, they still think of him as that gangly awkward boy named Skeeter. When he goes back home to settle his estate, he’s confronted with a ridiculous will that would be easy to overturn—but can he win the regard of his family and neighbors—and the foreman?

The Bar EL’s foreman, Janelle Kathryn aka J.K. aka Jake O’Keefe, is recognized as the best foreman in the territory. But being the best at her job still isn’t enough—now she has to teach the new owner how to rope, brand, and work cattle before she receives clear title to her own ranch, the Circle J. The last thing she expects is rustlers. Can she save her ranch without losing her heart?

Available in Kindle, soon to be in print.

See Jacquie’s other books all listed on her Amazon author page.

Contact info:

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Pinterest

Romancing The West * Blog

Melia, thank you so much for hosting me today.  You’re so much fun and your site is fabulous!

Thank you, Jacquie, for giving me a chance to paint my toenails this week.  😉 You know, what with the good weather and all, the toes have to look pretty!

– Melia

(P.S.  Jacquie reports that the Kindle version of Much Ado About Marshals is only 99¢ through this weekend!)

It Lives!

At the beginning of 2012, my goal was to sell three books to a publisher.  It was something I’d wanted soooo badly, that a 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. daily writing schedule (and practically every waking moment on weekends) was worth it.  To obtain that goal, I’d listed five different objectives, and to obtain those objectives, I’d listed three action plans.

So where am I now?  Have I reached my goal?


So how does a writer keep the dream alive?  How does a writer keep writing, keep slogging through the 4 a.m. wake-ups and the inevitable “when will your book be published” questions from well-meaning friends and family?

I’d be lying if I said it was like a piece of uber-rich, non-Paleo double fudge cake that I could eat without a second thought and without having to work out.  It isn’t that easy – ask any author wannabee.  But it’s doable.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  There are days when it’d be way easier to return to the normal world, a place where people don’t live in isolation – by choice – for extended periods of time.  Sometimes without a shower.  Oftentimes, with dregs from the pantry thrown together with the hopes of passing it off to the family as dinner.  (Anyone out there have creative ways of disguising canned tuna?)

So here are my strategies for continuing the writing journey.

1.  Must.  Have.  Chocolate.  It’s the perfect food to celebrate with as well as to commiserate with.  It’s perfect with coffee as well as a glass of Cab Sauv — not too many foods fit that category!  🙂

2.  Remember to focus on the joy.  Savor every moment when someone honestly praises your work.  After all, you’ve done something well.  (Yes, Hubmeister, I know you think I’m talented, you also think a microwaved cup of old coffee is a brilliant move on my part.)  At a recent RCRW meeting, author friend Delilah Marvelle reminded me of this.  I guess even a well-published author sometimes needs this reminder on occasion.

3.  Surround yourself with a posse.  Okay, maybe not the gun-toting kind.  (Sorry, Jacquie Rogers!)  But the writer-kind.  You know, the ones who remind you, gently or otherwise, that you’re a writer.

4.  Give back a little.  As in, help fellow writers whenever possible.  Help with plotting a book, critique some pages, or just be there to bounce an idea off of.  In this crazy business, we learn from each other when we do things for each other.  At least, I do.

5.  Exercise.  It’s no secret that physical movement helps stimulate brain activity.  Okay, okay, I made that up – but doesn’t it sound right?  For me, after sitting for long periods of time, my body tells me it has to move.  And once I do, returning to the keyboard is easier, and sometimes whatever story issue I’ve had is also easier to resolve.

Sometimes when I gaze out into the world where normal people live and am tempted to join them, I always come to one conclusion: If I gave up writing and became “one of them” I’d ultimately regret giving up.  Not doing that.

I’m a writer.  Writers write.  Writing keeps my world sane, even as I continue to learn craft and fine-tune my process.  And, yes, even when I’m working with a story that has to be gutted with a chainsaw instead of a surgeon’s scalpel.  In those cases, it’s a love-hate thing by the time the manuscript is completed, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

On the bright side, the end of 2012 found me further along on the path to publication than I’ve ever been – editors have shown greater interest in my manuscripts.  Perhaps there will be something really cool to share one day soon.  Perhaps.

Until then, I gotta keep moving, gotta keep punching keys and remember that I’m a writer and that writers write.  It’s my job.