05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Monday, March 6, 2017

Changing seasons of my writing life by Paty Jager

This month on Romancing the Genres is about Changing Seasons and Anthologies.

If you read the Saturday blog here, you know I wrote about anthologies. What to look for when you are asked to be in one and how to approach writing for one.

Today, I'm writing about changing seasons. I'm not talking about winter, spring, summer, or fall. This is the change in seasons I've discovered in my writing.

When I started out, I wanted to write mysteries. If you've been a follower of this blog you know I had trouble finding the help I needed to perfect my craft. I switched to romance and had a wonderful time writing steamy historical western romance books. The Halsey Brothers Series is still a favorite with my readers.

I tried to write to a trend. I'd heard editors at a conference say they wanted historical paranormal romance. Unfortunately, they didn't want Native American historical paranormal romance which is what I came up with. Luckily, the small press I was with at the time didn't care it was hard to categorize. They just loved the trilogy.

The self-publish wave grew and crashed through the barriers that made it hard for an author like me, who didn't write stories easily tagged. Author friends who were already self-published prodded me to join them.  I finally took the plunge and I'm happy I did.

With the power to write whatever I wanted, I wrote an action adventure trilogy with a female MacGyver/Indiana Jones character. I loved writing them and the readers who have picked them up have enjoyed them. The first book won an award. But I either haven't promoted them right or the covers aren't a good portrayal because I'm lucky if I sell one of those a month. This is when I wonder if self-publishing was a good choice.  Maybe an editor or publisher would have known where to market the books, but then again, Maybe I need to promote them as Romantic Suspense rather than Action Adventure. And change up the covers. That is on my to-do list for this year.

My historical western fans weren't happy with the stand alone westerns, so I came up with a few more Halsey books. Halsey Homecoming trilogy involves the younger people who came into the Halsey family through marriages.

However, my desire to write mysteries came back and I became determined this time, I would come up with a series and I would write it and self-publish. The Shandra Higheagle Mystery series has been a joy to write and it is my best selling series. There is a bit of paranormal as her deceased Nez Perce grandmother comes to the amateur sleuth, Shandra Higheagle, in dreams giving her clues to help her solve the murders. And she has a love interest in the County Detective, Ryan Greer. There are wonderful quirky characters, a big cowardly dog, a cat that thinks its a fur collar and horses. All set at and around a fictional ski resort on a mountain in Idaho.

And now, I've come up with a wonderful new historical western series that I hope my readers will enjoy reading as much as I am plotting and making up characters. It will be: The Ladies of the Silver Dollar Saloon. With a handsome saloon owner who has saloon girls who sing and dance and entice the men to buy more drinks. They, however, are not to bed any of the clientele. He doesn't run a brothel.

And that is how the seasons of change have come to my writing life.


Kristin Holt said...

Thanks for sharing your personal changing seasons in your writing, Paty. I find self disclosures like these fascinating. Best wishes to you as your back list grows and grows!

Paty Jager said...

Hi Kristin, Thank you! When I look at the books I've written and see which were the most fun to write and which are actually selling it makes me wonder at what I like and what my readers like.

Barb said...

Wow, you gave me hope. This is such a slow process and it has so many roadblocks.

Diana McCollum said...

Having read some books from all your genres I can say you are truly a prolific and great writer. I've always enjoyed your books. You have an awesome back list. Happy writing!

Paty Jager said...

Hi Barb, It is a long process with roadblocks. But if you have the stories in you, they have to come out. Good luck!

Hi Diana, Thanks!