Monday, June 30, 2014

Jacquie Rogers

                                                      Please welcome, Jacquie Rogers.

Jacquie Rogers is a former software designer, campaign manager, deli clerk, and cow milker.  She grew up on a dairy farm outside of Homedale, Idaho, in Owyhee County and rode horseback all over the hills where her Hearts of Owyhee series is set, encountering adventures both real and imagined.  She also writes for the Wolf Creek series under the house name of Ford Fargo, and pens short stories for both Prairie Rose Publications and Western Fictioneers.  She currently lives in Seattle with her IT Guy.  Their home is ruled by The Cat Annie, a feral rescue, who enjoys tromping on the keyboard in the midst of action or love scenes.  Jacquie is a member of Romance Writers of America and Western Fictioneers, teaches classes in both writing craft and research topics.


Pickle Barrel Gazette:





What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done? 


Jacquie: White water rafting on the Salmon River near Stanley, Idaho.  It was the first trip of the season for the rafting guides, and the water ran high—the rapids were right at the limit.  Our trip went so quickly because of the fast water, they offered to take us down the river again, which we enthusiastically accepted.  “Wet trip or dry trip?” the boatman joked.  Didn’t matter, because we got the wet trip.  “Climb the high side!” the boatman yelled just as she took a dunking.  In the midst of high rapids called Piece of Cake, my husband righted the boat, then fished me, the oars, and the boatman out of the water.  It was a blast!


What adventure would you like to have that you haven’t done yet if money and skill were no problem?


Jacquie: I’d like to go on an African safari.


Who are some of your favorite authors?  What commonality do you see in them? 


Jacquie: I don’t see any commonality with any other author’s writing or style, but I do have many, many must-read authors.  Because I’m name-challenged and because I’d forget someone, I’ll just say that Mary Renault’s books captivated me in college and I’ve read all of them except the last one, which I keep saving because she passed away and I know there aren’t any more.


I believe color says something about a person’s personality.  What’s your favorite color?


Jacquie: I like a rainbow of colors—love colorful things but especially the primary colors.  I guess if I have to pick just one, it would be red.


If you could have a do-over life, what one thing would you do differently?  What would you do again?


Jacquie: Continue competitive shooting and not cut off my career that I didn’t know I had (very naïve then) as a professional photographer.  I’d do both of those things again.


What is your writing process from conception to finished MS?


Jacquie: It’s different for every book and short story.  Every time I think I have this gig figured out, the next story throws me a curve.  The one consistency is that I have to know the characters front to finish before I start writing.  I start out with a picture in my mind of a scenario with one character, and I develop from there.  First thing is to get to know that character, then learn about the other characters that come along with that one, especially the other protagonist.  Then I do the same thing with the villain.  Autobiographies and life calendars help.  After that, I map out the bones of the story. 


Sometimes I plot more than other times—at no time have I ever followed this, but I have to have a destination.  Then it’s grind, grind, grind—stopping and starting again.  The key is to keep at it.  It ain’t easy.  After the first draft is done, I listen to it on my Kindle using text-to-speech, then send to my beta readers.  I make corrections, then submit to my editor.


Are you a planner, pantser or both?


Jacquie: Yes.  Sometimes I plan, sometimes I fly by the seat of my pants, sometimes it’s a mixture of both.


How did you research for your book?


Jacquie:  Not sure how to answer this.  I use a variety of sources.  Google is my friend.  But speaking of friends, I have a bunch of them that are in the know and can either answer my questions or send me to the source.  For Silver City and Owyhee County (Idaho) where most of my stories are set, I use the Idaho State Archives, The Owyhee Avalanche, local lore, and I also spend time there.


What is your all-time favorite movie?  TV show?


Jacquie: I love musicals: Mamma Mia, Music Man, Wizard of Oz all come to mind.  I also love westerns—The Apple Dumpling Gang, Broken Trail, Lonesome Dove, and Shanghai Noon.  And a couple dozen more.  TV?  Haven’t watched it for years because I can’t abide the commercials, but I did watch Firefly on DVD and loved it.  Mostly, I watch Mariners baseball and that’s it.  I’m in my office writing or marketing.


How important do feel writing workshops are to any writer?


Jacquie: When I started writing, I attended a bazillion workshops and they were very beneficial.  The most important thing I learned was that my process is my own—but my process evolved from learning how others create stories.  Take what you need and store the rest for later.


If you could learn one new skill, fear and money no deterrent, what would it be?


Jacquie:  What a hard question!  The reason it’s hard is because there are so many things I’d like to do.  My deterrent is generally not fear, oftentimes money, but nearly always ability.  For instance, I’d love to play the piano well, but I don’t have the coordination.  I always wanted to play the tuba—never tried it. Would love to paint.  Many of my family members are beautiful artists, but I can’t draw a stick man.  The talent gene seems to have passed me by.


If you had a million dollars to donate to any one charity, what would it be?


Jacquie: Children’s Tumor Foundation, Ending Neurofibromatosis Through Research. My oldest daughter has NF1 by spontaneous mutation (1/3 of all new cases are spontaneous mutation) but all children have a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder.  In our case, both her daughters also have NF1.  It’s a wicked disorder—disfiguring can be life-threatening.  It also causes learning difficulties and emotional issues.  Most doctors are pathetically misinformed about neurofibromatosis even though the information is readily available, so recommended treatment plans go unheeded.  See my page of NF heroes:


What advice would you like to give to an aspiring writer?


Jacquie: Be yourself and let down your hair.  You have to be bold and not worry about whether others will like your work.  Do you like it?  Then you’ve succeeded.


Did anyone mentor you or help you along the way?  Please tell us about your mentor and what you feel they contributed to your writing career.


Jacquie: A whole slew of people!  I have a wonderful critique group—Sherry Walker, Wendy Delaney, and Ann Charles.  Stella Cameron and Karen Harbaugh were strong influences and helped me a lot, as did Gerri Russell, Judith Laik, Eilis Flynn, and Heather Hiestand.  There are a bunch more that I could list.


What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?


Jacquie: Listen to advice and save it for later.


If you could live anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would it be? (Language is no barrier)


Jacquie: French Polynesia sounds good.  I visited Guam and loved it—my tropical island girl’s heart wars with my country girl’s heart. 


Where do you write? 


Jacquie: Mostly in my office.  I’m not all that portable of a writer because I need a 55” monitor.  They don’t make laptops with 55” monitors.


How much time do you devote to writing each week?  Do you have a day every week that you take off?


Jacquie: I write whenever I have a chance, and my publishing schedule this year doesn’t allow for many days off.  Some days I write an hour, some days I write 20 hours.  I don’t have a writing schedule, but the closer to deadline it is, the more hours I put in.  Yes, I should plan that better.


What is a genre that you have not attempted that you would like to try?


Jacquie: YA fantasy.  I have the beginning of one book but haven’t been able to get back to it because of my other commitments.


Is there anything you would like readers to know about you?


Jacquie: A lot of my stories come from family experience in Owyhee County.  I grew up on a dairy farm but I sure wanted it to be a ranch instead.  We bulldogged, rode our horses all over the place, and in general had a good time between chores that would be illegal for us to do today—bucking bales, loading grain trucks, etc.  I learned to cook and shoot before I went to first grade and to drive when I was eight.  Life sure is different in the city!


Thank you so much for hosting me on The Romance Room blog today, Sarah.  For visitors, I’d like to give one commenter a copy of Sleight of Heart, a fun book featuring Burke O’Shaughnessy, a happy-go-lucky gambler, and Lexie Campbell, a by-the-book spinster.  Both have to find Burke’s elusive brother.  Neither are happy that the other is tagging along.  The book is set in 1883 Colorado, mostly on the trains.


Eilis Flynn, author of Static Shock, wrote: ”I have a weakness for clever. Clever story, clever situation, clever characters. And if it’s in the form of a romance? Love it. I knew I was going to like this pretty much from when I read the situation: Misinterpreted situations, good intentions, characters who aren’t who they say they are – it’s downright Shakespearean, if you think of it. Anyway, Jacquie Rogers has come up with a winner!”



Sleight of Heart

by Jacquie Rogers


Log line: A gambler, a spinster, and a fortune!



Sleight of hand? or Sleight of Heart?


A Straight-Laced Spinster

Lexie Campbell, more comfortable with neat and tidy numbers than messy emotions, is determined find the sharper who ruined her little sister and make him marry her. When his lookalike brother Burke appears, she greets him with a rifle and forces him to help her. Can she resist his magic charm?


A Gambler With Magic Hands

To claim the family fortune, smooth-dealing Burke O'Shaughnessy has to find his brother Patrick, despite being saddled with an angry spinster. But when Lexie shows an astounding talent for counting cards and calculating odds, he figures she might be useful after all. Can he draw the queen of hearts?


"... a fun and fast paced read with a charming and sexy hero!" ~Jennifer Haddad



Sleight of Heart

Copyright © 2013 Jacquie Rogers


Burke gathered her to his chest.  His hardness pressed against her thigh and she yearned to touch his flesh, to feel what a woman should feel.  But no, only a wanton woman would consider letting a man of his profession take such liberties.  She had to admit, she did consider. 

He nuzzled her neck.  “Lexie-girl, let me love you.” 

Her breath caught as she briefly considered letting him have his way with her, but then she came to her senses.  “I hardly equate taking unwanted liberties with love,” she said aloud.  Her outward righteous indignation didn’t match her inner yearning.  In fact, nothing she’d ever felt could match her desire for Burke’s closeness.  She wanted more.  Much, much more.

“Just a kiss, Lexie-girl.”  His husky voice sent a thrill through her.  Her!  Alexandra Campbell, the pathetic girl who had kept track of her classmates by assigning them numbers since she could never remember their names.  And they all made fun of her brains, when they weren’t ignoring her.  Who could forget the disastrous date with number fifty-seven?

Burke nipped at her ear, bringing her into the present.  Her throat tightened and she felt warm all over.

“Look at me, Lexie.”

Under no circumstances could she let him know how pleased she was that a man who could lie with nearly any woman he wanted would pick her.  “I can’t, you lummox.  You’re lying on my hair.”  She sniffed most righteously, hoping her desire for him didn’t show.  “Kindly let me rise, good sir.”

He sat up and groaned, whether from a hangover or his injuries, she couldn’t speculate.  Nor did she have a chance to inquire, for in the next moment his body covered her and he touched her lips with his.

“Maybe you should find out just how good I really am.”  His voice rumbled low and sensuous.

Remember, to win this book, you must leave a comment along with your email address.



TracyG said...

Great interview, Jacquie! Wasn't Firefly fun? My dh had to hogtie me to the chair to get me to watch, but it took less than 1/2 an episode for me to be hooked. lol

I'm looking forward to your next release!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I envy the life you've had riding horses on a farm--not necessarily milking cows though.
White water rafting really sounds like fun. I had to laugh at the part where it was your husband who had to snatch up people and oars from the water.
I really hope you write that YA fantasy. Fantasy is a special love of mine and you would write a great one.
Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you. It was so much fun reading your answers.

Unknown said...

I thought you made up Owy-hee County. I sounds like something you could create so it suits you to a T.
From the beginning of knowing you--or about you--I loved your sense of humor. Some people are naturally born with your style, and it's very appealing and arresting.
Mercedes is your daughter...right? If so, I remember when she got married and how excited and happy everyone was.
I'd not heard of the disorder--learned all about it from you. I went to your website and read about the heroes--all these men and women had a rougher life than most, and most of all I admire your strength and positive attitude for Mercedes. I remember she reviewed websites, and I looked at every one. I was afraid to submit mine, because I learned from her that I made many errors! Although I didn't correct all, I did learn a few things even a techo-idiot like me could do.
Congratulations on all your books.

Cheryl Pierson said...

OH...DEAR...Yes, Burke, I would be more than happy to find out just how good you really are...What a great excerpt! I have this on my kindle but have not had a chance to read it yet, Jacquie. But SOON, because I know I'm going to just love it.

My kids got me hooked on Firefly. I bought each of them the boxed series for Christmas one year, along with the movie "Serenity" to complete it all.

I have said before, I admire your writing style--humor is something that is so hard to do and make it "work" in a romance, but you always manage to do it just right. You have a wonderful writing style that is so unique.

I'm always looking forward to the next short story for the PRP anthologies! You've sure written some very memorable ones, with some unforgettable characters.

Hugs, Jacquie!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Tracy, Firefly sounded good to me but I kept putting off watching it because I didn't think I had the time. We ended up watching the entire season and the movie in one weekend. Yes, we had plans. No, not one thing got done. LOL

Jacquie Rogers said...

Sarah, thank so much for inviting me to The Romance Room's blog today. You're such a sweetheart! When your not being ornery, that is. LOL. About the cows--my sentiments exactly. Never did enjoy milking cows and I don't know why anyone would do it willingly. :)

As for that YA Fantasy, I just need to clear the deck--way too many projects are in the way of trying something new. But I'm gonna do it!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Celia, Owyhee is the original anglicized spelling of Hawaii. The county is named Owyhee because around 1820, some Hawaiian fur trappers were lost there, and never found. So that's how a high-mountain desert came to have a tropical island name. :)

Yes, Mercedes is my daughter. She has such a sunny outlook and I'm very proud of her. About her website reviews--some of them surprised me. We wanted reviewers who didn't know a thing about writing or website design and were typical of the avid reader. What does a reader want to see? So that's her perspective and I found it educational and interesting.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Cheryl, I figure my skewed perspective of love and life might as well be fiction. LOL. Thanks for the kind words.

As for Burke, well, I feel in love with him before the end of the first paragraph. Sometimes heroes are like that. He has many layers but does his best to appear footloose and fancy free. Lexie is definitely his downfall, though. :)

Jacquie Rogers said...

Um, that should be FELL in love... sheesh.

Alisab8888 said...

What an awesome and fun interview!

Unknown said...

Hey -- feel works. ;-)

Sorry I'm so late chiming in, Trail Boss. What a great interview. You're such an open, "transparent" (buzzword -- ick!) person, I keep thinking there's not much we don't know about you, but you continue to surprise me. :-D

Like the Okie, I love your style, your writer's voice, and your humor. Oh -- and your heroes! I can haz Burke? Please?

I'm waiting to see what animals sneak into your next story and steal the show. Let's see...chickens, mules, more chickens, goats, even MORE chickens... Next time, I think you need a muskrat. ;-)


Unknown said...

Oops! Left out the piglets. I knew I was leaving out something.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Alisa, thanks for stopping by! I think I owe you a book from the Fandango, don't I?

Jacquie Rogers said...

Tex, I'm kinda selfish with Burke. LOL. And you're too kind--kind of incorrigible, that is. LOL. We sure had fun at the Fandango, though.

The piglets are happy that you finally remembered them. But note from author--no muskrats. Captain and Tenille can keep them.

Kristy McCaffrey said...

Hi Jacquie,
So great to get to know you better. You're very supportive to other writers and I've always greatly admired that about you. I'm reading your marketing book right now, and it's so simple, yet I'm finally getting it. Target audience...yes. You've helped me realize how much I've been shooting in the dark when it comes to promotion.

And when you go on that African safari, don't mind me when I tag along. I can only imagine the story you'd write with elephants and lions. :-)

Take care!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Kristy, I'm glad Growing Your Audience is helping. It sure takes a lot of time and effort, but it's worth is.

I think the PRP authors should book an African safari. :) We'd have a blast.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Kristy, I'm glad Growing Your Audience is helping. It sure takes a lot of time and effort, but it's worth is.

I think the PRP authors should book an African safari. :) We'd have a blast.

Kirsten Lynn said...

Sorry I'm late getting here, life interrupted.

Great interview, Jacquie! French Polynesia, Wow, that's a long way from the farm.

Renaissance Women said...

Jacquie, I love your work and if I had my druthers, I would be a nightowl and get more writing done. Still, I can enjoy what you write and I do. Even my boss loved "Willow, Wish for Me".

Thanks for a great interview. And by the way I didn't start driving until 13 dang. Doris

Jacquie Rogers said...

Kirsten, yep wannabe island girl here. Surely they have farms in French Polynesia. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tanya Hanson said...

So,sorry to get here so late, Jacqiie. I sure enjoyed this interview. We have friends who lived in Homedale for a while. I reckon you and I will have to go on an African safari together ...that's my choice too. I'm so jealous of you growing up in a far,with horses . Love your Owyhee books.. Xo

Jacquie Rogers said...

Doris, did you drive to Driver's Training, too? Nearly everyone in our area did because we all knew how to drive and our parents were too busy farming. I remember when I drove to get my first license. The Owyhee County sheriff drove up at the same time. He asked me what I was doing and I told him. "It's about time," he said. :)

I'm so glad you enjoyed Willow, Wish For Me. If you like mule stories, you might like Socrates in Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues.

Kaye Spencer said...


I didn't discover Firefly until well after its cancellation, but I have the 'set' and I watch it frequently. Such a shame it didn't run for several years.

Here's a YouTube link to a Serenity montage set to Marty Robbins' Big Iron.

Every time I read one of you interviews, I learn something new and fascinating about you. :-) Thank you for that.

Linda Hubalek said...

Great interview Jacquie. Always fun to read about the life of other authors. My horses growing up were Cricket and Grasshopper so thanks for making me thing of them today. And squirting milk at the cats when milking our cow...:)