About 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 has just launched a new off-beat western series, Honey Beaulieu – Man Hunter, also writes for Western Fictioneers’ Wolf Creek series under the house name of Ford Fargo, and pens romantic short stories for both Prairie Rose Publications. She currently lives in Seattle with her IT Guy. Jacquie is a member of Western Fictioneers and several writers’ groups. She teaches classes in both writing craft and research topics.
What inspires you to write?
That’s a question that always puzzles me and I’ve thought a lot about it. Most authors will tell you they started writing stories as soon as they could hold a crayon. I didn’t have the faintest desire to write until I dreamed a book when my kids where in high school, so I got a late start. But once the bug bit me, there was no turning back. Ideas flooded in, and everywhere I go, more ideas happen. I might see a girl and her dog in the park–is the girl happy or sad? Is the dog her confidant? There’s a story there. Or maybe I’ll overhear a snippet of conversation at a restaurant. It doesn’t have to be much and would probably be insignificant to most others, but those few words could trigger a scene in the Old West. Lots of these experiences end up in my books, as well as my own younger life growing up on a farm in Owyhee County, Idaho. I guess the answer is that just about anything–happy, sad, befuddling, silly, scary, or even mundane–is fodder for inspiration and new ideas. The brain never shuts off until the last breath.
Tell us about your writing process.
I chart, then I write by the seat of my pants to get from one point of the chart to the next. All I need is a destination and then my characters can figure out how to get there. I usually draw a map on my whiteboard, too, and make a calendar for my timeline. Lately, I’ve been using OneNote to keep track of my cast of characters and research materials.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Constantly, even when I don’t want to think about my current story. The characters chatter away, and it seems as if they talk the most when I’m folding laundry or doing some other chore not writing related. Yes, I listen and often I talk back to them. This confuses my IT Guy to no end, because a good share of the time I’m not even aware I said something out loud.
What advice would you give other writers?
On writing–read, read, read. That’s the best way to learn point of view and plotting. Read fiction in your genre, read writing craft articles, and read marketing articles. Then practice. You can’t get good if you don’t write. A LOT. On the business side, I’m all for going with a small press for your first publishing experience, but be very cautious. Ask other writers which companies have given them a good experience. If you self-publish, never skip having your work professionally edited and please hire a professional cover designer.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Every book has a different story. What it boils down to is that each series/book has its own needs. Prairie Rose Publications publishes quite a few of my short stories and novellas. I chose them (we chose each other, actually) because it’s owned by two honest hardworking women that are goodhearted and love books. Both are also very talented writers. My Hearts of Owyhee series was originally with another small press, but I’ve now self-published them so I can manipulate price and distribution. My new series, Honey Beaulieu – Man Hunter, is self-published for two reasons: 1) I wanted total creative control; and 2) I wanted the freedom to put the books on sale, or even try Kindle Unlimited if I chose. That series is a many-genre blend so I need to be able to run light.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Right now, we’re in the midst of the Wild West of publishing. Anything goes. Anyone can publish. This has brought some real advantages for readers because now we can buy whatever we want, not what a dozen executives in New York tell us we want. I don’t see actual ebook reading slowing down any. I do see ebook hoarding slowing down, though. The trick is to get people to actually read the book. Many of us who have self-published (now called “indie-pubbed,” which was reserved for small independent publishers just a few years ago), thoroughly enjoy having creative and marketing control. The larger publishers have to make a lot of promises to lure us back, and carry through with those promises to keep us. So I see self-publishing and small press thriving for the next few years for those who have well-edited books with quality covers. At some point, the large publishers might figure out what’s happening and make a move, but so far they’re maintaining status quo, which doesn’t cut the mustard in today’s publishing atmosphere. I think self-publishing is here to stay.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Western (both traditional and non-traditional), western historical romance, fantasy western romance, fantasy, fantasy romance, contemporary western romance
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.