04 May 2008

Book Party: Jacquie Rogers

This week we're talking with long-time Unusual Historicals contributor Jacquie Rogers about her anthology Faery Special Romances. Let's welcome Jacquie, and make sure to look for the contest goodies below!


Once Upon A Time, the faery princess Keely tried to match...

...a misguided faery maiden and a surly but handsome knight, the pirate Devlin Angell and the ever-hopeful Myra, a faery under the ruse of Lord Kembell and a lady of noble birth, a blacksmith and a duchess, a flapper and a barnstormer pilot...

But can Keely keep her own heart?

With faery magic, anything can happen!

This enchanted carpet-ride features ten romantic faery tales, ten happy couples, and a journey through history with Keely, who grows from a kindergartener to a beautiful young faery woman.

Faery Special Romances--that's one title that fulfilled its promise because the romances really are special. How did you get the idea of this book come about?

I had written a short story for No Law Against Love, an anthology to benefit breast cancer research. My story is titled "Faery Good Advice" and stars Keely, a faery princess. For some reason, this character just took off. She ended up with her own blog, a myspace page, a Bebo page, her own network at ning called Faery World, a contest and news list, and most of all, readers asking for more faery stories. My publisher asked me to write a single-author anthology featuring Keely. This all went to her head, especially when she was presented with a Hollywood Star:

Keely is such a fun character. Does she come from someone you know?

Normally, I do a considerable amount of character work before I ever write a word of the manuscript, but Keely came to me fully formed. She has the can-do sunshine of my daughter, Mercedes; the energy and humor of my daughter, Moriah; and the self-righteous matchmaking of Jane Austen's Emma. Put all together, and she's a unique character all of her own.

Keely first showed up in "Faery Good Advice," a story in the No Law Against Love anthology, the profits of which went to breast cancer research. And you are donating the profits from Faery Special Romances to research to cure Neurofibromatosis. What led you to make such a gesture?

I had always intended to donate the royalties of my book to neurofibromatosis research because my daughter, Mercedes, and my granddaughter have this painful, disfiguring genetic disorder, but I'd planned to donate anonymously. When I told my daughter what I planned to do, she flat-out said, "No, your most important contribution is to spread neurofibromatosis awareness, and you can't do that if you're anonymous." So she laid out a marketing plan and is now my publicist. We're working with the Children's Tumor Foundation, a wonderful organization that promotes research on both the clinical and laboratory levels. CTF gives us hope that our children will someday be able to lead pain-free lives.

Faery Special Romances features ten stories, each set in a different time period, from medieval all the way to modern. Your research must have taken a lot of work. Can you talk a little about how you approached the research?

To get a feel for the period, I want to know three things: how they dressed, how they conducted their daily lives, and how they used slang. Once I feel comfortable with those areas, I research the specific geographical setting and the particular vocations of the main characters, as well as the political climate. Not one of my friends escaped without me grilling them on their area of expertise, you can bet. I also read at least one reference book for each story.

Each story took a solid week (translation: 60+ hours) of research, and I hope each story transports the reader to experience a new time and place during each major period of history, and into the future. While I admit to doing a considerable amount of moaning and groaning about it all, I absolutely love research. My problem though, is that I find too many interesting items and sometimes find myself far afield from my topic. Research is also the best tool I know of for procrastinating instead of writing. Ouch.

Tell us about your next book. Is it also an anthology of short stories?

Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues is a fun and exciting short contemporary western with a touch of woowoo. The rodeo clown: Brody Alexander wants the thrill of bullfighting and the wind at his feet. The actuary: Rita Markum doesn't want anything to do with a busted up cowboy--and odds are, Brody will be. The mule: Socrates understands humans. And love. Even if stubborn humans don't. Will he succeed in his matchmaking endeavor? Will there be Brodiettes?

I'm excited because the fabulous musician/songwriter Justin Saragueta wrote a song for the Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues book video and I love it! I'm hoping to have the video ready by mid-June.

Anything you'd like to add?

Yes, it's contest time!!! Comment on this blog article and you'll be eligible to win a signed copy of Faery Special Romances, along with a few other goodies, including Faery Good Bath Salts (marvelous!!!), a tile coaster, and a Princess Keely pen. Good luck!

Princess Keely, Star of Faery Special RomancesDown Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues

Myspace *** Bebo *** Faery World

Faery Special Romances *** See the book video
Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Coming soon: Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues