10 July 2011

Guest Blog: Jacquie Rogers

This week, we welcome author Jacquie Rogers who has just released her new novel, Much Ado About Marshals through Melange Publishing. It's available on Amazon in Kindle and on Smashwords in all formats, and will be available in trade paperback August 15. At the end of the interview, there's a chance to win a free book.

Back cover copy for
Much Ado About Marshals

Daisy Gardner wants to be a detective, just like her favorite dime novel heroine, Honey Beaulieu. But Daisy's parents insist she marry soon, and to a farmer, heaven forbid! So she devises a brilliant solution--to marry the new marshal and become his number one detective. Only one problem: the new marshal isn't the faintest bit interested in marrying her.

Cole Richards is loyal, honest, and forthright. But thanks to his good buddy, Bosco, Cole is stuck in a lie borne of good intentions. If he doesn't go along with the people of Oreana's assumption that he's their new marshal, he and Bosco could be honored guests at a necktie party . . . and worse, a certain lady detective has marriage on her mind.

Why did you set this book in Idaho rather than in the usual western locations?
I grew up reading westerns set mostly in Texas, Wyoming, or Montana, but I also read a lot of history.  Since I lived in Idaho, that meant Idaho history.  One thing that always puzzled me was why such a huge part of the western United States was ignored by fiction.  Arizona and New Mexico get a fair share, and a few stories are set in Nevada.  There are good stories to be told in California, Oregon, and Washington State.  Idaho and Utah are even more rarely mentioned.  I needed a town that was just getting established, one that needed a new city marshal.  Oreana, in Owyhee County, Idaho Territory, fit the bill.

Did you make up the town or did you include actual buildings?
I made up most of the town but one building, Gardner's Mercantile, was a general store there.  It's now Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.  It's a sturdy stone structure built in 1888 by John Pierson and Jim Kelly for the Grayson-Hyde outfit (ranchers) as a mercantile to serve the local area.  They also built a saloon across the street.  The building was empty for many decades until its conversion to a church in 1961.

You use dime novels in Much Ado About Marshals.  Is the Honey Beaulieu detective series real or made up?
Totally fabricated.  My friend, Judith Laik, and I were brainstorming because we knew the main character, Daisy, was a bookworm.  Earlier I'd said that the pacing was like the movie Cat Ballou, and Judy came up with a lady detective called Honey Beaulieu.  It was one of those perfect ideas that actually works.  So then of course I had to have a book cover.  To lend authenticity, I took an old Beadle's cover, one of the very few I could find with a woman in a dominant position, and created the Honey Beaulieu cover from it. 

About the cover--who is the cover model?  Tell us about the cover design and book video.
The model is, Kyle Walker.  He's a construction worker, not a cowboy, but he's a good sport and I thought he filled his chaps well. :)  Melange allowed me complete creative control over the design of the cover so I did the photoshoot myself, and Deborah Macgillivray did the cover design.  She's created over 200 covers and is extremely talented as a designer as well as an author.  As for the book video, I used pictures of Kyle from the same shoot, but of course I didn't have a heroine so I had to get creative with graphics for Daisy.  Oh, and Kyle has consented to an interview.  When that's done, it'll be posted on the Much Ado About Marshals page of my website.

The print book will be illustrated.  Who are the artists?
The artists are my son's best friends, David Angell and Peter Baker.  I'd seen their drawings when they were in high school and knew they were very talented.  Originally, I asked David to draw a backdrop so I could shoot the video for my book trailer, and he did such a wonderful job that I asked him to illustrate my book.  He then called Peter to the project, and together they drew some outstanding illustrations that will be included in the print book, which will be released in August.  I think the prints of the illustrations will be available by early autumn.

What other books do you have out now?
Nail It! The Secret to Building an Effective Fiction Writer's Platform, Level 1: Laying the Foundation, is currently available at Amazon and Smashwords.  I co-wrote this book and another: Growing Your Audience: A Workbook for Published, Unpublished, and Under-published Writers with Ann Charles.  The audience book will be available by the end of the month (we hope).  For fiction, Faery Merry Christmas came out in print last week, your you can buy it on Kindle.  And there's more to come, but fiction and non-fiction.

Where can we find you?
Website: http://www.jacquierogers.com/
Romancing The West: http://romancingthewest.blogspot.com/
1st Turning Point: http://1stturningpoint.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jacquierogers
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jacquie-Rogers/18676302690

Thanks so much for having me here on Unusual Historicals.  This is one of my very favorite blogs!  I'd love to give one commenter a free digital copy of Much Ado About Marshals.  Please remember to include your email address in your comment, so I can get in touch with you in case you win!