[Note from Jessa: Amok on Mondays is my semi-regular visit with writer friends. Paty Jager interests me because she seems like a nice lady, and then you find out she runs a ranch and studies varmint killing and has a secret fantastical side. I love when that happens. Read on to learn more about Paty and her stories.]
Which is your favorite myth, legend, urban legend, Aesop fable, fairy tale, or superhero, and why?
My favorite legend is one I heard while growing up about the lake over the ravine from where we lived. Wallowa Lake was one of the summer camps of the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce. The legend has been told to anyone visiting the lake that an antlered or horned beast lived in the lake. This always intrigued me and also hearing that there was a spot in the lake that had no bottom gave a young mind many scary scenarios. As an adult, I used my curiosity about this legend and learned that the Nez Perce believed an antlered creature lived in the lake. Someone one winter, witnessed antlers sticking through the ice(which was probably a poor elk who wandered onto the ice and fell through) and the legend began about an antlered creature who lived in the lake and when a child was bad the creature would come out during the night and take the child from their bed, never to be seen again. It was one of the legends the Nez Perce used to keep their children well- behaved. I think the reason it’s my favorite comes partly because it is about the area where I grew up and being a Nez Perce legend more mystery and intrigue surround it for me than with superheroes and the usual fable or fairy tale.
Which Disney princess are you most like? Or least like? Personalities aside, whose hair would you want?
I would say I’m most like Belle. I love to read, don’t care for fancy stuff, and I married a beast. ;0) Kidding, though he is getting hairier and hairier as he ages… It’s a tossup between Ariel’s wavy red locks and Pocahontas’ long, straight, black strands.
Which romantic lead tropes do you find yourself returning to in your stories?
The hero has to have a sense of humor and be humble, yet strong of character. I’ve never liked the cocky, think their “God’s gift” type of guy. And the heroine is always emotionally strong and independent. Someone who can survive on her own if she wanted.
When did you realize you were a writer? What was your inciting incident?
In high school. We had an assignment to write about a character in history from their point of view. I wrote about Joan of Arc burning at the stake. How she believed in what she was doing to the end. The teacher read my story to the class. When she finished there wasn’t a sound in the room. Not even the class clown made a sound. That’s when I realized I had the power to capture people with my writing.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you do with all that free time?
Paint or make crafts to sell.
Not including the obvious (guns, knives, etc.) which object nearest you would make a suitable weapon in the event of a zombie-ninja-robot invasion?
My pointed, acrylic EPPIE award on my desk. If it’s not heavy enough to knock them upside the head, I can try to poke an eye out with the point, or throw it like a spear and hope it travels straight.
What do you like best about your current work, published or not?
I love my characters, Doctor Isabella Mumphrey and DEA agent Augustino Konstantine. They are so different yet complement each other so well and they find the most interesting adventures.
Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently ranch 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children and grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
You can learn more about Paty at her blog, www.patyjager.blogspot.com; her website, http://www.patyjager.net; or on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager and Twitter, @patyjag.
SECRETS OF A MAYAN MOON
An Isabella Mumphrey Adventure
Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.
DEA agent Tino Kosta is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle…
* * *
She deposited her backpack on the floor at her feet. The horn handle of a twelve inch Guatemalan blade protruded from the side pocket. Tino’s curiosity spiked another notch.
“I have a reservation. Dr. Isabella Mumphrey.”
Tino snapped the paper down and stared even harder at the woman. This was the frumpy, old anthropologist he was to guide? His gaze scanned the length of her one more time while tuning in the conversation.
“Ahh, Dr. Mumphrey, Dr. Martin said you were to get the finest room, no?” The clerk acted like a simpering fool giving the doctor her key and expounding on all the wonders of the hotel.
“Gracias. May I borrow a paper and pencil? I need to make a list for the taxi driver.”
The clerk handed her the items. She stepped to the side of the counter and began writing.
Why would she make a list for a taxi driver? Curious, Tino folded the paper and strolled to a spot beside her. So intent on her list, she didn’t even acknowledge his presence as he leaned, reading the items. Army knife, candle, braided fishing line, hooks, swivels, 24 gauge snare wire…
“You are planning a trip into the jungle, no?”
She started at his voice. Deep green eyes rimmed in gold stared at him from behind wire-rimmed lenses. She blinked, focused on him, and narrowed her eyes.
“Didn’t your mother teach you manners? You don’t look over people’s shoulders to see what they’re doing.” She picked up her list and held it to her damp shirt.
“Mi mamá did teach me manners, no? I am Tino Kosta, your guide to the dig at Ch’ujuña.” He held out his hand waiting for her to shake.
Her gaze traveled from his extended hand up his arm to his face. She squinted her eyes and glared at him.
“You’re not of Mesoamerican descent, so you can’t possibly be my guide. Are you in cahoots with the disgusting little man who stole my property?” She bent toward her backpack, giving him a good view down the front of her blouse.
Si, she didn’t wear a bra. The nipples peaking through her clingy shirt sat atop a palm-sized mound. Now, being a man who liked his hands filled to overflowing when it came to handling a woman—
“¡Carajo!” The pointed end of the large knife that had been tucked in the doctor’s backpack waved inches from his nose. “What is this about?” A woman who ran around without undergarments shouldn’t be offended by a man viewing her body.