Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi Fiona. I’m Peggy Jaeger and I’ve been 21 for 38 years. (heehee)
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’ve lived in New Hampshire for over 20 years but I originally hail from New York City – a born and bred city girl! And I still sound like one, too, despite being surrounded by diehard Yankee accents every day.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.)
I’m an only child of divorced parents and because of that I tend to be a loner and a people watcher. I’ve got a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration with a minor in geriatric psychology. I worked as a Registered Nurse for over 20 years then had a career path change when I worked for my husband’s clinic as an Ophthalmic tech teaching contact lenses to people. I retired in 2015 when my very first novel was published by the Wild Rose Press, and now I write full-time. My husband and I are blessed with a daughter who is getting married in May 2020 to a man who loves her as much as we do. Hubby and I will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary the day after Christmas. I’m pushing 60 and have never felt younger or more alive than I do right now.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Well, aside from the wedding plans for daughter dear, I’ve got 2 brand new romance releases. On 12.4.19 TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS ( A Match made in Heaven, bk 2) releases and on 1.13.20, my very first romantic suspense lite and the start of a new series for me A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, releases into the romance reading world. I’m very excited about both. I wish their release dates weren’t so close together, but since I am traditionally published, I bow to the dictates of my wonderful publisher.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’m a life long diarist and started keeping a daily journal when I was 8, so you could say almost from the time I started writing! I was given one of those little lock and key pink diaries for my 8th birthday and filled all 120 pages up in less than 3 months. I wasn’t writing about my daily life on every page, though. Every other page I started writing the story of a little girl who was lonely and looking for a forever family who would love her and support her in whatever she wanted to do in life. Can you see the effects of my parent’s divorce here? HeeHee.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Some days I still don’t see myself that way. But I think it was when I had my very first non-fiction Nursing article accepted for publication in a national nursing journal. I was working as a nurse preceptor at my hospital and I wrote an article on why preceptorship was so important to student nurses. So the day I received my monthly journal in the mail, opened it and saw my name as a contributor, I knew I’d arrived!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
In all honesty, I can’t remember where the idea came from. I think I was watching the winter Olympics – figure skating has always been my favourite spectator sport – and an idea to write a story about an Olympic medal winner and her life after the Olympics came into my head. It had to be a romance because that’s what I loved to read, and it had to be a contemporary because I’m a here and now kinda gal. At the time I wrote it I was going through the worst menopause Mother Nature ever inflicted on a woman and it was accompanied by horrible menopause insomnia ( and yes, that’s a real thing!) I was up at 1 am every single night and couldn’t fall back to sleep, so, not to disturb hubby, I got up and went into our shared office where I just started typing this story that had been rolling around in my brain. 90 days later I had a 350 page manuscript. I wrote it every single night/morning from 1 am until 5am.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Again, I can’t remember exactly but when I knew it was about a figure skater and a romance, I thought of the dance that lovers do emotionally, and the title SKATER’S WALTZ, just popped into my head.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I used to think I had a specific style, but I don’t now. My first 5 books were written in third person POV, but the sixth, a little Candy Hearts novella, was written in first person and now I seem to bounce back and forth between books from 1st to 3rd. I use whatever POV feels the most organic to me to tell the story. Writing contemporary romance can be challenging in that the lexicon of the culture is constantly changing. Ten years ago we didn’t all have cell phones and when you referenced a phone call in your story, you usually referenced a landline. Not so any more. The advent of hashtag movements have also changed the landscape and when I write now, I must use social media references to keep current. I do find it challenging at times to keep up with all the new logos, words, and technology references.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
So for TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS, the three sisters live in a small town in New Hampshire called Heaven. I also live in a small town in New Hampshire. The sisters have a 93 year old Irish Catholic grandmother who is the moral compass for their lives. My Irish grandmother didn’t live to be that old, but she was certainly a woman who lived the courage of her religious convictions. I’m not a wedding planner, or an officiant, but I am a baker as is sister #3, Maureen, so when I write her scenes where she’s making something, I can give an air of authenticity to her movements.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Nope. I’m a pure hermit when I write and if I need to discover something for the book, or reference something, I am never as far away as a keystroke to get on the Internet.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS, graphic designer Diana Carlile. For A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Kristian Norris. Most of my other Wild Rose press covers were designed by Rae Monet
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The concept and theme of forgiveness seems to run through a lot of my novels, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS no exception. I never realized it was such a powerful theme until one reviewer stated that she’d read several of my books and as an underlying theme, forgiveness was strong. She wasn’t wrong. I think the most important thing about forgiveness is that it doesn’t only benefit the person you are bestowing it on, but it really is for you. Being able to forgive a transgression frees the person doing the forgiving and allows them to move on. When I forgive someone I do it completely. I won’t bring up past offenses when I’m fighting in the here and now with someone. If I didn’t forgive completely, I would just carry the burden of that unhappiness around with me like a weight around my neck. I choose to forgive and in turn, am happy and light.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
As far as new authors to me, I love Lauren Layne. My favourite author of all time is Nora Roberts and her doppelganger JDRobb. The reason I love Nora so much is that her stories always touch me in a way I didn’t expect, wring emotions out of me that I usually contain, and entertain me in a way that makes me want to come back for more. Her JDRobb IN DEATH books are a favourite because of her male lead, Roarke and his NYC Cop-wife Eve Dallas. To me, these two are the perfect balance of what marriage should be.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
You know, this may sound horrible, but even my family wasn’t that thrilled with me being a romance author. I think they were embarrassed that I wrote sex into my books and didn’t think I should give up the successful career I had to do something that seemed so ephemeral and risky.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
You betcha! I may never make a gazillion dollars, but the luxury of being able to brighten someone’s day with my stories and words is the biggest career success I can think of.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a word.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Cathy O’Dowd, my heroine, is a family lawyer, so I had to talk to a few lawyers in my town to learn some of the ins and outs. I never knew there were so many divisionsto practicing law before, from family, to criminal, to defense, to corporate. I thought all lawyers were the same. Not so.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Well, if you look at my Pinterest page, CATHY AND MAC, O’DOWDs 2, you’ll see RITA HAYWORTH and ROBERT DOWNEY, JR are who I picture Cathy and Mac looking like. Nanny Fee makes me think of Maureen O’hara. Unfortunately, the only actor alive in this scenario is Robert. Heehee.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
The best advice I can give is that if you love writing so much you can’t think much of anything else, then write the story of your heart. Don’t let people’s opinions dissuade you from what you yearn to do. I didn’t. To this day there are still people around me who think my writing career is frivolous and ridiculous. So what? Their opinions don’t matter to me with regard to this. So write, keep writing, and never let anyone tell you to stop.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Just that I am honoured every day that someone thinks my words and stories are worthy enough to read, so thank you so much for that.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Cecelia Ahern’s POSTSCRIPT, her sequel to P.S. I Love You.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yup. The Little Engine that Could. It’s still my favourite book because it’s the best book about self motivation ever written ( in my opinion).
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love slapstick comedies like the Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn movies of the 1930’s. I laugh out loud whenever I catch one on television. I don’t cry often, in fact years have gone by where I haven’t. The one thing that does get me sad is when an animal, like a beloved pet, dies.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I love this question. The answer is a resounding YES and the “person” is Elizabeth Bennett. I want to ask her if she married Darcy because she fell in love with Pemberley and wanted to be its mistress, or if she truly fell in love with him. I’ve been dying for the real answer since I was 11 years old and read Pride and Prejudice for the first time.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I embroider and paint.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
NCIS, The Blacklist, any of the Bravo Housewives, although NYC and Beverly Hill are my favs, the Masked Singer and Botched.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Food: Lobster; color: green, music: 70’s rock and roll.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I’ve actually thought about this a lot over the years. I would write letters to my husband and daughter telling them what they mean to me in detail, then I would bake a chocolate cake, frost it with buttercream icing, and eat the entire thing. While it’s baking I would go for a long walk in our woods with my husband and daughter and talk about nothing and everything! I wouldn’t turn on the television once, I would disconnect my phone and I would simply enjoy the company of the two people I love most in the world.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“She came, she saw, she kicked ass.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Peggyjaeger.com is my website. I blog there 5-6 times per week about stuff that makes me say “What?!” and my writing life. I host other authors who have new book releases out, too. I love introducing my readers to new authors. It’s a great way to pay the good fortune I’ve had with my writing career forward.
Link to my 12.4.19 release: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081DRSKHB
My 1.13.20 release: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081G7WDP4
Amazon Authors page https://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Jaeger/e/B00T8E5LN0
Fiona – great questions!!! Thank you so much.