Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Author Collaboration and a Sale by Paty Jager

 Lauri Robinson has a busy schedule this month and she asked me to re-post this from another blog.

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / pzAxe
Several years ago Lauri Robinson sent me an email asking if I'd like to write a book with her. She had an idea of a story that would be half one sister's point of view and half the other sister's. It sounded like a fun project, and we started connecting for live chats and sending emails back and forth giving the sisters a back story and discovering what each one of us would write about for our half of the book.
Here's a bit of our discussion via an online chat:

paty: I would think I get the Oregon sister.
lauri: I'm game for that. I'll take the Colorado gal. What ages do you think would work best. I was thinking old enough to really remember each other, but young enough that they couldn't be on their own. Hence the other families taking them in.
paty: Yeah, I'm thinking 10 and 12 or 11/13 but not much older or the oldest one could have actually been taken as a bride.
lauri: Right, and the gold rush in Co. was from 59-63. Loads of wagon trains flowed in during 61-62. So if we have the girls start looking for each other when they turn 16-18 it would put the stories in the late 70's. Gosh is my math right there?
lauri: Nope early 1870's.
paty: I was thinking maybe have a town somewhere in between where they end up as the place their family was heading and that could be where they meet at the end.
lauri: Oh! I like that--Montana?
lauri: Or when did Las Vegas come about?
paty: That would be out of the way. If you mean Las Vegas NV.
paty: There were gold rushes in Idaho and Montana in the 60's.
lauri: Either one sounds good.
paty: I'll have to look at maps and some history and get back to you on possibilities.
lauri: History on family...they were headed to Montana/Idaho..Why?
lauri: I'll check some history too.
paty: Either to start a business or after gold or ministry.
paty: They could have been headed to the Spaulding Mission in ID.
lauri: Ministry...Preacher's daughters always make good heroines. LOL
paty: Especially if the families they end up with are not as christian as it first seemed.
lauri: Oh, yes!
paty: I've got the info on the Spaulding mission tucked away here somewhere form an earlier book.

I have several pages of our conversations as we worked out all the logistics of the book. Here is a bit more just so you can see how writer's minds work and how we come up with books.

paty: So the adoptive father of Lorabeth would gamble away her locket without her permission and then the winner of the locket would end up in Oregon and Maggie would recognize it.
lauri: Oh, I know, mom's locket with the picture of the two of them in it. Maggie gives it to Lora Beth so she'll always be with her.
paty: I like that!
lauri: Yes, LoraBeth's family isn't very nice. Sad. Good thing they die so she can travel to Montana, or is it Idaho? I don't think I wrote that down. LOL
paty: LOL if we have Maggie backtracking with the gambler to get to Lorabeth and maybe Lorabeth getting someone to help her find the gambler to get the locket back. they would end up somewhere in between???
lauri: Yes, or following each others tracks across the states. Maggie goes to Co, but LoraBeth has already left for Oregon. The each turn around and end up in Lapwai Idaho.
paty: That would be too long of story- the backtracking.
lauri: True...I have to remember the length. But like the locket. LOL.
paty: Yes, I like that too. Just trying to figure out how they get together and keep the story sounding in sequence.
lauri: How about if the man helping LoraBeth is also looking for the gambler. Give him a reason for assisting her.
paty: That would be good. A debt to settle something like that. And what if Maggie become ill half way back to Co., That would stall their progress and when she is recuperating, the next story can take off and the ending is when Lorabeth finds her.
lauri: Yes, I like that. So, I will need to know your gambler's name. And figure out the debt...o
paty: Sheesh! Now you want to know my gambler too... LOL Hmmm, Okay, he looks like Deirks Bentley and his name is....
lauri: Deirks Bentley? You're going to make me go online and find a picture?? Sheesh! Back at you!
paty: LOL he's a country singer and man... he's good looking!!! It will be worth the search!
lauri: OH! GEEZ! Now I know who you mean. I was thinking of some actor named Deirks, or was that Dirk, about the McGiver time...
paty: Ty Bancroft is the gambler.
lauri: Anyway...Time of year...when do they meet so I can back track from there. Oh, I love the name Ty!...writing...
paty: It would need to be spring early summer to get them through mountains in decent weather- though I need to check on the RR in the early 1870's and the steam ships up the Columbia.
lauri: Early summer would work. I think mine are traveling by horse (trains didn't run north of Denver yet)
paty: It would all depend on where I have her ending up in Oregon. I'll have to do some research to get a trip planned out.
lauri: I think my hero is Sampson McDonald. Sounds like a wimp, might even look like one to some, but knows the mountains like the back of his hand. I'll have to search a map to find their way from Denver to Lapwai.
paty: We don't have to have them end up in Lapwai if we are using the locket to bring them together.
paty: I'll find a spot halfway in between.

I won't give you any more of the conversation because 1) it gives things away and 2) as always as we wrote the stories they strayed a bit from our conversations. 

We are both proud of this book and for a limited time have put the book on sale for $.99 so more readers
can enjoy and root for Loralei and Maggie as they journey to find one another.

Blurb For a Sister's Love

Lorelei and Maggie Holmes make a desperate vow to reunite after an Indian raid on their wagon train leaves them orphans. 

Lorelei’s adoptive father gambles away her birth mother’s locket and her only connection to her lost sister. Believing she needs the locket and to find Maggie, she sets out after the gambler and ends up in the company of a citified lawyer searching for the same man.

While cleaning a hotel room, Maggie discovers her mother’s locket in the possession of a gambler. Fear for her sister increases Maggie's determination.  Never one to give up, she dogs the gambler until he agrees to help her find her sister.

Two sisters, two adventures, will they find one another or will the men helping them be their destinies?

Buy Links: 

Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. All Paty’s work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.


  1. I don't know that I would ever want to collaborate on a book. A friend of mine wanted to collaborate on a book of short stories about our experiences in Coronary Care. She is not a writer and I think she did not feel comfortable writing the stories. In the end, she backed out and the book never happened. I collected stories from other nurses we worked with, but it's not something I feel compelled to write.
    But I'm happy for you and Lauri that your collaboration worked out so well and I wish you every success with FOR A SISTER'S LOVE.

  2. Hmmm. Very interesting. But I could never do it...and I think it would take very close friends...such as you two to pull this off. For that, I congratulate you.

  3. Paty, that dialogue sound familiar. Jacquie Rogers and I worked on MAIL-ORDER TANGLE together. We did a lot by phone, with lots of laughter. Some by email, too. I think our result was good. I snapped up FOR A SISTER'S LOVE.


Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West! We are very sad to require comment moderation now due to the actions of a few spam comments. Thank you for your patience.