Book Tours: Author Interview Dearly Beloved

1) How long have you been writing?

Ever since I picked up a crayon many moons ago! Seriously, though, I wrote professional non-fiction in my 20’s-40’s. I started writing fictional romance when I turned 54 and had my first romance book published – traditionally – at 55.

2) What is your favorite genre to write?

Contemporary romance because I like to live in the here and now. From that, I write two subgenres within that genre, smalltown romance and RomComs ( romantic comedies)

3) Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

Historical, particularly REGNECY. But I haven’t done so because there is so much you have to get right, from the table settings, to the clothes, to the titles. Regency readers are knowledgeable and loyal. I don’t want to make any mistakes.

4) Please tell us about your book.

The easiest way to tell you is the give you the blurb:

Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn’t plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.

5) Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

My favorite character was Nanny Fee( Fiona). She is a 93 year old Irish spitfire. Age hasn’t dulled her political activism – or her red hair. Although now, it comes out of a box! Two, if we’re being truthful, to match the color she wants it to be. Nanny is loyal, loving, strict, flirty, and outrageous – everything I hope to be when I am 93!! In all honesty, I don’t have any characters I don’t like, including my “villain” Harry ‘VLAD’ Green.

6) What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The theme of the book ( aside from the romance) is forgiveness. Should Colleen forgive her ex-fiance for cheating? Should she forgive her parents for abandoning the family during a crisis? Should Slade forgive his father for his many sins? I knew I wanted to make sure the reader was given the reason each character could or should forgive, but didn’t want to do it in a preachy, holier-than-thou way. I struggled with allowing my H/H to work their way through this theme in a cleansing – hopefully fulfilling way for the reader – without sounding like I was being judgmental or overbearing. I think – hope!- I did that.

 

7) What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I retired from my regular day job in 2015 when my first book was published. Since then I consider writing my full time job, so I am at my desk by 8 every morning to write in my current manuscript and I usually write until 3-3:30 every day. I have chronic insomnia, so I am up at 3 am every day and I do all my social  media promotion between the hours of 3 am and 6am. Then I go to the gym for an hour or so, and then home to write. The only thing I absolutely need to get my day started is a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. It provides me with the caffeine hit  I need since I don’t drink coffee or tea.

8) How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

I write fast, so the first draft is usually completed in 12 weeks, then 2 weeks to edit before I ever try to get it published.

9) Can you tell us about your editing process?

I self edit after the first draft is completed. I don’t usually go back and change something that I wrote, say two days ago after thinking about it because I work from a detailed outline and plot point system. Once the entire manuscript is done and I’ve typed THE END, I go back and nitpick: words, phrases, emotions, scene order. The one thing I never change is the characters because I’ve got them so fleshed out before I ever type  a word, they are already real people to me. Once the book is approved by an editor, there are usually 2-3 rounds of edits ( copy, line, galley) that the books goes through before it is released.

10) Is this book part of a series? It is book 1.

If so, how many installments do you have planned?

3 plotted out and a fourth mulling around in my head!

 

11) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?   

If you want to write for publication – never give up. I was 55 when my first book was published, an age I was watching people around me beginning to discuss retirement. Not me. I embarked on a brand new career and am loving every minute of it, so my advice is to never give up on a dream and do whatever you can to make it come true for you.

12) Why should everyone read your book?  

Well, without sounding conceited, my book looks at family in a true way – meaning, I deal with death, betrayal, loss, and grief – all with humor, which is the second thing: you will cry on one page and then be brought out of your sadness by laughter on the next page. I haven’t read too many authors who do that. Typically romance novels deal with a straight arc of lovers meeting, getting pulled away, and then finding their HEA. I deal more with the families plus the love interests, and their paths to discovery which leads them to their HEA. And again, it’s done realistically, but with a great deal of humor.

13) If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Jane Austen, Jodi Picoult, Lauren Layne

14) What inspired you to write your book?

Actually, that’s a great question and a good story. I’ll try to be succinct. A few years ago my daughter was in the wedding party of one of her sorority sisters. The bride came from one part of the country, the groom the other. They wanted everyone they loved to attend, so they picked a neutral spot on the east coast. They chose a venue for their wedding where everything was in one spot: church, reception, and accommodations for the travelers. I started thinking about what a one-stop wedding would look like in my tiny New England town and who would run the business. Also, who would book a venue like this? The O’Dowd sisters came to me in a dream one night – a trio of sisters who each ran a branch of the business: one is the wedding planner, one is the Officient, and one owns the inn. A MACTH MADE IN HEAVEN was born.

15) Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

Book 2 in this series, and I am trying to find a publisher from another series I’ve started about a detective agency run by brothers.

About the Book

Title: Dearly Beloved

Author: Peggy Jaeger

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn’t plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.

Author Bio

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

In 2018, Peggy was a finalist in the HOLT MEDALLION Award and once again in the 2018 Stiletto Contest.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Links

Website/Blog

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Pinterest

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BookBub

Comments

  1. Donna Simonetta says:

    This sounds like a fun series! And I’m intrigued by the one you’re trying to seelmabout the brothers who own a detective agency! Keep us posted on its status!

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