Tag Archives: contemporary romance writing

My Heroine needs a job…Help!

Back in the day…like Jane Austen’s day…women rarely had to worry about earning money. Oh, sure, they were tutors, governesses, cooks and such in major households, but those were pretty much the limits to a female’s job expectations other than as a prostitute, mistress, or some other such unsavory occupation.

If you’re book is an historical, a Regency era tome, or set anywhere before or in the 19th century, your heroine is limited in what she can do to earn her keep.

Not so much anymore, thankfully.

Your girl can do anything nowadays. I’ve read books where the heroine is a jockey, an astrophysicist, a newspaper owner, a racecar driver, a spy, a pilot…the list goes on. We are not limited to giving our fictional girls fabulous, exciting jobs, just like they are not limited in real life to having the job of their dreams.

In a former life I was a nurse. I know nursing. I walk the walk, talk the talk. None of my heroine’s have been a nurse. I’ve had a doctor, a concert pianist, an artist, an Olympic figure skater, a professional chef, a photographer, and a television producer, just to name a few. But no nurses.

Why not?

Well, I’ll tell you. I could write about a nurse, sure. It would be an accurate depiction of the job. I have the background to make it a realistic depiction and wouldn’t have to do any “research” into the role. But I wouldn’t want to write a nurse as a heroine because it’s too close to home, namely, to me. For anyone who knows me who would read the book, I would consistently wonder if they were equating the character with me. Plus, if I had to write a love scene with my heroine…forget it…don’t even want to go there!

I’d much rather give my girls fabulous jobs that I have to research, and by research, I mean actually DO them. I’d love to be a racecar driver. Not so sure my hubby would like the idea of me driving at 100+ miles per hour – oh, wait. I do that already! Being a pilot would be cool, don’t you think? And I would love to be a professional chef with my own tv show. How about the owner of a tech company? You’d need to be really smart and computer savvy for that one.

There are so many options for occupations for our heroine’s these days. The list is almost limit-less, something, as a writer, I am thrilled about.

I’m also thrilled because I’m the mom of a girl and I just love the fact she has options galore and can do anything she wants to do for an occupation.

So. What are some of the jobs your heroines have, or you would like them to have?

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, research, Romance, Strong Women

When the student IS the Master…

Yesterday, my lovely daughter spent over 5 hours with me developing a marketing plan for my new career and in helping me clean up all my social media sites to make them ( her words): cohesive and consistent.

I am so not cohesive and consistent…in any part of my life!

This wonderful young woman has more knowledge in her left pinky finger about marketing and computers than I will ever be able to retain. And she still has more “stuff” to do today to help me be the best writer/self promotor I can. Seriously, I can’t wait to learn what she teachers me today.

I come to this new career a little later in life than the norm. Okay…WAY later… and there is an entire field and world of things I never dreamed I needed to do to promote myself and my work. I can’t be the only one in my age group who feels this way, at least I hope I’m not. I truly think when kids are born these days they have all this techno know-how wired into their DNA. And as far as the marketing, my daughter throws words and phrases like “SEO” and “Pinpoint Target base” around like I know what they mean. I didn’t, but NOW I do, thanks to her!

She forced me – really forced me- to think of a new brand for my writing. In her words, she felt “Writing about families and everlasting love” was too generic and sounded like a Disney movie. Ego deflation, much? Here’s the new one:

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

Yeah, I know. Genius in a sentence.

Take a look at my new Twitter feed @peggy_jaeger and click around this site for all the improvements she helped with. More updates and changes are to follow today.

I thank God everyday he gave me the child of my heart and dreams. And I am so happy she is the woman she is…although she will always be my baby.

 

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A relaxing retirement??

Most of you know I retired from my job of almost 20 years in April of this year to devote myself full-time to writing. I wanted to give you a little view into what my daily schedule now looks like. This is what I did on wednesday:

Wrote:

  • 2 blog entires for my own website to be held in storage until needed
  • 3 blog entries for sites I will be visiting soon

Edited:

  • final edits in a novella to be published next february
  • final edits in the third MacQuire Women series book, First Impressions, release date sometime later this year
  • final edits in current WIP ( writing work in progress)

Updated my website; continued Twitter marketing campaign for current book giveaway; answered “reader”emails, emailed my amazing Editor to discuss edits mentioned above.

Sent in two blog entries/release promos to websites I will be visiting this week and next

Registered for the New Jersey RWA chapter conference in October

This was all before 2 p.m., mind you – sometimes it pays to have chronic insomnia.

When my fingers got tired from typing, I did the stuff that needed to be done: grocery shopped, went to the bank, went to the recycling center to drop off, well, recyclables, went to Target, Michaels Craft store and Hallmark ( numerous graduations this month!) I did three loads of laundry, ironed, vacuumed and painted.

This is retirement?? I should go back to work, it was less exhausting!

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

A new experience…

I’ve said many times on this blog how taking a risk or having a new experience is a worthwhile endeavor and yesterday I talked the talk, walked the walk. I participated in my very first Facebook release party. It was last minute thing. I was asked because one of the authors couldn’t make it so, my NHRWA sistah Susan A. Wall asked me to fill in and I was happy to.

Those 30 minutes went by faster than a speeding bullet (a head nod to Superman here!)

Apparently, a very large group of readers, fans, and fb followers attend these sort of things. Who knew? 

I had to ask a few questions, answer a few, and give something away, because we all know folks like freebies and giveaways. ( Shameless self promotion coming) I’m actually doing a giveaway right now of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME on Goodreads. Here’s the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/138470-there-s-no-place-like-home

So, anyway. It felt good to connect with some new people and to experience this new fangled way of promoting my work. This just solidifies in my mind that Social Media has changed the world. And the future. I simply can’t imagine ever going back to the old fashioned ways of promoting things like sending out postoffice mailers, flyers, postcards. Having book premier cocktail parties ( expensive!!) seem to be a thing of the past as well.

One thing that will never go out of style is meeting the fans, the readers, the people you write for. Giving a talk at a local library, visiting a book group, volunteering to be a guest lecturer at a school, even doing a physical book signing at an actual book store are all things I want to keep doing to promote my work, and will.

That’s a promise from me to the people who read  and support what I like.

But this virtual stuff is pretty cool, no?

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Filed under Characters, Dialogue, New Hampshire

Snowmageddon strikes as I write away…

21 inches of snow already here in the woods and the storm isn’t even half over. Isn’t it funny how a snow day  strikes the same happy chord in my adult heart as it did in my child one?

I’ve been up for hours due to the howling wind shaking against my weather treated windows, just watching it fall and writing. I’ve gotten 50 pages of edits under my belt, answered 18 emails, tweeted with 10 peeps, answered a few Facebook questions and am now blogging. Oh, and I made a batch of blueberry muffins for the hubman’s breakfast – who also has a snow day. His first in over 30 years of working! Can you think of a more fun thing for me to do than be snowbound with my laptop?? I can’t…well, I could if provoked, but I’d rather not!!

I got my official release date for my first book SKATER’S WALTZ. It’s March 4, 2015 so now I am embarking on the media junket. I have several blog tours already in the works but I need to get the press release to the local newspaper and then plot the rest of my media blitz. This is wicked time consuming,- but I will admit – fun! I know now, though, why multi-published authors with expense accounts opt to have publicists. I can see myself -someday- paying someone to do all this leg work. But for now, it’s lil’ole’ me doing it, so I am off to find more blogs to tour and presses to release to.

Stay warm, dry, safe and cozy where ever you are during this bit of winter wonder. Oh, and buy my book on March 4th!! I’ll put up the buy links when they are available. Shameless plug, wasn’t that?!

 

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz

just one piece of advice…

During an interview recently – and I can’t tell you how much I LOVELOVELOVE saying I was “interviewed!” – I was asked about the one piece of writing advice that has stuck with me and gotten me through publishing hurdles, humps and heartbreak. It was actually difficult to come up with just that one exclusive iota of writing  wisdom that has resonated with me.

My first thought is the one I received from a literary agent many moons ago which I’ve written about before. Although this agent didn’t accept me as a client, she wrote a handwritten note at the bottom of her letter (this was pre-email, folks) stating, “…you are an excellent writer and I have no doubt I will be reading your published works one day soon. It only takes one “yes” to make a difference in your writing career…” I have never forgotten those words.

Another piece of writing advice that comes to mind is when I heard Nora Roberts speak at the National RWA conference in 2014. She was asked how she can be so prolific a writer and what was her secret. She replied, “Put your butt in the chair, your fingers over the keyboard and write. That’s it and that’s all.”  Butt in seat, fingers on keyboard, write. Can it be any simpler than this?

I would guess the piece of writing advice I’ve learned to repeat daily to myself, is actually one I gave myself  many years ago and had nothing to do with writing at the time I came up with it. I call it THE TAO OF NGUNGI ( pronounced na-goo-na-guy). It means, NEVER GIVE UP AND NEVER GIVE IN. I was going through a difficult period of my life and the days ahead looked bleak and scary. But when I started saying this to myself, it resonated loudly and I was able to get through the period relatively emotionally unscathed.

Now, when I want to have a writing pity party for myself, I repeat the phrase as many times as I need to in order to dig myself out of my depressing black hole. By practicing the TAO Of NGUNGI, I have pushed onwards all this years and finally have a publishing contract.

Never Give up and Never give in. One piece of really good advice – for life and for writing.

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