Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Interview with Peggy Jaeger, CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers? Yes, I did. I started out later in life with trying to be a published author and wasn’t as savvy as I could have been about the Indy wave to success. I wrote my first book during the hours of 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. every night for 3 months because I am afflicted with chronic insomnia, plus I was going through the worst menopause Mother Nature ever inflicted on a woman ( truly!) and suffered from continual night sweats. It was just easier to get out of bed since I couldn’t sleep anyway, and use the awake time productively. When I finished that novel I wasn’t sure it was any good so I entered a contest, won my division and was asked to submit the manuscript to the publisher for consideration. After that I tried to get an agent, but even after 15 books being published traditionally, I haven’t found one willing to take me on.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel? I submitted to the contest and won my division late in 2013. In early 2014 the publisher – who’d been my final judge – emailed me requesting the manuscript, which I sent. After a few months of revision requests from the editor assigned to me, my very first book SKATER’S WALTZ was released in April 2015 from The Wild Rose Press. So less than 18 months from contest entry-to publisher submission – to published books. I was one month shy of 55 years old when the book released.

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first or latest book. My latest book, CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS, was written because I had so many readers ask me to write Sonny San Valentino’s story. In 2 previous books, 3 WISHES and A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, Sonny plays vital roles in the family storyline and dynamics. Sonny is a middle aged pseudo-wiseguy with endless connections. He can get you a brand new car for under list price before it comes on the market or tickets to a sold out sporting event. He’s loyal to his family to no end and readers just love him, so decided to give him his own family and write a romance about one of his kids. His youngest child, 32 year old Regina, whom Sonny calls his bellissima figlia, is the apple of her Pop’s eye, but has a past that’s filled with heartache. I’ve never written a father/daughter story before so this one was a true labor of love. Since I have no connection with my own father, I looked to my husband’s relationship with our daughter for the kind of guidance I needed to know about how Sonny would react to certain situations regarding his bellissima figlia. Now, please don’t think my hubby is like Sonny. Opposite ends of the spectrum aren’t as far apart as these two guys! But love is love, no matter what, and father/daughter love should be a universal concept.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
Still traditionally contracted. I have a new bridal series out called A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN with the Wild Rose Press. There are 3 books assigned to that series. I still don’t have the inclination or desire to try and self publish. Maybe someday….

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you? I would love to tell you I am the kind of writer who can sit down at her laptop and just start writing away, the story flowing easily and endlessly from my fingertips. If I did tell you that I would be lying. I never start a new story without it being fully outlined and detailed. I was a nurse in my former life, so I am a product of the scientific method. Research, hypotheses, experiments are my lifeblood. I approach my fictional writing the same way. When I have an idea, I immediately write it down and then begin to plot. If I see a person I think will make a good character, I invent a back story from them and then come up with a storyline. Which ever way I begin, the one thing that is consistent is that I never sit down to write the story until I know where I am going, how every plot point will act out, and the ending is clear and concise. Do I ever veer off course from the plot? Sure. But the times I have, once I’ve gone back and look at what I’ve written that was off course, I usually delete it because it’s not germane to the plot or the character.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale? Being traditionally published affords me the honor of being in widespread places. My books are listed on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Kobo, i-books, Google +. I’m sure there are more, but for the life of me I can’t think what they are!

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)? Social  Media marketing rules the world, doesn’t it? Especially in publishing. I promote my work on my website,, on twitter, on my facebook author page, Book Bub, Google +, Instagram, You-Tube and my current obsession, TRIBERR. I market daily, usually between the hours of 3 am and 5 am ( chronic insomnia, remember?) and use Hootesuite to plan and schedule all my marketing needs. Some day, when I am uberfamous and can afford it, I am going to hire a publicist to do all this for me so I can simply just write my stories all day long.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! If I didn’t have insomnia I would have to cut into my writing day to do the marketing and be effective with it. For the first time in my life I’m happy I don’t sleep much because I truly do get more done – and what I get done is the social medial stuff. I still do find trouble juggling the two through the day, though, because with so much promotion and over such vast avenues, I get a lot of interaction and nowadays, people expect you to respond to them immediately. Delaying can mean the difference between a happy and engaged reader, and one who isn’t because you took too long to respond to them. My name is quiet literally my business, and like any business, you need to be cognizant of customer service at all times. So, yeah, that a juggling thing is real.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena? Never give up on your daydream. I was a 55 year old, menopausal, tired, stressed, overworked chick who hated her job and wanted nothing more than to write stories people would read. I dreamed that dream for most of my life. And I never gave up on it. Not through marriage, job changes, pregnancy, child rearing, heartache and illness. It was always there, pecking away at me, reminding me what gave me ultimate pleasure in life. I entered that first contest on a whim and look where I am now. Never. Ever. EVAH! Give up on your dreams. And don’t let anyone else talk you out of them. If anyone ever tries to tell you your dreams are silly, remember: there’s a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

What’s next for you? I am currently working on book 2 in my Match Made In Heaven series, and I am kicking around some ideas for yet another San Valentino Holiday Romance book for 2019. Check back to see what develops!


With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.


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