Interview with Paty Jager, Author of House Edge

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What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write House Edge?

This is book two in the Spotted Pony Casino mystery series. I had originally written a short story with Dela as the main character but at a casino in a different state to fit the criteria of the short story contest. Afterward, I decided I wanted to write a mystery series with her as the main character.

I moved her to my home state of Oregon and put her working at a fictional casino on a reservation near me. Making her a disabled veteran was my way to shine a light on their plight and give her a backstory that would put her in the position of head of security. The premise for this book came about from reading the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Journal (CTUJ) the reservation newspaper. A lot was written in the newspaper about the dam breaching in Idaho and how it affected the fishing. I set up a conference about the dam breaching and fish to bring in people from other areas to be suspects. Of course, throwing a wrench in Dela’s new life, I brought back her high school sweetheart just to give more tension

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of House Edge, what would they be?

For Dela I would pick the song, “I Will Survive.” For FBI Special Agent Quinn Pierce “I Hold On” by Dierks Bentley. And for Tribal Police officer Heath Seaver, “Memories” by Mac Davis.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I enjoy reading murder mysteries as well as writing them. I also enjoy reading nonfiction books about Native Americans, specifically the tribes I write about.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

“Fatality in F” by Alexia Gordon, “Hollywood Ending” by Kellye Garrett, “Dead Legend” by D.Z. Church, “Winter Counts” by David Heska Wanbli Weiden, and “A Rising Man” by Abir Mukherjee.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

My favorite scene I wrote in House Edge was where my character, Dela Alvaro, saves a woman from being killed by her husband. She doesn’t hesitate to help, even getting beat up some herself, but she apprehends the man and saves the wife.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

You can’t change the past, but you can change the future – work toward that goal.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

That we can all work together for a better world.


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