Hi Clay, tell us something about yourself.
I'm Clay Halsey, the third of five brothers. Doctor in Petticoats is the fourth book in the Halsey brother series about my brothers and how we each meet and fall in love with feisty women who don’t always follow the rules of society. Now, it isn't easy for a woman to be a doctor in the west in 1888, but Rachel is tough when it comes to her commitment to her career. I just wish she was as tough about her desires as a woman. If you want to read about our discovery of one another you can find our book in print and e-book at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/
What makes you special?
I don't know if you'd call me special, but I lost my sight when someone I thought was my friend tried to kill my brother and his soon-to-be wife. A stick of dynamite blew up near me and the concussion of the blast took away my sight. Now, I have hopes it will eventually return, but in the event it doesn't, I refuse to be a burden on anyone. That's why I'm at the blind school.
Tell us about your most current adventure.
My oldest brother dumped me at the blind school in Salem, Oregon on his way to his honeymoon with his new wife and her two kids. In the beginning, I'm feeling like a turkey among a flock of ducks until meet a young man who hasn't let his blindness stop him from helping his mother and sister. Forgetting my limitations, I climb on a roof and fall, breaking my leg. That's when I get to really explore the many facets of Doctor Rachel Tarkiel.
“Please. I won’t do anything inappropriate. My fingers are my eyes.”
She grasped his hands, drawing them down. “I have brown curly hair, the color of scuffed shoes. My face is oval, no distinct cheekbones. My nose is neither large nor small and sits above small lips. My eyes are brown.”
Clay frowned. She painted a very dismal picture of herself. “Do you always describe yourself so plainly?”
She sighed. “I will always tell you the truth. I’ve accepted my plainness.”
He started to shake his head, but the movement flashed pain in his temple. “No one is plain. Every person I’ve ever met has some characteristic that sets them apart from others.”
“Like your crooked nose?”
He didn’t miss the teasing in her voice or her attempt to turn the conversation from herself. “That might have happened for the wrong reason, but it sets me apart from my brothers who all have the same color hair and eyes. We’re each just an inch or two shorter or broader shouldered than the next one. Gil, the baby of the family, is six foot, and has the narrowest shoulders. But dang if he doesn’t have the prettiest face.” He snorted. “’Course we don’t tell him that. We’ve been telling him he’s the ugliest. Keeps him humble.”
Rachel’s laughter soothed his aching head like a warm tonic.
“I imagine growing up with—how many brothers?”
“Including myself, five.” He rubbed his thumb over their clasped hands still resting on his chest.
Tell us a little bit about your author. Where can we find more of their works? And If you could offer your author advice, what would it be?
Paty Jager lives in Oregon and helps her husband farm nearly 200 acres. When she isn't outdoors taking care of animals or haying, she's inside concocting tales of the romance set in the historical and contemporary west. You can find all six of her published books at: http:www.thewildrosepress.com or you can learn more about her at http://www.patyjager.net or http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com
The best advice I can offer my author is get Hank's story done so we can get on with our lives and you can go torture some other fictional family.
Are you happy with the way people perceive you?
It depends on if you are talking about before the book or now that I've learned so much about myself. I'd say at the beginning of the book, no, I'm not happy with how people perceive me because I'm not happy with myself. But with Rachel's love I learn self-respect and how to stand on my own. And people regard me with more respect and appreciate how hard I work to not be a burden on anyone.
Tell us a little bit about your world.
I grew up in a small mining area in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. I was about fourteen when our parents and youngest brother were killed by Indians. After that our oldest brother took care of us. We continued to work the mine and do odd jobs around the community. I like figuring out how things works and have been drawing up a better ways to make the stamp mill more efficient when my eyesight was taken from me in a dynamite blast.
Is expressing love difficult for you? Why?
I love my brothers. We support each other and as the family grows we support the wives and kids. But to flat out tell a woman I love her. It's going to take someone special to make me say what I'm feeling but I can show it many interesting ways.
What other characters have influenced you?
Donny is a twelve year-old boy who has been blind for several years, yet he is teaching other students at the blind school how to make brooms. He makes them and teaches to support his mother and sister. He is one person who taught me to never harbor self-pity and to use every ounce of determination to get what you want. There are no limitations other than what you put on yourself.
Share a little bit of the ‘real’ you with our readers. Any Dark secrets?
There were days when I first became blind I thought about going for a walk and hoping they never found me. I felt useless and worthless. But my brothers seemed to sense that and wouldn't leave me alone. Colin, Aileen's son, even stood beside the outhouse in case I decided to bolt from there.
What’s the kinkiest thing you’ve done? Stupidest? Craziest?
I brought Rachel to completion in the men's washroom of the Pullman car when we traveled from Portland to Baker City.
Clay thanks for joining us today! I have to admit, we don’t get too many mere mortals stepping up to the plate.