In exactly one
month The Way he Moves, book number twelve in the Mediterranean Nights series
will be in the stores. At a time when ballroom dancing is so very ‘in,’ you should
enjoy this action-driven plot and the wonderful cruise setting. My vivacious Brazilian
heroine is a sexpot and her too-die-for Canadian lover is smoking hot. Of course
anything goes on a romantic Caribbean cruise. Dance lessons included.
dancing is an art, requiring both form and style. So what do I know about the
world of ballroom dancing? Very little. Well that’s not exactly true. I took lessons
for a short time, but I wouldn’t relinquish the lead and that is a no-no. Now
I hit the dance floor for the sole purpose of shaking my booty. Join me sometime.
This month I am delighted
to introduce you to best selling author Barbara Parker. Read on to hear Barbara’s
words of wisdom about this writing business.
a fun and enjoyable spring!
Editor -- Romantically Yours
Tools of the Trade
Are your hero/heroine unforgettable
Questions to ask before you sit down to write:
my hero and heroine too perfect?
the negative qualities forgivable?
their issues make them more sympathetic people?
Am I painting
a clear picture of what they look like? Does the reader know how old they are
Do they have
interests outside of each other?
their behaviors and interests in keeping with the time period and setting?
these two individuals you could love?
the relationship develop and grow beyond a physical attraction?
the conflict between them real or contrived?
the heroine able to act independently?
it be easy to read that last page and say good bye?
April 11-13, 2008
Hampton Inn Resort
Pensacola Beach, FL.
Registration - $145
Speakers: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Desert Dreams Conference
April 04-06, 2008
Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort
Registration: RWA Members $228 - non Members $248
Speakers: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Chicago North Spring
April 25-26, 2008
Hyatt Deerfield, Illinois
Presenters: Debbie Macomber
Write on Vancouver
May 2-3, 2008
Sponsor: Greater Vancouver RWA
at Westminster Quay
Vancouver, British Columbia
novelist Barbara Parker is one of the most talented writers I know. This ex-attorney
turned best selling novelist had the courage to give up a lucrative career to
pursue a dream. Read what she has to say.
Why would a successful
prosecutor turn to book writing?
They probably wouldn’t,
and neither did I. Doesn’t “success” mean you’re happy at your job? I wasn’t.
Actually, by the time I decided to try writing a novel, I had bailed out of the
state attorney’s office and was doing general practice law. I didn’t like that
much better. The writing life started calling to me, and I was a pushover. “Legal
thrillers” were getting popular (thanks to John Grisham), so I said, heck, why
not give it a try?
Was switching careers
mid-life difficult? How so?
Giving up a paycheck
for a hope that maybe it will all work out? That was a real white-knuckle ride.
I didn’t really grasp the failure rate for new novelists, so I went for it. I
moved to a cheap apartment, shopped at Goodwill, and borrowed money from my relatives.
I never allowed myself to think that I wouldn’t sell a book.
Some authors find research
tedious but you’ve indicated that’s one aspect of the writing process you like.
is an adventure! When you begin a novel, it takes you to places you’ve never been
before. You have an idea what to expect, but you’re always surprised. You’ll interview
people in the field you’re writing about, spend hours on the Internet, and buy
books or magazines on the topic. I research in two stages. First, before I have
a firm concept of the plot, so that new information can make the story more realistic.
And second, after I’ve sketched it out, to make sure that all the facts are correct.
The word “tedious” applies to much of the writing process, but it’s part of the
of my writer friends are introverts and are not good at engaging fans during book
signings. You indicate going on tour is an aspect of the business you enjoy. Why?
after months of sitting alone in front of a computer, I like to see real human
beings. It’s not that hard to engage readers at book signings if you smile and
thank them for coming. Ask where they’re from and if they’ve read any of your
other books. If not, or if you need something to fill the time, be ready with
one or two interesting facts about your new story. This is where all that research
you did comes in handy. Attend other signings and speeches by writers who are
good at it, to pick up ideas. The more you do it, the more confident you will
us a little about your latest novel, The Perfect Fake. What inspired you
to write it?
The idea came from
a chance conversation with a woman who collects antique maps. You never know what
comes next when you say, “Really? Tell me about it.” She did, and I suddenly knew
that a map forgery would make a dandy plot. Of course when you start out, you
have no idea how the book will come together, but I talked to collectors, took
a tour of the rare map department at the Library of Congress, and found an expert
who told me how to forge a copper-plate map. Soon my characters and the story
came to life. I had traveled to Italy the year before, so I created an Italian
Renaissance map from 1511 and sent my characters over to Europe. While they had
fun in the Alps, the Cinque Terre, and Florence, I had to sit at home in front
of my computer writing the darn thing.
next novel, The Dark of Day, will be published in June. The setting is
closer to home. Glamorous Miami attorney C. J. Dunn takes a case that puts her
squarely in the media spotlight, an uncomfortable place for a woman with too many
secrets. I loved hitting the South Beach club scene for the research on this one!
ex-husband was a huge fan of yours. He thought you were one of the few female
authors who wrote a suspenseful book in a voice men could relate to. At the beginning
of your career were you tempted to use your initials or assume a male pseudonym?
never considered that, probably because the protagonist of my mystery series was
a woman. Once my name became known, why change it? After two in the series, I
wrote two stand-alones with male protagonists, and they did very well. I’ve heard
there are men who won’t read a book by a woman, but that’s their loss.
How did the “Suspicion”
series get started? Where did the concept come from?
I never intended to
write a series. Suspicion of Innocence was designed as a stand-alone novel featuring
a woman lawyer accused of murdering her sister-not exactly a series character.
After it was published, though, I didn’t know what to do next, so my editor asked
me to do another one with the same cast of characters. I think she really wanted
more of Anthony Quintana, the romantic interest, and it’s been Anthony who holds
readers’ attention, more than Gail Connor. I might go back to the series at some
point, but my current publisher wants another stand-alone.
In doing my research,
I learned that you started off as a romance novelist and then made the leap over.
Is that true?
I tried to be
a romance novelist, and my first novel and only novel in that genre, a paperback
original, was what used to be called “women’s fiction.”
What made you change
more my thing. I don’t really have the “voice” for romance, and that view of reality-a
man and a woman, happy ending-is one that I don’t really share. Life isn’t so
do you hope to be career-wise in five years? What plans do you have to get you
five years, I hope to write faster, make my deadlines, and give the reader more
streamlined, compelling stories. Mine tend to be too complicated, and I’m always
writing too long and going past the deadline. Nowadays the formula for success
seems to call for a great website, a blog, a newsletter, maybe a publicist, and
as many appearances as you can cram into your schedule. For me, the “secret” to
success, if there is one, is just to keep on writing the best book you can, maintain
good relations with your editor and agent, and if there’s time, then you do the
other stuff too.
Would you recommend
a publicist to a newbie? At what stage of your career would you recommend having
one? What are the benefits?
If you have a pile
of cash, it couldn’t hurt. But that’s not most of us, whether we’re just starting
out or more established. The catch is, if you’re unknown, a publicist probably
won’t help that much. If you’re established, you don’t need one. It’s that area
in the middle where a publicist could make the difference. I’ve never used a publicist,
but I’ve heard from friends who’ve used them that good publicists know how to
get the most from each dollar. They can arrange personal appearances or TV or
radio interviews in the right target market. They know where to put ads, and what
hand-outs work and which don’t. You can find them on the Internet, I believe,
but you should always ask for references and check them out with your friends.
readers are dog lovers and would like to hear about your pug Max. Tell us about
a little darling. His real name is Maximilian von Mango. It fits a dog who lives
in the subtropics, don’t you think? Max is fawn-colored, weighs about 21 pounds,
and he just turned nine. His muzzle is getting a little gray, but he’s not slowing
down much, just getting more mellow. Pugs are rated as very gentle, non-aggressive
dogs. Mine doesn’t bite-but he growls and runs away with his pork chop bone if
you pretend you’re going to grab it. He likes to take walks, but pugs don’t tolerate
hot weather, so in the summer we go early or late. When I’m working and can’t
play with him, Max turns into a couch potato, content to lie down on the rug and
take a nap.
does the future hold for Barbara Parker? Where can we expect to find you signing
or presenting a workshop this year?
You’ll find me doing
some personal appearances when The Dark of Day comes out. My publisher
is going to put together a website, www.darkofday.com, so keep checking for my
schedule. After the book tour, I need to lock myself into my cave and work on
the next manuscript. I’m probably going to turn down any requests for workshops
this year because my time is so limited, but I might be doing something for SleuthFest
recently opened an erotica line called Wicked, the Wicked Line is dedicated to
short story erotica. Full guidelines available on the website.
guidelines at www.loose-id.com/prospective.aspx. Send query, synopsis and three
chapter partial. Seeking multicultural, hot suspense, paranormal.
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Paranormal / Horror, Mystery / Thriller / Suspense,
Sci-FI / Fantasy
Medallion Press, Inc. DOES accept
Please mail Submissions to:
Mrs. Kerry Estevez
P.O. Box 48889
Tampa, FL 33647
packet should include the following items:
Cover letter including word count
for the Standard Manuscript Format:
1. Publishing Credits (please list title
of book, publisher and publishing date).
2. Two to five page synopsis of
3. First three consecutive chapters (no other chapters will be considered).
4. Return preference for documents sent.
5. SASE for reply and for return
of materials if you've requested.
submissions should be in Standard Manuscript Format.
1. 8 ½ x 11” white paper.
2. Twelve point - Times New Roman font.
3. Double spaced.
5. Header on every page containing title, author name and page number.
Gold and Silver Imprint novels must be no less than 80,000 words with no exceptions.
Books cannot be any longer than 120,000 words.
Personal Information should
include the following:
Name (and pseudonym if applicable)
E-mail address (if available)
Web address (if available)
Manuscript return requirements:
Include a self-addressed, sufficiently stamped
envelope large enough for your manuscript.
Do not send money or money postal
orders for postage.
Partials or manuscripts outside of the United States will
not be returned.
Did You Know?
http://www.wikihow.com/ can help you do just that.
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