Cate: Readers, please welcome paranormal fantasy romance author PL Parker. PL, will you please share a bit of background with us?
PL: Offbeat is a perfect word when describing me. For many years, I taught, performed, as well as choreographed, dance. I am a dreamer and an avid reader of fiction, a sometimes gardener and an inept crafter. I love to travel, always returning to my beautiful Idaho where I reside with my husband, Jack, my children and extended family, Jared, Travis, Zachary and Tannis, two huge cats and a toy poodle. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and Fiona is my first novel. It has been followed by my second novel, Riley's Journey. Heart of the Sorcerer comes out today, and have just finished the final edits on Aimee's Locket, and will have a release date soon. I am currently working on a sequel to Riley's Journey.
Cate: Your web site is fantastic! The images drew me right in, and the quote really intrigued me – is that from a specific story?
PL: Actually no. That is mine. I searched everything I could think of to make sure it was mine, and found nothing. I wanted something that connected my website to time travel, which is the basis for most of my stories.
Cate: What drew you to time travel and paranormal romance?
PL: I've always loved the concept of time travel. What could be more exciting than to travel back in time, meet a gorgeous hunk (which is probably even more unrealistic and creative) and have an adventure outside the norm. I loved H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, especially the first one that came out in 1960 with Yvette Mimieux and Rod Taylor. I think that movie is what really drew me to time travel. I read probably 2 books a week, and 99% are paranormal.
Cate: Tell us about Heart of the Sorcerer, your latest release.
PL: This is a shorter story. It centers around a portrait over the mantle in the heroine's grandmother's house in England. The man in the picture was believed to be a sorcerer and he calls to Annalisa in her dreams. He wants her – badly.
Heart Of The Sorcerer
Drawn inexplicably back to her childhood home, Annalisa returns, seeking to fill the void existing in her loveless life. Granny Jean, Annalisa’s adopted grandmother, failing in health and mental acuity, endeavors to discover the secrets of Annalisa’s soul, wanting nothing more than Annalisa to be happy before she leaves this earth. A picture hangs over the mantle in Gran’s cottage depicting a beautiful man of another time, a man who haunts Annalisa’s every dream, a man who calls to her in dreams. Unknown to Annalisa, Gran and Alec, the man in the painting, have set forth a course of events to eventually send Annalisa back, back into the arms of Alec.
I've created a book trailer and here is the link for a little more insight.
Heart of the Sorcerer releases today from The Wild Rose Press.
Cate: Your two earlier releases with Wild Rose, Fiona and Riley’s Journey, garnered excellent reviews – congrats! Tell us more about them.
PL: Fiona was my very very first attempt at writing a novel. My husband kept telling me I should write, I have such an imagination and I would make up these stories and tell him. One night I was watching the Discovery Channel about the discovery of the Urumchi Mummies, perhaps Tocharian Celts, in Northern China. One mummy, a young blonde woman, was perhaps a sacrificial victim. Got to me. Decided she needed a happier ending so Fiona came into being. In my story, Fiona is in a car wreck and wakes up alone and lost. She is found by a group of ancient Celts who take her with them – and so the story goes.
Riley's Journey was again Discovery Channel. All about the Ice Age and survival there. I got to thinking about what modern man (and woman) would have to endure to survive in that time. Could we do it? I did some research on the time period and decided that was my next venture. Unsuspecting Riley, believing she is on an extended research assignment, is sent back to be the mate of a man who went back five years before. But no one told her it was forever.
Cate: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
PL: No. I'm the lone wolf. My sisters are my first editors and my husband is my reader. They are all great. My husband can hardly wait for the next chapter and gets frustrated when I don't write fast enough. Hee hee.
Cate: What inspires you in your personal life? In your writing?
PL: Being out and about. I work full time as a legal secretary in a big law firm in downtown Boise, Idaho. A lot of my characters come from people I know. Don't tell anyone, but my somewhat challenged person in Heart of the Sorcerer is named after someone I work with. Hee hee.
Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
PL: I find that making sure the character reacts/speaks like his character would. That is a challenge because I wouldn't necessarily say what my character says, but fun to imagine. The easiest is coming up with ideas. I have a notebook that I write down ideas and I'm pretty far ahead, but when I finally sit down to write the next, often it is a whole new idea. My sons are good inspiration. They're always coming up with ideas for stories as well.
Cate: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
PL: So far, it was when I got the "yes" that TWRP wanted Fiona. I was very lucky. I started writing Fiona in January of 2006 and finished it in mid summer 2006 and TWRP accepted it in late December or early January 2007.
Cate: Do you feel as if your characters come alive vividly as you write? Do they assert themselves in ways that surprise you?
PL: Oh, most definitely. By the time I've finished a story, I feel like the characters are my friends – people I know. I go back and read parts periodically and get emotional. In fact, when I was finishing Aimee's Locket, I cried for her at the end. Each of my ladies is very different, but my humor does tend to come out in each one, which I'm thankful for.
Cate: What comes first in your writing process – a scene, characters, title? Are you a plotter or pantser?
PL: A pantser. I know this sounds weird, but a lot of my scenes/characters come to me in dreams. I wake up and it's like I know what comes next. Titles are the most challenging. I want to keep it short, but draw attention, so sometimes the title is very last.
Cate: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
PL: Favorites are Christine Feehan and Sherilyn Kenyon. I did just finish one by Nina Bangs that I really liked.
Cate: What's next for you? Anything in the works?
PL: I just finished a manuscript Absolution. This is a vampire story and I'm doing a last walk through before going the round of submissions. I'm also working on a sequel to Riley's Journey as I've had so many requests from people around the world. Interesting to revisit.
Cate: Any other hobbies or specialties?
PL: I was a dance teacher/choreographer/performer of Beledi Dance for 27 years. Along with another woman, we ran the dance troupe Marrakesh Express and had some success. I am pretty creative - make fairy gardens, Christmas wall hangings, etc. Since writing, though, much of this has gone by the way. Just too much involved in the writing process. But I'm loving life.
Cate: Where can you be found on the web?
PL: My web page is www.plparker.com; my myspace is www.myspace.com/mrsplparker and my blog is plparker.blogspot.com. I'm also on Facebook and Twitter and numerous other author websites.
Cate: Anything else you’d like to share?
PL: I wish everyone writer had a husband as supportive and as big a fan as my husband, Jack. He was so convinced I would be a good writer, he went out and bought my computer and told me to get started. So I did.
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
PL: I'd be interested to know what they are interested in. Sometimes hearing what others would like to read opens up new vistas.
Cate: Readers, PL's giving away a book to a random commenter... so start commenting! She'll pick a winner on Friday, Aug. 28 around 8 pm EST.