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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

AUTHOR INTERVIEW MYSTI PARKER


Who is, Mysti Parker? Tell us about yourself.
First of all, thanks for having me here today! I’m a full time wife and mama of three, though long ago and far away, I studied biology and worked outside the home. We live in the beautiful state of Kentucky, with its rolling hills, hot summers, and delicious sweet tea. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for fourteen years now. Our two daughters are 9 and 6, and our son is 3. Life’s busy, but it’s good.

When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve loved writing ever since I learned to read at age three. But, only recently, in 2009, did I decide to write for publication.

Who and/or what prompted you to write your first novel?
A Ranger’s Tale was born out of a love of Lord of the Rings and roleplaying games involving elves and other fantastical creatures. I also wanted to write a story that put the elves in the spotlight and give them some challenges that didn’t involve them diminishing and heading into the west. Besides, who can watch Orlando Bloom as Legolas and not be inspired? So, I decided to make my own fantasy world called Tallenmere, and it’s been a great playground for my imagination.

Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
Being a full-time mama doesn’t give me much freedom to pick and choose locations to write. The coffee shop isn’t quite the place for a precocious three year old. But I do have an office in the basement, which was one of the things I requested when we bought our house last November (along with enough bathrooms for everyone). As far as the how—I love listening to music while I write, especially songs that fit the scenes or chapters I’m writing. You can take a look on my blog to see the playlist for A Ranger’s Tale. http://mystiparker.blogspot.com/p/theme-songs-for-rangers-tale.html

What made you chose to write fantasy romance in particular? And is there any other genre you’d like to write? And if so, why?
If anything, I’d say my novels are steamy, but not erotic. There are some hot love scenes, but I don’t feel the need to go into super graphic detail. I like to leave some of it to the reader’s imagination! As far as other genres, I’ve dabbled in horror in short stories or humor, but romance is definitely right up my alley. I’d really like to finish a historical romance I’m working on and maybe branch out to contemporary or paranormal romance as well.

Which appears first when contemplating a new project: A character, the plot and/or the title?
I’m a very character-driven writer, so the characters usually come to mind first, and the plot grows around them. Titles emerge somewhere along the way.

What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: Beginning, middle and/or end? Why?
The end. I tend to want to rush them and not keep torturing my poor characters. I love happy endings, but I have to remember to slow it down and get there in the most climactic way possible.

Has your own life influenced your novels? And if so, how?
I write fantasy romance, and while I don’t have personal experience with magic or elves, I do include a few things I’m familiar with. You’ll find a lot of references to the natural world my characters live in, which stems from my biology background. Also, my stories usually involve families and children. They say “write what you know”—so that’s what I do!

Writing sex/romantic scenes can be a challenge for some authors. Do you find it difficult? If yes, how do you compensate? If no, where do you draw your inspiration?
Sometimes it can be challenging. I especially enjoy writing love scenes in very interesting and beautiful ways that evoke all the senses, while taking into account the settings and challenges the characters are facing. It takes a few tries to get it right, but when it works, I think it does the job without sounding like a sex manual.

Do you have a method you use to write the sensual parts? Do you prefer the sex to be open and bold? Or left to the imagination?
As I said before, I tend to stop just short of graphically detailed descriptions, but I want readers to clearly picture the scene and the emotions the viewpoint character is feeling. Overall, I like the story to contain a few steamy scenes, but sometimes I stop at a general “we made love for hours” if it’s warranted.

Are your characters based on people you know? Or are they completely fictitious?
I’d say completely fictitious, with some character traits from people I know. I’ve yet to strongly base a character off anyone.

Who is your favorite character, which you’ve created? And why?
I had a lot of fun with Caliphany from A Ranger’s Tale. She really had to grow and change over the course of the story. I gave her some hard challenges to overcome, and sometimes she didn’t make the right choices, but learned lessons anyway. I totally enjoyed that!

Can you tell us about your latest release? Give a synopsis.
Sure! Here’s the scoop on A Ranger’s Tale, the first book in a series of stand-alone novels from the fantasy world of Tallenmere:

Once upon a time an elven noblewoman longed to leave her gilded cage. A half-breed former pirate wanted nothing more than to escape his guilty past. Easier said than done...
In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, the high elf, Caliphany Aranea, nearly a century old, has never been allowed to travel farther than a few miles out of the capital city of Leogard. Her father, Sirius, leads the Mage Academy, and after losing his only son, he expects Caliphany to take his place one day. The trouble is, she doesn't want to study magic and doubts she'll ever be as good a wizard as her father. She dreams of leaving Leogard to explore the world and strike out on her own--lofty goals for Sirius' daughter, who also happens to be King Leopold's niece.
When two brutes at Leogard Harbor attempt to kidnap her while she dreams of faraway lands, half-elf ship captain and ranger, Galadin Trudeaux, comes to her rescue. From their first chance encounter to the finale, where Caliphany must decide where her heart truly lies, she and Galadin will face more adventure, more love, more heartache, than they ever thought possible. Through it all, they discover the power of forgiveness and of a love that stands the test of time.

What’s your newest WIP? And when we can expect a publication date?
I’m working on Serenya’s Song, which is the second book in the Tallenmere series. It stars a prominent male character from A Ranger’s Tale, Jayden Ravenwing. It’ll be released sometime in April 2012.

This story takes us to the small town of Summerwind, where Jayden seeks a quieter life away from the bustle of Leogard and his first love, Caliphany. At the local tavern, he meets Serenya Crowe, who instantly sparks his interest. She's half-elf, half-something else, but she's everything he's ever wanted in a woman. Except, he never expected to fall in love again so quickly, and especially with the wife of the Earl of Summerwind. To complicate matters, a strange portal has appeared on the Crowe property, one which Jayden fears could lead to the death of Serenya and everyone in Summerwind, unless he can find a way to close it.

How many novels do you have, that are currently published? Please list all the publishers, so the readers can locate you.
A Ranger’s Tale is my first full-length novel, but I also have a novelette published in an anthology called Hearts of Tomorrow. That story is called “Let There Be Love”, and it’s set in the same fantasy world of Tallenmere. Both books are published with Melange Books:
http://www.melangebooks.com/authors/mystiparker/mystiparker.html


Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
I hope to have written more novels in the Tallenmere series, though I can’t say how many that will be. I have concrete plans for the first three, and a good idea of the fourth and fifth, at least. Other than that, I hope to have written and published short stories and a four-author collaborative novel that’s in the planning stages now. Mostly, I just want to submit to the writing bug’s direction!

Mysti Parker is a full-time wife, mom of three, and a writer. Born and raised in Kentucky, writing has always been her first love. After many years of pursuing other things, she began her writing career in earnest in 2009. Look for more romantic tales from her fantasy world of Tallenmere, where magic, passion, murder, and mayhem are a part of everyday life.

A Ranger's Tale  by Mysti Parker
Paperback, E-book, or Kindle, 186 pages
Published January 29th 2011 by Melange Books
ISBN: 9781612351
 "Elves, wizards, and hot romance!" ~Lyn Horner, author of Darlin' Druid
“…I was completely surprised by how involved I became in the story. The fantastical world created by the author became very real to me and as a reader that is a very good thing.” ~ Wendy Mitchell, You Gotta Read Reviews
“Mysti Parker has hit one out of the ballpark …I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this world and this story which I read in a single sitting - I couldn't put it down.” ~ WildAboutBones, Goodreads Reviewer

Once upon a time an elven noblewoman longed to leave her gilded cage. A half-breed former pirate wanted nothing more than to escape his guilty past. Easier said than done...
In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, the high elf, Caliphany Aranea, nearly a century old, has never been allowed to travel farther than a few miles out of the capital city of Leogard. Her father, Sirius, leads the Mage Academy, and after losing his only son, he expects Caliphany to take his place one day. The trouble is, she doesn't want to study magic and doubts she'll ever be as good a wizard as her father. She dreams of leaving Leogard to explore the world and strike out on her own--lofty goals for Sirius' daughter, who also happens to be King Leopold's niece. 
When two brutes at Leogard Harbor attempt to kidnap her while she dreams of faraway lands, half-elf ship captain and ranger, Galadin Trudeaux, comes to her rescue. From their first chance encounter, to the finale, where Caliphany must decide where her heart truly lies, she and Galadin will face more adventure, more love, more heartache, than they ever thought possible. Through it all, they discover the power of forgiveness and of a love that stands the test of time.

 Excerpt from Chapter 12:
               "Cap’n! You better come see this!”
                Damn, that coffee smelled good. I set the cup down. “What is it?”
                “A stowaway, Cap’n.”
                I followed him out, where Bob held a kicking, squirming woman. My jaw dropped. “Cali?”
                “We found her below, Cap’n,” Shyler said.
                “Let me go!” Cali yelled. “Your captain knows me; he’ll vouch for my innocence.”
                Some more of the crew began gathering around to have a good laugh. Cali’s face glowed red, and I stepped toward them. Bob held her tightly, clasping her arms behind her.
                I raised an eyebrow. “Well, you are a stowaway. Not exactly innocent, are you?”
                Shyler snickered, his squinty eyes bouncing from me to Cali. “Looks like this one got attached to ya, Cap’n. You’ve never had ‘em sneakin’ aboard.”
                Cali’s mouth fell open. “I am no such woman. Let me go!”
                “Let her go, Bob.”
                He obeyed, and Cali stomped up to me, glaring me right in the eye. “Take me to Faewood!”
                The crew laughed again. I had to join in that time.“Faewood? No, I think you’d best go back to where you belong. Shyler, turn about!”
                “We’ll be headed leeward, Cap’n.”
                I kept my eyes on Cali. “We’ll have to sail against the wind, which will put us off schedule, but we don’t have much of a choice now, do we?”
                Bob and some of the others ran to adjust the sails, while Shyler ran back to the helm.
                Cali’s face filled with panic. “You can’t do that.”
                “Oh, yes, I can. You don’t belong out here with a ship full of sailors. I don’t know what you were thinking.”
                She pinched her lips together and jutted her chin out. “I thought I would find some compassion, someone who could see my dilemma.”
                My brow hardened. “What dilemma? What I see is a woman who’s bored with her comfortable life and decided to traipse off and find adventure. You’ll have to find someone else to provide your amusement.”
                “That’s what you would see, wouldn't you? You don’t even know who I am.”
                “Oh, yes, I do. I know you’re the king’s niece, and I know I’m taking you back home before we all hang.”
                “How did you find out?”
                “It doesn’t matter. You’re going back, and that’s final.”
                As the boat began to turn, it jerked portside. Cali stumbled, and I caught her. She felt good in my arms, until she wrenched herself away from me. Her blue eyes clouded with fury. She backed away to stand near the rigging. When she held her hand palm out, I watched a ball of fire appear, spinning like a cyclone.
                I crept toward her and reached out one hand. “Cali, what are you doing?”
                She stepped farther from me, her hand dangerously close to the main mast. “You will take me to Faewood, or I will incinerate this entire ship.”
                Some of my crew saw what was happening and began to run toward her. I threw up my hand to stop them. “Have you gone mad? What do you think you’ll do if the ship burns down? Swim? In case you didn’t notice, we’re a long way from shore.”
                “I don’t care anymore. I’ll go down same as you.”
                I stared at her, confused by my own emotions more than anything. On one hand, I was furious that she’d put me in this situation, but on the other, she seemed desperate. If the sea didn’t drown her, then hopelessness would. I growled and turned to where Shyler stood frozen by the wheel. He and some of the others had drawn their weapons.
                “Return to our course,” I shouted to Shyler. “Head for Faewood.”
                “Aye, Cap’n.”
                Cali lowered her hand. Bob sprang forward, but I caught his shirt. “Leave her be. I’ll escort her to my cabin. We’ll take her to Faewood and leave her there.”
                Bob glared at me. He was about as wide as he was tall, and his usually jolly eyes flashed with fear. “This won’t look good for any of us, Cap’n.”
                “I know. But, we were heading there anyway. I want all sails unfurled. The sooner we arrive, the better.”
                Bob sheathed his sword. “Aye, Cap’n, but it’s unlucky, I tell you, having a woman on board.”
                “Hopefully she won’t be with us long.”
                I motioned toward my cabin, and Cali went in. She stood by the table, tapping her fingers. My coffee cup had slid off and lay broken on the floor. A stream of brown liquid ran under the table.
                “Figures.” I bent to pick up the pieces. Cali fetched a towel.
                “Thank you,” she muttered.
                As I tossed the broken ceramic in the trash, I asked, “Tell me, what is so god-awful bad about your life that made you want to hijack my ship?”
                Her chin quivered. “My father…”
                Indignation got the best of me. I still smelled the coffee I hadn’t had a chance to drink. “Oh, that again. Yes, your father is a difficult man. So what? That’s what fathers are supposed to be like, with daughters like you, especially.”
                She turned and buried her face in her hands. I felt like an ass. I grasped her shoulders. “I’m sorry.”
                Given half the chance, I would have held her in my arms. Instead, she shot away and turned angry, wet eyes toward me. “Take me to Faewood and leave me alone!”
                If I had met a more exasperating woman, I didn't remember it.
                “Fine! But, you’ll stay put until we get there, you hear me?”
                She turned her head away. “Yes. Just go.”
                I left her in there, slamming the door behind me. Great. She’d hijacked my ship, kept me from enjoying my coffee, and now, she’d taken over my cabin.
                When I joined Shyler at the helm, he couldn’t hide his toothless grin.
                “What?" I growled.
                “This un’s got you round her finger, Cap’n, that’s what.”
                “Shut up and steer.”

or  Twitter (@MystiParker) 

Thank you for doing the interview Mysti. Your novel sounds great! I wish you all the best for the future. Naught Nightstand with Annie Alvarez is quite naughty @ RLJ
Happy Yaoi Hunting
Blak Rayne^_^!!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me here today!! ~Mysti

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're most welcome, Mysti. All the best!

    ReplyDelete