Friday, August 21, 2015

Today's blog interview is with Mysti Parker, who writes romances and romantic fantasies as well as children's books.

 Questions for interviews. –Mysti Parker

1. What genre(s) do you write in and why? Do you write flash fiction, short stories, novellas and/or novels? If you do multiple genres and/or lengths, which do you prefer? Have you ever written any poetry? I write several subgenres of romance, as well as children’s books and flash fiction. I write romance because I love a good love story, children’s books because my children inspire me to tell stories and flash fiction to challenge myself and fill in the gaps. I love every type of book/story that I write, so I don’t really have a preference. When I was a teenager, I wrote a lot of poetry. My mother bound them all up for me in a book and gave it to me for my 23rd birthday. She passed in 2003, so it’s a very special keepsake for me.

2. How long have you been writing? Since forever. The first story I remember writing was when I was 7 or 8, called “The Sad Christmas,” about my grandfather dying on Christmas Eve. I didn’t start writing for publication until 2009.

3. What social media do you use to spread awareness of your work? The usual suspects – Facebook, Twitter, and bit of Pinterest and Instagram. Also my website, which I’m finally starting to figure out how to build. I have a love/hate relationship with Wordpress. Mostly hate. LOL

4. If you had unlimited funds, how would you advertise your work? I’d probably make them into independent films. I’d so love to see them in movie form, but isn’t that every author’s dream?

5. What are you working on now? I’ve recently finished the 4th book in my Tallenmere fantasy romance series. It’ll be out late this fall. My first historical, A Time for Everything, just published on July 7, so I’m busy promoting that one. I’ve begun work on my 3rd children’s book and am researching my 2nd historical romance. Also planning a series of novellas with my co-author, MJ Post. Oh, and I’ll need to write The Roche Hotel, Season Three somewhere in there. I won’t get truly productive until the kids are back in school later this month, I’m afraid, but I’ll have plenty to keep me busy.

6. Have you self-published anything? What was your experience like? Yes, I self-pubbed the first book in my fantasy romance series (A Ranger’s Tale), when the contract expired with my publisher. I’ve also self-pubbed The Roche Hotel romantic comedy series, my co-authored contemporary novella Chances Are and my children’s books. I haven’t had a bad experience. It’s challenging, being responsible for every aspect of the process, but it’s also nice to have that freedom. I can decide on cover art, where to sell, how much to sell it for, etc. It is more important to watch costs, however, since the financial burden is all on me. But if you are patient, persistent, and professional, it’s not impossible.

7.Do you have an agent and/or publisher? How did you find them? No agent, but I still have the rest of my fantasy romance series with Melange Books. They were the first publisher to accept my work back in 2009, when they were Midnight Showcase. They’ve grown a lot since then, and I’m glad I stayed. My historical is published with EsKape Press. I found them via Ruth J. Hartman, another author I just adore. I submitted that one to several places, and had two publishers accept it (one being EsKape). I chose to go with EsKape, and I’m glad I did, because it wasn’t long until the other pub went belly up. Phew.

8.Have you sold your work at book fairs or conventions? What kind of experience did you have? Oh yeah, many. I’ve already attended several things, and have many more this fall. One of them is FandomFest, coming up Aug. 7-9 at the KY International Convention Center in Louisville. It’s your typical comic con experience, and I dress the part as an elven ranger from my fantasy series. September will be crazy with Steamboat Days in Jeffersonville, IN on Labor Day weekend, then Imaginarium in Louisville at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Sept 11 – 13 and the Kentuckiana Authors Book Blitz on Sept. 19 at the historic Palace Theater. Experiences vary at these events. You never know whether there will be a lot of people in attendance or if the weather will cooperate or if anyone there will be interested in your genre, etc. Mostly, it’s been a good experience—I’ve met a lot of other authors, bloggers, bookstore owners and readers. It’s been a good way to get my work out there.

9.If you had it to do over again, would you have started writing sooner? Yes!! I’m nearing 40, need reading glasses, and sitting too long hurts!

10.What are some review remarks that stick in your head? I appreciate all my reviews, however the one piece of feedback I remember the most, and used to my benefit, was back in 2010 when I started writing my historical romance. I was taking a writing course, getting feedback on some of the scenes I had written. One of my classmates said, “Don’t whitewash history.” My book was set during the Civil War/Reconstruction era, and that really stuck with me. Eventually, it helped me write a much better book. Here’s an article I wrote about it that tells the whole story:

11.Which do you find hardest: coming up with a story idea, writing, revising, or marketing? Writing that first draft is the hardest, most hair-pulling part of the process for me. Marketing is even harder and often frustrating. I can only take it in small doses. The revision part is actually my favorite. It’s like I’ve finally got all the grueling work of the house building done, so now I get to decorate it and make it pretty!

12.Your character decides to go a different way than you planned. What do you do? I have no choice but to listen and let them do as they please. I’m merely a transcriber for all these voices in my head.

Mysti's most recent book is A Time for Everything. 

Blurb for A Time for Everything:
After losing her husband and only child to the ravages of the Civil War, twenty-five-year-old Portia McAllister is drowning in grief. When she sees an ad for a live-in tutor in another town, she leaves everything behind in hopes of making a fresh start. But as a Confederate widow in a Union household, she is met with resentment from her new charge and her employer, war veteran Beau Stanford. 

Despite their differences, she and Beau find common ground and the stirrings of a second chance at love—until his late wife’s cousin, Lydia, arrives with her sights set on him. Burdened with a farm on the brink of bankruptcy, Beau is tempted by Lydia’s hefty dowry, though Portia has captured his heart. 

In another time and another place, his choice would be easy. But love seems impossible amid the simmering chaos of Reconstruction that could boil over at any moment into an all-out battle for survival. Will Beau and Portia find their way into each other’s arms, or will they be swept away by raging forces beyond their control?
Buy Links:

Mysti Parker is a wife, mother, and shameless chocoholic. While her first love is romance, including five published books and an award-winning historical coming this summer, she enjoys writing flash fiction (the weirder the better) and children's stories. When she's not writing, Mysti works as a freelance editor, serves as a mentor in a 7-week writing course (F2K) and reviews books for SQ Mag, an online speculative fiction magazine. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband, three children and too many pets.


  1. Thanks for the interview, Joyce!! ~Mysti

    1. It was my pleasure, since I've enjoyed so many of your books. Keep writing!

  2. great interview.
    Glad you mentioned your guest appearance last month at Four Foxes One Hound.
    Pleased to see so many of your successes listed here in one place -- you're doing great!