During a book signing at That Book Place I got the chance to spend the day signing books with fantasy romance author, Mysti Parker and had a blast. If you ever have to be stuck at a signing with another author, hope you find Mysti setting next to you. I asked her to stop by for a few questions and to tell us about her latest book, Hearts in Exile.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
When I figure that out, I’ll let you know! Perhaps the better question is how do you stay sane as a parent, and that’s why I write. I need something to keep my brain from going into complete mombie mush.
As the father of twin girls, I resemble that statement. Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or movie?
Oh yes—I have always imagined myself as one of the X-Men. A mutant by the name of Fauna or something that can shift into various animals. And of course, I’m the love interest of Wolverine (better known as Hugh Jackman).
It’s been suggested I’ve been a movie character as well, but it was in Dumb and Dumber. What is the single most powerful challenge when it comes to writing fantasy romance novels?
That’s hard to pinpoint, as there are a lot of challenges in writing any type of novel, but in this cross-genre business, I suppose it’s balancing the romance and fantasy. And keeping a consistent balance for your fans, while managing to produce an exciting, fresh story line each time.
How embarrassed would I be if I read one of the romantic scenes in your book while my mother-in-law reads over my shoulder?
How much of a prude is your mother-in-law? Tee hee.
You’ve obviously never met my mother-in-law. What do you consider your biggest failure?
I think it’s not figuring out a great balance between the craft and business side of writing before I got into this thing. Like most endeavors in life, I just jumped in and now I’m figuring it out as I go.
I think that’s how most of us entered the writing biz. Some sink, some swim, and by your books, it’s easy to see you are headed to the Olympics. Do you bump off a character in your books while thinking of someone in real life you’d like to take out?
If I told you that, I’d have to kill you, too.
(Gulp). Moving on: How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
Quite a lot. Our formative years make a big impact on everything we do, don’t they? Just as an example, I based the relationship between the heroine in my second book, Serenya’s Song, and her stepfather, to the real life relationship with my stepfather.
I’m looking forward to reading it. Right after I finish A Ranger’s Tale, your first novel. Are you jealous of other writers?
I have my moments. Who doesn’t? But, I really am happy for those who make it big, especially those I know personally. This is a tough business to make into a career, so whoever can do it is pure awesomesauce. I’ll always be a bit jealous of the authors with glowing biographies. You know the ones: they’ve climbed Kilimanjaro six times, tamed wild lions, helped free Tibet, and have PhD’s in Anglo-Saxon history. The most exciting thing I can claim is having paid to have my picture made with Sean Astin and John Rhys-Davies. And that lasted all of 30 seconds.
Love me some Lord of the Rings. How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
I don’t. Not to the reviewer, anyway. I have a rule of never engaging a negative critic. It can backfire and make you look completely unprofessional. So, I keep my pity party at home, where I cry to my husband and indulge in copious amounts of wine and chocolate until I don’t care anymore.
Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?
Let’s just say that over the past year, I’ve had to literally expand my wardrobe. I fear I’ll need a sign that says “Caution: Wide Load” if I don’t get off my butt more often.
I’m also working on getting back my girlish figure. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I gave up the notion of being an acrobat (bad back, you know), so I’d like to be a writer. And not just any writer, but one that can turn this expensive hobby into a real career. A girl can dream, can’t she?
Yes she can. With Mysti’s talent, I have no doubt she will make her dreams come true. Now, a blurb about Hearts in Exile.
In Tallenmere, fate has a way of catching up with you…
Somewhere, hidden in the waters of the Southern Sea, lies an island unlike any other. Within the amber glow of its pyrogem-laden cliffs, legend says the very heart of the dragon god Drae keeps the island, and its occupants, alive.
Loralee Munroviel, daughter of Leogard’s High Priestess Arianne, had no idea what she would face when she arrived by boat ten years ago and was left alone in exile. All she knew about Draekoria’s inhabitants was written in one tattered notebook. Now, her life revolves around keeping Drae’s descendants happy. Never in her life did she imagine being a Dragon Keeper.
Captain Igrorio Everlyn, known as Sir Robert to his unit of Holy Paladins, has faced his share of hell, battling the evils of Emperor Sarvonn’s tyranny and the dark god Tyr’s abominations. But none of that compares to the ten years of hell he’s been without Loralee, presumed dead.
Want to know more about Mysti herself? Then read on.
Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger’s Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya’s Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind’s ‘Sword of Truth’ series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.
Mysti’s other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University’s six week free course, F2K.
Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specific publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder’s Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.
Contact the Author:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mysti-Parker/103786449704221