Please help me welcome author Christy Parks!
Without further ado......
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm one of those rare people who are blessed to stay home and write all day. When I'm not writing, I spend most of my time being a slave to my small menagerie of animals, including a very spoiled six foot iguana.
Iguana, how cool! I love lizards! I have an entire room in my house decorated like a tropical rainforest and all types of decorative lizards mounted on the walls. My husband thinks I'm crazy, but my daughter loves it.
Did you always want to be an author?
Oh man, ever since I read Charlotte's Web. I have an older brother, and when I was a kid, I wanted to do everything he did. Because of this, I learned to read before I was in kindergarten, just so I could do what he did. Since the first time I picked up Charlotte's Web I've always found myself rewriting books in my head. You know, I made sure Charlotte lived, and raised all her little baby spiders.
What is your favorite part of being a writer/author?
Playing with all of my imaginary friends. How many people get to build their fantasy world, their fantasy men or women, and kill the bad guys? I heard one person refer to writing as playing God; I don't think God is as warped and demented as some of us writers.
I agree. I think we are worse.....
Tell us a little about your book.
In She Who Hunts, Tenna Massey is faced with the fact her husband is possessed by a demon, and the only way to free his soul is to kill him. In the meantime, someone is slaughtering innocent people, and if she doesn't find him and stop him, the killing won't stop. What she doesn't realize is while she's hunting him, he's hunting her, and killing anyone in his way.
When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing short stories in elementary school. I used to write a lot of short stories in middle school, and the male lead was always a member of the New Kids On The Block, or one of the guys from The Disney Club. (Anyone ever hear of the Disney music group called The Party?)
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get asked this a lot, as do all authors. The answer is simple and not-life. With She Who Hunts, I remember watching the news about a man killing his family. Everyone who knew him stated how he was such a kind and loving man. An errant thought ran through my head, 'he's possessed.' The story just spun from there.
Do you plot and outline or do you just write? Plotter or Pantser?
Can I call myself a Plotser? Laughs I do both, actually. When I start thinking about a book I want to know everything I can about the characters, all the way down to their bra size, favorite childhood cartoon, etc. Once I get the main key points nailed down, I think about how I want to get the character from Point A to Point B. All the rest just flows as I put my fingers to the keyboard.
Ooooooh, I like that ... Plotser... I'm going to steal it!
Can you tell us a little about the process of getting your first book published?
Actually, my first book was published last year, but I pulled it after doing another read through. It definitely needed more work. As for this one, my baby, I originally sought an agent or publisher. While it was on sub, I continued doing some research into the world of publishing. After realizing, as a debut author, I would end up doing a majority of the work myself - ie; marketing, publicity, etc – I chose to go the route of self-publishing. If I'm doing most of the work myself, why don't I get to keep more of the royalties. Plus, I have complete creative control over the final product, including the book cover. I've never been one to swoon over scantily clad males nibbling on the neck of some damsel in distress.
What book have you most recently released?
My book, She Who Hunts, was released in the beginning of May on Amazon and Smashwords. It will be available on all e-readers within the next few weeks. As of this week you can also find the paperback through Amazon.com.
What was your favorite part of the book?
I'd have to say when Tenna finally accepts her place in the world and realizes she's saving her husband by setting him free. She's strong, yet human.
Rate your story in terms steaminess?
Man, I don't know. I guess on a scale from 1-10 (1 being Sookie sweet, 10 being Fifty Shades of Grey), I'd have to go with a five. There's a hot sex scene, but the book revolves more around the character's actions, than the physical attraction building between Tenna and Jason. Don't worry, now that they've begun to explore their feelings, book Two will contain way more sensuality.
Do you have another book in the works?
I do. Tenna has a long story which needs to be told. She Who Hunts is just the first in the series.
What advice would you give new authors? What have you learned about the business?
Read. Keep reading. Then read some more. Read books in your genre, books outside of your genre, and books on writing and editing. You can never read too much.
I've learned this business is not for the faint of heart or people with thin skin. If you go the route of traditional publishing, you'll be told 'no' more times than a toddler. If you go the route of self-publishing, you'll have to endure thousands of hours of marketing, networking, and promoting, on top of the hours spent researching and actually writing.
Boxers or Briefs?
Can I say boxer briefs? I love the tighter fitting boxers on a man. Of course, au natural works, too.
Pizza or hamburger? Steak! laughs
Beer, Wine, or mixed drink?
Bud Light Lime, or a good Captain and Coke. Never been much for wine.
If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be? Would you write or read there, or do something else?
I've always dreamed of seeing Africa and Australia. I would definitely bring my laptop, or at least a notebook, but hopefully, I would be too busy exploring to have time to write. Who am I kidding, I write even when I'm sleeping!
What were your first impressions of each other?
Tenna: He was so bossy. Almost a little arrogant. But his eyes were so pretty.
Jason: She seemed kind of weak. I went into the situation thinking maybe the stories were right about her, but when she passed out at the courthouse, I started having second thoughts. I think she's proven she can handle herself, though.
Tenna: Yeah, thanks for bringing that up again.
What’s your favorite characteristic of each other?
Tenna: His eyes. smiles up at Jason His eyes seem to be a portal to his soul.
Jason: I don't know if you're able to post that in a blog. Just kidding. I love running my fingers through her curls. That, and she's one of the spunkiest women I've ever met.
What are your plans for the near future?
Tenna: I was hoping to enjoy some down time after the incident with Paul, but I think we have to get back to work. I can't let people die just because I want a vacation.
Jason: I'm with her on that. I was hoping to spend a little time with Tenna, but with our two housemates joining us, and murders on the rise, we really need to get back to Hunting.
My hands were warming on the sides of the mug, the smell of the coffee filled my nose, but I was uncomfortable. My skin felt ready to crawl off my body, like insects were roaming just under the surface of my flesh. I hadn’t felt that feeling since…yesterday morning.
“Claire, get up!” I screamed as I jumped to my feet. There was a demon somewhere outside. I couldn’t tell how far, or which direction it was moving in. I only knew there was one nearby, and it more than likely sensed me just as I had sensed it. This damn energy sensing talent of mine was also a curse. I wasn’t able to suppress the energy I put out, it was far too easy for others to find me…if they knew what they were looking for.
I bolted to the windows, searching the woods with my eyes as Claire shuffled out of her room. “Where’s the fire?” She asked, her voice hoarse with sleep.
With one glance from me she knew where the fire was…we were standing directly in it. “Oh shit! Again? Here? Where? Who? Where the hell is Jason?” Her questions rolled one on top of the other. She was asking the room as much as she was asking me.
“I don’t know who or where it is, and I don’t know where Jason is,” I said.
“Then how do you know it’s one of them?” She asked. She had backed into the kitchen, and pressed her back against the far counter, probably wishing she could disappear into the wood and granite. She slid down the counter, landing hard on her knees. Her eyes were wide, filled with terror, as she shook her head from side to side, over and over again. “Not again…not again,” she whispered over and over again.
“Just stay down!” I whispered. The windows were only about two feet from the ground, ducking under them wasn’t totally possible, but I crouched as low as I could while still watching through the long row of glass. “Where the fuck is Jason?” I whispered more to myself than out loud. He was supposed to be protecting us. Then again, I was supposed to be the offspring of two of the best Hunters through history. Yet, here I was, ducking under the windows, whispering like a kid hiding from the monsters.
“Fuck this.” I climbed to my feet and stood, fully visible to anyone outside who might be looking in. That wasn’t quite enough for me. I turned on my heel and headed toward the door, my feet thudding against the floor with each step.
“Tenna, what the hell are you doing? Get down!” Yeah, I heard Claire, but she might as well have been talking to the wall for all I cared. I was tired of being a victim. Tired of being afraid.
The door opened with ease, and made a loud thud when it hit the wall from the force of which I yanked it open. I stood in the open doorway, daring whoever - whatever - it was to show itself. Adrenaline singed its way through my veins, pumped my heart, and brought my vision into crystalline focus, my hearing so acute I swear I could’ve heard a bird poop in the woods.
Footsteps crunching on gravel brought my attention to the right, but the energy flowing from the source of the steps wasn’t what had me on edge. This was a soothing energy, Jason’s energy.
“What are you doing?” He asked. His eyebrows were pulled together, his mouth turned down slightly at the edges.
“Someone’s here,” I answered.
He stopped mid-stride, and focused his attention on the surrounding woods. “Where?”
"Don’t know…close.” I stepped though the door and padded, still barefoot, to stand next to Jason. He put a hand out, his arm stretched across my chest, and attempted to push me behind him, all while shuffling backwards towards the house.
“Stop. I’m not going back inside. I’m done running.”
“You have no idea what you’re saying,” he protested, his back still to me.
“I’m perfectly capable of fighting.”
He turned on me. “I can’t fight with you…”
“Shh. It’s here.” The energy that flowed across my skin now burned and froze my flesh. It wasn’t a sensation which could be described with one word, it was anything and everything you could think of when describing evil. It was the epitome of pain and torture. But I was accustomed, though not exactly use to the feeling. I always have, and always will hate the feeling of evil.
As if on cue, a man appeared through a thick spread of overgrown bushes at the edge of the tree line. He was no more than an inch taller than me, and thick around the waist. His hair was thinning which emphasized his bulbous nose and beady eyes. He stopped when he spotted the two of us watching him.
His hand moved forward and up, and he waved. He actually waved. It was an awkward motion, sort of a salute. That was a first for me. In the times I’d seen any demons they would either turn and run when they felt who I was, or they would try to kill me - as Paul had done on many occasions.
“What is he doing?” I whispered.
Jason raised his shoulders in a half shrug in response. Great. We’re both flying blind.
“Should we just go out there and kill him?”
He shook his head. “Could be a trap. Could be more in the woods.”
I felt my eyes go wide in unison with my accelerated heart beat. Wait, I would feel it if there were more. “He’s alone.”
Jason turned his head to side just a fraction of an inch. “How do you know?”
“I told you…I can feel them. He’s burning my skin as we speak. If there were more, trust me, I’d know it.”
Jason actually risked a glance down at me this time. Just a quick shift of his eyes. But the man, the demon, took a step toward us, shifting Jason’s attention back to the doughboy in front of us. He was actually walking toward us. He’s got some balls. Gotta give him that much.
“Find out what he wants. Then kill him,” his tone was flat, matter of fact, deadly.
Thank you so much for hanging out with us today Christy! It was so great to get to know you and find out about your newest release, SHE WHO HUNTS.
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