Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Interview With Nancy Parra

Good morning! My apologies for posting late!
Those looking for Insecure Writers Post it's HERE.

Nancy Parra is my guest OVER COFFEE. It's been awhile since you've visited on this side of the blog.

Hi, Sia, thanks for having me over coffee today. I like virtual coffee because I’m gluten-free (not by choice) and am limited in what I can have with my coffee. (But hey, I found this great recipe for gluten-free blueberry coffee cake…but that’s a discussion for next time.)

No problem, Nancy. I have to be mostly gluten free myself, which sucks at times. At least my coffee with half and half can be normal (since all those special flavored creamers tend to have gluten). I'd love to have your blueberry coffee cake recipe.  

Describe your writing space. Or, describe your DREAM writing space.

  • I have an office at my house that overlooks the back yard. Beyond our backyard is a strip of woods that is a wildlife highway to the edge of a small lake. I’ve seen deer, coyotes, rabbits, opossums, skunks, etc. traveling through the woods. This time of year we get Canada geese that fly in around ten a.m. every morning for a twenty minute “coffee break.” They splash down and talk and eat and nap. Sometimes there are as many as a hundred on the lake. This is the fifth year I’ve had the privilege of watching them stop by and the craziest thing is you can set your clock by them every year.
With a view like that how do you get any writing done?

  • Some days it is hard, but mostly my characters poke me. They want me to tell their story and they glare at me until I do what they want so I set myself a goal of five pages before I can get do any social media.

Lol! Glare at you? What characters are glaring at you right now?

  • I have this really cute Sherriff that has shown up. He says I need to get writing so he can help that lovely new girl in town with the dead body in her utility room.

So wait- a dead body…that’s not romantic. Are you writing a mystery next? Why?

  • Well, you see, I recently got a full time job working as a Marketing Communications Manager for a toxicology lab. So I have forensic testing on my mind. Toxicology lends itself more to mysteries than romance, but never fear there is plenty of romance going on in my mysteries. If you read my books you know that most of my romances include a mystery of some sort so it was a natural progression.
I've read all of your books and that's true, you have.

Wow, working full time. I’m curious, how is working full time and writing? Has it slowed you down any? Changed your routine?

  • At first it did because my workplace was a two-hour in one direction drive through construction traffic. By the time I got home, I was exhausted. I’ve remedied that by taking a small apartment close to my work. Now the trip is twenty minutes. I do miss my room with a view but I go home weekends and get to see the view. In the meantime, there is no television at the apartment so I have quality time with my characters.

You write in the evening then? Is it hard to change what time you write?

  • When I first started writing I wrote when my kids napped-so it was mid-morning/mid-afternoon. Then as the kids got older I took a part time job and wrote in the mornings before work. Now I work full time and write at night. What I’ve found is that it isn’t the time of day that matters. It really is all about getting my bum in a chair and staying there until something gets written

Still, working full time and writing, where do you find the time? Doesn’t something have to give?

  • Sadly I had to cut back on some of my social networking. I love to interact with my friends on-line, but I love my characters more. My goal is to keep the quality of my writing up and squeeze in social networking. I use social networking as a reward. If I hit my personal goal then I get to get on-line. I’m well motivated. LOL

Well, I’ve chin wagged a bunch. It’s been great fun and I’m on my third cuppa.

It's always fun chatting with you Nancy and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here! 

Thanks for having me, Sia. Your blog and your readers are always on my priority list. Cheers~

Counterfeit Bride (Avalon Romance) [Hardcover]

Lillian Picken discovers the perfect solution for the problem of being a female entrepreneur in the 1870s. She invents a husband, Donovan West, and convinces the townsfolk that he will return as soon as his army commission is up. The ruse works, until the day a man comes to town claiming to be Donovan West. Secret Service agent Patrick Donovan must ferret out a counterfeit ring in the Silverton area. Donovan's search for the perfect cover ends at the discovery of Lillian's secret. He takes the place of her pretend husband.

But the deep attraction he feels for her begins to complicate things. Not only has Donovan's mission put Lillian in danger, but he has vowed never to marry again and when the job is over, he will return to Washington D.C. for his next assignment. Lillian claims not to care where he goes, but will cracking the case leave them both with a broken heart? Excerpt


Nancy J. Parra is always writing something and happy to discover people like to read what she writes. Currently published in romantic suspense and sweet western historical romances, she holds an MA in Writing Popular Fiction and a BS in Journalism.
Nancy is currently at work on her next novel and loves to hear from readers. She lives in the Midwest with her little dog, "Booboo."

Nancy’s book, The Lovin' Kind, was named one of the top ten romances of 2006 by Booklist Magazine.
Her previous book, The Bettin’ Kind, received a starred review from Booklist Magazine. said it was “… a wonderful story that thoroughly sucks you in and doesn’t let go until the last page is read.”

The first in the Morgan Family Series, The Marryin’ Kind, was heralded as “…another winner,” by Booklist Magazine, while  Wyoming Wedding won a Reviewer’s Choice award from  Labeled a rising star of 2002 by Booklist Magazine, Ms. Parra is proud that A Wanted Man received a starred review in the October 2002 edition of Booklist Magazine and Saving Samantha was featured on the chapter-a-day website.


Nancy said...

Sia, what a fun post!

Nancy, I loved Remington Steele, with a con man showing up and claiming to be the heroine's imaginary boss, and this sounds like the same kind of story. But without the con aspect. Add in the Secret Service and a western setting, and it sounds wonderful.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Nancy, I thought it was cool too. I loved her reaction when Donovan showed up, lol! It gets better each scene.

Thanks for stopping by.

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Hey Sweetie,

Great post! Nancy your book sounds like an awesome read I will have to go out and get this one...I like the combo theme!


Isis Rushdan said...

Hi Sia, great interview.

Nice to see you here, Nancy :). Bummer about that commute. So smart of you to take a small apt closer to work to preserve your sanity and ability to write. It is tough juggling everything. Between writing full time, doing my reserve commitment, writing and spending time with my husband something had to give. So taking a break from work so I can focus more on writing. I'm happier and live a more balanced life :).

Tonya Kappes said...

Oh, Nancy! I can so relate to "it doesn't matter what time of day it is..." when you write. Having four children of my own, I've changed my writing time of day for years! From naps, to early mornings before work, car line, sporting practices and events, late night, and now during the day. All that really helps is to get my butt in the chair! Great blog!

Dana Fredsti said...

"Writing equals ass plus seat," according to Jen Sincero. You said it with a bit more gentility, Nancy, but I agree with both you and Jen! Really fun interview and as a writer who also works full time, I love your positive and enthusiastic attitude. And since I love mysteries with romance (or romances with mysteries), I am sure I'm going to love your books!

VA said...

Love the excerpts, Nancy. And what dedication, I am convinced that I must not be a true writer for I always put other things first. Either that or it's guilt, an indulgence that should come after everything else.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Everyone!

Sia, thanks for having me here. You are a hardworking writer I truly admire and I'm proud to be your friend. (I'll send that coffee cake recipe.)
Hi Nancy, I had so much fun with this romance. Oh the things that happen when we think we're being smart. lol.
Hi Hawk, it's been a while since I've seen you on-line, or has it been a while since I've been on line. lol. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Isis, *waves* good to see you here, too. It feels like old home week.
Hi Tonya~ (((hugs))) on writing with four kids.It really is in you, isn't it?
Hi Dana, lol~ thanks for the comment-it is sooo true. I hope you enjoy my books.
Hi VA~ I don't think it's that you aren't a "true" writer. I think you have a tendency to put everyone else first is all. Give yourself permission to put writing first one or two days a week and you will see what I mean.
Cheers, Everyone!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Nancy, Vivian is a very good writer, don't let her fool ya, but she is also one of those generous souls that tends to put herself after...

~Sia McKye~ said...

Isis, finding that hppy spot is a tough one at times, isn't it? But I'm so glad you found a way to make it work for you!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Sia, I had a feeling Vivian was a true writer- and a generous soul. Thanks for confirming that! So many wonderful writers don't give themselves permission to put themselves or their writing first-even for a few moments a day.
Thanks again for having me.

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, working full time and writing. That's a great feat. I really have no excuse. Thank you for sharing your story.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Hi Nancy! Trying your hand at mysteries now, huh? And I remember how you describe your view often at your blog. Better than mine.