Thursday, January 31, 2008

Interview with guest blogger, author CJ Parker

Today, my friend and talented author, CJ Parker is my guest blogger. I hope you will welcome her and leave some comments and questions for her.

1) I know you're from Louisiana near New Orleans. Please tell us how your area is doing at this time. Our hearts go out to all of you.

Thank you, but I was lucky. We lost a lot of trees, but someone was looking out for us because not one tree hit our house. My husband and I went to a friend's camp to stay out the storm. We would have been a lot safer at home, I believe. While at the camp two huge oaks fell on both my husband's car and my SUV. Plus, we were stuck there with no water or power for a week. But again, we were lucky in that all the trees that fell there, not one hit the house full force.

There are areas that are still in bad shape. Some are being rebuilt now, some are not. The big worry is if they should let some areas rebuild at all, since if another Katrina hits, it will happen again because some areas are too low and not protected with a levy. Some areas are just not able to be protected. But over-all, New Orleans itself is back. The French Quarter is in full swing Mardi Gras now. The party has begun.

2) Did you make the You Tube video for your book YouTube - Fugue Macabre: Ghost Dance ? Or did your publisher. What a great idea. If you made it, was it easy? How do you go about it?

No, my publisher, Linda Daly, made the video. She's a very talented woman. All I did was write the script for it.

3) Please tell us about your close friends and critique partners and how important it is for writers to work together?

I got tired of bad critique groups and started my own. I was very picky who I let in. But I ended up with the perfect critique group. I've always been told you should only have people in a group who write the same genre. I didn't follow that advice. I went looking for talents. Let me explain. Sher is the queen of plot. Pam is the queen of echo. Can't get one by her. Lainie is the queen of romance. She knows where it is needed and where it is not. Jen, what can I say about Jen? She is so talented. She catches things I'd never have thought of. June is my cheerleader, but doesn't pull punches when she sees something not quite right. Mic is the queen of cleaning up sentences. Neva is the last sweep critic. She finds things the others may have decided to pass over.

There are eight of us in the group. None of us were published when we started. Now all but three of us are. What does that say?

4) What is a day in your life like? Do you have a normal routine?

I'm a lazy writer. I have to force myself to sit down and do it. You'd think I hate writing but I actually love it. It's that first word, that first sentence that is hard for me. But once I get that down, I'm flying. I write until my brain says, "No more today. See ya later." But my goal is to have at least four pages a day, but I've had a couple of twenty page days. I do not write on Saturday or Sunday. That belongs to my husband.

5) Please tell us about all the contests you're entered in and that you're holding (if any). Why in particular is January a nerve-racking month for you?

Nominations are open for the P.E.A.R.L Awards. I've been told by a few friend that they have nominated me.

My Book Trailer is up for The New Covey Trailer Award.

I entered the JABBC. Judge A Book By its Cover contest.

6) Please tell us about the Fugue Macabre trilogy and where we can get the first book that's already released.

Fugue Macabre: Ghost Dance is available now at book stores and on Amazon. The second book of the trilogy, Bone Dance, will be an October 2008 release.

Ghost Dance is the beginning of the story of three girls with extraordinary "talents". Tabatha is a necromancer. She can raise the dead. Bobbie is a shapeshifter. Rhonda is a firestarter.

In Ghost Dance:

Tabatha Gray, psychiatrist, and necromancer has returned home to start a private practice. Instead she's faced with finding a child killer, solving a 20-year-old murder case and an organization wanting her dead.

7) Are you going to be appearing in any conferences, chats, or book signings soon? Where can your readers find you?

The local stores are just now booking signings again, now that inventory is over. I have a signing on February 9, at B&N, Metairie, Louisiana, Veterans Highway, two to four PM. I'll be signing with Hailey North (Nancy Wagner), Farrah Rochon, June Shaw, and Robin Wells. Then on the following Saturday, February 16, I'll be at B&N, Mandeville, Louisiana, two to four PM.

8) What advice would you like to give to your readers and new writers?

Readers? LOL Buy my book. Okay. Real advice? If you like a writer's work, let her/him know it. If you think they screwed up something in one of their books, tell them. We are never finished learning how to write. And readers can teach us more than the best how-to books in the world.

New writers? The best advice I can give anyone who wants to be a writer is to do it. You'll never be published if you give up. Life is too short. If you want something you have to fight for it. Even if it's ten minutes a day. Write. Even if you have to get up a few minutes early before the kids or hubby starts to demand your attention. I carried a notebook around with me for years. I wrote on my lunch hour. I wrote in traffic jams. You have to believe in you. You are important. There are readers who are waiting for your work. They'll never see it if you quit.

9) What are your goals? Your dreams?

When I decided it was time for me, I bought this little pocket sized notebook and jotted down some goals and hid it in my undies drawer.

1. I was going to get published. ( Goal attained.)

2. I would build up a readership by listening to my readers.

3. Now, this one is a far fetched dream, some tell me, but my goal is to make it to the NYT best seller list.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today and tell us about your books. Good luck with your first release and your writing. I hope you'll join us again.

You're welcome, I enjoyed it.

C J Parker

Dr. Tabatha Gray doesn't have a particular fondness for the dead, but the dead have a desperate affinity for her. Tabatha has always considered her ability a curse, but soon discovers it may be the only thing that can save her and her friends' lives.

Detective Derek Bainbridge tries to ignore the connection he feels for this possibly dangerous necromancer, but he instinctively knows she is the one person who can solve a string of brutal child killings.

Family secrets, lies and treachery combine to make Tabatha's efforts harder as she fights to save the Voodoo Killer's latest victim.


Tabatha turned away and was met with a solid wall of cold, dry flesh. She panicked for a moment, looking around to see if anyone had seen.

“Oh, hell. Where did you come from?”

His head tilted to one side as if trying to understand her question. His arm lifted, and he pointed toward an open cooler drawer. The long, crudely sewn autopsy incisions glared against white skin. He was young, probably not more than twenty-three or twenty-four. In life he had been strong and healthy, good looking.

Damn, she hated when they showed up like this. She always felt sorry for them. Their lives were cut short too early, too violently. They were confused by what had happened. Most didn’t even know they were dead. Years of dealing with this type of situation had not lessened her concern for them. She still wanted to put them at ease; to help them accept what had happened to them and make their transitions go quickly.

“What’s your name?”

“Francis Wade.” His voice escaped in a shaky rasp.

“Well, Francis, you have to go back. You’re dead.”

He glanced down at his nakedness and then at her. “Dead?”

Tabatha looked into his eyes and saw nothing but death’s black void. His soul gone, only an empty shell remained. She took him by the hand and led him to the cooler. The cold of his skin ran a chill up her spine. “Lie down, Francis.”

He did as she said.

“Go to sleep and wake only when God calls you.”

Before turning to leave, she watched his face immobilize into a lifeless mask. Closing the drawer, she turned. Her heart fell to her feet when she saw Bobbie standing next to the other body-draped gurney.

Though she tried to appear nonchalant, standing with arms crossed, leaning against the morgue entry, her expression was almost comical, wide-eyed and slack-jawed. “I knew it. Damn, Tabatha, the rumors are true, aren’t they?” Fugue Macabre: Ghost Dance: Books
YouTube - Fugue Macabre: Ghost Dance


Eldheni said...

Who holds the JABBC contest? You have a very 'moody' cover...lots of setting in that cover.

Your trailer is excellent, a fun introduction to an interesting book. I hope it does well for you.

Can't wait for the second book of the trilogy to make its debut!

CJ Parker said...

JABBC was sponsored by The Houston Bay Area RWA.

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

The second book, Fugue Macabre: Bone Dance will be released in October of 2008.

Anonymous said...

CJ! ;-) Great blog. Quite an interesting read. I'm so honored to have a tag. LOL Plot Queen. Now I need a tiara.

Ghost Dance is an excellent book, and I can't wait for Bone Dance.

One question I've always wanted to ask...does living in New Orleans with all the voodoo history tend to lend itself to your choice of genre?

Great Weekend to you!

Caffey said...

Hi CJ, nice to meet you! I've never been to NO, but some day would love to go to the Mardi Gras there!
I love how unique each of the books sound in the trilogy. I"m a reader and love to chat about the books to the authors. This excerpt sure did pull me in!

I couldn't tell from the site if this book too was a romance in each of the books? I love paranormals! Are there other genres/themes you'd also like/plan to write?

Also you have any kind of newsletter so that we know when news and releases of yours are out?

Thanks, it was nice meeting you!

CJ Parker said...

Hi, Sher. Living in New Orleans didn't hurt. LOL But I've had these kinds of stories in my head since I was a kid on summer camp-outs with my family. I've always had a keen interest in things that go bump in the dark.

CJ Parker said...

Hi, Caffey. All I'll say about New Orleans is it's a nice place to visit. LOL
You ask if each book has a romance in it. Yes. Each of the girls will end up with their life mates. More than that I'll not tell. It would ruin some of the storyline for you.
Other genres? I've been playing with an idea for a mainstream. I also love to write time travel romance and western era set romances.
Newsletter? Not yet. I'm working on that. But you're welcome to read my blog. I will announce anything going on in my life on that, plus you'll get to know me better than you may want to. LOL
It was great meeting you. Keep in touch.

Unknown said...

CJ, thanks for being my guest. I'm glad that the French Quarter in NO is back and that your home is well. I've been to the French Quarter at least three times, all before the hurricane, and I loved it. I marched in the Mardis Gras parade in NO when I was in the Air Force Drum & Bugle corps (I was in the flag corps). It was great.

I love your books, too, and hope I was able to give you some more promo. To all the readers here, CJ's got GREAT stories, not to be missed.

CJ Parker said...

Thanks, so much, Ashley. This was fun. Thank you for the opportunity.
CJ Parker
YouTube - Fugue Macabre: Ghost Dance

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