Wednesday, July 4, 2012

An Interview with Mysti Parker... take 2

Hi people in blog land.

As promised to many people, I'm here with a new fabulous interview with fabulous writer Mysti Parker. Her new book, Serenya's Song is out and about on a beautiful pair of legs. So I thought I'd torture Mysti a little.

Stef: Hi Mysti, and welcome back. You may retake your usual seat :D Have some hor'derves

Mysti: Nom, nom, nom. Thanks!

S: So... how does it feel to already have a second book out?

M: Pretty darn good, Stef. Pretty darn good. Though it felt like it took forever on my end!

S: Do you think you'll ever be less nervous while releasing novels?

M: No. Maybe more confident in my writing ability as I go along, but I think I’ll always be antsy about how they’re received by my fans.

S: What is your favorite thing about Serenya's Song?

M: I think my very favorite thing is that I took a little idea (broken-hearted Jayden moves to Summerwind and meets his true love) and turned it into a dark, complex plot. I surprised myself with how much I let my imagination run wild.

S: You did, indeed (pun intended) as I've noticed in my review of Serenya's story. Were there any particular parts you had trouble with in the story? Like being unable to make up your mind abut putting something in or taking it out?

M: I think you know that answer firsthand. I went through what felt like 287 drafts to get the plot on the right track. I had the most trouble with Sebastian. It was hard to nail down exactly the type of villain he needed to be and how he fit into the climax.

S: Do you still discover things about Tellenmere, or do you have it all planned out and you're drip-feeding the reader information about the world?

M: Tallenmere is still very much a fantasy world to be discovered. Sure, I have most of the world’s basic layout planned, but the topography in terms of not just land, but mythology, history, architecture, and technology keeps growing as I flesh out the series.

S: I know that you're now writing book 3 in the series and that you've had it planned for a while. Is there going to be a book 4? And if yes, what character might carry over?

M: There will be a Book Four. I’m not certain when it will actually be written, though I’ve got a few scenes and a basic plot in files and in my head. It’s going to tentatively be called No Place Like Home. Just for you, dear Stefanie, I will fill you in on who will star in it.

Do you possibly remember Mirabelle Hearton from A Ranger’s Tale? In that book, she’s one of the healers in the Temple. Here’s a little scene from Chapter 39 where she’s trying to nurse Galadin back to health:

A sensation of my skin knitting back together stilled me for a moment. More hands on my ribs—fingers hot as pokers. No one seemed bothered by my screaming. Liquid poured into my mouth and strangled me.

I sputtered and cursed. “Get away from me, damn it! I want my wife!”

A woman with dark hair and darker eyes gripped my face and made me look at her. Her mouth didn’t move, but I heard her clear as day. “Stop your cursing. I am Mirabelle, and you are in the Temple of Omri. We are helping you, and Lady Caliphany is near. Rest now, regain your strength.”

My body relaxed. I nodded and closed my eyes.

Mirabelle will also appear later in Hearts in Exile (Book Three) and will become one of Loralee’s closest friends. Unlike my other heroines up to this point in the series, Mirabelle is a completely normal human being, except for a few „gifts” she was born with. Can you guess what one of them is from that little excerpt?

S: I can easily guess. I wouldn't have remembered Mirabelle just from ART, but if she's a big part of book 3, we're all surely going to remember. Back to Serenya and Jayden. What was your inspiration for writing them?

M: Guilt, pure and simple. I felt so bad for Jayden at the end of A Ranger’s Tale, that I had to give him another shot at love. And Serenya had to be his perfect match, though she’s got a few *ahem* issues. Of course, I had to be Miss Evil Writer again and put him through hell for her. I’m glad he’s not here in the flesh standing next to me—he’d probably beat the snot out of me or at least give me a good tongue-lashing!

S: Speaking of Jayden beating you to a pulp, you're probably going to laugh, but is Jayden ever going to have a kid of his own? So far, he's raising other people's children.

M: Oh, yes, I totally LOL’d at that one! I just had a recent reviewer who asked the same thing. I’m not sure yet, actually, although I’m already forming plans for his stepchildren.

S: So I guess this means we'll see Jayden again. *rubs hands* Do you plan on writing novels outside the Tallenmere universe?

M: Yes, I’d love to branch out and do something different. I’ve even started a historical romance set in 1866 Lebanon, TN. Until I have more time for research, that one’s on the back burner.

S: I know what you mean. Somewhere inside my head I've planned to write a book in most genres. I keep kidding myself that someday I'll have the time. Maybe when I'm old and retired. For now, I seem to be stuck on paranormal and UF. Just seems to get the creative juices flowing best. I've always meant to ask this – how's life as a writer? I mean I know you're a stay-at-home mom, but now you're going to book fairs and stuff,'re a writer :D

M: Book fairs and signings, I’ve discovered, are really hit-and-miss in terms of sales. But, they’re very similar to any enthusiast who sets up at an event. You get to meet all kinds of interesting people who love what you love, and you can talk to them about it without their eyes glazing over. My sales aren’t great yet, but I’m really happy to have these experiences of meeting other writers and readers. I’ve even met some really famous people.

So far this year, I’ve met Heather Graham, Lori Foster, Sean Astin, and John Rhys-Davies. I saw Corey Feldman up close. I think the most fun was meeting some lovely authors I’d only spoken with online, like Ruth J. Hartman and Nell Duvall. Such great ladies! And now that I’ve been to a few fairs, I see some of the same writers again and again. We’re fast becoming event-buddies!

S: If you come to Romania, give me a shotout. I'd love to meet with you! I know you have theme songs for all your books (and I love music). What are they and why?

M: You can see the entire playlists (via YouTube vids) for A Ranger’s Tale and Serenya’s Song on my blog. Click this link:

My theme song for A Ranger’s Tale is ‚Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol because I thought it fit Caliphany and Galadin’s love story so well. Not that there are any cars on Tallenmere, but the lyrics simply fit their coming together so well. At the moment when they finally admit their love for one another, especially. I played it over and over as their love blossomed into the beauty that it was. These lines from the song give me goosebumps: If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world...all that I am, all that I ever was, is here in your perfect eyes. They’re all I can see.

The theme song for Serenya’s Song is much darker, but fits that story perfectly too (in my mind at least). It’s ‚Bring Me to Life’ by Evanescense. Partly, because I drew Serenya’s look and sound from the fabulous Amy Lee (lead singer), but mostly because the lyrics portray the perilous journey that she and Jayden take in order to survive the trials they must face.

These lines gave me the inspiration to make the rescue a two-way street:

All this time, I can't believe I couldn't see
Kept in the dark but you were there in front of me
I've been sleeping a thousand years it seems
Got to open my eyes to everything

Without thought, without voice, without a soul
Don't let me die here
There must be something more
Bring me to life.

Yes, Serenya needs Jayden to intervene in a powerful way, but he also needs to be saved from his broken heart and guilty past.

S: I'm curious about Hearts in Exile – leave that one in the comments :D (Since I already have a song in mind for it) Now, who was your favorite character in SS?

M: It’s hard to pick because I love them all, but I think Lilly is my gal. She’s such a spunky halfling who isn’t afraid to keep Jayden and everyone else around her in line. Plus, she adds a lot of humor to an otherwise dark book.

S: I hoped you'd say that, because, to me, in SS, Lilly really stood out. Which book did you enjoy writing more? SS or ART?

M: I really can’t say. They were both challening in different ways. It took longer to work out the plot in SS, but I felt more comfortable with my writing skills than with ART. Mostly, I’m just thrilled I got them finished!

S: And now for a bonus question: If you could have a wish come true right this instant, what would it be? Give me the first answer that's on your mind. It doesn't have to be world peace.

Quite honestly, I’d like all our bills to be paid off *POOF*, just like that. It would take a bit of stress off the mind, being a poor writer and all.

S: Good one. I'd like sleep right about now. But hard luck there. Now, before I ask you for a short excerpt from your novel (which has to be your favorite), I want you to describe the following characters to me using just one word:

Jayden: jaded

Serenya: tragic

Lilly: spunky

Sebastian: misunderstood

Caliphany: impulsive

Galadin: daring

Cevil Delmarr: shady

S: Now, give us some yummy story ;)

I’m rather partial to this scene. Jayden is hunting for one of the creatures who’s been wreaking havoc around Summerwind. Unfortunately, he fears Serenya is involved, which may force him to make a very difficult choice. Read on to see what I mean:

From Chapter 28


Rain pattered sharp notes in the sparse leaves above, falling to flatter beats at it reached the duff below. Wind fluted through the branches, the pitch changing tone as it passed along thick ebonwood boughs and narrower limbs of maple and oak. Minutes passed, or hours, perhaps a lifetime. Was it gone? Or was it ready to pounce? How would it feel to be torn apart and devoured alive?

The memory of my father’s advice calmed me. If they know you’re afraid, you won’t survive. Show no fear, son. Show no fear.

Breathing silently through my mouth, I scanned the dark surroundings. Rain sheeting along the trees and ground reflected a miniscule amount of moonlight edging its way in from breaks in the clouds.

I strained my eyes and ears for any sign of my hunter. Unbidden memories came as I tried to concentrate on my surroundings. I thought of Caliphany, how innocent we had both been eighty years ago, riding into the forest. Reclining on a blanket, I recited poetry, my head in her lap, while she braided small sections of my hair.

I remembered my father’s face, the disappointment in his eyes when Caliphany’s father dismissed me from his employ because of our relationship. His voice in my head chilled me even deeper than the rain. Your mother and I work tirelessly to give you the best of everything, and this is how you repay us?

And there was Serenya—the night I met her, that haunting voice as she sang, how it had warmed me to the core, filling holes in my heart I never knew were there. What would I do if I was forced to live without her?

I bit down on my tongue to stay alert and to lock the memories away. What was that? A flutter to my right. Circling through the trees. A soft thud of something landing. Deliberate steps squished through the muddy leaves. It was tiptoeing—each wet, noisy step driving my heart into near-frenzy. Only one of them, I was sure. I wondered if the other was hunting Zeph, and which one it could be. What if he had to make the choice I could not? He was one of my best scouts. I had to trust him to handle the situation.

Still in concealment, every muscle in my body tensed. Swiveling my torso in the saddle, I silently readied my bow and an arrow. My senses tuned outward, gauging the distance. I imagined the creature closing in, drool stringing down its jaw from the scent of elf and horse flesh.

It smells me—of course it does. Come on, just a little farther.

I drew back the string. My fingers buzzed, wanting to fire, but I willed them to remain steady.

Wait for it.

The creature inched forward. It knew exactly where I was, so there was no use hiding anymore. I couldn’t tell whether it was Serenya or not, but I dropped concealment and decided to try reason first.

Still holding my bow as steadily as possible, I spoke in a low, soothing voice. “Serenya, if that is you, listen to me. I know you don’t want to hurt me. If you’ll just come with me now, I’ll do all I can to help you. It doesn’t have to be this way.”

A raspy chuckle was the only reply. Hollow breaths met my ears between beats of raindrops on my hood. My eyes strained to see something, anything, until finally, a dark outline appeared against the shine of the rain-soaked ground. A whiff of sulfur burned my nostrils, triggering me to release the bowstring. But the creature flew upward and out of sight at the last second. The arrow missed its mark.

S: Thanks for being here Mysti. And I look forward to having you again!

M: Anytime, my friend, anytime!!

It might be sooner than she thinks *insert evil laugh here*. Now, for all you Mysti lovers, here are some handy links:

Mysti's awesome blog called Unwritten

You can also find her via Facebook:

And Twitter: @Mysti Parker

Goodreads, too: 

And you can buy the awesome books:
Goodread  (lots of reviews here)

Oh, yeah, before I forget, Happy 4th of July to everyone across the pond.

And another thing. I'm actually giving stuff away! TWICE! First, since this is part of Mysti's Blog Tour, there is a PDF of Kindle copy of Serenya's song to be won. Just fallow and leave a comment and you get the DOUBLE chance to win. Either on my blog OR as part of the tour as a whole when, if I'm not mistaken, you could win a copy of BOTH ART and SS.

And one last thing. I'm fast approaching the 5000 hits mark. And, since Mysti is here, I decided to take a leaf out of her book and host a giveaway. BUT for that I need books. So, whoever feels like donating a little something, let me know.

Peace out!


  1. Thanks so much for this really fun interview!! I love coming here.

    For Hearts in Exile, a possible theme song is "Paradise" by Coldplay, but I've also picked a few more that will go on the playlist for sure, like "How to Save a Life" by The Fray, "Fall For You" by Secondhand Serenade, "Out of My Head" by Theory of a Deadman, "Far Away" by Nickelback, and "All That You Are" by The Goo Goo Dolls.

    1. Hmmm... must check out songs I don't know from this list.
      I was listening to LeeAnn Rimes - Please remember when I asked that question ;) Sorta thought it fits.

  2. Ooo, a tongue-lashing from Jayden? Oh, that kind of tongue-lashing! My mind is in the gutter! Excellent interview.

    Sadly, I have nothing to contribute to your giveaway yet, Stef. :(

    1. Ok, Lindsey, my mind went there too. Jayden's pretty darn hot, ya know! :) Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Know how it feels, Lindsey. But don't worry... SOON!

  3. Another good interview, Mysti. I think I'm caught up with your tour now.

    I love how you take a minor character and build a whole new novel.

    1. Thanks, Leona! It's great to take characters I've already fallen in love with and expand on their story. Thanks for being such a great groupie!!

  4. I most enjoyed the one word descriptions of the characters -- as if they could really be pinned down to one word -- but you do have them nailed

    1. That was interesting, wasn't it, Judy? I love Stef's interviews. She asks really cool questions like that those that others don't think to ask. Of course, it helps that she read and reviewed it too.


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