The Story Behind My Blog's Title

The Story Behind My Blog's Title
Why is my blog named "My Father's Oldsmobile"? Click on the car and find out.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dangerous Ties: Interview with Author Debra Parmley

Today I get to welcome Debra Parmley to my blog with her new book, Dangerous Ties. Debra is a multi-published author, but this is her first work with Desert Breeze.  Dangerous Ties is a historical romance for the secular market, and it sounds like a really enjoyable book!

Hello Debra, and Welcome!

Tell us about your new book? Dangerous Ties is a western historical romance. Lillian's fiancĂ© convinces the townsfolk to exchange their gold for his worthless bank notes. When he disappears, every eye turns to Lillian. Even her cousin Carl insists she knows where the gold is. Carl is deeply indebted to Kingston, owner of the saloon and small town criminal.  When Nick discovers Lillian she's strung up over a mineshaft and the rope is breaking.

What inspired this story? My stories always come to me with an opening scene. I see the heroine in a situation and wonder what happened to her, how did she get there and where does she go from there? For Dangerous Ties, I saw the heroine strung up over a mineshaft and the rope was breaking. Everything else grew from that initial scene.

Is there an underlying theme? Yes. In the beginning of the book, Lillian sees herself as a victim, but by the end she realizes she is a survivor. Someone once asked me why I write about victims. (In my first book the heroine was married to an abusive man.) I don't see myself writing about victims. I write about survivors.

What do you hope readers take away from reading your book? I hope my readers enjoy the read, that it transports them into the story, as all good fiction should do. But also that we can overcome the things which happen to us and that it is what comes from within that defines who we are.

How did you get started as a writer? I believe I was born a writer, from the singsong rhymes I would make up as a child, to the poetry and diaries of my teen years. In college I had a few poems published in literary journals and began writing short stories. I turned to novel length fiction not long after my first short story was published.

What genre(s) do you write and what draws you to this genre? I love writing romance because they must end with a happy ever after. I love writing historical romance because history fascinates me. I also write fantasy and paranormal romance because I can play in those genres and let the imagination fly more so than in other genres. And I still write a bit of poetry, though not every day like I used to.

What was your journey to publication like? Oh my. Well it has been quite the roller coaster ride. The first novel I ever wrote came about as a challenge issued to me at the Ozark Creative Writers conference in Eureka Springs, AR. Dusty Richards, a western novelist challenged those of us who had never written a novel to write one and have it to him by the next conference and the winner would receive a complete read from his agent. At the time I had written only poems and short stories. So I entered, but by the time the next conference had come around he was no longer with that agent. Instead he sat with me and went over the first few chapters giving me tips. I then came home and started rewriting it. Then I attended my first RT convention and entered it in the Bobbi Smith beginning writers competition. My story was a finalist and Bobbi told me the story really begins in chapter three. I went home and rewrote it. The following year when I went to the RT convention I had entered it in the American Title II competition where it was a finalist. Eleven of us were competing for one publishing contract with Dorchester Publishing and RT magazine would feature us in each issue as readers voted for the winner. Suddenly I had to have a website and get the PR going to get votes. All this and I didn't even have a book out yet. It was an exciting time. Quite the wild ride. I was bumped in the second round, but soon after got an agent. About a year after that he sold A Desperate Journey to Samhain. I used to call the novel my training wheel novel because I learned so much about writing with that one. The learning curve was tremendous. My newest book, Dangerous Ties, was the first novella I ever wrote, so there was a learning curve there as well, but nothing like that first book was.    

What do you think of the eBook explosion, pros and cons, and what do you think will happen with print books? I have been saying for several years now that publishers cannot continue with so many forms of books. Right now we have hardback, trade paperback, mass-market paperback and now eBooks. There are simply too many forms for even the largest of publishers to afford putting out a book in all these forms. One or more is bound to be phased out.  It is great to have a book in print and also in eBook. I have both with my first book, A Desperate Journey. But the simple fact is, even with your book in print, unless it is sitting on the shelves of a bookstore, the reader is not likely to come across it. Distribution is very important to authors. The eBook allows readers easier access to the books if they live overseas or in an area, which doesn't have a bookstore carrying your book. The eBook also makes it easier for a reader to try a new author or a new genre because of the lower cost. I think we are going to see an upswing in readers who weren't reading much before as well as readers exploring more books than they were before the eBook readers came out. I am reminded of Gutenberg and the Bible. I'm sure the printing press raised controversy as well. No, we don't have the beautiful illuminated manuscripts that were once in the homes of the wealthy, but the books are in the hands of more people.  It's an author's job to write the best book possible and then to see it reach the hands of as many people as possible. I'm happy that eBooks will help to accomplish that.

Three favorite things: movie, place and food?
Out of Africa, though it ends sadly. The island of Moorea where we stayed in an over the water hut and swam with dolphins. Tiramisu, which I can never turn down.

Thank you for visiting today!
To Purchase:
Desert Breeze

Originally from Ohio, Debra now lives in Tennessee, just outside Memphis. She has lived in six states and traveled extensively. Her experience includes work as a city recycling co-ordinator, bank head teller, selling advertising for a weekly newspaper, work as a dance instructor and work as an independent travel consultant. Ms. Parmley holds a BA in English from Marywood University in Scranton, PA. Her first book, A Desperate Journey, was an American Title II manuscript. Desert Breeze Publishing will publish her second book, Dangerous Ties, in February of 2012. It is with infinite love and gratitude that she gives thanks for this opportunity to fulfill her dream of sharing her stories with readers all over the world. One of her greatest joys is to hear from her readers.

More about Debra:!/DebraParmley


  1. Shawna, thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog today. I love the story, My Fathers Oldsmobile. :-) Great fun to start a Monday morning reading it!

  2. Your new book sounds a fascinating read - best of luck with many sales. Always enjoy finding out more about my fellow Desert Breeze authors especially one here in Tennessee.

  3. Ah, Tennessee. We're from there. Great interview, Shawna. I have Dangerous Ties on my Nook. Love the cover. Good luck.


  4. Debra is my favorite author. Probably because I know her and she is such a wonderful person. She is a treasure.

  5. Thank you Angela! I'm looking forward to getting to know all our fellow Desert Breeze authors as well! Everyone has been just wonderful. Such a friendly group. "=_

  6. Oh, thank you Toni! I'm thrilled to hear it! I love the cover too, especially the dress, which I wrote about on my blog not long ago. It's up on my website.

  7. Alessandra! What a nice surprise to see you here! And what a blessing your lovely message is. Thank you.
    Much love to you and Barras.

  8. Thank you, Susan! Shawna did a lovely job and I enjoyed the interview.

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