Friday Focus/Author Interview: Meet our Heart”wings” sister/author Parker J. Cole!
Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to the author of Time to Say Goodbye. Grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and take this opportunity to meet Parker J. Cole.
About the Book
The Blurb: “Gargi Kapoor is the only one convinced her brother, Dev, is innocent of the crime he was convicted of. When he is sent to the hospital with an unexplained paralyzing disease she finds herself having to lean on the last person she’d ever want to depend on — a man who wants her brother to pay for stealing his mother’s life savings.
Leon Reckley is extremely satisfied to find the man who ripped his mother off suffering from an unknown disease that leaves him paralyzed and in need of rehabilitation therapeutic services. He’s even happier when he is given the opportunity to be the therapist that makes him fit enough to return to prison to finish his sentence. No one will work harder to make sure Dev Kapoor serves every minute of his prison sentence.
Gargi never dreamed the man who has utter contempt for her brother would be the man she slowly begins to trust. Leon never thought he’d be convinced Dev might be innocent, let alone be drawn to his enemy’s little sister. Together, will they find the truth? Or when Leon’s job is over, will it simply be time to say goodbye?”
Toni: Welcome, Parker! I have to say after reading the blurb for Time to Say Goodbye I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. Where did the idea for this book come from?
Parker: My love for the Indian culture was a deciding factor for this book. The first time I met an Indian woman, I was eighteen years old. Her name was Rabiya and she introduced me to Indian food. Homemade Indian food is the best! From then on, I met other, fascinating Indian people, all with various backgrounds. And the food just got better and better. When I met my husband, his best friend was an Indian guy name Naveen and that really kicked my interest into high gear.
There’s a cry for diverse fiction and as my specialty is multicultural romance, I decided the next book in the series (called Michigan Sweet) would include a minority heroine. Frankly, I find Indian woman very beautiful. Naveen’s wife is probably one of the prettiest. I remember when I met her, I was like, “That’s not fair. I have to get the sandblaster out in the morning to look this decent.”
So when I started to the idea for this story, I reached out to all my Indian friends for help. In particular, Naveen’s cousin, Shruti, gave me so much insight. I made her and a number of my Indian friends characters in the story as my way of saying thank you.
As this story is part of series, I wanted to highlight the small town feel of Michigan. Michigan has a number of hidden gems no one knows about unless you live here. Great places to hike, camp, water activities and a lot more. The love for my state was a catalyst as well.
Toni: I’m loving this! What kind of research did you have to do for this book?
Parker: There’s another woman I admire very much. Her name is Elizabeth Chalker. The first time I met her, it was through her book, “Raw Faith: Hanging on by the Scratch Marks My Nails Left Behind.” I’ve more than once called this book open heart surgery for the soul. The book is a collection of her thoughts dealing with a debilitating disease, chronic illness, loneliness, and questions of God. It is both a memoir and a devotion wrapped up in one.
The disease she has is called Lyme disease. It robbed her of life, to put it plainly, but it didn’t rob her of faith. Over the past year, my heart has been sensitive to those among the body of Christ who are chronically ill. I don’t believe happily ever after is only for those of us who are well but those of us who are sick, too.
Due to Elizabeth’s influence in my life, I wanted to highlight Lyme disease so I reached out to her for assistance. Much of the book is based off her original research into this disease. I also did research into other stories about Lyme disease as well.
And of course, eating Indian food was a must. After all, you want to make sure you describe every single tender morsel correctly.
Toni: I’m hungry now. Tell us a little bit about this setting and what makes it so sweet.
Parker: The first two books of the Michigan Sweet series take place in a small town called Tawas. I learned about it through my co-workers who grew up there.
Tawas is home to Tawas Bay as well as Lake Huron, another large body of water. Overlooking Lake Huron is the Tawas Lake Point lighthouse. For those that love lighthouses, it’s very picturesque. Along Tawas Bay is a couple of marina piers where you can fish in both the summer or the winter (ice fishing). There’s a winter festival called Perchville with a lot of fun activities for the family.
The small-town feel is very real. Everyone knows everyone else, friendly people, and lots of activities and things to do whether in the summer or winter.
Toni: I love that it’s set in a real place. It sounds very picturesque! I see that you Indie published this. Do you have any advice to offer for the authors out there wondering if they should take the plunge?
Parker: I’m a hybrid author so I have both traditionally published works and indie works.
If you decide to go indie be aware of a few things:
1. Please do not use the excuse “I don’t have any money so therefore I’m going to self-edit, make my own covers, and do all things on my own.” This is a pet peeve of mine because some indie authors will cry “I’m broke” and will put out a poor product expecting readers to buy it. Invest in your business and save up the money. This is not just an art, but a business.
2. Writers who write in the same genre are your colleagues, not your competitors. Network with them and help each other out. There are 7 billion people in the world. Chances are you guys can share readers.
3. Get a tough skin. Not everyone is going to like your book which is why it’s important to make sure the quality is good. I’ve learned this the hard way and wish to impart that knowledge to anyone who wants to do this.
4. Believe in yourself
Toni: Yes, yes, and yes! What is your favorite…
Parker: Stranger Things
Toni: I really need to check that out. Chick flick?
Parker: I’m not a chick flick person; I’m into science fiction.
Toni: I can get that. Vacation spot?
Parker: European cruise
Toni: Take me with you! Season?
Toni: It’s a beautiful season. Flower?
Parker: I’m not a flower person. I like non-flowering plants but I also love carnivorous plants. They never seem to stay alive around me, though. Hmm…I wonder what that’s all about. For two of my birthdays, hubby brought me a sundew and a Venus flytrap respectively.
Toni: Nice! Last but not least, what’s next for you on your writing journey?
Parker: I’m working on my first western, historical romance; the third book in the Michigan Sweet series, and a military sci-fi story, my first one. Write big or go home!
Toni: Readers, do you have any questions for Parker?
About the Author
I am an author, speaker, and radio show host with a fanatical obsession with the Lord, Star Trek, K-dramas, anime, romance books, old movies, speculative fiction, and knitting. An off and on addict to Mountain Dew and marshmallows I write to fill the void the sugar left behind.