Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Intimate Conversation With Electa Rome Parks

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What impact do you want your book to make on the readers?

Wow! Where do I begin? There is no way to best describe it. I always jokingly state that I have a passionate love affair going on with reading and writing. Our torrid affair has consumed me for much of my life. Writing is in my blood and I can't imagine life without it. My very spirit would probably shrivel up and die if I couldn't write. Writing is my therapy. My Voice. My sincere expression of the world as seen through my eyes.

I don't write as a hustle. I write because I'm passionate about the power and beauty of words. As my children say, "That's real talk."

When I write, I am transported to another dimension. My soul feels free and at peace. Writing brings me serenity and peace like no other. When I write I feel powerful---after all, I'm creating life with the stroke of my pen or computer keys. My characters come alive on the pages of my books. And when my readers read my stories, they get to meet these incredible people, faults, imperfections and all.

What drives me? Life, the precious beauty of existing, the experience of learning something new each and every day. Joys, pains. Failures. Accomplishments. Life lessons. My children, my spouse. Observing people in their beauty and splendor and seeing the not so pretty side. Writing is my essence, my link with the world.

As far as an impact is concerned, I simply want my readers to be entertained and pulled into a world completely different, or maybe not, from their own. If a life lesson is learned during the process that makes the experience all the sweeter.

BPM: What are two major events taking place in True Confessions?

True Confessions starts off bringing the drama. Readers are introduced to Kennedy Logan in her most desperate and lowest moment in time. . . she is thinking her final thoughts after making the tragic decision to end her own life. Readers, hopefully, sense the level of despair she has reached, how low she has sunk to decide to go this route. As you read the excerpt below, you will see how painful life is for her.

Questions are immediately raised. Why? What so horrible could possibly have happened to this person?

As the story unfolds, readers have the opportunity to meet one of the major reasons life looked so bleak and hopeless to Kennedy. Enter Drake Collins, her love or ex love interest. It is soon apparent that what looks good and smells good and says the right words on the outside isn't necessarily so perfect on the inside. Drake is not as he presents himself and during the course of True Confessions, many secrets are revealed where Kennedy can say, "In hindsight the clues were all there. I just refused to see them. But love will make you do that sometimes."

BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write True Confessions?

True Confessions actually started out as a short story titled These Are My Confessions in the anthology These Are My Confessions (Harper Collins, 2007). So many readers emailed or excitedly asked me during signings about Kennedy and Drake and their back story that I decided to pen the novel length version. I've always believed in listening to my readers and taking their suggestions:).

Kennedy and Drake captured my imagination as well; they stayed with me long after the short story was published. I wanted to delve deeper into what made them "tick" and a short story didn't allow that.

As a writer, for me, it is always about what makes up the core essence of my characters. How did they become who they are? What event(s) shaped their lives? What brought them to this place in their lives when they are introduced to my readers? We are all products of our childhood and I adore piecing the puzzle together to create a likeable, sometimes not so likeable character(s) that has faults, imperfections, just like we all do.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with True Confessions and the message within?

I would like to reach the readers who have wisely figured out we are all works in progress. Can I get an amen? If we are truly honest, there are aspects of our lives that we can all work on during our journey of self exploration.

As with my previous titles (The Ties That Bind, Loose Ends, Almost Doesn't Count, Ladies' Night Out, These Are My Confessions and Diary of a Stalker), they have dealt with topical issues that are prevalent in our communities and society in general.

And True Confessions is no different. At first glance it appears to be a relationship gone bad type of storyline, but True Confessions is so much more than that. Issues of suicide, adoption, dysfunctional relationships, bond of a mother and daughter, father and daughter bonds, divorce and low self esteem issues are all addressed. Bottom line, if I had to encompass a general theme prevalent throughout the novel, all of Kennedy's problems and issues stem from feelings of low self esteem and unworthiness.

So. . . my underlying message is that just because someone appears to have it all together doesn't mean they actually do. Kennedy and Drake were prime examples each in their own way. Before we can receive love or give love, we have to love ourselves first. Kennedy and Drake didn't love themselves and it showed up in various aspects of their personalities and life.

BPM: What is your most valuable lesson about the publishing industry?

A few years ago I came into the industry with rose colored glasses. Lets just say, I no longer wear those glasses. A lot of my illusions have been lifted at this point in the game. However, my most valuable lesson about the publishing industry is that it is a business first and foremost. The bottom line, the dollar bill, still takes credence over talent and creativity. Even though I was a business major in college and realized this at some level, I naively thought considerations would be adhered to based on a level of talent.

Black Pearls Readers, to find out when and where Electa will be in your area, check out her website at www.electaromeparks.com

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