What authors do you like to read?
Wow, there are so many. One of my favorites is Jane Austen. I love how her characters have endured through the centuries. I adapted her Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility and Emma into stage plays that are being performed in the United States and in the United Kingdom.
Other favorite authors include Georgette Heyer, Robert Jordan and Charles Martin. Their mastery of the language along with their ability to weave plots and create believable characters not only hours of relaxation, it also inspires my own writing.
What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
While the Bible is the source material for my own biblical novels, I fell in love with scripturally-inspired fiction through “The Robe.” Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series has been my favorite for over twenty-five years. I kept a pencil and paper handy when I was reading his books, to jot down creative descriptions.
What’s more important: characters or plot?
They are equally important. In our sound-bit, 140-character-tweet world, you have to have an intriguing—and believable—plot to catch and keep the reader’s attention. You also need characters who are fully-developed, with human strengths and weaknesses.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author and what would it be?
As a freelance writer, I have written articles on a wide variety of subjects. Many of those topics have given me nightmares. I can’t think of a subject I would turn down, but obviously I would write it from my perspective and personal values.
How important are names to you in your books and how do you choose them?
Names are very important for main characters; I consider the meaning of the names and even how they sound when selecting them. I find names everywhere, from movie credits to the name tags of clerks in stores. One website I use is behindthename.com. It allows you to filter names using culture, language and gender and provides the meaning of the names.
What secret talents do you have? Because here at the CCC blog we have all kinds of them ;)
I love chocolate, own over a dozen chocolate cookbooks and make all types of chocolate desserts and candies. Another secret talent; I have play the harp.
What were you like as a child? Steady-going like our Anne, a tornado like Jaime, and adventurous soul like Erica, or an avid-reader like Gabrielle?
I was steady-going and compliant. I used to think I was shy, because I enjoyed spending time alone, reading and writing. Since then, I have learned that I was an introvert.
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
It was only a few weeks after hubby Mike and I moved into our new home. He had left for a business meeting that was an hour away. We had not finished installing the fence for our three dogs and I was taking turns walking them. Our female dog was not happy being left inside while I walked her brother. When she jumped up onto the door; her paw caught the lock on the doorknob and flipped it.
There I was, locked out of the house in a neighborhood where I knew no one and Mike had our only cell phone with him. I walked around the house; all the windows were locked. I was thinking of breaking a window when, I heard some voices from a house a few doors down.
Tying our male dog to the front porch, I walked down the street to our neighbors and said, “Hi! I just moved in. This would happen only in a sit-com, but my dog locked me out of the house. Could I please borrow your phone to call my husband?”
What’s your writing goals for 2016?
I am in the final preps for releasing “SISTERS OF LAZARUS; Glory Revealed” [releasing July 12] which is the sequel to “SISTERS OF LAZARUS; Beauty Unveiled.” Later this summer, I will be adapting “Little Women” into a stage play.
Lastly, will you leave us with a snippet from your book that is one of your favorites and gives us a glimpse into its pages?
From “SISTERS OF LAZARUS; Beauty Unveiled”
“We’re not most families.” Mary sniffed, crossing her arms. “We’re wealthy. We can afford nice things. Why shouldn’t I have it?”
“It’s vain!” Martha said, thrusting her hands wide for emphasis. “Vain and prideful! Since you were a child, you’ve been spoiled, allowed to spend too much time and money on your appearance! Look at what you’re wearing,” she pointed to Mary’s clothing. “That yellow linen tunic is fine enough to wear on a feast day! The veil…why are you even wearing a veil? You’re not a woman meeting her betrothed husband.”
“The wind was blowing dust today,” Mary retorted. “I didn’t want to breathe it.”
“I doubt it was beneficial,” Martha lifting the veil and holding it up to the light. “It’s as sheer as a butterfly’s wing. I imagine you wore it to draw attention to your eyes.
“All your life, you’ve thought too much—and spent too much money—on your appearance. I understand Father spoiling you when you were a child—after all, you reminded him of—” she paused, her eyes misting, “of Mother. But you’re older now. Vanity in a child is one thing, but in—”
“It’s not vain to want to look my best!” Mary interrupted. “Besides, as you pointed out, I’m older now—old enough for marriage—and you’ve proven that a large dowry isn’t enough to get a husband!”
Mary’s vision exploded from the force of Martha’s slap. She stumbled backwards, arms waving to regain her balance. She stepped on a cushion, which slipped from under her feet. She twisted, arms out to break her fall, slammed into the side of the table and fell, sprawling across the floor.
Martha gasped, her hands covering her mouth, her eyes wide in shock. “Mary…” she sputtered. “I…I didn’t…mean to…I…I’m…” Turning, she ran from the room.
About SISTERS OF LAZARUS; Beauty Unveiled (Authentic Media)
Martha and Mary, the two sisters of Lazarus, couldn’t be more different. Martha, the elder, is plain and self-conscious; Mary, the younger, is beautiful. One sees her value only in serving, while the other believes her outward appearance is her only asset. Their worlds are turned upside down when Lazarus offers hospitality to an intriguing new teacher named Jesus.
About Paula K. Parker
Paula K. Parker is a freelance writer living near Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband Mike, who is also a writer. Paula writes books, articles, plays, celebrity profiles, entertainment reviews, curriculum and inspirational devotionals. Her latest biblical novel, “SISTERS OF LAZARUS: Beauty Unveiled,” reached Amazon’s Top Ten Best-seller’s list for biblical fiction. When not writing, she spends her days hanging with her hubby, playing with their three dogs, visiting with their five grown children and four grandbabies, playing the harp, restoring their vintage home and working in their garden.
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