Interview with author Chrissie Parker and her new release novel Temperance ( Book Two of the Moon Series)


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I am so happy to have the very talented author Chrissie Parker. 

SS:  Tell us about this new novel?

CP: Temperance is a sequel to my first thriller, Integrate. The story is set in a fictional place called Lake Tranquil and centers on four main characters, Patience, Gabriel, Juliet and Nate. All of them are carrying some kind of burden or secret, and as the book unfolds we learn more about them as their lives merge and begin to fall apart.

SS: Where did the idea for this story come from?

CP : It may sound a bit strange, but the idea came from a dream.  I dreamed about the final part of book three that I am currently writing, which is called Retribution. When I wrote the points down that I had dreamed about I realized that the characters from Integrate were trying to tell me that their story wasn’t over yet and that there was a lot more to come. This surprised me as I had always intended Integrate to be a stand-alone book. I sat and worked on a rough plot for both Temperance and Retribution and realized that I definitely had to write both books. I think that was the moment when it officially became The Moon Series.

SS: Tell us about the main characters?

CP: Gabriel is a police officer who is trying to solve a murder case; the brutal death of a woman that took place a year earlier.

Patience is a young woman who is suffering confusion and grief after the sudden death of a loved one.

Nate is a loner who is hiding out in a cabin on the edge of Lake Tranquil, trying to forget his past.

Juliet is a waitress who is frustrated at being stuck in the witness protection programme.

I can’t say too much else as I don’t want to give any spoilers away!

SS: I know this is part of a series right?

CP: Yes, this is book two of a three part series. As I mentioned above I had never intended on writing a series, but I think that the stories are quite strong and definitely need telling. I have really enjoyed writing them too, and getting into the heads of these characters. They’re very different from my historical fiction, and I quite like the dark, thriller edge to them!

 SS: How are the two similar and how are they different?

CP: They are similar due to the slightly dark themes, and the fact that there are also paranormal elements in Temperance as there were in Integrate. The difference is that rather than there being two main characters, Temperance has four, and there is a lot more going on, the setting is also very different and the characters are very much out of their comfort zones!

SS: What is the overall theme or message?

CP: There are many themes that run through the book, but I would say that the main theme is that life never goes according to plan. The unexpected will always happen and as much as we plan and prepare, sometimes we just have to accept what is happening around us and do the best we can to get through it with, or without, the help of others.

SS: What type of book is this novel considered to be?

CP: If I had to categorize the book I think I would say it is a thriller/suspense, with some paranormal elements.

SS: Tell us about the settings in the book?

CP: In Temperance we move away from the town that Integrate was set in, and we escape to a beautiful area (that I made up!) called Lake Tranquil. It’s a vast lake with tall trees and a couple of cabins that sit on the edge of the lake. Nearby there is a small town, with a few basic shops where everyone knows everyone else. It’s the sort of place where you could go and get lost in nature and just hide out.

When I visited my family who live in Oregon in 1995, I was lucky enough to visit Crater Lake and the small town of Roseburg that is nearby (where we stopped for the night). Lake Tranquil and its nearby town are loosely based on Crater Lake and Roseburg – it’s how I imagine Lake Tranquil to be (but without all the snow!).

SS: What is your process of writing?

CP: Mostly organized, sometimes chaotic! This particular book was written whilst I was in the middle of moving house! Normally though I will hide out in my office and work at my standing desk for a number of hours working away, or if the weather is nice I will transfer to the garden and sit outside and work. I have multiple books in progress each one at a different stage. This means that when one book goes off for editing I have something else to work on so that I have something to do. I also have two whiteboards in my office, one with my ‘to do’ list and writing schedule on, and the other is a general notes and consistency board (which comes in very useful!).

SS: Do you consider yourself a plotter or a panster?

CP: I’m a little of both. For my thrillers I tend to dive into the manuscript and let my brain loose and see what happens without much planning. I really enjoy the twists and turns it comes up with, especially when my charters get demanding and decide they want to do something specific.

For my historical fiction/suspense books I do plan a bit more, it’s necessary as there is usually a bit of research that I need to do and I can’t get stuck if I don’t roughly plan it out. But I still let my brain loose as I don’t like being too rigid, sometimes you can plan a book out and then find that what you’ve planned just doesn’t work at all. I like to be a bit flexible!

SS: What are some of your favorite writers?

CP: My all time favorite author is Agatha Christie, but I do have lots of other favorite authors. I love the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters, they are about a woman in the late 1800’s who solves crimes with her Egyptologist husband and wayward son Ramses.I also love books by Marian Keyes and Belinda Jones, both write extremely funny and heartwarming women’s fiction. To be honest though, I am a very avid reader and there isn’t much that I don’t read!

SS: What is something you want to share with all your readers?

CP: Many of my readers will know that I love history, I read and collect history books as well as writing historical fiction. At the moment I’m doing my third history course. It’s a six month Egyptology course called Ancient Egypt the Middle Kingdom. It means I get to put many of the Egyptology books in my library to good use! I could sit and read bout/talk about Egyptology all day; it’s a subject that I just love.

SS: What type of advice can you offer all the beginning writers out there?

CP: Writing is hard and it can get a little lonely sometimes, but if you truly love it and want to write then do it.There are no rules, and there is lots of advice you can take, sometimes the advice can be overwhelming. But I would say find the style and type of writing that makes YOU happy. Don’t try and be JK Rowling or E.L James, they aren’t you.You are you. Every writer is different. I would however recommend always carrying a notebook. A writer’s brain never stops (well, mine doesn’t!), so it’s always useful to have something to note down plot points, characters or even a few pages of a chapter. Persist – even if you only write a hundred words a day, it’s better than no words at all, you may not use them all, but writing makes you want to write more. Believe in yourself and even though it can be hard, have confidence in yourself. Talk to other writers, there is always great help and advice out there if you really do need it. Most importantly read. Reading is a wonderful thing and without reading you can’t be a writer. Lastly, just enjoy it, don’t put pressure on yourself, writing is meant to be fun and creative, so just create!

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Temperance book description – FINAL 2015

Gabriel is weary, hunting for a murderer.

Patience is adrift, her life a complete lie.

Nate is scared, hiding from his worst fears.

Juliet is frantic, her time is running out.

As four fragile lives collide, the truth is finally revealed.

And betrayal and death become inevitable.

Chrissie’s Biography:

Chrissie Parker  – Biog

Chrissie lives in Devon, UK, with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry.

Chrissie is also an Author.  Her thriller Integrate was released in October 2013 and her historical fiction Among the Olive Groves was released in July 2014.

Other written work includes factual articles for the Bristolian newspaper and guest articles for the charities Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation.  Chrissie has also written a book of short stories and poems, one of which was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013.

Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Travel, and has completed two six-month Archaeology and Egyptology courses with Exeter University.   She is learning to play the Ukulele and likes to read, collect books, listen to music. To find out more about Chrissie visit her website www.chrissieparker.com

Social Media links:

Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/chrissieparkersbookgroup/

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/ChrissieParkerAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Chrissie_author

Blog – http://chrissieparker.blogspot.co.uk

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/ChrissieAuthor/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/27035030-chrissie-parker

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