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Electa Rome Parks

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Author Spotlight:  Electa Rome Parks
Author of: "The Ties that Bind and Loose Ends"

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Can love work three ways? Not when you’re friends…. Mia may be a little jaded now, but she really believed in love once. A hopeless romantic, she’d always dreamed of the day when she would meet her “black knight,” get married and live happily ever after—but no one ever told her what ever after meant. When she met her dream man, Brice, he had other ideas about love. Brice is a three-edged sword—arrogant, passionate and very, very handsome. And it was love at first sight for both…until they got married and Mia discoverd Brice’s violent side. Now what? Christian is Brice’s best friend. He took pride in the fact that he’d never been tied down or in love…until he met Mia. What will happen to this star-crossed trio now that he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend’s wife?

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So much can change in five years. Mia should know. She left her abusive ex-husband Brice and married his former best friend, Christian. Since then, her life has been filled with all the love and happiness she ever wanted. But she panics when she finds out that Christian has been trying to patch things up with Brice after so many years. Seems Brice has moved back into town, with his lovely new wife, Kree, and is longing to rekindle the friendship he once had with Christian. Mia won’t hear of it, until Christian convinces her that seeing Brice and Kree will help her bring “closure” to their turbulent past.

Despite Mia and Kree’s reluctance, a meeting is arranged, and to their surprise, the couples become fast friends. But as Mia and Brice revisit feelings of the past, they find out old habits die hard. When their efforts at healing their relationship cross the line into betrayal, both couples’ lives are turned upside down

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Meet Electa Rome Parks, Author of "The Ties That Bind and Loose Ends"
 
 
 

SC: When did you decide you wanted to write?

 

ERP:  I know this is going to sound so cliché, but I’ve been writing my entire life, since I was a small child.  My family has vivid stories of me penning short stories and plays that we, my sister and my cousins, would perform at church and home.  I’ve always kept a diary as a child and later, as an adult, I kept a journal for many years.  Writing has always soothed my spirit.

 

I think I seriously considered writing a novel back in 1997/1998.  However, I didn't get up off my butt and do anything about it until approximately 2001.  I had no choice because three very loud voices, the voices of Christian, Brice and Mia, would not let me rest until their story was told; they haunted me for many months.

 

SC:  How many novels in all have you written?

 

ERP: I have written five novels and one novella in all.  However, only, THE TIES THAT BIND, LOOSE ENDS and ALMOST DOESN'T COUNT (August 2005) are in the marketplace.

 

SC:  How long did it take you to write your first novel?

 

ERP:  Due to working full-time, being a wife and mother of two, it took me roughly eight months to write my first novel, THE TIES THAT BIND.

 

SC:  Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?

 

ERP: Life inspires me.  Living each day and experiencing the joys and tribulations of everyday living inspires me to write.  I’ve experienced a lot of death in my lifetime, and I realize life is precious and we have to embrace each day as if it were our last.  It may be, you never know.  Life is an amazing journey with so many fantastic lessons to be learned.  That’s the beauty of it all, you can always elevate yourself to the next level.  The human spirit and resiliency never ceases to amaze me.

 

Also, I love to go to the mall, a restaurant, a park or some heavily trafficked area and just people watch.  You never know what you may hear or see. That inspires me; just breathing and embracing life each and every day is a platform for tons of novels.

 

SC:  What made you decide to write a story like The Ties That Bind??   Are the characters based on real people?

 

ERP:  I simply love writing and reading relationship based stories.  I enjoy trying to figure out what makes people tick.  (I have a minor in sociology).  It's so true, much of what we've experienced, were taught and grew up being exposed to, on a conscious or unconscious level, we bring back into our every day relationships.

 

I’m a realist, and I know that in real life, relationships do not always have a happily ever after ending.  That seems to be a central theme in many relationship- based stories.  In the end, the girl gets the boy, then they skip off, hand in hand, into oblivion, and they live happily ever after.  Not!  That’s not always life.  That’s a Harlequin romance novel. 

 

I wanted to write realistically about the flip side of relationships where there may be some topical issues going on larger than HIM cheating on HER or vice versa.

 

Mia represented a collage of women I’ve met during my lifetime who are looking for their soul mates in life.  Unfortunately, a lot of times, they are looking for someone to make them happy and complete them and they haven’t quite figured out you have to be happy with yourself first.  Love yourself first and then you won’t be willing to put up with a lot of BS.  In fact, you won’t allow yourself to be treated as anything less than a Nubian queen.

 

SC:  Can you tell us a little about the story?

 

ERP:  THE TIES THAT BIND- Here's a straight-up novel about men and women, sex and betrayal, and playing the fool for love.  Mia is a hopeless romantic who dreams of getting married and settling down with the man who could make that dream come true.  Brice has his own ideas about love.  He wants a woman willing to surrender everything and he thinks he's found her in Mia.  Then again, so has Christian, who likes love to last just as long as the night takes.  Now he's met an angel with the power to turn him around.  Unfortunately she's married to his best friend.

 

SC:  Why did you decide to write the sequel Loose Ends?

 

ERP:  LOOSE ENDS is the answer to the many questions that readers e-mailed or asked me during book signings.  LOOSE ENDS, just like the name infers, ties up all the loose ends from the prequel, THE TIES THAT BIND.

 

SC: Can you tell us a little about the story?

 

ERP:  LOOSE ENDS- It's been five years since they trusted one another-and betrayed one another- only as friends and lovers could.  Beautiful Mia, getting a second chance at love.  Christian, who gave up his player card for the one woman he's not sure he can trust.  And Brice, as irresistibly bad as ever.  One woman can tame him-if he'd give her the chance: Kree, innocent but underestimated, and looking for the kind of passion that can change a life.  When she finds it, it's going to come with a price.  Sometimes, it doesn't take a lot to tear apart friends like these.  All it takes is love.

 

SC:  Do you plan to continue the story of Mia, Christian, and Kree?

 

ERP:  For now, the saga of Mia, Brice, Christian, and Kree is over!  I never say never, so who knows what the future holds. . .

 

SC:  Did you self-publish?? If so, how was that experience?

 

ERP:  Yes, I initially self-published and I'd definitely recommend others self-publish if they have a full understanding of the process.  Self-publishing is a lot of hard work and takes solid commitment.  You wear many hats, i.e.; bill collector, promoter, event coordinator, marketer, and publicist, to name a few.  A writer has to approach it with the mindset of being a business owner and your product is your book.  Sometimes creativity and business sense collide like two cars on the interstate, at rush hour. 

 

One major joy of self-publishing for me was having complete, utter control of my project(s).  Good or bad, I was running the show! (Oh, did I mention, I'm a control freak and like everything just right?  LOL)  One of my pitfalls was obtaining distribution for the thousands of books that were sitting in my dining room and silently taunting me to sell them.

 

I would definitely do self-publishing over in a New York minute!  For me, self-publishing was like being in the trenches; I worked my butt off and learned such valuable lessons.  Now, as a mainstream author, I can appreciate it all the more. 

 

SC:  What feedback have you received from fans?

 

ERP:  Hands down, the most gratifying part of being an author has been meeting and greeting new and interesting readers who are embracing my stories and e-mailing me and writing me and meeting me at signings and telling me how much they've enjoyed my books!  We talk about my characters like they are old friends.  No matter how many times I've experienced that, it always makes my day.  Puts a big koolaide smile on my face. (LOL) 

 

SC:  What authors do you admire? Did one of them inspire you?

 

ERP:  Contemporary writers were the first ones to inspire me to follow my dreams.  I vividly remember the first time I read “Disappearing Acts” by Terry McMillan, I was in absolute, undeniable awe.  I discovered characters that looked like me, talked like me, acted like me and I savored each and every word like a fine gourmet dinner.  I felt the character’s pain, triumphs and their joy because I could relate.  I didn’t want that novel to end.  It was with true sadness that I read that last page.  From that point on, it was on; I devoured any African American fiction I could get my hands on; I was addicted.  To this day, I’m still addicted.

 

SC:  Is writing your only passion?

 

ERP:  Writing is a major passion, but not my only passion.  I have a great, burning passion for my family.  I think it is absolutely amazing that my husband and I are laying the basic foundation for our children who will one day grow up into responsible, future leaders of this country.  That's priceless!

 

SC:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

 

ERP:  It’s all about continuing to elevate myself to the next level.  There’s always room for growth and improvement.  Years from now, I’d love to continue to see myself as a full-time writer entertaining my readers with fabulous, refreshing, dramatic stories of love, life, and relationships.  It’s not about the money; it’s all about the passion and joy you feel with each and every heartfelt word that turns into a sentence, then a paragraph, and eventually a completed novel.  Being a writer is like being a creator of life…like giving birth.  What can be better than that?

 

SC:  What advice would you give aspiring authors?

 

ERP:  I know this is going to sound sappy, but so be it. . . Follow your dreams, believe in yourself and never give up.  Mentally picture where you want to be a year from now, five years from now and claim that space.  Scream it to the universe for all to hear!  We all have stories to tell, but there are only a few of us who actually sit down and put pen to paper.  That makes you unique in itself.

 

Believe in your gift and use it every day.  Network and surround yourself with people and places that uplift and promote your creativity.  Distance yourself from the negative energy people who want to dash your dreams.  Listen to your inner spirit.  The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.   Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you're right.

 

The best writing advice I've received is to continue to hone and polish my craft.  Keep learning and improving each and every day.  Write to please yourself; don't worry about anyone else.  It's true, you can't please all the people all the time.  If you believe in what you write and you're passionate about what you write, readers will pick up on that aura.

 

Keep the faith and it will come. . . .

 

SC:  What would you like readers to learn from your stories?

 

ERP:  I’d like for my readers to walk away thoroughly entertained, refreshed and fulfilled.  If they learn or recognize some life lessons in the process, then that’s an added bonus for me.  When my readers sit down to read my books, I want them to feel like they are taking a mini vacation away from the daily realities of life.

 

SC:  Are you working on another novel? What is it about?

 

ERP:  My third book is entitled, ALMOST DOESN'T COUNT.  Primarily, the storyline centers on a thirty-something woman who is dealing with her own internal demons.  She returns home, to a small South Georgia town, to care for her ailing mother for the summer.  Before the summer ends, family secrets, past misdeeds and the road to understanding and forgiveness are traveled.  In my trademark style, readers get a full dose of drama, spice, flair and more drama with a spicy relationship-based theme. 

 

SC:  Where can people purchase your books? Do you have a website?

 

ERP:  In addition to being found on any online sites, my books are sold in stores nationwide.  My website address is:  www.electaromeparks.com.

 

 

Shay, thanks so much for thinking of me and providing yet another opportunity for me to reach my growing readership base.  I wish you and your organization continued success.  It's always a blessing when another forum arrives on the scene to promote and foster the achievements of the AA literary community.

 

Much love,

 

Electa Rome Parks

 

 
 
 

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