Today we welcome author Debra Parmley to Behind the Words. For those that may not know, Debra hosts a dynamite radio show for Reader’s Entertainment. Welcome Debra, tell us a bit about yourself.
Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?
Thank you for this interview! Well I’m from the Buckeye state. I was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in Springfield, Ohio. Then I got married and with my husband in the Air Force we moved around a bit. For the past sixteen years I’ve lived just outside Memphis, Tennessee and used to be in a writer’s critique group with Elvis’s estate attorney. We met at Robin Williams sister-in-laws house and she had parrots, which kept the critique group lively and interesting. I have a day job working part time for my husband’s pressure cleaning business, Whistle Clean and then I run my own publishing company, Belo Dia Publishing.
How long have you been writing?
A long time! I wrote poetry and short stories in high school and in college. But it wasn’t until I went to a writer’s event in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas that I took on novel writing. Dusty Richards issued a challenge there. “Write your first novel and make it a western and if you win my contest my agent will read the entire manuscript.” Well, I never could pass up a good challenge. By the next year I had a first draft finished, but he no longer had an agent. Still, he looked at the first three chapters, gave me some advice and I was off and running. Funny thing though, that western turned into a romance. Every piece of fiction I write leans that way whether I originally intended it to or not. So now my main focus is on writing romance. That first novel, A Desperate Journey went on to be an American Title II contest manuscript and was published with Samhain Publishing a year later. I just re-released A Desperate Journey this year through Belo Dia Publishing.
Briefly describe your writing day.
I write on my laptop so my writing area tends to be mobile. I have two areas set up, one a traditional desk in a detached garage office, which I share with my husband and his business and then the other a table and chair in my private “woman cave”, but I will write anywhere. Sometimes I write outside in a hammock. My writing day used to be intense, escaping to the library to write and only emerging when I deemed I was done for the day. That wasn’t the healthiest thing as I can forget to eat or drink water or stand and stretch. I’ve also written for one hour squeezing it in between everything else. I can’t go for more than four days without writing before getting cranky so it is in everyone’s best interest that I do so, even during holidays or on vacation. If I have written I am always a happy woman. J
Tell us about your latest release?
My latest release, Check Out, was originally written to be part of a military box set to benefit Wounded Warriors. My publisher closed doors just before it was to come out, when the book was in edits. So I’m excited to have been able to release it this year through my own publishing house, Belo Dia Publishing. Check Out is the story of a Marine veteran with an eye patch and PTSD and a shy librarian.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
My characters in Check Out are fictitious though I did work in my college library when I was in college as part of a work-study program and had considered a degree in library science after my English Lit. degree. Many of my friends are military veterans and I am an Air Force veteran’s wife. This is my first military romance. The Bartlett Library isn’t far from where I live and it’s where I used to go to write. Everything else in the story arose from my imagination.
Would you share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?
I left room in the story for a possible sequel, though I will leave that up to my readers, if they want to know more about Nash’s buddies and Betsy’s sister. I pay attention to my reviews and messages from my readers so if any of my books have you wanting more, be sure to let me know. I love to hear from my readers.
Who has been the most difficult character for you to write? (Any of your books)
I wanted to be careful writing about Nash with his PTSD. Often PTSD is used as a plot device and the story becomes all about that. This then fails to show the whole person. When I meet a veteran with PTSD I see it as a thing they have, like having a broken arm or an illness. A thing you learn to deal with and work around. Or a thing you don’t. That’s where Nash is and why I did not give his back-story on how he got it. Nash is a real person to me, and like a veteran I might meet or have met, I don’t always know the back-story because they don’t want to talk about it. And that’s okay. We need to respect that. Nash is learning to deal with his PTSD and getting the help he needs, so his back-story and how he is dealing with that remains between him and his therapist. Betsy, the love of his life, could bring him the calm and sweet home life he wants and needs which will help him to heal, if her sister and her sister’s stalker don’t mess everything up. Her sister Leann has a stalker and it was a bit different writing about him. Creepy guys, well it can be creepy writing about them. How Nash deals with the bad guys in the story allows me to show how he deals with his PTSD and adjustment to living in the civilian world again.
If you could be one of your characters for a day which character would it be? Why?
As much as I love books, I would gladly step into Betsy’s shoes for a day and work at the library. Then Nash could pick me up after work on that 2003 Harley he’s been restoring and we could go for a picnic somewhere private. Now that would be fun.
I’m real excited about branching out into audio books. Check Out is the first of my books to be out in audio and it just released on July 25th. Hearing the story come to life gave me goose bumps and it was a real joy working with my narrator and producer to make that happen.
Your favorite go to drink or food when the world goes crazy!
Dark chocolate, or blueberry lemonade. I love flavored lemonades and any kind of dark chocolate. Chocolate covered blueberries are divine. I have some blueberry lemonade on hand right now, so I think I’ll go pour a nice cool glass and sit back to listen to Check Out on audio. For me that will be a real treat and a good way to celebrate.
Readers can purchase Debra’s titles at:
About the Author:
Debra Parmley enjoys spreading love, one story at a time. Fascinated by fairy tales and folktales ever since she was young, she has always ended her stories with a happy ever after.
A hybrid author, Debra writes in many genres. Historical romance ranging from the western to the 1920’s, contemporary romance with military heroes, romantic suspense, fairy tale romance and paranormal romance. Damsel in distress stories are some of her favorites and you will find this theme in many of her stories. Her westerns have been described as gritty.
Debra lives just outside Memphis, TN and used to be in a critique group with Elvis’s estate attorney. The group met at Robin William’s sister-inlaw’s house.
Her work as a travel consultant gave her the opportunity to visit many countries and her luggage often carried home folk tales from the countries visited. Debra is the founder of Shimmy Mob Memphis. Shimmy Mob is an international organization, which raises funds for local domestic abuse shelters. Shimmy Mob dancers perform on international belly dance day all around the world. To learn more visitwww.shimmymob.com
Debra writes full time and runs her own publishing company, Belo Dia Publishing. She enjoys writing, reading, playing a medieval lady in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), dance, shooting primitive archery, pool and long guns and world travel. Her three favorite things are dark chocolate, visiting the beach and ocean, and hearing from her readers. Each card, letter and email is a treasured gift, like finding a perfect shell upon the beach.
For more information about Debra, please visit her website at www.debraparmley.com.
You can also listen to her live Internet radio show “Book Lights – Shining a light on good books!” at 8:30pm EST on Tuesday evenings atwww.readersentertainment.com
You can follow Debra online at: