Monday, April 15, 2013

Author Spotlight: An Interview with Pinkie Parker

 Today's Author Spotlight is on Pinkie Parker! Please sit back and enjoy the interview, read the blurb for her upcoming release and make sure to comment to let her know you stopped by. :) 


Welcome Pinkie, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I was born in the southern United States, and I “inherited” the nickname “Pinkie” from my paternal female relatives (the oldest female child is always “Pinkie”). No one is quite sure how that tradition got started, but I also have cousins named Bootsie and Newtsie, so we are a slightly eclectic bunch.

I had my first short story published in 2004 through a college literary magazine, and Dreamspinner Press published my first m/m short story this year with two more on the way.

When did you start writing m/m romance and why were you drawn to it?
I first started writing m/m romance at age twelve. It began with fanfiction for the Japanese animation Sailor Moon. I had been watching the American dub of the show when a friend showed me the original Japanese version. In the original, two of the main villains in the first season were male lovers. However, the show had been censored for American audiences by the U.S. distribution company, and one of the males had been airbrushed to have breasts and was given a female voice actor in order to make the romance “acceptable.” Watching the original, I realized that the love between the two characters was the same, regardless of gender. As I began writing, I wanted to explore that, and I have never really stopped.

Do you write full time?
 The simple answer is yes, but, sadly, I am not always writing fiction. Usually, I am being crushed beneath archival material for research.

How long did it take you to get published? Was your book/novella accepted on the first submission or did you have to submit to more than one place before it was accepted? 
I have been trying to get published in starts and stops since I was about eighteen years old. After getting a lot of rejections, my college’s literary magazine published a short story of mine in 2004. After that, I gave up the idea of being an author while I was getting my undergraduate degree. In 2011, while doing some thesis research, I began to write again, and, after nine months of submitting to a dozen or more  publishers, Dreamspinner Press published my short story “Curtain Calls” in their Snow on the Roof anthology.

What event(s) in your life helped you to decide to become a writer? 
 I think that I have spent most of my life alone with my own imagination. I do not have any siblings, and I have always been a bit of a loner. Writing my characters having social lives became a lot easier than having one of my own.

Are you the type of writer who edits as they go along or do you finish and then go back to the beginning to start the 'polishing' process?
I do edit as I go, but it slows me down terribly.

Do you write from experience or are you the type who researches a subject until you feel you know it inside and out?
As a cultural historian, my brain will not leave me alone unless I have thoroughly researched everything I want to write about. In my upcoming short story “Joie de Vivre,” I had to research several French locations along with recipes. I even tried cooking a few of the dishes that I wrote about to limited success.

How do you come up with the title of your works? Is it during the writing process, before, after? Do you outline or fly by the seat of your pants when you start a new piece?
I would have to say that most of the titles do come about during the writing process, usually when I am doing an overall outline of the story.

How much of yourself do  you incorporate in your characters? Is it intentional or does it come out subconsciously? Do you ever use people in your life for inspiration?
I do not see much of myself in my characters, but I am told that many of my characters speak like me. I have a tendency to overuse the word “indeed” in my regular speech, and my characters do it as well, so I have to be mindful of that. It is probably more common for me to use people in my life for inspiration. When I spot a quirk or a unique mannerism in my colleagues, sometimes that gets thrown into the mix during my character creation process. In “Joie de Vivre,” the character Henri has a lot of mannerisms that come from a close friend of mine, particularly the weird way he eats bread.

 What do you hope your reader feels or experiences as they read your work?
I hope that my reader feels like that they are truly experiencing a vignette in someone else’s life. I hope the atmosphere is tangible, and the emotions relatable. I try to strive for a sense of genuineness in my work.

Since your first publication, has there been any surprises or funny/interesting stories you'd like to share?
When I visited my family for Christmas, my  grandmother kept asking to see my story that was published in the Snow on the Roof anthology. While there are members of my family that know that I write romance fiction, my grandmother does not, and it made for a very awkward holiday.

What are you currently working on?
I am currently writing a fantasy novel set in medieval England, so I am doing a lot of research into the fourteenth century.

How do you overcome writer's block?
I start working on my academic writing. Imagining all those far off places and time periods I will never get to experience usually recharges the old inspiration batteries.

Do you like to read as well as write? What types of books do you enjoy? Do you ever find yourself incorporating pieces of books you've read into your stories?
I love to read, but I am normally stuck reading economic records from the eighteenth century. For pleasure, I enjoy fantasy novels, such as Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files or George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. I think that enjoying those books inspired me to write a fantasy novel myself, and I adore the world-building process.

Where does your inspiration come from?
History inspires me most of all, both for fiction and nonfiction writing. Reading the letters of Katharine of Aragon or even the records of the menagerie at Versailles under Louis XIV gives you glimpses into a different world. You can become attached to people and places in ways that are hard to describe.

Any special projects coming out soon that we should watch for?
“Joie de Vivre” will be featured in Dreamspinner Press’s Closet Capers anthology, coming out on April 22nd, and another short story, “Luck of the Dice” will be published in DPS’s 2012 Daily Dose anthology.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend an inordinate amount of time on the Internet, watching video game reviews. I also love to draw comics and make delicious baked goods.

Please tell everyone where to find you  on the internet.

My story "Joie de Vivre" will be featured in the upcoming Dreamspinner Press anthology, Closet Capers, which will be released on April 22nd.

Story Blurb:
Aspiring restaurateur Jules hopes to honor his aunt’s memory by placing one of her recipes on his menu. However, while visiting the farmhouse he inherited from her, he discovers her treasured recipe box has disappeared and encounters a host of needed repairs that make staying in the house impossible. When a childhood antagonist, Henri, reappears, can Jules take him up on his offer of help… and maybe more?

Buy Links:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Author Spotlight: Jessica Davies & Sins of Another Giveaway Contest

Today's author spotlight is on Jessica Davies! She is stopping by to blog about her upcoming release Sins of Another and to begin a blog tour giveaway contest! Be sure to follow along to win! 


First off, let me thank JR Loveless for inviting me here today and for being the first stop in my Sins of Another release blog tour.  

At the time of this posting, Sins of Another is available for pre-order here:
And here’s the blurb so you have some idea of what I’m talking about:

One morning Padrig Kennedy comes home to find his partner, Nick Glenfielding, in bed with another man. Shocked, hurt, and vulnerable, Padrig flees and meets a stranger who seems to offer comfort—but he force-feeds Padrig a steady diet of drugs and prostitution instead. When he finally surfaces from his hell, it’s to another system shock: he’s now HIV positive.

Nick descends into darkness as well. Devastated by losing Padrig, he finds no consolation in the legal career he doesn’t love and tries to find solace in alcohol, spending his days in an ever-deepening haze.

Padrig and Nick find each other again, but their relationship can never be the same. If they’re to stand any chance of a future together, they must do the improbable: make sense of the past and learn to cope with new burdens they’ll bear for life. 

Today I’m talking titles.  One thing writers get asked a lot is “how do you come up with your titles?”  I wish I could say it was a grand and closely guarded mystery.  Generally I go with something obvious and hope it’s got a little deeper layer to it.  For instance, my novella Possession.  It’s about a possessed doorstop – a possessed possession, if you will.  

The original working title for Sins of Another was Innocent Wisdom, the idea being that wisdom doesn’t usually come with innocence but Padrig, though innocent, ends up in a situation from which he gains a lot of life wisdom, and unfortunately not in a very constructive way.  I found that title rather annoying, though, and scrapped it before the end.  

Instead, I took the title from a line in the story: “There comes a time when one has seen such suffering one begins to understand, in this world, even the innocent may be forced to bear the sins of another.

The phrase is intentionally similar to “punishing the children for the sin of the fathers – a line from Exodus – the idea being that someone who has no connection to a particular wrong-doing being the one to bear the punishment.  This applies to both Padrig and Nick, who have had their lives turned upside-down by someone else’s wrongdoing.  They are each essentially crippled without their “other half.”  

Later, toward the end, Padrig uses the same phrase in giving some advice: “But more than anything, love yourself.  No matter how much others love you, no matter how they would do anything for you, there may be times when through no fault of yours, you might be the only person you can rely on when you are faced with bearing the sins of another.

Basically, Padrig means that you’ve got to value yourself, love yourself, and be willing to encourage yourself at times.  One cannot rely solely on others for their esteem and emotional needs, because no matter how much others may love you, there may come a time when they can’t be there for whatever reason.  That’s not to advise caution when it comes to love, but to always remember to love yourself as well as others.

Like Her Royal Highness, RuPaul, says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else!  Can I get an amen?”

Sins of Another giveaway contest

Between now and May 29, 2013 I’ll be including clues in my blog tour stops and my own blog entries to references made within Sins of Another.  

Here’s how it works: You get the clue from the blog posts and keep track of the answers on your own.  After the last clue has been posted (May 29, 2013), email me at
Make sure you follow the blog tour over the next couple months as I’ll be giving away swag bags, a goodie hamper, and a copy of Sins of Another.

Jessica Skye Davies’ blog:

This week’s clue: 

Padrig’s introductory line in the foreword of Sins of Another is: “HELLO. My name is Padrig Kennedy. Padrig, not Patrick. I’m thirty-two now and have lived in East London all my life.
He is then quick to let us know that he is not cockney, unlike a certain blossoming denizen of Covent Garden after whom is named an early computer program that mimicked natural language.  Who does Padrig refer to?

Remember, keep track of your answers on your own and check regularly to “collect” more clues!