Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Guest - Parker Blue

Hey, this is Debra Dixon. I'm here briefly to introduce you to our exciting new young adult fantasy author, Parker Blue. Her book BITE ME from Bell Bridge Books has gotten great reviews so far.

Help me welcome, Parker Blue !

The Idea Fairy

 

Writers are often asked where they get their ideas, as if there's some obscure idea fairy who bestows the perfect idea upon you with her sparkly wand if you know the magic words. Yeah, right. For most writers, finding ideas is not the problem. Avoiding them is. I've tried to duck as they come whizzing in, but they're sneaky little devils. They like to attack when I can't avoid them. They especially like to blindside me when I'm in the bathtub or shower (there's some strange relationship between story ideas and water I've never understood). Or, lately, they've been waiting until I'm driving 75 miles an hour on the freeway (in my hour and a half commute to work) to hit.

Yes, the diabolical things wait until I have no possible way to write them down, then they strike. You see, if I could just record them immediately, I could get them out of my brain and go back to working on whatever current work in progress I should be writing. But because I can't jot them down, I feel compelled to examine their sharp little edges, poke their intriguing extremities and play the "what if" game to form them into some sort of shape. Then, over the next few months, other bits and pieces pop in. I'll bump them up against other ideas I've had and if enough puzzle pieces fit together, I begin to see a story emerge. I call this my "gelling" period, when the ideas start to gel together. Once I can see a form emerge, then I can start working on a story.

Because of this process, I rarely remember the initial impetus for my books, the very first idea. However, in the case of Bite Me, out this month from Bell Bridge Books, I do remember. This is one of the rare times I went looking for a specific idea instead of letting it find me on its own. I wanted to write for the women's action/adventure line, Silhouette Bombshell (now sadly defunct), so I sat down to come up with four ideas to pitch to the editor. I love paranormal, so I knew I wanted to write an action novel with a female heroine and paranormal elements. My first thought of a vampire slayer. But, since Buffy has obviously been done (and very well!), I wanted to put a spin on it. So, what about a vampire hunter who is part demon as well? Even better, what if she's part lust demon and she has to fight vampires to keep the lust under control? Bingo! I had my idea.

Unfortunately, Bombshell folded and when I rewrote the book as a paranormal romance, the publisher who had expressed interest decided they didn't like it after all. But Deb Dixon at Bell Bridge Books pointed out that it would really work better as a young adult urban fantasy--and she was right. So, I rewrote it once again, dropping the heroine's age a few years, and giving her faithful hellhound a voice (who knew hellhounds were so snarky?). I love the result and I hope readers will, too. Here's what it's about:

Bite Me by Parker Blue, Bell Bridge Books, October 2008.

Eighteen-year-old Valentine Shapiro got a raw deal in the parent lottery. Her father was part incubus demon, and her mother's never forgiven her for that. Thrown out of the house by her mother, Val does the only thing that seems to make any sense—she takes aim at the town vampires, figuring a stake a day keeps the demon at bay. Soon enough, she finds herself deep in the underbelly of the city, discovering the secrets of the Demon Underground with the help of her faithful hellhound, Fang, and fighting to save those she loves. Whether they love her back or not.


Parker is blogging on NovelTalk as well--check it out and comment there for a chance to win an autographed copy of her book! Plus Bell Bridge Books will be giving one away today, so start racking up those comments!

Pam McCutcheon / Parker Blue
http://www.parkerblue.net
http://www.pammc.com

27 comments:

Wendy said...

Welcome, Parker! :)

Congrats on your release, I'm really looking forward to reading Bite Me.

Debra Dixon said...

Parker, we're glad you're riding with us today.

I love the anime you. That's great.

Betina Krahn said...

Pam/Parker welcome! Let me know if you need a scarf!

I love the idea of this book and your voice (if I can judge by this blog) should be dead on for YA and for the broader adult market. I love the ideas of a lust demon and a snarky hellhound! I wish you the very best! May it sell a million!

Oh, and I love your pseudonym-- Parker Blue is fabulous! As if the cover Belle Books has given you!

D Twomey said...

I haven't read any young adult, but sounds like I need to start! Your book sounds fantastic... Congratulations!

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Parker and welcome to the convertible! Mega congrats on Bite Me and wow, what a title and fantastic cover!!

Helen Brenna said...

Hi Parker! (I didn't know you were Pam McCutcheon! LOL)

I'm a shower/idea girl myself, so I empathize with the whole not being able to write thing down thing!

Love the title and concept - hope your book flies off the shelves.

Keri Ford said...

Congrats, Parker! and I agree, great cover and this book sounds fantastic.

Keri Ford said...

Oh, yeah, Helen reminded me...Dry Erase Markers, girls! Write towards the top of the shower so the water spray doesn't wipe it off. I keep my marker stored on the top ledge.

Debra Dixon said...

Keri--

You're kidding! Dry Erase markers work? I have unsealed marble but for all those folks who have some sort of glazed product on the wall, this would work, right???

Geez. That's brilliant. Brilliant.

Keri Ford said...

Deb, I don't know why it wouldn't. I would suggest you doing a little test spot to make sure it comes off! I know another lady...Kalen Hughes, I think it's her, who hangs a small dry erase board outside her shower.

Most of my writing thinking in the shower is when I'm trying to do query letter. remembering that word for word is impossible!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Welcome, Parker!

Official devil's advocate here. I actually believe in the Idea Fairy. Years ago Eileen Dreyer talked about her in her RWA Luncheon speech. She described her as a mischievous Tinker Belle (taking license--she might not have mentioned Tink by name) who makes her rounds among writers sprinkling an idea on everybody at once. Suddenly we're all bursting with the same idea. The originality comes in the execution, of course, which was her point, if memory serves--and I wish it would, because lately it slips through the sieve called Kathleen's brain.

I find good ideas really hard to come by, and I don't think it's just because I've been at it so long. It must work differently for each of us. When she told me she was really serious about retiring, LaVyle Spencer said that people were telling her that she wasn't going to resist those ideas that would sureky continue to bombard her. "Bombard?! Don't they realize how hard it is to come up with those ideas?"

So I'm clapping hard, Idea Fairy. I believe! I believe!

Michele Hauf said...

Welcome, Parker! Love the title (because I just finished my own Bite Me; hope my editor is as nice as yours and lets me keep the title.)

I get shower ideas, and driving ideas. Mostly driving. The most deadly kind. I hate to write and drive at the same time, but well...

And middle of the night ideas. I keep a notebook by my bed, but usually scribble in the dark. If it's not thirty below and I'm nestled snug as a bug, I will drag myself up to go sit in the bathroom, light on, door closed so won't disturb hubby, and write some things down. It's like if I don't get up, I just can't sleep the rest of the night.

Helen Brenna said...

Keri, Keri, Keri. Dry erase markers. You kill me.

lois greiman said...

Hey, Parker, thanks for dropping in. Love your title and your cover. Congrats on the new release.

I think story ideas are like seeds. They're everywhere, but you have to nurture them to make them grow.

Keri Ford said...

:O) I'm a resoureful kind of gal.

traveler said...

Welcome Parker! Congratulations on the release.
Love the striking cover artwork. I love the name Valentine Shapiro. So unique and appealing.

Estella said...

I have not read YA yet. Sounds like I need to.

anne said...

Parker, Congrats on the release and best wishes.
I am enticed by this unique and special book.

Debra Dixon said...

Parker "works" a corporate America job so she's probably not going to be responding until they unchain her from the desk or until she unchains those who work for her. (g)

She hasn't ignored you.

Christie said...

Hey, Parker/Pam! Thanks for being here today.

Wow...I could write on my white tile shower walls with a dry erase marker? Cool. I =always= come up with ideas in the shower. Often when I'm blowdrying my hair, too. I think it might a partly a white-noise thing.

I do love hearing the process of putting together a story for an author. I'm at that story-build phase myself right now, and I adore it, since all is possible, but I already have some elements that I can't remember how they got in there.

Sure is fun, though.

diane said...

Welcome Parker. Your release looks amazing and I will be reading this interesting novel.

Parker Blue said...

Thanks for the welcome, everyone!

Betina—it’s cold this time of year, especially with the top down. I probably DO need a scarf. Thanks for the voice comment. Strange, my critique group says the same thing. As for the pseudonym, her Dixoness came up with it and I love it.

Helen—yes, I’m Pam, too. And don’t forget Pamela Luzier (she writes fantasy short stories). I’m sometimes confused about who I am. I thought BB was going to keep my identity a secret, but I’ve been outed! No biggie, but wasn’t sure YA readers need to know Parker Blue is a fat, middle-aged white woman....

Ker—dry erase markers? I’m a bit on the short side. Who can *reach* the top of the shower? But I do have a small dry erase board. Hmm….

Kathleen—I probably attended Eileen’s luncheon speech on the Idea Fairy, but I don’t remember it. Okay, you convinced me. I believe, too!

Michele—there can’t be too many books with this title. I figure they’ll look up one and buy ‘em all!

Debra's right--I tried to respond from work, but couldn't make it work. Sorry this is so late!

Debra Dixon said...

Pam!

You put your name and pammc.com address at the bottom of your blog. I thought you wanted it there.

Oh, wait...that was your email signature wasn't it? ROLFMAO.

Okay. I get it. Duh.

Parker Blue said...

LOL! Yep, my email signature. NOW I understand. :-)

catslady said...

I think this would be the perfect book for my 21 yr. old daughter. In fact her nickname is Anime lol. Of course I would read it too (a perfect excuse to read something I think would be very interesting and we do have a lot of the same interests).

CrystalGB said...

Hi Parker. Congratulations on the release of Bite Me. Sound great.

Debra Dixon said...

Wendy--

You win the copy of BITE ME !

Send me your snail information to:

BelleBooks @ BelleBooks DOT com

Obviously, no spaces and use a period just like a real email address!