Parsons, Peggy P.
Stories have always lived inside Peggy’s head and she often falls asleep and/or wakes up thinking about her characters. Her first full length novel was written while living in England after giving up her business career to join her husband who was seconded to the United Kingdom by his parent company. In the U.K. she served as both Treasurer and President of the American Women’s Club of London. Upon her return to the U.S., she realized the 750 page manuscript should have been three separate novels, however, she was already working on her fourth story by then. Her love of writing keeps her near her computer, however, she stays active by taking classes in tap, jazz, clogging, and marching with the Jazzy Poms in parades, plus she teaches baton twirling, and performs on stage with the Rhythm Tappers of SCW, Az twice a year. She has served as Secretary and President of the Rhythm Tappers and is currently their Treasurer. She’s also a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and belongs to two local chapters—Valley of the Sun and Desert Rose. Other favorite activities include spending time alone with her husband, plus their loved ones, traveling, and watching golf and football on TV.
Ms. Parsons, tell us about yourself? Do you have other hobbies or interests outside of writing?
I live in Arizona, and I love the weather. I golf two or three times a week, putt once a week in the winter, play Mah Jongg all year, and tap dance, too. In addition, I love to travel and spend time with my grandchildren, and my friends, including my Red Hat Ya Ya sisters.
- Tell us about your book?
My story is about a Mormon girl who attended the University of Hawaii in the early 1960's. She meets Robin, who is known for having his way with girls, and spends a romantic evening with him. Years later they meet again, and she's shocked because she heard he had drowned.
- Why this book? What inspired it?
I grew up in Utah, and I wanted to write a story about a Mormon girl because I think a lot of people have weird ideas about Mormons, and they're not weird at all. I also worked for an insurance company, a very special place, where the employees were almost like family as they are in my story.
- I know this question isn't new to you: Why do you write? Why did you begin writing?
I've wanted to write most of my life. I've always had stories in my head. When I was young I made up stories while I was doing the dishes. The knives were the daddy's, forks the mother's, small spoons were children and big spoons were aunts and uncles. In addition to those stories, I made up all kinds of others and told them to my younger sister. She was a great listener. Still is. And when I used to baby sit for my piano teacher, I discovered making up stories was a good way to keep her active twin sons entertained.
- Nor this one: Where do you get your ideas?
They just come. From where, I don't know. Sometimes I see, hear, or read something and I get an idea. Sometimes I dream about something and a story or the beginning of one results. I always know the beginning and end before I start, and the rest takes care of itself as I write.
- How do you come up with your characters? The names?
I'm always trying to think up unusual names. A few times I've used heroine’s names that start with a K because that's what my sister's name begins with and she's one of my most favorite people in the whole world. My characters are often based on someone I've known or have met, although I doubt anyone would recognize them because they're really my creation, and they're someone I like and admire.
- Why this genre? Have you considered trying another genre? If so which one(s) and why?
I write romance because I like happy endings, also because I believe love is some kind of magic. One Stolen Night is an Inspirational. I have three time travel stories published. Two are historical, the other (third one) is about a girl coming forward in time. All three of those stories are related, and the girl in the first and third stories change places. If I wrote in another genre, it would probably be mystery, but it would still have romantic elements because I think love makes the world go around.
- Is reading important to you? What do you read? Who do you read?
Reading is very important because fiction can take me to times and places I've never been. It can lift my mood, make me happy and help me believe anything is possible. I read all kinds of books. I love romances, of course, and Judith McNaught is my favorite author, although I have many favorites. I like historical works, especially those about our forefathers (our country's presidents). I love to read about the beginnings of our great country. During the last year I've also read The Pentagon, In vitro Fertilization, Leaving Microsoft to Save the World, the Supreme Court Justices. I've recently read The Other Bolyn Girl, and The Mists of Avalon (a female's POV during the time of King Arthur).
- How much time do you put into your writing? The creation? Research? Editing? Marketing?
I spend as much time as possible at my computer, writing. The creation is the most difficult. Getting the entire story written is almost like being on a deadline. I need it all down as soon as possible. When I'm in the creative mode, I try to work early in the day while I'm fresh. Editing and polishing take the most time, and I work on that any time of the day or night, and often stay up late. For marketing, I go to book signings, give and attend workshops, and try to discover new ideas from other writers.
- Is One Stolen Night your first Wings book? Are you working on another project?
One Stolen Night is my fourth book with Wings. The others are: Glimpse Of Eternity, Glimpse Of Forever, Glimpse Of Never Ending Love. I wrote those books under the pseudonym, Evanell, my middle name.
I have another story coming out with Wings in November, 2008, titled Yours Till Niagara Falls. It's a contemporary, kind of a romantic suspense, about a girl who inherits a Camp in the Adirondacks.
Other Projects: I'm working on a story that's about half finished, and I have two written that need polishing, editing. In addition, I always have ideas in my head for other stories I want to write. Just need more time.
- What do you find most difficult about the writing/publishing process?
Selling the story to an editor/publisher.
- Do you have any sage advice for beginning writers? For first time published authors?
Learn the craft. Attend workshops and conferences. Join writer's groups. Other writers are full of information, and they're very willing to share. Join a critique group, and learn to take and give constructive criticism.
13. Lastly, do you have a website or blog where readers can find you and your work?
My website is: www.evanell.com
- Is there anything you'd like to add?
Writing a story is like having a baby. It takes a while to create, and during that time, it's all yours. Once it's born (published), you share it with others and hope they treat it kindly.