Saturday, January 4, 2014

Author Interview~ Morgan Parker

So yesterday was Parkerview Day on my blog page. I had so much fun doing it I thought I'd share it on my blog as well :) Enjoy! 

Question 1: Author Morgan Parker When you were writing Non-Friction, did you expect it to be as big as it is? That i would be number 1 on a Goodreads list or peoples Fave book of 2013?

Morgan Parker LOL, that's a good one  I'm definitely surprised by the popularity of non friction. But popularity and success are two different things. I'm hoping that the rest of my audience finds me through the insane popularity that the novel has enjoyed, and we can all work together to get the book into bookstores everywhere <-- that would be "success," don't you think? That being said, non friction has helped me meet a whole group of people that would have otherwise ignored me altogether. 

More surprising, to be honest, is that people actually seem to enjoy the story. I wasn't entirely sure people would 1) read it and 2) if they did read it, enjoy it. It's definitely not your traditional love story, so taking that kind of risk is always difficult for new and unknown authors.

Wow, that's a long-winded answered, huh?

Question 2: This is from Lisa Olsen. Will you be doing any book signings this year?

Morgan Parker Yes, my wife and I are planning on making a trip to Vegas in October, and to Chicago in May. I might skip out to New Orleans next month, too, but the only signing will be Vegas. I will be sober the entire time, but drunk on M&M's and Starbucks

Question 3: Could you see yourself writing a Paranormal Book? This is from Laveda Kasch.

Morgan Parker I'd love to, but I think one of the most important parts of paranormal writing is that you have to be credible. I lack that because I don't think you can say, "it was scary as [censored] and he [censored] his pants," you know? However, in Our Story, Oliver's love story with Olivia follows into the afterlife. That's about as paranormal as I could get away with. My next novel is a little more serious than non friction and I question whether or not I'll pull "serious" off, let alone paranormal.

Question 4: Were you scared when you published your first book or were you like, I got this? From Laveda Kasch

Morgan Parker Hitting publish the first time was a little like jumping into the lake without your top on in the Spring. I was surprised by how well received it was, at the time (nothing like non friction). But I figured I had a neat story that hadn't been told before.

Question 5: From Laveda Kasch: What made you want to start writing? Inspiration for writing? Question 5: From Laveda Kasch: What made you want to start writing? Inspiration for writing?

Morgan Parker I had no friends when I was younger. No really, I didn't. Well, I had school friends, but I was bussed in to school. So after-hours and on weekends, I wrote stories to keep myself busy. In most cases, I wrote stories about lots of money because I had none, and drugs because Miami Vice was hugely popular back then and I idolized Don Johnson. I still want a Ferrari, but not the drugs. I still want to live in Miami, but without the humidity.

Question 6: From Jennifer Hoos: When can we get the conclusion to jake and Christine's story.

Morgan Parker That's an awesome question, Jennifer! I'll be honest, TE3 was 1/2 written (well, more like 3/4 written) but I didn't feel it was good enough. So I scrapped what I had and I'm starting over. It will definitely be this year, but I really want Jake to go out with a bang. And Christine… well… hmm.

Question 7: If you had to cast Non Friction for a movie, who would you choose for Morgan?

Morgan Parker I love this question. If I had to pick, I wouldn't have a job because I'm horrible at casting. Anyway, I'd get Will Farrell to play Morgan because he's kinda funny and I think non friction could probably help him bring his career to the next level, you know?

Question 8: What are you most excited to share with us this year?

Morgan Parker I'm super excited about Sick Day. I have some great editors lined up to help me make sure it makes sense, and it's a bit of a continuation of non friction. There is A LOT more Our Story in Sick Day; there is a love story we can all relate to (OK, not really, but I felt I should say that promotional reasons), and overall it's very different than anything else I've published. I think people will enjoy this story, I think it will start some whispered/hushed discussions, and I think the timing is pretty good too 

Question 9: Let's get personal Parker. What is your favorite memory ever? Something that you hold dear to your heart?

Morgan Parker I have a few. But in the interest of staying married and rated-PG censorship, I'll tell this little story instead. When my son was born, I took 6 months off of work to be with him (yeah, really smart career-move for a guy, let me tell you!). Anyway, every day I wrote something special about our time together in a little notebook. Like my typical diet, this lasted a couple of weeks. Anyway, years later, I found that notebook and read about a time when we were laying for a nap and he was on my chest when he decided to climb higher up on me and plant a kiss on my forehead. Even though I remember this moment, I completely forgot about that specific instance… it was heartbreaking to have forgotten it, but I was so happy to have rediscovered it that I now tell myself to cherish every moment with my kids… because those are the moments that will flash across my mind in my last breaths, you know?

Question 10: What's the funniest thing that has ever happened to you? Be honest with me Parker, I want to know hehe

Morgan Parker Funniest thing… there are a few, like the time my mother sent me to school on a day-off, or the time I decided to pee outside when I was 6 and a cop happened to drive by and told on me. But more recently, the funniest thing that has happened was when my daughter crept into the bathroom while I was peeing and she applauded me for standing while going pee because that's what boys are supposed to do. (Okay, I might have sat to pee... once… I'm lazy, give me a break).

Question 11: Do you still have any of the stories you wrote as a Kid?

 Hahaha, I hope not! I used to handwrite them, then I asked for a typewriter when I was 8 and because I didn't have any money for typewriter tape, I was super cheap on words… half of that stuff wouldn't make sense today!

Question 12: Hi Trouble, Here's my question!? WHy do you think Morgan B was so attracted to the bitch that was Emma .. She had fake boobs, a fake life and in my opinion she took him for a ride with emotions! Do you think he was naive? (hehe Parker do you know who this one is from)

Well (I don't know who this is, but I'm nervous as heck now), I don't think Emma was all that bad a person. I think people are fully entitled to enhance (or de-enhance) their appearances to help bring out their true character, but I wanted Morgan to start out the novel as one of those "surface-only" guys, so Emma could clearly attract his attention. But we see how Morgan evolves a lot in the story, right? He realizes that love isn't what he has always believed it to be. It wasn't about getting off, dry-humping, or anything else. And it wasn't through Jennifer that he realized that, it was through Emma. So while Emma took him for a real ride, she actually helped him evolve as a person, particularly emotionally.

And let's look at this from Emma's perspective. She didn't evolve all that much - she stayed married simply for the fact that she didn't want another failure under her belt (haha, good one) even though she evidently and very clearly lived and breathed Morgan. She did a lot for him. But she just couldn't "evolve" past the "surface" reality of having another failed marriage. 

I don't think Emma was 100% evil, she just wasn't ready to evolve into a life of true happiness. She was scared. We all have a bit of Emma in us in that regard, don't we?

Question 13: You're kinda like a super hero with your false identity, you're the super hero of amazeball books ! Lol that can be your hero name amazeball book man. hehehe. Anyhow....when we get to know who you really are?

Someday, I might just reveal my true identity, but I feel I'm kinda into it a little too deep now. Gulp. 

Ultimately, these are the middle names of my children… and when you think about it, all of this is about them anyway, making them proud and all of that sappy stuff, so I'm cool with the fake name and taking my bow behind the curtain...

Question 14: Who did the drawings in NonFriction?

Cool question! They weren't drawing, they were hugely enhanced photographs. So they looked like drawings, even though they weren't. I was originally think of creating an entire book like this - you know, an adult-caliber Diary of a Wimpy Kid story - but it was just waaaayyy too much work 

Question 15: What do you do on your down time? What do you do to relax?

The kids own me… I don't have "free" time. Once they're asleep, I'm usually writing. That calms me… at least until I get close to being done, then I suffer from the indecision about whether I should publish it or, in the case of TE3, start all over

Question 16: Craziest thing you've ever done?

When I was younger, we didn't have lots of money (or any money, let's be honest here). My younger brother and I would spend our summers at my aunt's, we were largely UNsupervised and there was a convenience store with a small arcade in it. After raiding my uncle's change drawer one day, we were hooked… but broke. In hindsight, we could have prostituted ourselves, but instead decided on fraud as a way to make money. So…. we found some blank cue cards, drew something pretty on them, and then went door-to-door trying to sell "raffle tickets" for $10 a piece. That was crazy… funny enough, we got in trouble for raiding the change drawer - nobody ever found out about the fraudulent raffle tickets

Question 17: How do you come up with your stories? They're just so original

Pretty much everywhere. Non Friction was inspired by this idea of divorce not being such a horrible thing. And really, when you think about it, divorce is a good thing - no "awesome" relationship ever ends in divorce, only the bad ones. Sick Day was inspired by Ferris Bueller's Day Off for grown ups, combined with this idea of two people making a promise to always love each other, even though circumstances pulled them physically apart from each other while they were younger and off to college. I have another release for later in the year that was based on a dream I had about sleep. So yeah, pretty much anywhere 

Question 18: Lets do a simple one, Whats your favorite color

 Blue. I don't know why

Question 19: Since I'm a huge fan of your kids. Tell me another funny story about the lil munchkins

Morgan Parker My kids are inspiration for the craziest and silliest stuff ever. One morning on the way to school, my daughter asked me to play ZZ Ward's Blue Eyes Blind. I fumbled through a million CD's but couldn't find it. She said, "Find it on the Radio!" Now, I have satellite radio, but even 1,000 stations wouldn't give me that song. "I'm sorry, sweetie, but it's not there." She started crying, "I want Mommy to pick me up." "Well, you won't see Mommy until Monday, so if you want to spend the weekend at school, knock yourself out." She started crying. This kind of shit-show doesn't normally happen in the morning, only AFTER school. When we arrived, I asked if I should come pick her up, or if she's spending the weekend at school. She glared at me. "You BETTER find that CD, Daddy, or don't bother coming to get me." 

Needless to say, I love my daughter, so I found the CD

Question 20: What inspires your book covers, they're very different, unique ?

Morgan Parker What a cool question. I spend a lot of time at the bookstore and I'm amazed by the simplicity of a lot of the bestsellers on the shelves. So I aim for simplicity. I'm at a loss for Sick Day (I normally have a cover all figured out by now). I've often wished I could hire some pretty models, but as you can tell by my choice of Will Farrell to play Morgan in the film version of non friction, I'm not all that good when it comes to finding beautiful people… So, simplicity it is 

Question 21: What's your favorite book of all time?

 I'm huge Dennis Lehane and Harlan Coben fans. On the Indie side, I love reading AL Zaun's stuff (we've since become friends) and Tarryn Fisher's stuff (when's Mud Vein gonna get released anyway?). But of all-time? I have to say that all of Colin Harrison's books truly speak to me. I model my own stuff after what he does - a bit of overlap in each of the stories so they're somewhat linked together (although I'm more explicit with mine). I'm going to go with The Havana Room, there was so much love in that story… (it wouldn't be considered a love story, mind you, probably a mystery or crime novel). Plus, I think that reading is a lot more than just "reading." It's about relationships - yes, with the author, but also with his/her characters. Writing the book is just one part of it. Promoting it is another part of it. But engaging with the people who read the book is something that so many authors ignore. Colin Harrison was always accessible to me, even when he was too busy editing for some big publisher, he'd respond to emails.

Question 22: What's the best thing, to you, about being a writer? Worst?

 Best: There is nothing more satisfying than reading a review, good or bad. It's one thing to expect someone to dish out a few bucks for a book. To read it, that's good too. But to invest time to write a review that makes the story about the reader (and not the writer), that's awesome because there's time involved in that. And writers don't pay for reviews, so the reader is donating their time to do something they really don't have to do.

Worst: Writing a story involves revealing part of yourself and often the not-so-pretty parts. It's nerve-wracking, scary and failure is easy

Question 23: How do you get into the writing mood? What helps the flow of creativity?

 LOL, getting into the writing mood is like getting into the "cleaning the house" mood. There's so many funner things to do (funner is a word? weird!). One trick I've learned is that when it's time to shut the computer off for the night, I should end mid-sentence in the middle of a chapter. It's kinda difficult to do, but the next day it makes it easier to pick up where I left off. Plus, it's neat to see how my original direction can change.

Question 24: What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?

Morgan Parker True story, I swear. I had a girlfriend over for dinner one night, and after we decided to go for a walk. There was a forest near my place, so we walked through it - nothing like a light hike, right? Anyway, it turned out to be a pretty romantic setting, so we stepped off that beaten path and, well, improvised for dessert. After, we were walking back and the air became still and extremely quiet. Eerie doesn't describe it. And then we heard this truly inhuman growl from behind us. It seemed far at first, but then it evolved into a "barking," which wasn't a bark, but more of an animal-ish scream. And it was getting closer. And fast. So we started running. I have never run so hard and fast in my life. I swore it was gaining on us, and it wasn't happy. 

We reached the edge of the forest and once in daylight, the sounds ended. Nothing ever came out of that forest behind us.

I broke up with her shortly thereafter, and I still don't have pets (well, outside of the kids anyway).

Question 25: Whose one or some of your favorite authors?

Morgan Parker I have a few. On the traditional list, I enjoy those I mentioned earlier (Harlan Coben, Dennis Lehane and Colin Harrison) but I also enjoy Alice Munro and Barbara Kingsolver. On the indie front, I truly admire Tarryn Fisher, and AL Zaun has great voice. But I'm really getting into Lisa Olsen's The Touch right now (I'm a slow reader!), I enjoyed M Pierce's Night Owl, Leslie Fear's spooky Villere House…. there are so many! I'd love to just read full-time, I'd never get bored, there are so many really great and talented indie authors out there (some crappy ones too).

Question 26: Do you ever get writer's block?

Like right now? Or ever? Yeah, I haven't written in 2 days. Argh. But there are days when I push out 10,000 words, so I'm not worried… yet. Oh, and have you heard about Textual Encounters 3? Yeah, that's one big project in the disease called writer's block. Originally, it was supposed to be released in the Spring of 2013. But then again, it needs to be better than perfect so it's not so much the block as it is about the perfection needed

Question 27: What book that comes out this year are you looking forward to reading?

 I really want Mud Vein. I wanted it when it was due out in December, but I still want it.

Question 28: Who was your favorite character you wrote about and why?

 I really loved Evelyn, the child in non friction. I originally thought that thinking like a child would be a challenge and force me to stretch my creative boundaries, but writing about someone with the mindset of a 4 years was actually pretty fun (and easy)! I like to think it's because I have a 4-year old at home, but I'm afraid it has more to do with my own (im)maturity level.

Question 29: What was your Suck & Sweet of 2013?

 Sucky for 2013… wow, I don't know. Personally, there's been quite a bit of change going on, mostly work related and that has been stressful. TE2 wasn't as good as it should have been. I published then un-published a crappy story that nobody liked. Sweet? Well, I met Verna, Amyand a whole bunch of really awesome fans who actually like my stories, courtesy of non friction and my earliest novella, Textual Encounters. But overall, I'd say 2013 was the best year of my life. I've learned a whole lot and would take a lifetime of suck if it means another year of sweet like the sweet I've enjoyed this year 

Question 30: What are you most looking forward to this year?

 I'm looking forward to 2014 being over and seeing whether or not I really can publish 4 novels this year!

Question 31: Looking back on the books you have previously published, what if anything would you do differently?

I think I'd be more interested in working with an editor for TE2, for starters. Also, I'd only publish the really good stuff. If I hadn't been so distracted in 2013, I would have tried to hammer out another novel in the Fall, but time just got away from me  I also would have tried to promote my stories a little better. That's definitely my biggest weakness - self-promotion. I hate doing it...

Question 32: What advise would you give to an inspiring Indie Author?

 I'm so not qualified to give advice to anyone, especially aspiring authors (and new parents). But I'd say writing is just one part of the indie writing process. If you only want to write, find someone who knows everything about this industry. I'd say it's as much marketing as it is writing, and it's as much editing as it is writing, and if you have a short attention span (hey, welcome to the club) find an Amyto keep you focussed 

Question 33: What's the most difficult challenges you have face to get your book published?

 Amazon has been great. When I was younger, the only way you'd see your book published was through a traditional publisher, that larger of which could only be accessed through a literary agent. I've had some "ok" experiences with agents, but at the end of the day, without a name, getting a publisher to invest in your project was difficult. A friend of mine was a bestselling Harlequin authoress and she went with a traditional publisher on a $500,000 advance… which wasn't enough to get the publisher to properly promote her and her work. So, without the investment of resources, you're kinda screwed and doomed to fail. She's not writing anymore  

Back to Amazon, I firmly believe that as indie authors we have been given a huge opportunity to re-shape the publishing industry, but treating this opportunity like it's just the "same old, same old," will only return the industry to what it was… and it was obviously broken 

As readers and bloggers, we also have a bit of a responsibility to keep indie authors honest, to keep pushing for quality stories, and for holding authors accountable to the people who buy and promote and brag and pimp and share those stories. This is now a social environment, a collaborative one…

Wow, that's a long-winded answer. My challenge has been mostly about staying committed and focussed. Again, 
Amy keeps me on track and luckily she remembers my goals and objectives here, because I also have a bad memory to go along with my ADHD on everything else 

Question 34: If you were to be stuck in a lift with 3 people, who would they be?

Is that like a ski lift or an elevator? Either way, I'd have to go with my wife because maybe we could find some time to chat about stuff. I'd also need a referee to keep score and make sure she doesn't kill me for always being right about stuff. And third, I'd probably bring my grandmother because she always has sweet. Plus, she loves me and would likely take my side if we ever had to sacrifice one of us if it came to it 

Question 35: What does the future hold for Morgan Parker?

Oh, I don't know. I hope it has a lot of great books, hitting the NYT best-seller list and a public-speaking engagement or two <-- I just made that up, but I love speaking to large groups.

Question 36: Apart from writing, what is a typical day for Morgan Parker?

Well, I have a full-time job, so a lot of my time is spent wishing I could write. I deal with people for most of the day. The happiest moment of my "typical day" is walking into my kids' daycare and telling them to hurry, let's get home so you can argue on the car ride home and make me insane. But still, I love seeing those little people; their arguments are so lame and it's interesting to see how a 9-year old and 4-year mind-fudge each other. Reminds me of my last non-marriage relationship. Kidding, I can't even remember that far back 

Question 37: What is one place you'd love to travel to?

I've been planning a trip to Spain, renting a villa on the water and just enjoying the local life. I've been planning it for a few years now. Just waiting for the money to finance that trip

Question 38: What's your favorite movie?

I have a few. But I admire Christopher Nolan as a writer, and he wrote the script for The Prestige. Amazing story. It's also a love story if you watch closely enough. A close second would be Dark Knight (the second one with Heath Ledger in it), but any part of that trilogy will do. Great stories 

Question 39: What's your favorite food?


Question 40: Since this is the last question of the day. What's something you want us to know about you or your stories?

 I like to think that I write about real emotions, realistic characters and completely made-up stories/circumstances. I think that is why so many people seem to enjoy stories like non friction, and even textual encounters - they relate to the emotions of these circumstances. 

I also hope that people see that I'm fairly normal and I love answering questions and chatting about my stories… so make sure you post to my wall as frequently as you like - I'll answer you, I promise, and I don't bite. 

Thank you for the great question 

No comments:

Post a Comment