Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Welcome Mysti Parker Author of Hearts In Exile

Welcome Mysti! Can you tell us a little bit about Hearts in Exile?

Somewhere, hidden in the waters of the Southern Sea, lies an island unlike any other. Within the amber glow of its pyrogem-laden cliffs, legend says the very heart of the dragon god Drae keeps the island, and its occupants, alive.

Loralee Munroviel, daughter of Leogard's High Priestess Arianne, had no idea what she would face when she arrived by boat ten years ago and was left alone in exile. All she knew about Draekoria's inhabitants was written in one tattered notebook. Now, her life revolves around keeping Drae's descendants happy. Never in her life did she imagine being a Dragon Keeper.

Captain Igrorio Everlyn, known as Sir Robert to his unit of Holy Paladins, has faced his share of hell, battling the evils of Emperor Sarvonn's tyranny and the dark god Tyr's abominations. But none of that compares to the ten years of hell he's been without Loralee, presumed dead.

One freak storm changes everything. Now the two of them must fight to re-establish the delicate balance of the island before the dragons take things into their own hands. Through it all, they discover the secrets that kept them, and their hearts, exiled for a decade.

Where can our readers find this wonderful book?

Wonderful! Now let's talk about you. What do you wish to share with us.
Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger's Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya's Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind's 'Sword of Truth' series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.

Mysti's other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University's six week free course, F2K. 

Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.

How can our readers reach you?

Now for some not so common questions to get to know you better.
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love to tell stories, to really get inside my characters and see how they respond to the challenges I give them. Plus, it’s satisfying to create something from start to finish that I can call my very own. Something that doesn’t have to be done over and over again like dishes and laundry!

What genre(s) do you write?
Fantasy Romance, Children’s Early Readers, Flash Fiction, and anything my writing bug demands.

What genres and authors would we find you reading?
I love anything with strong romantic themes. I especially love the cross-genre romances: fantasy, sci-fi, and lately I’m into steampunk romance. Just a few of my favorite authors of late are Deborah Harkness, Suzanne Collins, Jenny Twist, Elizabeth Lang, Ruth J Hartman, Dan Wright, Tara Fox Hall, and Tori L. Ridgewood.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Keeping the momentum going. I had a stretch of writer’s block last summer and worried I’d never iron out the plot. Once it clicked, though…woohoo! Felt great to keep rolling with it until it was done.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Pantser. Except for a very loose outline and some notes along the way, I don’t do extensive planning. The characters carry the story and often surprise me. Keeps things fun and spontaneous.

Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?
I don’t consider myself any better than another author, but if you enjoy fantasy OR romance, you’ll enjoy my books. If you enjoy fantasy AND romance, you’ll REALLY enjoy them. The fantasy isn’t so overwhelming that you need a glossary to remember names and places. I call it “accessible fantasy”, fit for those who don’t necessarily enjoy those 1000 page epics. And you’re not forced to read them all in order because they stand alone as their own separate stories.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
My goal is and always has been to write a story in such a way that the reader sees the story and not the words. I want them swept away and sighing with bittersweet pleasure when they close my books.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In Hearts in Exile, the main characters work hard to achieve their dreams, but when those dreams are torn apart, they don’t wither away and give up. They adapt and make the most out of even the worst situations.

What other careers have you had?
Before I became a full time mom on New Year’s Eve of 2001, I worked in a neurological surgery lab. I was good at extracting spinal cords from neonatal rats under a dissection microscope. Took a steady hand!

Do you write under more than one name?
I occasionally write a thing or two under my real name.

Are any of your characters based on real people or events?
Though my husband accuses me of basing my villains on him, no, they’re all imaginary. Of course, I add traits of people I know here and there. We can’t help that, can we?

How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers?
I write breathtaking fantasy combined with unforgettable love stories. It’s fantasy with a heart!

What books or authors have most influenced your career?
Jane Eyre, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Poe, Mercedes Lackey

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
Most are supportive, some think I write smut, and some could care less.

Where are you from?
Born in Somerset, KY, raised in Adair County, KY on Chicken Ridge (no joke), and now reside near Louisville in Oldham County.

How do you come up with the titles?
I don’t know really. They just come to me, usually before I even start writing.

Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?
No, not really. I’m the same I always was, except I’m busier with marketing now and have less time to write sometimes. Some days it’s hard to fit it all in.

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
Now that I’ve got a children’s book illustrated and in the hands of an agent, I’ve ventured into the land of multi-tasking (as far as the business goes). I’m actually ALWAYS multi-tasking. There’s the mom thing, the house thing, the blog thing, I’m mentoring an online class and promoting my series. Really hoping to hone in on my fourth book this fall when the kids are back in school.

When not writing, how do you relax?
I play Skyrim, read, watch my ghostie shows (like Ghost Hunters, Paranormal Witness, The Haunted Collector) and True Blood with my husband. I spend time with my kids, particularly this summer, at the zoo or splash park or library.

Please tell us 5 miscellaneous facts about yourself.
  1. I once sold hot dogs in front of the Oscar Mayer wiener mobile.
  2. My biggest pet peeve is people who don’t put their shopping carts in corrals.
  3. I can’t stand liver or licorice.
  4. Quality chocolate and good red wine makes me a happy camper.
  5. My husband and I drove to Kalamazoo, MI to buy a rare Grand Prix, then totaled it a year later when I was six months pregnant (not my fault, and we were ok!).

Care to share anything else with us?

I’ll be starting the outline to Book Four of the Tallenmere series, No Place Like Home, very soon, and it’ll be the first book in the series to star humans instead of elves!

Thank you so much for stopping by! We have enjoyed having you!


  1. Good luck with your hop, Mysti! :)

  2. Thanks for the fun interview, Chicks! :)

  3. Really nice post, Mysti. I learn new things about you every day.

    Lots of luck with your tour.

  4. Great interview! Best of luck on the tour!!

  5. That's so cool that you worked in a neurology lab. So did I!! Except, instead of spinal extraction on neonatal rats, I recorded signals from sensory nerves of cockroach feet by inserting teeny, tiny silver recording wires into their tibias. Also required steady hands!! LOL. ;)

    1. Wow, I didn't know that Rebecca! And I didn't know roaches even had tibias :) That must have been a creepy-crawly job! Thanks for commenting :)

  6. Hey chicks! Could you tell others about the drawing I'm hosting in conjunction with my virtual book tour? For every person who buys one copy of Hearts in Exile until August 1 and sends me their receipt at this email address, I'll enter them into a drawing for a big bag of prizes worth ~$50. To see the photos of the prizes and all the details, they can visit this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/519253418129437/

    1. I am so sorry I did not see this until now...I will announce it now, but that only gives them a few days.

  7. Joyce Hertzoff/MumJuly 2, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Great interview, Mysti. Not the usual run-of-the-mill questions, and that's good because we got to learn more about you.

    Best wishes in writing book four!


    1. Thanks, Mum! It'll likely be the last in the series, so I'll make it as extra special as I can.

  8. awesome interview!! although I have to ask. What is a pantser? I have never heard that before... LOL