Author Spotlight

Debra Parmley

What genre do you write?
I write romance primarily. Every story I have ever tried to write turned into a romance before I was done with it. Within romance I write in several genres. I have western historical romance and 1920’s romance about flappers. I have contemporary romance and within that genre I have military heroes and I write military romantic suspense. I also write short fairy tale romance, futuristic sci-fi romance and fantasy romance.

Which actress/actor would you like seeing play the lead in your book? 
I really never think in terms of actors and actresses when I am writing my books and by the time I am done the story people seem so real to be that it is hard to pick who would play their part the best. I would leave that up to the casting person or the director. I believe in hiring people who do good work and letting them do their jobs. Far from a micromanager.                                                                                                                                                

What type of books do you read?
It might be easier to list what I don’t read as I read so widely. I read almost every genre of romance, as well as mysteries, suspense and action adventure, historical fiction, some literary fiction and poetry. My degree is English Lit and I enjoy the classics as well. So everything from Shakespeare to popular genre fiction.

Any favourite authors?
Sharon Sala is one of my favorite romance authors. In other genres I like Sue Grafton, Alice Hoffman, Neil Gaiman, and of course older authors like Shakespeare and Dickens.

Do you think that book covers are important?
Very. A cover should portray what genre the book is and some of what to expect inside the book. It’s the first thing our readers see and first impressions count.  

What is your favourite book?
That is very hard to decide. I love fairy tales old and new and folktales. My favorites always have a happy ending.

What do you use as inspiration?
Everything. Literally. From the rain pouring down outside right now (I am writing a scene today where the rain is pouring down my heroines back so I might step outside just to feel that) to the music playing on my laptop, to things I remember and thoughts of imagination I have had. I step into the scenes of my book and often forget where I am. Being a tactile person I pull that with me wherever I go.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

At what age were you, or what event happened, when you knew you loved writing and you were good at it?
I knew I loved writing from an early age and was making up sing song stories before I could read and write, but knowing I was good at writing, that didn’t happen until college. I had poems published in literary journals. I was an English Tutor and in Lambda Iota Tau, the English Honor Society, and I won two categories of the writing competition, in fiction and creative nonfiction, so I was having success with short stories as well. It took me a while to figure out which direction I wanted to seriously pursue full time with my writing and even writing romance novels I still write short stories and poetry on the side.

Do you base your characters on real people or are they completely imagined?
They are completely imagined but may have a small trait or a mannerism of someone I have watched and listened to.

What authors have inspired you along the way?
I’ve had some wonderful mentors along the way. Dusty Richards challenged me to write a novel instead of short stories, Bobbi Smith sat with me and went over the first three chapters of my first book, Lucy Monroe gave me great career guidance. Sharon Sala inspires me every day with her Facebook posts and her example. As well as every author whose books I have read and loved. Good books inspire me and I have had many generous authors give me advice over the years.

Besides writing what do you enjoy doing?
I love to travel and visit the beach. But as there is no beach near my home I enjoy going to movies and listening to music instead.

Do you have any signings coming up?
I have a private signing at a senior community but nothing else scheduled as I’m devoting the entire month of September and most of October to writing my next book, Dancing Butterfly as well as working on To Catch an Elf: Pennsylvania Fighter Pilot.