Author Archives: solitaireparke

New Book Excerpts!!!

Hello Readers!  These are excerpts from my new book  –

“The Daughter of the Dark Lord

Part Three

Into Futures Past”

– which will be available very soon.  This book is the third prequel to the previously published Dragomeir Series.  The prequel books allow the reader an extensive view into the life of Katherine Pendragon, Queen of the Dragons, as she struggles to fulfill her destiny.  Join Katherine in this fantasy adventure to another world, another place, and another time!

Check out all my other books at www.solitaireparke.com.  

You can contact me at my website if you have any questions, or just leave a comment. It’s always great to hear from you.  Thanks for reading –

Solitaire

 

 

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Part Three of the Daughter of the Dark Lord Series – Into Futures Past

The Daughter of the Dark Lord, Part Three, Into Futures Past will be out very soon.  I’m excited that it’s in the final editing stages.  This book is the third prequel to the previously published Dragomeir Series.  The prequel books allow the reader an extensive view into the life of Katherine Pendragon, Queen of the Dragons.

Daughter of the Dark Lord, Katherine, is determined to protect the downtrodden.  She’s in a race against time and space to fulfill the prophecy and become a leader unlike any other before her.  Follow her failures, triumphs, and unending journeys to claim her destiny as the Queen of the Dragons in this exciting, action-filled fantasy adventure as she struggles with self-acceptance and the acceptance of the dragons and people in her world.

Check out all my other books at www.solitaireparke.com.  

You can contact me at my website if you have any questions, or just leave a comment. Thanks for reading –

Solitaire

What is a Typical Day in a Writer’s Life?

I start my day in the same way as, I would assume, any other person.  Personal hygiene, shower-shave, the usual stuff.  Ordinarily it wouldn’t be worth mentioning except that without it I manage to think about a lot of things.  It’s just that none of them equate to writing.  Being freshly showered seems to energize my mind and allow it to do other things besides wallowing around in a fog.  Coffee is on the menu between 7 and 11 in the morning.  I rarely stop for a lunch break, but occasionally snack here and there while I keep working.  From 11 on, I usually drink tonic water and ginger ale – my ginger tonic.

I have two dogs, so periodically during the day they need an outdoor break.  Then there are the two cats who definitely don’t want to feel ignored.  Pets have their own ways of letting you know when they need your immediate attention.  Not always in a good way!

If I’m writing dialogue, I often have conversations back and forth with my characters to determine what sounds awkward or unrealistic.  If I need to clear my head, once in a while I’ll watch an episode of a Sci-Fi show just to keep a fresh mind and then its back to writing again.

For me to get into the spirit of writing, the mood of the room is actually quite important in the scheme of things.  A good desk lamp tends to set the stage, casting an ambience that is conducive to seeing the story before I write it, or at least doesn’t take away from the ability to begin writing.

Music is the single most important ingredient to my writing, and it has to match the feel of the story.  I write more fantasy than anything, and I’ve found that epic instrumentals work every time.  I can almost see the characters being inspired right along with me.

 I try to write 8 hours a day, Monday-Friday, and rewrite the bits and pieces I don’t like in the evenings between 10:00 p.m. and midnight.  I don’t sleep as much as most people, and it just seems logical to do something constructive during a time when very little happens otherwise.

I’ve been asked many times about taking breaks and I advocate them, of course, but I rarely remember to take them.  Once I get caught up in the story, it tends to take on a life of its own.

Oh, and then there’s that full-time job that I work from home for thirty-two – sometimes more – hours per week.  I’m a pretty busy author these days.

 

If you haven’t already, check out my Website, my Amazon Author Page, friend me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!

Solitaire

 

 

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

From everyone at solitaireparke.com, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

“Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.” – Brooks Atkinson

”It’s New Year’s Day Hurray! Hurray! The old year’s past and gone away. We’ll raise our glasses and make a toast, because this Now and this Present is what means the most.” – Sharon Gardner

”This bright new year is given me to live each day with zest, to daily grow and try to be my highest and my best!” – William Arthur Ward

”A brand new year could be considered the seed, and your goals could be the buds, but taking action and achieving your dreams, well, that is the flower. May the New Year be your seed and may you have lots of flowers to inspire you!” – Kate Summers

”It Doesn’t Matter Where You Came From. All That Matters Is Where You Are Going.”- Brian Tracy

”Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin

”Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’” –Alfred Lord Tennyson

”With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

”I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” –Thomas Jefferson

”It is our attitude toward life that determines life’s attitude toward us. We get back what we put out.” – Earl Nightingale

”I close my eyes to old ends. And open my heart to new beginnings.” – Nick Frederickson

”Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

”What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.” – Anne Frank

”Every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all of our lives.” – Steven Spielberg

”Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” – Brad Paisley

”And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” – Meister Eckhart

“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coehlo

”Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

”We all get the exact same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them.” – Hillary DePiano

”A New Year brings new grace for new accomplishments.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

 

Have a wonderful new year of fantastic and inspirational reading!

Solitaire

 

 

 

What’s Your Writing Process?

What process do you use on a day to day basis to determine what happens next in a novel?  What is your decision-making process for introducing new characters and how do you determine their importance?

Early on I researched how other authors went about prepping for writing a novel.  Some created elaborate outlines and spent inordinate amounts of time agonizing over every detail.  The system works, just not for me.  In the attempt to recreate the entire book in outline form, I lost contact with what I was trying to say.  Consequently, it would take me months to find I wasn’t getting any closer to the actual writing process.

I finally hit on how it functioned for my level of impatience and trust me, once you find it, stop butting heads with the inevitable . . . just write.  I started over a lot until I realized one key thing; by trying to adhere to an existing outline, letter by letter, number by number, the story got lost in the translation from my attempt to force the outline to become the book.  The story has to come from the gut, not from a preconceived notion that was designed before the writing began.  The story needs to have a mind of its own, and at times, should not be controlled.  Sometimes, you should just let the monster out of the box.

I usually dig back into my past and find that moment, everybody has them, where everything that could go wrong . . . does, and then allow the characters to go through, at least in spirit, the same level of agony, just to see where they will take it instead of me.  I discovered that if I put on my writing shoes, and then just followed my feet, the characters managed to get themselves into enough trouble to satisfy my wanderlust.  Sometimes, I don’t even know what they’re about to do, but isn’t that how life works?

The importance of characters in a story should be dealt with in primarily the same way that God deals with us down here on earth.  No one person is of greater importance than anyone else.  If we treat any single character with less importance than their counterparts, we have done them a grave injustice.  We as writers never know which character will surface again in a subsequent story.  Today’s sidekick might be tomorrow’s hero.

Do you have a certain process that inspires you to create new characters or prep for a new piece or novel you are writing?  I’d love to hear your comments.

Thanks,

Solitaire

You can purchase or preview my books at www.solitaireparke.com.

 

 

 

What do Favorite Books and Characters Give Us?

John Hemingway once said, “there is no friend as loyal as a book.”  I am a firm advocate of reading books.  I believe, as both an avid reader and writer, that knowledge is power and that there is always something to learn which will in some way make you a better person or perhaps a better writer.  Books can be motivational and inspiring or draw us into a magical world that takes us far from our often hectic and lackluster world.  Many of us have certain books that are like an old friend we can always rely on for encouragement or allow our minds to become creative.

Sci-fi author Ray Bradbury’s favorite books that most influenced his career were those in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s  “John Carter: Warlord of Mars series.  “They entered my life when I was 10 and caused me to go out on the lawns of summer, put up my hands, and ask for Mars to take me home,” Bradbury said. “Within a short time, I began to write and have continued that process ever since, all because of Mr. Burroughs.”

It’s interesting that Bradbury would be a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, since the same author is the one that started it all for me with the book “A Princess of Mars.”  I have a very old hard cover of it sitting in my office in a glass enclosed case, in addition to a large number of his earliest paperback books that are prized possessions.

 

My favorite character from his books that I’ve read would have to be John Carter from the Barsoom novels.  He was the most singularly minded person I’ve ever encountered.  He was always in control, never faltered, was open and honest and refused to give up no matter how hopeless the situation seemed.  He openly loved the heroine of the story and was willing to move heaven and earth to be with her.  He inspired me as a child and the books inspired me to become an author.  How much more could anyone ask out of a series of science fiction books?  Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to be more like him, but I cannot in good conscience say that I find myself in that person’s character.  It’s just someone that I desired to emulate.  He didn’t remind me of anyone in particular.  A character of his caliber was larger than life, and inadvertently caused me to raise the bar of expectation to an unhealthy degree, at least so I’m told.

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

Carl Sagan

Grab a book and Keep Reading!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Author Fair * Book Signing – Saturday, November 3, 2018

 

http://www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org/ServicesForYou/Pages/Just-Read-Local-Author-Fair.aspx

Saturday, November 3, 2018 from 11a.m. to 2p.m.

Burton Barr Central Library, 2nd Floor

1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ  85004

Join me for the Author Fair to meet authors from all over the state of Arizona and learn about our books, including children’s, teen, adult fiction and nonfiction.

   

 

Books will be available for purchase and signing. I hope to see you there!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

6 EXCEPTIONALLY USEFUL BLOG SITES

If you want to find information on anything concerning being an author or just writing in general, there are some outstanding and informative blogs out there to help with anything and everything you might need to know, including all the things you didn’t realize you needed to know.  So here are a few of them for you to check out.

The Log-Line:  Can You Pitch Your ENTIRE Story in ONE Sentence?

11 Ideas to Help You Write the Positively Perfect Blog Post

The Pros and Cons of Amazon KDP Select Exclusivity

10 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book

A Writer’s Guide to Point of View

The Creative Penn

 

Have a great September – and Happy Reading!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Labor Day – what’s that about?

In the United States it is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September honoring the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country – the “workingmen’s holiday.”   It is considered to the unofficial end of summer, and usually affords us a three-day weekend come September.

In the late 19th century, the trade union and labor movements grew, and it was proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.  The first parade was organized in New York City on September 5, 1882, and in 1887, Oregon was the first state to make it an official public holiday.  President Grover Cleveland made it an official federal holiday on June 28, 1894, with 30 states celebrating Labor Day.  Since then, all the U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and United States Virgin Islands) have made Labor Day a legal holiday.

Now that we know what it is, here are some surprising particulars about Labor Day:

  1. Americans during the time Labor Day was first created worked twelve hours a day, six days a week. When the Adamson Act was passed on September 3, 1916, the modern eight hour work day was established.
  2. There used to be an unspoken rule – wear no white after Labor Day. The practical idea was that since the summer season was over, lighter, more summery clothes were no longer needed.  Another theory was that the promotion of fall clothing in the fashion world began.  The fashion rule now is that wearing white is glamorous no matter what the season.
  3. Ironically, Labor Day causes some of the longest working hours for retail workers as it is notorious for having crazy sales. In fact, many other people are expected to work as well.
  4. Labor Day is the official end of the hot dog season, as recorded on the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council website. Americans consume about seven billion hot dogs from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
  5. Labor Day is one of the busiest travel days in America. It is the second most dangerous holiday weekend to drive on U.S. highways. People tend to be more reckless on the roads.
  6. It is also the beginning of the National Football League season – almost every NFL kick off game has started the weekend after Labor Day.
  7. It is the third most popular day of the year to have a cookout. It falls behind Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
  8. Labor Day used to be viewed as the unofficial last day of vacation before the start of the new school year. That may the case in some schools these days, but most schools have shortened the summer break and begin in August.  (Mourned by students, but cheered by parents)

As we all celebrate our Labor Day holiday parties, give a nod to all the hardworking men and women in our country and elsewhere.  Enjoy your family and friends and have a great weekend!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY WRITE A PREQUEL?

A prequel is a work that forms part of a back-story to the preceding work.  Simply stated, it sets the stage for the existing novels and usually comes after the original work was written.

If you have followed my blog or perhaps seen my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or various other sites then you know I have authored a succession of books called the Dragomeir Series, an urban fantasy/sci-fi saga of dragons and their riders, along with some rather unusual creatures and captivating characters.

Some readers might ask, “Why write a prequel?”  I had originally planned to finish this series and then push on to other projects but began having second thoughts as I put a close on the third book in the Dragomeir Series, “Egg of the Amphitere.” One of the main characters known as Queen Mother needed to be expounded upon to give a better understanding and proper closure as to who she was and why.  I realized there was a fascinating back-story to be told, and the prequel was born.  The story, albeit told by Tanis Theatra (one of the dragon riders), was more about the life and times of Katherine Pendragon (Queen Mother) than anything else.

The only way to pursue that was to go back where it essentially started and tell her story as it began on the Provinces.  So, the prequel series, “Daughter of the Dark Lord” was created to give credence to Queen Mother’s life, why she was so passionate about family, and to clarify her dedication to stopping the Dark Lord from invading earth.  Last, but not least, it was to express how she eventually planned to liberate the Denizen people of the Provinces.  While telling her story, it would also give the reader a bird’s eye view into Tanis Theatra’s beginnings, and of course the amazing dragons.  To accomplish this there will also be one more installment to the original Dragomeir Series, entitled “Back from Oblivion.”  This book describes Queen Mother’s ultimate objective which is exclusively detailed in the “Daughter of the Dark Lord” prequel series.  There are two books available in this series now, and a third is currently being written.

All together it should delineate the complete story as first introduced by Tanis Theatra and recanted by me, Solitaire Parke.  Check out my website at

www.solitaireparke.com

to read sample chapters, discover exciting extras and purchase books at multiple locations in a variety of formats. I hope you enjoy!

Here is a question for my readers –  Do you enjoy reading a prequel to a novel?

Have you written a prequel? I’d love to hear about your writing experience.

Solitaire

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