This week, I had a chance to interview Mysti Parker, author of Hearts in Exile, the third book in her fantasy romance series. 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. I look forward to reviewing her book later this summer.
Tell us about yourself: Full time wife, mom of three (four if you count my husband), writer, and caretaker of 3 demanding cats, 1 smart dog, 3 hermit crabs (though one is missing), and a bunch of fish in a big tank. Actually, scratch the fish. They’re my husband’s job. I’m not so good with fish. They tend to go belly-up when left to me. Besides reading and writing, I love good chocolate and a nice red wine. And coffee. We live in Kentucky near Louisville. It’s a great location for proximity to everything, but our summers are hot, and our winters are weird.
Tell us about your book: Hearts in Exile is the third installment in my stand-alone fantasy romance series. It chronicles the life and love of Igrorio (Sir Robert) Everlyn, a paladin who played a major role in Book Two, Serenya’s Song. What makes this story unique from the first two books is that he and Loralee, the heroine, fall in love as youngsters, and we get to see their love develop over the years and in the midst of all kinds of tribulation. And there are dragons!
Betrayal sends Loralee into exile on a hidden island as the Dragon Keeper, while Sir Robert is left to believe she’s been dead for the past decade. Their reunion sheds light on everything that kept them apart, but it also upsets the delicate balance of the island. And, if there’s one place you don’t want to be, it’s on a hidden island with rebellious dragons. Makes for a bad day, if you know what I mean.
Who is your favorite character in your book, and why?
It would have to be Loralee. She’s a really strong heroine, and not in the sense of a kick-ass sort of fighter like Caliphany was in the first book, but Loralee’s got a fortitude about her that is admirable. She doesn’t crumple when life gets turned upside down. Sure, she feels it and it would be unrealistic if she didn’t, but she finds ways to overcome each situation she’s put into. One of my favorite quotes from her is after she and Sir Robert are reunited, and he asks her how she can’t hate everyone that was involved in her exile. She responds with:
“I did [hate them] for a long time, until I realized hatred does nothing from such a distance, except to harm the one doing the hating.”
I think it revealed so much about her character and just how strong she is.
What’s your favorite scene or location in the work you’re currently promoting, and why? I love so much of this story, but my favorite part is probably early in the story, after the Great Plague struck. Loralee healed Igrorio (young Sir Robert) from near-death and, as the oldest daughter of the High Priestess, she’s assigned with helping him recover, not only from his injuries, but from the intense grief over losing his parents. She decides he needs a hobby to distract him, so she takes him “dragon hunting”. Since dragons were thought to be extinct at the time, their “hunting” consists of finding dragon-related things all over the city of Leogard. At first, he’s not into it, but by the time they’re through, you can tell he’s healing, and that they’ve fallen for each other. Unfortunately, it’s not meant to last, but those scenes are so poignant and sweet, they’ll definitely stick with me forever.
Are you working on any other projects at the moment? I’ve started a novella featuring Sir Robert’s best friend, Sir Francis and his lady love, Princess Leona. I’m having a lot of fun with it, and hope to publish it before Book Four is finished next year. Here’s the opening paragraph:
Sir Francis Toryn knelt at the executioner’s block. The heavy oak structure, complete with a half-circle indentation fit for a neck of his size, was surprisingly clean. Perhaps the king had ordered a new one carved especially for this day. How very kind of him.
I’m also working on a series of flash fiction involving a run-down hotel full of quirky characters. It’s based on the time I spent working in one, so I have some stories to tell! Flash fiction provides a great break for me between the novel-writing. And I LOVE my flash fiction critique buddies, the Flash Dance group at Writers Village University!!!
Finally, where can we find you? I float around all over the place. Try one or more of these:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mysti-Parker/103786449704221
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4625596.Mysti_ParkerMelange Books: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/mystiparker/mystiparker.htmlAmazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mysti-Parker/e/B0055LOTX8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1