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.
Why did you feel you had to tell this story?
A Ranger’s Tale evolved from my love of all things Lord of the Rings (thanks to Orlando Bloom as Legolas, especially *drool*), romance, and my love of fantasy roleplay computer games. Caliphany actually was inspired from a character I played on Everquest II.
Where are you from?
Buckner, KY, where the summers are hot and the winters are weird.
When and why did you begin writing?
My mom said I carried a pencil and paper around from the time I could walk. I learned to read when I was three, so I guess it’s my love of words and the best way I can express my creativity. Especially as a mom of three young kids, writing keeps my brain from becoming mombie mush.
Which writer would you consider a mentor?
I honestly learn something from every writer I come in contact with. Most have taught me something valuable along the way, and many others are great at encouraging me when I’m ready to throw in the towel.
Which if any of the characters is a lot like you and why?
Caliphany contains bits and pieces of me. I’m not quite so impulsive, but I’m loyal and passionate about the people and things I love.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
It began as a novella, so thanks to another writing mentor who graciously told me I was trying to cram a novel into a short story, I had to work hard at expanding it into a readable story of a reasonable length. It took a few drafts and a lot of time, but it was worth it.
What is your favorite chapter or part and why?
I will always fondly remember the scenes where Galadin dove off his ship to return to Caliphany after leaving her in Faewood. He sneaked up to her campsite and killed a wolf that was about to attack. She flung herself into his arms and knocked him to the ground. It really showed their love for one another when they were both too stubborn to admit it. It also showed how truly unprepared Caliphany was to be out on her own, even when she insisted on it.
What has been the best part about writing this book?
Watching a beautiful love story unfold and seeing how unexpected some of the scenes and character actions came about. I loved all the surprises!
What would you like your readers to grasp from this book?
Be yourself, not what the world expects you to be.
Do you have a specific writing style?
My writing tends to be straightforward and minimalist in nature. I love challenging myself to write concise, but vivid descriptions that allow readers to see the story and NOT the words.
How would you describe your current writing environment?
Cluttered and sporadic. Such is a mom’s life.
What did you learn from writing your book?
That my mom was right: I can do anything if I really put my mind to it.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, but only if I keep at it and never give up.
What are you reading now?
I just finished “All in the Mind” by Jenny Twist—a beautiful, timeless love story about an elderly couple who inexplicably grow younger after an innovative treatment. I’m getting ready to read “The Clockwork Princess”—really loving steampunk right now.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve always loved romance and classic fantasy—it was a no-brainer.
Is there any particular writer that influenced you?
So many, but Tolkien, Charlotte Bronte, Mercedes Lackey, Stephen King, Lillian Jackson Braun, Victoria Holt influenced me the most in my early days.
Do you experience writer’s block? If so, what do you do?
Yes, so I do chores or spend time with the kids or play Skyrim until the writing bug returns.
What are some books that you liked growing up?
The Hobbit, Jane Eyre, Black Beauty, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Silver Wolf, The Little House books, and every Little Golden Book I could find. I also had this set of Funk & Wagnall’s wildlife encyclopedias that I devoured and still have.
How did you come up with the title?
Not sure, really, except that it seemed to fit.
What do you do for fun?
I love playing the PC version of Skyrim. We also love the zoo and watching movies on the big screen. When I get some peace and quiet, I love to read a great book.
What are some of your hobbies?
Besides Skyrim, I like to bake and occasionally cross-stitch.
Can you tell us about your next book?
I’m already working on Book Four of the series, entitled “No Place Like Home”. It’s destined to be really intense with probably the most formidable villain I’ve written so far.
Favorite ice cream?
Which do you prefer, Facebook or Twitter?
What is your pet peeve?
People not putting their shopping carts back in the corrals!
How did you come up with the names of your characters?
I try to match them with their race. High-elves like Caliphany, for instance, have more formal-sounding names. Wood elves like Jayden Ravenwing have names involving nature.
Who do you see playing your main characters in a movie?
Caliphany: Scarlett Johanssen; Galadin: Bradley Cooper; Jayden: Karl Urban
What advice would you give a new writer?
Never give up: work on your craft!
Are you a morning person or night owl?
More of a mid-morning person these days
What is one of your guilty pleasures?
Good chocolate (think Ghirardelli or Godiva) and red wine, preferably together
If you were stranded in an island, which book would you want there?
Too hard!!! Can I have my Kindle and a solar-powered charger?
If there is something you could change about this book, what would it be?
I’d probably expand it even more. I think the pacing was still a bit rushed here and there.
Thank you for stopping by Ms Parker. It's good to have you here. I disagree about expanding even more, I think the pacing was just right!
Dear Readers, I thoroughly enjoyed A Ranger's Tale! Come back Monday for my full review. In the meantime, purchase this book now [recommend to adults] ..click on book image or Amazon links below. :)
In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, an elven noblewoman longed to leave her gilded cage. A half-breed former pirate wanted nothing more than to escape his guilty past. Easier said than done...
High elf Caliphany Aranea leads an enviable life as King Leopold's niece and daughter of Sirius, Leogard's most famous wizard. Yet, being forced to follow in her father's footsteps and being betrothed to a man she doesn't even like makes her want a taste of life outside the city walls.
As a young boy, half-elf Galadin Trudeaux witnessed his parents' death at the hands of pirates. After being raised by those same murderers and forced to do their bidding, he escaped and now lives an honest life as a sea merchant and ranger.
When two brutes at Leogard Harbor attempt to kidnap Caliphany while she dreams of faraway lands, Galadin comes to her rescue. Impressed by his skills, she asks him to train her as a ranger. Though he is hesitant at first to train a woman of her class, Caliphany's hefty sack of gold finally persuades him. Unfortunately, her father is not amused, and the two must escape before Caliphany faces a forced marriage and Galadin faces a noose.
From that moment on she and Galadin embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Only if they can survive the trials ahead, will they find a love that stands the test of time.
[Helping authors promote their books. Being profiled does not necessarily mean I recommend the book.]