Miranda, describe yourself for our visitors.
I’m the color of hazelnut. However, my hair is fluorescent beige…lol. I am Miranda Parker. I write romcom(romantic comedy) suspense for Kensington Publishing Corp. My novel, A Good Excuse to Bad is Book one of the Angel Crawford Bounty Hunter Series. It’s the story of a bad girl gone good who may have to go bad again to save her family from a killer.
How do you find time to connect with God?
God has made it clear to me that I’m His, so even when I don’t feel like it I’m sort of wired for constant worship and prayer. For instance, a woman was riding very close to my bumper one day. I wanted to jump out my truck and tell her off, but the Holy Spirit made the green light come early. So I thanked him. You know what I mean?
As far as quiet time with God. Two years ago every morning I did Yoga and it helped me open up and began to pray to God during and after my session. I let other responsibilities get in the way and hadn’t gotten back into it until last week. I hope to never miss a day of it again. There is something about quiet, meditation, breathing and body strokes that calms me down to a place where I hear God. I am testing out Body Gospel’s version of Yoga now.
Do you have a favorite bible verse and or quote you wish to share?
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. My mentor always signs his letters with that scripture. I mimicked him and now do the same. When times are really, really bad for me and I can’t call a friend to keep me from driving from the cliff I recite the verse over and over until I calm down.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
Anne Lamott, Chuck Palahniuk, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Hardy, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, Nella Larsen, Tosca Lee, Sharon Ewell Foster, Kate White, Walter Mosley and Sidney Sheldon
Tell us about your journey to publication.
In 2004 I received two emails from a one Tia McCollors and Sherri Lewis about joining their Atlanta writer’s group. Back then I belonged to an online yahoogroup called BlackExpressions. I didn’t want to write novels. I was a short story writer and journalist. I wanted to be published in The Atlantic or The New Yorker. However, after agreeing to attend a meeting with the groupI still wanted to write short stories and magazine articles. Lol. Yet, I remained. I think the ladies in the group won me over. I enjoyed the camaraderie and it was nice to meet monthly with women writers who had big dreams like me. Both Tia and Sherri have become respected bestselling authors since then. Ashea Goldson and Dwan Abrams, two other members of our group also became published. Then the tide change when my friend Rhonda McKnight had the mitigated gall to write 45K words in one month, while pregnant and earning her Masters. It was a wake up call. Then to make matters worst Tia gave me her Mac Pro laptop and Sherri became a PR Client. I felt I owed them at least a book. Lol. That’s not the full story. It is a piece of a very long journey to my contract with Kensington.
There are so many people to thank like Jacquelin Thomas for reading my first manuscript. Victoria Christopher Murray for having a real writer’s talk with our group. Befriending ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Sharon Ewell Foster, Amy Wallace, Eric Jerome Dickey, Creston Mapes, Tee C. Royal, the late Katherine D. Jones, and Tiffany Warren. To getting mentored by New York Times Bestselling authors like Cindy Woodsmall, talking plot with James Scott Bell, David Long of Bethany House, and chatting with Kimberla Roby. I have been a part of this industry for over ten years as a book club president, book reviewer, book awards judge, publishing house consultant, literary publicist, journalist, short story writer, editor, event planner and now published author. There is a story for every one of those jobs.
My story isn’t a simple one, but it can be simplified. Miranda Parker is the genesis of many gracious publishing industry professionals, who took the time to carry me every step of the way to my getting published. I didn’t want to be a novelist. Yet I wrote a novel to hang out with my friends. I didn’t want to get it published. Yet I entered a contest because my book friends wanted me to. I didn’t want to submit my book to Selena James, my editor. Yet my friends printed my proposal and mailed it for me. I am stubborn and fear the dark. My publication story is a compilation of those moments and the prayers of many.
Read the acknowledgment of A Good Excuse to Be Bad. I wanted to share behind the scenes of how this book came to be.
Tell us about your current book.
A Good Excuse To Be Bad is the first book in the Angel Crawford Bounty Hunter series for Kensington Books. It is the story of mom and bounty hunter Evangeline “Angel” Crawford a bad girl gone good who may have to go back to being bad, in order to save her sister from a killer.
What influenced you to write this book?
I write about things that keep me up at night. There were two things haunting me at the time. This story was based on a news story we[the newspaper I once wrote for] killed. We didn’t run with the story, because the main parties involved were too big for our little paper to take on without some detrimental consequence. However, I couldn’t get the story out of my head. It made me wonder what other truths the press has held back from the public. Most importantly, were we being spoon fed a reality that didn’t exist. What is our world really like? I still can’t sleep thinking about that.
The other thing was how can I successfully raise my daughter into a happy, well adjusted and healthy young woman? This keeps me up long hours at night.
Likewise, I’m a fan of crime noir, Christian fiction and romantic comedies. This series was my attempt at combining the three. I wanted to write something cool like The Closer with a main character who had to juggle family responsibility, romance, and her conscious. I thought making Angel a bounty hunter would give me a great landscape to work with, and I could also tackle current issues like church tax fraud, health insurance disparity, deadly teen house parties, human trafficking and slavery, Atlanta politics, Georgia history, parenting, the gamut. It’s easier to slide deep issues into this kind of hybrid genre and still entertain an audience.
Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?
Angel is my favorite. I love the idea of a feisty female heroine who falls for the worst person at the worst time in her life and then have to honor her responsibilities as a young mom at the same time. As a mom who is not married, I have had my share of romances, while trying to raise my daughter. And I wanted to explore those issues in a book. In many of the novels I read or movies I see there’s this single mom character who needs to be rescued somehow. I wanted to create a character who rescued everyone else. Because that’s really the truth.
What’s next for you?
We (Kensington and I) are editing the sequel, Someone Bad and Something Blue. After you read the end there is a surprise. This book addresses the surprise.
And since I have a surprise at the end of A Good Excuse to Be Bad there is a surprise at the end of Someone Bad and Something Blue (releases July 2012), so now I’m writing Book Three.
Where can visitors find you online?
You can join our community at www.mirandaparker.com you can talk with me, share your own fan fiction of the series. You can join the manhunt on Facebook also at www.facebook.com/mirandaparkerbooks there will be prizes, online chats, writing workshops, free serial fiction and more on both spots.
Thanks so much for spotlighting me!