#ReleaseTour — Haven's War (Safe Haven #2) Parker Williams + Interview & Giveaway
I'm thrilled to have author Parker Williams joining us today on the release tour stop for Haven's War. We have a fantastic interview, plus an excerpt, book trailer, and a giveaway you don't want to miss.
When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?
- My very first story was called ‘Free At Last’. I wrote it when I was around 13, and coming to the realization that I was gay. Back then role models didn’t exist. Being gay was played for sympathy or humor or as someone to be the victim of a crime. I wanted a gay boy to meet a gay boy and fall in love, knowing that their lives would be spent together.
Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?
- I used to have to find time. Now it’s my job, so I write when I can. My favorite time is when Paul goes shopping on the weekends. I tag along and sit in the car to write. And also to watch as the firemen come walking down the sidewalk to do their shopping. Oh, many thoughts go into those days.
Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first? Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?
- Believe it or not, a lot of my stories have their seed planted in a dream. When I wrote Haven’s Creed (the first book), it was a dream about a person at work who threatened coworkers, was constantly rude, and just miserable to work with. I may have dreamed about an assassin and the number of ways he could take her out.
Where did the desire to write LGBTQIA+ stories come from?
- Being a gay kid in the 70s and 80s with no one to look up to. There was no ‘it gets better’. Back then it was ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’. You could have sex with people, but you really couldn’t get together for much beyond that. (At least that was how I saw it. Now I read about couples in their nineties who were together sixty years, and realize that they did exist, you just never heard it.)
How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?
- Now that’s a tough question. It really depends on the story. When I write with K.C. Wells, we do our best to make the BDSM scenes believable. But with a book like Haven, it’s just a matter of finding memorable ways for people to die. (Yeah, don’t look at my search history.)
What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?
- I’ve got a problem with naming characters. In my current WIP, I named a woman Gina Torres. Of course, a friend points out to me that she’s someone famous. I named Haven Michael Phelps. Never gave thought to the swimmer.
How do you answer the question “Oh, you’re an author…what do you write?”
- This is where my husband comes in handy. When someone asks, he’s quick to say, ‘’Gay Romance and Suspense”.
What does your family think of your writing?
- My mom and aunt love it. They’ve both read my books. (Admittedly, Mom wasn’t a fan of Haven because of the violence.) My father? Who cares what he thinks? I let him get to me when I was a kid, telling me I was wasting my time with writing because, in his words, it wasn’t going to amount to shit. Yeah, I had enough self-doubt from him to last a lifetime.
Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.
- My current work in progress? Unfortunately, I have a few vying for time. Right now one of the characters from Haven’s War is doing his best to get his story in there before everyone else. When they squawk, he reminds them he kills people for a living.
I have a book coming from Dreamspinner Press in July. It’s called ‘Runner’, and it’s the story of Matt who had his life turned upside down when he was sixteen by a person he should have been able to trust. It left him with PTSD and OCD, and the need to be away from people. That all worked out, until the day someone he didn’t know began jogging down his road. Eventually Matt begins to accept this stranger’s presence, and even forms a tentative connection.
Then one day, the runner doesn’t show up, and Matt has to make an impossible decision.
Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?
- Write. Do NOT listen to anyone else. Write. Hone your voice. Write. Get those words down. Write. Love what you do. Write. Find a crit group. Write. Make friends in the community. Write.
Oh, and for goodness sake, WRITE!
If you could travel forward or backward in time, where would you go and why?
- I’d go forward in time. I want to see if we ever evolve past petty bigotries and prejudices.
We’ve all got a little voyeurism in us right? If you could be a fly on the wall during an intimate encounter (does not need to be sexual) between two characters, not your own, who would they be?
- Wes and Tristan from Silvia Violet’s Wild R Farm series. Wes is this untamed horse shifter. At least he is until he meets Wes, who ropes that stallion in. I’ve seen them in sex scenes, and they’re HOT together. My favorite scene with them? A Christmas scene, where Tristan’s jubilance over the holiday clashes with Wes’s desire for peace and calm.
If I were snooping around your kitchen and looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?
- Fair warning: DO NOT DO THAT! Just…don’t. Not that there’s a body in there or anything. But I would strongly advise you not to open the refrigerator. Strongly.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
- When I was a kid, I came up with a superhero that had the ability to turn prejudices against a person. Hated gay people? You became gay until you learned empathy. Hated minorities? You had to live their lives until you figured out how ignorant you were being.
If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
- Matt from Runner! Not because I want to deal with his abuse and subsequent problems, but because from it he gets Charlie who is the sweetest, most patient man ever.
If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?
- I’d love to go to a cabin in the woods (as long as it had WiFi.) Peace and quiet? Hell yes.
What’s the one thing, you can’t live without?
- As much as I tease him, I can’t live without my husband. When I’m feeling like I ought to be back in an office setting, he reminds me that I’m a good writer.
What internet site do you surf to the most?
- Mostly Facebook and Joe My God (he posts news about gays and politics). On occasion I’ll venture over to Democratic Underground, too.
If you had your own talk show, who would your first three author guests be and why?
- Ooh, I love this question!
KC Wells, because she’s my cowriter.
Mary Calmes because she’s fucking Mary Calmes!
And Cate Ashwood because she’d bring her babies with her and I’d get to meet them!
When you got your very first manuscript acceptance letter, what was your initial reaction and who was the first person you told?
- My very first acceptance letter was for 500 Miles. The first person I told was Paul. I called him up, all excited. His reply? “That’s good.” And yet I keep him.
Thank you, Parker.
Readers, be sure to check the great book content below for Haven's War—Available now!