Interview with Raymond Parish

Hello! And welcome to another author interview! Today we have Raymond Parish, the author of Overnight Delivery: A Hank Anderson Thriller. Let’s get to it!

Jo: Welcome! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your book?

Raymond: After writing four successful nonfiction books I made the leap into fiction with the first in my psychological mystery series, Overnight Delivery: A Hank Anderson Thriller in my pen name, Raymond Parish. Hank is a gifted psychotherapist and flawed man who carries an insatiable curiosity for the troubles of others, along with a penchant for personal risk-taking. The intersection of Hank’s talent and shadow draws him into a world of meth and violence that hides beneath the surface of the calm and conservatism that is a myth of Midwestern life.

J: That sounds interesting. I always like stories with flawed/realistic protagonists. What inspired you to write this story?

R: Three key aspects of my life came together as the idea for a novel brewed in my thoughts. The Midwest is a perfect setting for the collision of rural and urban experience. I have a love of noir mystery series, set in motion in my youth through the books of Raymond Chandler (yes, that’s a connection to my pen name), Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Dashiell Hammett. Finally, my own career as a mental health professional provided me with an opportunity to envision a larger-than-life story of crime and chaos inserted into a world of compassion and security.

I also wanted to create a work that highlighted contrasts: rural and urban living, the stability and dysfunction of family, characters and relationships that asked for much more than a quick glance by the reader. The physical, professional, and emotional diversity  of this world is most evident in the connection between Hank and Detective Phil Evans.

J: As a Midwesterner myself, I can totally see that. What was your favorite part of writing this?

R: I had the most fun, and was most rewarded, by the development of the characters and relationships over several drafts of OD. Hank changed and learned. The motives of key characters became evident. The multi-cultural aspects of folks who moved through the story deepened. I am most grateful to my editor, Mary, who was instrumental in helping me strengthen the female characters so essential to the book.

J: Character development is always my favorite too. What was your least favorite part?

R: The outcome of Hank’s narrative. The convergence of tragedy and redemption are often a powerful and painful truth of humanity. A friend of mine used to say, “fact is stranger than fiction.” In OD I found that the facts in the arc of Hank’s fiction brought me both hope and sorrow.

J: I have to admit, that makes me even more interested! It sounds like you have some really great characters there. Can you pick a favorite?

R: As a relationship guy, the connections between characters were as fundamental as the characters themselves. Belinda is a mashup of people I have loved alongside people I have met for a moment alongside people I am not even conscious of who have impacted me. She is a true gift to the story. Preacher intrigued me as I let his backstory rise to the surface. I also found great joy in creating characters who commanded fewer pages: J.R., James, Goodman, Ted. And, of course, Phil and Hank…I love those guys.

J: I love that answer! Can you tell us an interesting fact about you or your book?

R: Overnight Delivery is written from an insider’s point of view. I am a psychotherapist. Like other writers, though, I am creating fiction for others to experience from their own perspectives. Those who know me, and my work, assure me that I am not Hank Anderson in disguise. And I’m not tall enough to be Phil.

J: Ha ha! What do you have planned next?

R: I’m focused on balancing work on the second book in Hank’s series with promotion for Overnight Delivery. This is my first experience with drafting a new novel while in-the-midst of promoting an existing book release. It’s exciting, fun, and more than a bit challenging.

Flash Fun Time!

Last vacation?

My wife and I completed ultra-safe pandemic precaution protocols in the fall and did a drive straight through 14-hour road trip to Virginia to visit one of our children, the longest road trip we had taken in years. My first drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Amazing! The signs of racial justice demonstrations in various cities. Stunning! The graciousness of people in this trying time. Incredible! The visit with our son and his partner. The best!

Favorite cookie?

I’ve never met a chocolate chip cookie I didn’t love. I love some more than others…chewy, mint chips.

Your spirit animal?

Red-tailed hawk. They often show up when I’m struggling with an issue in my life. The message is to persevere, possibilities for resolution and coping will appear if I pay attention.

And with that our time is up. Thanks so much for stopping in today, Raymond! And thanks so much for reading this! You can find Overnight Delivery on Amazon, and you can also find Raymond on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.


Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Tricia Drammeh

     /  January 10, 2021

    Great interview! As a former-midwesterner, this sounds like an interesting book indeed.

    Reply

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