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.


Last Week for the Nightly Bites Bundle!

This is the last week to grab the Nightly Bites Bundle before it is gone forever! Included works are:

“The Vampire’s Throne” by AJ Tipton

2. “The Magic of Fabulous” by Michele Lang

3. “Teeth” by Chele Cooke

4. “Pure” by Catherine Mesick

5. “Mortals Apocalypse” by Barbara G.Tarn

6. “And Then He Bit Me” by Kate Russell

7. “Cyprus: Future’s Promise” by Joleene Naylor

8. “The Night Killers” by Rebecca M. Senese

Grab your copy today before it’s gone!

Weekend Interview: Barbara G. Tarn

Hello, vampire lovers! This weekend we have the prolific Barbara G. Tarn with us! Though I know a lot about her, you may not, so let’s get to it!

Jo: Hi, Barb! Please tell us a little something about your newest release.

Barb: Mortals Apocalypse is the first for three books that take my vampires to the future. It starts in 2020 and ends in 2150. It’s followed by Through the Centuries with Ishaq’s story from 2040 to 2453 and Alain in Rainbow Town (21st-25th century), and finishes in Vampire War set in the 25th century. I’m thinking the paperback should contain all three, since two are short novels (under 40K) and one is a novella.

Mortals Apocalypse and Through the Centuries are already out, Vampire War comes out at the end of the month. More on the series and how it mingles with Future Earth Chronicles here.

Stay tuned for the bundle that will contain Mortals Apocalypse and other vampire novellas and short novels!

J: What inspired you to write Mortals Apocalypse?

B: I introduced vampires in Future Earth Chronicles in Book 2 – Wanderlust. I knew they’d survive the apocalypse that wiped away Western civilization in the second half of the 21st century. Covid happened right when I was considering writing more about that apocalypse, from the vampires’ point of view. So this is the story of our fall from grace, from five immortals’ point of view – Rajveer, Kris, Ingolf, Miyako and Claire. Rajveer and Kris had their own books in the series, but I still have to write about Ingolf, the Wandering Vampire. Miyako was already in the series, as secondary character, but became more important in the future, so I had to explore her. And Claire, who graces the cover, is a newcomer, although she appears in the last book of Future Earth Chronicles.

J: That sounds really intriguing! What was your favorite part of writing it?

B: Making up a plausible future that would lead to the apocalypse and the collapse of the various countries on Earth. Sometimes it’s human mistakes, sometimes it’s solar flares, sometimes it’s a horde of Romanian vampires… and I didn’t have to go too deep in technology details, since none of the point-of-view characters is a tech expert, although Kris, Miyako and Claire are all fairly updated, being born in the 20th century and everything.

J: That does sound fun. What was your least favorite?

B: Going into technological details, although I was helped by articles on smart-cities and AI and brain-computer interfaces and all that futuristic stuff!

Jo: Yeah, sometimes research can be fun and sometimes… Moving on, do you have a favorite character? Why are they your favorite?

B: Rajveer, of course. He’s the one who started the whole series, so he opens and closes the longer books of this “trilogy”. He came a long way since that night in Chittor when he became a vampire! Like me, he doesn’t like the changes much, but he goes along with them. In previous books he had to fight Mighty Menka, the Asian vampire, in this one he’ll have to fight Zalmoxis and the strigoi… no spoilers on who he’ll be fighting in the vampires war!

Jo: Ha ha! I should have guessed that! So, what do you have planned next?

B: I have already written, but will publish them in January and February, the prequels to Future Earth Chronicles, or the apocalypse seen from the alien humans’ point of view, as well as the sequels a few years later. It has been an interesting journey so far, and I even got to write an inheritor story. Then I’ll probably go back to those vampires and write more about them. Tell Helios’s full story (you can check Olympia Nights in The Phantom Games), Ingolf’s travels, Solveig’s eternal search… We’ll sea. I love historical fantasy and alternate history!

Jo: Okay, we’re getting close to the end here. Tell us one interesting thing about yourself or your book.

B: My series deals with vampires through history – now even going into the future – but it’s not really paranormal romance. Actually, there is very little romance, although in Mortals Apocalypse we see Rajveer and Kaylyn celebrating anniversaries like a married couple (although they never got married with any country’s law or religious ceremony, but they’ve been together since 2005). So I always have trouble finding the right shelf and keywords when I publish books in this series!

Flash fun round!

Last vacation?

Las Vegas for the Anthology Workshop (where I sold another vampire story that will come out on Halloween 2021) just before the Covid outbreak.

Favorite planet?

Good question! This one is fucked up, but reaching the closest similar to it is impossible… except with imagination, of course!

Your spirit animal?

The unicorn, of course. Or a horse if you don’t believe in unicorns…

Thanks so much for joining us Barb! Be sure to check out her work at:

Her blog https://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com/

Her books https://www.unicornproductionsbooks.com/

You can also find her work in the Nightly Bites bundles from Bundle Rabbit!

Nightly Bites Bundle!

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you are enjoying your turkey and pie, or at least just taking a moment for yourself. A moment I am interrupting to tell you about vampire goodness, ha ha!

Not to be confused with the Nightly Bites 3 Anthology that I mentioned the other day. While it has a bunch of short stories in a single book, this bundle is just that; a bundle of longer works. Not quite novels, but long for short stories, you get more bite for your buck!

A collection of mid-length works, longer than a short story, shorter than a novel, dealing with vampires. A limited-time run companion to the Nightly Bites anthology series to discover more authors and their longer works.

includes:

“The Vampire’s Throne” by AJ Tipton

2. “The Magic of Fabulous” by Michele Lang

3. “Teeth” by Chele Cooke

4. “Pure” by Catherine Mesick

5. “Mortals Apocalypse” by Barbara G.Tarn

6. “And Then He Bit Me” by Kate Russell

7. “Cyprus: Future’s Promise” by Joleene Naylor

8. “The Night Killers” by Rebecca M. Senese

Get your bundle today from your favorite retailers!

I’m on a Podcast!

Mark at the Masquerade crew was awesome enough to invite me to join his podcast. I’d planned to do a piece on how authors can use holidays to offer free stories, do facebook parties, or even have special sales, but my segment got interrupted by Verchiel. Yeah. Who knew he could that??

Check it out!

At least I got a few words in…

Interview!

The awesome Barbara G. Tarn has been kind enough to interview me on her blog! Check it out; she asked some great questions, like:

What is it about vampires that draws you to them? 

The variety. The stories can be gothic, contemporary, historic, futuristic. It can be scary, funny, romantic. Anything you feel like doing. As to why the vampires themselves are appealing, it’s the immortality, isn’t it? If I could live forever, I’m pretty sure I’d jump at the chance. So much time to get to do all the things you want to do.

Stop in, leave a comment, and be sure to check out Barb’s work while you’re there!

Weekend Excerpt!

This week we have an excerpt from Remains to be Seen, available as a standalone short story from Danielle de Valera.

Undercover narcotics agents Michael O’Neill and buddy Baby Johnson, still suffering PTSD from the Vietnam War, decide to quit their jobs in the Australian Bureau of Narcotics and move to the far north coast of New South Wales. Johnson hopes to renew his relationship with Star, whom he met when tracking down the notorious heroin dealer, God, while O’Neill thinks settling down with long-time girlfriend Azure might be the solution to his problems. But that remains to be seen.

EXCERPT:

Baby’s in jail again. He went back and got the doorman after I fell asleep. He chose to go into Brunswick Heads lock-up, for word on the street has it that’s the best place to work your fines off. He took in his portable record player, a swatch of vinyl records and a dozen Robert E Howard novels.

“You and those bloody Conan novels,” I told him.

“You can laugh, y’ bastard,” he said. “I’d give anything to wake up one day in one of those Robert E Howard kingdoms. ‘Stead of hanging around this shithouse planet.”

We drive to Brunswick Heads to visit him in the afternoon, Azure and I, though we’re still separated. At the last moment David and Doreen aka Crystal arrive. Rather than leaving them there to wreck the place—they’re already well into the port and on the way to one of their innumerable arguments—we cram them in with us, flagons of port and all, and drive into Brunswick Heads.

We find Baby doing the police station’s laundry at the laundromat down the road, drinking a can of Fosters and eating a pie as he aimlessly watches the dryers whirling around.

“Where’re the cops?” asks Crystal Doreen, who has warrants out for her all over south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales.

“Aw, they’re off duty, the place’s all locked up. The sergeant’s taken ‘is wife down t’ Ballina t’ do ‘er shopping.”

“How are you going to get back in?” I ask him.

Baby looks sheepish. “Well, I can’t. Not until they open the place at four.”

“You mean you’re locked out?! They’ve gone away and locked you out?”

“Get fucked, O’Neill.”

“Want a snort of the port?” Crystal asks him. “It’s in the car. Two flagons.”

When Baby has got the laundry out of the dryers, we go back to the police station and lie on the front lawn in the sun, drinking port out of empty Coca-Cola bottles. It’s a beautiful day. Little clouds are scudding across the sky, seagulls wheel overhead, and dimly in the distance you can hear the sound of the breakers smashing against the rock walls at the river’s entrance.

I stare up into the sky and watch the seagulls, while Crystal keeps on refilling the Coke bottles and the levels of the flagons in the car go down.

Up the path to the police station comes a little old lady carrying a straw basket and looking confused at finding the place locked up. Baby lurches off the lawn and lumbers across to her in his board shorts, tank top and thongs.

“Can I help ya, ma’am?”

“Oh, officer,” she begins; she’s mistaken him for an off-duty cop. I don’t bother to listen to the rest, she’s probably lost her cat or something, poor bitch, it’ll only ruin my day.

Baby takes down all the details with a pencil and pad he’s miraculously whipped out of his back pocket. He asks her to come back at four.

“So’s the sergeant can see ya, ma’am.”

“Thank you, officer,” she smiles at him bravely. “You’re very kind.”

“Think nothin’ of it, ma’am. That’s what we’re here for.”

David and Crystal are fighting again, and the grog is running out. They say they’ll go round to the Brunswick Pub and get some more, but I know they won’t come back. They’ll end up going nine rounds in Casuarina Park and throwing one another off the bridge to Main Beach. I don’t care. It’s good just lying here, listening to the drone of everyone’s voices and watching Azure laugh. She laughs a lot, when she isn’t crying.

I think a great deal about Azure and me that day. I wonder if it might’ve worked if we’d had more money, but there’s a catch-22 in that. As long as Az is poor, she can’t reacquire a habit. If she gets a job (and she’s applied for one at the Top Pub back in town), she’ll have the money to start again, and I won’t be there to keep her on the rails.

The heat comes up out of the ground and soaks pleasantly through my body. I gaze up into the sky. My head is in Azure’s lap and I’m not thinking straight—or maybe I’m thinking too straight. It’ll be my birthday in five more days. In five days’ time I’ll be thirty-seven. Half my life’s gone, probably more; four combat wounds ’ve got to do something, and I don’t mean something good.

What if we’d had a kid, Azure and I? She’d wanted one but I told her I was scared of the Agent Orange. Christ knows I saw enough of it, so that part’s true. But the real truth of the matter is I don’t want a kid. I lose my head completely every time the subject comes up.

Grab your free copy at Amazon

Nightly Bites Vol 3

Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep the spirit the rest of the year. Here to help with that is the third volume of the Nightly Bites anthologies!

A varied collection of vampire stories from flash to novella-length, from the past to the future. Sometimes they mingle with other supernatural creatures, sometimes they’re the only non-human of the story.

THE STORIES

“Blood on the Ice” by David H. Hendrickson

“Nun Survived” by Rebecca M. Senese

“Job Interview”, “Dracula Makes House Calls” and “Don’t Move” by Trent Walters

“Jamie: Blood of Betrayal” by Joleene Naylor

“The Vampire vs. The High Court” by Laura Ware

“Blood” by Kate Pavelle

“A More Ancient Killer” by Bonnie Elizabeth

“One Who Cannot Be Destroyed” by Barbara G.Tarn

“Young Monster Hunters in Love” by Stefon Mears

“Rebels of Seduction” by Meyari McFarland

Looks like a pretty good collection, and the awesome part is that it’s available in ebook AND paperback. So why not add some vampire fiction to your horror library today? Check it out here where you can choose your retailer!

Cover Wars! Round 2!

It’s time for round 2 of Cover Wars! This time I’ve entered Legacy of Ghosts. If you have a minute, please stop by and give it – or another favorite – a vote. No need to sign in, or verify anything, just scroll through the covers and below them is a poll where you vote by checking the box next to the title of your favorite. It’s so fast and easy that a monkey can do it! 🙂

Stop in today and check it out!

#IOWAWrites20 Meet the Authors Part 6

The IOWA Writer’s Room Virtual Event starts tomorrow (November 7-8). Leading up to it, I thought it would be fun to introduce you to my fellow authors who will also be participating! If you missed my last five posts, be sure to check them out.

And now for the last round up!

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Check out her website at: https://t.co/5TJXmvZg9A?amp=1

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Find her on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Hudson/e/B01BQWF1L8

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I know you recognize this mug 😉

Come meet these great authors and more starting tomorrow, November 7-8 online at http://Facebook.com/iaotherworlds . Hope to see you there!

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