Smile! Look, when you get up in the morning, the whole world of possibilities lies before you!
Today I have an author who has written in almost every romance sub-genre there is!
Debra Parmley is an adventurous writer who lives in a motorhome full-time with her husband as they travel the U.S. She has written military romantic suspense, contemporary romance, 1920’s romance, fairytale romance, and gritty western historical romance.
Debra has sold travel, walked the plank of a pirate ship off the coast of Grand Cayman, swum with dolphins in Moorea, in French Polynesia, escorted a group through Scotland, and set foot in over 13 countries. Beautiful Day Traveler is her travel blog. As Debra Bishop she writes fairy tales for all ages, fantasy, and children’s books.
“Every day we are alive is a beautiful day.” – Debra Parmley
For more about Debra please visit www.debraparmley.com
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Everywhere. For instance, right now my husband and I are living and working on Cape Hatteras, NC for the 2022 summer season, so I’m soaking up all sorts of things from the land and sea to the weather and the people here. At some point I will set a book here. By Labor Day I’ll know what kind of book and have a good idea of the storyline.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to write barefoot whenever I can.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Now that we’re living and working on Cape Hatteras this summer, my time off work has changed quite a bit. I like to explore the island, go for walks on the beach, swim in the pool, read, listen to music.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
If we’re counting the anthologies and short stories I’ve had published, Goodreads shows 37 works. Some are out of print and don’t show up on Amazon. I don’t really have a favorite.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to write books!
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
If I don’t get enough sleep and am pushing to meet a deadline, that is exhausting. If I’m not on deadline pushing like that, it energizes me. I’ve adjusted my deadlines for this summer so I do not remain exhausted.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
When I mentor/teach authors, I tell them, “anything which is not writing is not writing.” Research, planning, plotting, marketing, etc. are all fine, but they are not writing. If you’re not writing it’s time to examine why. Often there are things hiding behind the excuses/traps. Fear of failure, fear of success, etc. Only you can write those pages the way in which you write. It’s good to recognize traps writers fall into, but at the end of the day, if you can figure out why you’re being lured into those traps, you will be farther ahead.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Not enough ego and you’d never put yourself and your books out there, too much and you become insufferable to be in the same room with. So we must learn to manage our ego.
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
I had it real bad after my 14 year old golden retriever Trixie passed over the rainbow bridge. Was unable to write for six months. I’d established a pattern of writing at the desk with her by my side. Finally after six months I grew disgusted about being unable to write and took a legal pad outside and sat on the picnic table. I began by writing about how frustrated I was. Then I moved into the house and sat in each room, writing. Haven’t had block since and don’t believe in having it. I will give myself time off from writing but I’ll never again have such a set routine. Making myself write all over the place broke that and freed me up to write anywhere.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I actually am now and it’s very recent. My romance stories are under Debra Parmley which is my real name and I’ve started writing non-romance stories as Debra Bishop, which is my maiden name. You’ll see fantasy, fairy tales, and children’s stories coming out under that nameas time goes on.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
My goal is to deliver a story my readers will enjoy, so in that way I try to give readers what they want, but I try to do it in an original way. For instance, you won’t find my storylines repeating themselves. Damsel in danger, yes, but the dangers are different. I’d get bored writing if Iwrote the same storyline every time. I’m a Gemini and we like variety.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I learned a lot with my first book because that small traditional press had excellent editing. By the time A Desperate Journey came out in 2008, five editors had gone over the story. I learned so much from that editing process and it made me a better first draft writer. Now I don’t fiddle with my manuscripts much before I give them to an editor and I write a cleaner first draft. I used to have a list of things which were my bad habits. For instance when I was done I’d do a word search for “that.” Sometimes it’s what you need, but too many will make your manuscript look like it has chicken pox.
What did you do with your first advance?
My first book sale was back in 2007 through my agent and was a standard traditional contract, seven years with a $100 advance. However my publisher never paid that advance and I had to fire my agent. So there was only me to try to get the money. At first I was upset, but as the advance is just them advancing you money from royalties your book will earn, I decided that since I’d get the money anyway, I would focus on writing the next book.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I had to go count them. At the moment 13 unfinished.
What do you have coming next?
This summer, I’m working on my first nonfiction book, the story of how we sold and closed everything in Bartlett, TN in 2020 and moved into a motorhome fulltime to travel the U.S. We took a big 109 day trip out west from Ohio to the CA redwoods, back to Memphis. This will be the story of that first year.
I’m republishing my first novel, with a new cover, going back to the original title, original manuscript. It’s a sweeter version than what my agent and publisher had me do. You’ll get a sneak peel of the
I’m also working on Montana Rodeo Protector, my eighth book in the Brotherhood Protectors series. The heroes are all military vets who now work for a bodyguard service in Montana. I have a world set within Elle James world. At Three C’s Ranch, women who have been attacked or abused learn self defense skills and other empowering skills. The Brotherhood Protectors are instructors at the ranch. Defensive Instructor is the first book set at the ranch, though the books don’t have to be read in order. Montana SEAL Protector just came out in February. The next one releases in August.
I’m most known for writing military romantic suspense and I like danger and action in my books. There are lots of other little projects like putting my books into large print hardcover, revising stories to put them out there again, (and I have a few sci-fi romance in that stack) but we’ll see how much I can get done living on the beach. It’s literally a five minute walk to the beach from our motorhome. I’m living one of my dreams and it is beautiful here.
Excerpt: Montana SEAL Protector
Kindergarten teacher Ellen Young has a stalker with a love obsession who has followed her since college. When he attacks her in the school parking lot, she struggles to get away. He is winning when a man sees them and yells, the distraction just enough for her to break free. Now she is at the Three C’s Ranch in Eagle Rock Montana learning self-defense. Travis “Ballistic” Bannerman, SEAL vet, widower, and father of a five-year-old son, leaves the teams to come home to take care of his son when Hank Patterson offers him a job with the Brotherhood Protectors. He’s more than happy to teach Ellen to get over her fear of guns and would like to date her. But there’s a no fraternizing rule and he’s focused on taking care of his son. When Ellen graduates from the program and takes a job teaching Kindergarten in Eagle Rock, his son is one of her students. She’d love to date the handsome SEAL, but that would be conflict of interest and she doesn’t want to lose her job. He makes her want to break all the rules to be with him. They’re dating when her stalker finds her and succeeds in kidnapping her. He doesn’t realize he’s become the enemy of a Navy SEAL determined to hunt him down, retrieve his woman, and exact vengeance.
Excerpt: Defensive Instructor
Nestled in the Mountains of Montana, in Eagle Rock, is the western branch of the Courage and Confidence Center for Women, aka the Three C’s Ranch, where women who’ve been attacked go to learn skills to survive and thrive. Barrett Williams, former Green Beret and Brotherhood Protector, is lead self-defense instructor at the center. He doesn’t intend to fall for the delicate beauty in his class who fights hard to be as strong in body as she is in spirit. Chyna Taylor rides the bus line from Cincinnati to Eagle Rock, changing her appearance to avoid being recognized. She wishes she wasn’t small boned and easily overpowered. Before her ex lost it and put her in the hospital, she’d never fought. She swore never to be a victim again. Determined to learn to thrive at the center, she doesn’t plan to fall for the big, strong man who is her instructor. Neither realizes they have little time to get her ready for the fight of her life.