Wednesday, November 11, 2015

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Chrissie Parker, Author

Chrissie Parker, Author
Chrissie Parker’s recently-released TEMPERANCE is a thriller/suspense novel that is a sequel to her previous novel INTEGRATE, both of The Moon Series. One reviewer said,  “there is so much thrill and intrigue in this story.” She makes us care about her characters by giving them flaws and their own personal issues. Parker also tells us that she wrote the book primarily to entertain but suggests that readers will appreciate the theme that life never goes as planned.

Parker is currently planning to release two books in 2016 including the third novel in The Moon Series, Retribution. She lives in Devon, UK with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator in the TV, documentary and film industry. In addition to her thrillers in the Moon Series, she has also published her historical fiction novel AMONG THE OLIVE GROVES as well as various short stories and articles.

Don't miss the excerpt from TEMPERANCE following her interview.

Q: You’ve placed your new novella, TEMPERANCE, in the thriller/suspense genre. What makes it a thriller?

Chrissie Parker: The book is a cat and mouse game that twists and turns with multiple story lines, including a brutal unsolved murder and the death of a loved one, that all criss-cross each other.  It connects a group of characters that are all suffering with some kind of major issue that throws all their lives off course. Hopefully it will leave the reader second-guessing until the end!

Q: TEMPERANCE is a sequel to INTEGRATE. Can you remind us where INTEGRATE left us?  WARNING: This is a spoiler response. If you haven’t read INTEGRATE and intend to, go directly to the next question!

Chrissie Parker: Integrate ended with Jack being run down by a car and left in the road to die, by Corinne. Corinne had previously lost her twin sister Helena in a hit and run accident and she had sought comfort with Jack – a stranger in town. By the end of the book Corinne had learned that Jack was the one who had killed Helena, and she took her own revenge by doing the same thing to him as he had done to Helena.

Q: How do you make us care about your characters? Are they perfect? Do they have flaws?

Chrissie Parker: Each character in TEMPERANCE has their own issue, something unexpected that has happened in their lives that they are struggling to cope with.  None of them are perfect, they all have their demons and flaws, which go some way towards shaping the characters they are, and the characters they will become.  Some become better people because of their flaws, for others their flaws rule their lives forcing them to make questionable decisions.

It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotion, betrayal and deceit.

Q: Does humor help to develop your characters or tell your story?

Chrissie Parker: To be honest there isn’t much humour in this book, the themes are quite dark and very emotional at times.  I do use humour in other work, but TEMPERANCE is definitely dark and slightly edgy!

Q: Do you intend to deliver a message or educate readers in TEMPERANCE or did you write it primarily to entertain?

Chrissie Parker: I have written these books primarily to entertain.  I didn’t intend there to be any messages in the book, but there are a few that do run through the story. The main one is that life never goes according to plan. Life is full of the unexpected, things that will happen to us whether we like it or not.  As much as we plan and prepare, sometimes we just have to accept what is happening around us and do the best we can to get through it, with, or without, the help of others. It’s about learning to live with the life we have been dealt, and get on and actually live it and not blame others for our bad fortune.

Q: Does the concept of heroes vs villains play a role in TEMPERANCE? What attributes do you like to see in an effective villain?

Chrissie Parker: Yes, very much so. In fact many readers will probably spend much of the time trying to work out who is a villain and who is a hero. Not everything is as it seems in TEMPERANCE and there are some big surprises.

I think that an effective villain is someone who is selfish, they are someone who only thinks of their own needs, wants and desires above everything and everyone else. They are someone who has a fair amount of control, coupled with a big dose of manipulation.  They have an ability to make people believe anything they want, in order to get their own way, a person who has no boundaries and is extremely reckless, with no concern for others or the law. A person who ultimately thinks they are invincible and can do, and get away, with anything.

Q: Why write a series, i.e., INTEGRATE and TEMPERANCE are part of the Moon Series. What do you like about a series vs standalone books? What connects them to the Moon?

Chrissie Parker: I never intended to actually write a series. INTEGRATE was always supposed to be a standalone book.  One night I had a dream about the plot of book three (Retribution).  The character Corinne from INTEGRATE was effectively telling me that there was more to come and that INTEGRATE was just the beginning. I wrote the main points of the dream down, and thought it through, and then came up with two continuing plots for the rest of the series. I’ve never been a big fan of series but I definitely felt that this story wasn’t over and needed to be told.

Ah, the Moon. That’s a huge plot point in Retribution, so as much as I’d love to answer that part of the question, I can’t!

Q: How do you use back story and/or setting to tell your story?

Chrissie Parker: In TEMPERANCE the setting is pretty generic. As with INTEGRATE, it’s nowhere specific in the world, but the Lake area does have its own name – Lake Tranquil.  Reading the book, the reader could be in the U.S. or they could be in England. The back stories of the characters are important and this book is a sequel to INTEGRATE and it’s the link that will lead to the final book Retribution to bring us full circle back to INTEGRATE! (I can’t say too much more than that without giving away the plot for the next book!)

Q: What’s next?

Chrissie Parker: My aim is to release two books in 2016. One will be Retribution the final book in The Moon Series and the other will hopefully be Wind Across the Nile, a historical fiction/suspense set in Egypt.

I am also working on another historical fiction/suspense set in Petra and Jordan and am planning another book set in Greece which has been a request from my readers – they want to know what happened to some of the characters in AMONG THE OLIVE GROVES so I am going to write the story for them. I like to keep my readers happy!

Q: Tell us about Chrissie Parker. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Chrissie Parker: I live in a small village in Devon in the West of England, a recent move from London. I’m currently enjoying exploring the area, which is full of history, beautiful nature and interesting places to visit.  I’m also studying an Egyptology course and love learning and reading about history in general.

I like spending time with my family and friends, as well as doing a bit of gardening, and doing patchwork sewing (something I’ve recently begun doing again).

About Chrissie Parker

Chrissie lives in Devon, UK, with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry.

Chrissie is also an Author.  Her thriller INTEGRATE was released in October 2013 and her historical fiction Among the Olive Groves was released in July 2014.

Other written work includes factual articles for the Bristolian newspaper and guest articles for the charities Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation.  Chrissie has also written a book of short stories and poems, one of which was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013.

Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Travel, and has completed two six-month Archaeology and Egyptology courses with Exeter University.   She is learning to play the Ukulele and likes to read, collect books, listen to music. To find out more about Chrissie visit her website


Gabriel is weary, hunting for a murderer. 
Patience is adrift, her life a complete lie.
Nate is scared, hiding from his worst fears.
Juliet is frantic, her time is running out.

As four fragile lives collide, the truth is finally revealed. 

And betrayal and death become inevitable.


Lake Tranquil was vast.  So much so that Patience couldn’t see where it ended or began.  Despite its size, it was deserted.  She was the only human in sight and she loved the thought of being so alone, immersed in the beauty of nature.  An occasional bird flitted in and out of the trees, or swooped down to land at the water’s edge.  In the distance, a rabbit ran through the trees, its tail bobbed, flashing white as it ran for cover.
Trees lined craggy mountains that surrounded the lake.  They were thick, green and tall, and reached to the shoreline; only a small wavering line of pebble-covered beach sat between the shimmering waters and the forest.  
It was heavenly. 
It wasn’t the first time Patience had been to Lake Tranquil.  Once, as a child, she had visited it with her mother and enjoyed a week of blissful freedom away from the chaos of life.  Now here, fleeting memories flooded back.  Swimming in the lake as her mother sat on the deck and read.  Running through the trees playing hide and seek, and sitting on the shore as the sun set.  Watching the stars appear overhead as her mother cooked fish over a smoky fire.  It was a time in her life that stuck in her mind, when her mother had been truly happy and content. 
It was why Patience was here. 
For her mother.  To try to be closer to her, to try to understand her.   To try to find some peace.

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