Greetings and salutations, everyone. My name is Pinkie Rae Parker. By day, I am a mild-mannered historian living in the southern United States, but, by night (or rather later in the day), I am a writer of fiction. Though I have been writing for quite a while, I’m fairly new to the world of published authors, so here are a few tidbits about myself.
1. How long have you been writing?
I have been writing short stories since I was a teenager, so it’s been about thirteen years. It was a hobby that quickly led to writing fanfiction for my favorite television shows. Writing became a way to relate to and interact with other fans online, and I made a lot of friends through that. I did not start thinking about publishing my original stories until I got into college, and my alma mater’s literary magazine gave me my start. However, research and my day job kept me from seriously pursuing fiction writing until I received my undergraduate degree. After about a six or so months of trying various publishers, Dreamspinner Press agreed to publish one of my short stories (“Curtain Calls”) in their upcoming anthology, Snow on the Roof.
2. What is your favourite genre to write?
I love writing fantasy stories. Give me your elves, your vampires, and your huddled Hobbits. I find that sometimes I have a pretty “Grimm” sense of humor (if you’ll pardon the pun) that works well with fantasy elements that does not always translate well into other genres. However, I would like to try to write some historical fiction when the inspiration finally sparks. I spend most of my time buried in archives, so eventually I will find that missing element that will spur me along.
3. What are you working on now?
I just finished a humorous short story for one of Dreamspinner Press’s anthology calls, and I’ve been working on revising the first novel that I wrote a few years ago in hopes of finding a publisher for that. The novel is a science fiction tale dealing with a dystopian alternative past. Anachronisms are always fun, I find.
4. When you start a new story, do you begin with a character or plot?
Almost always I begin with character with a smidgen of backstory peppered in that eventually leads to the plot. Sometimes my stories develop out of the description of the character, like a physical trait or a personality quirk. A shy, gap-toothed smile or an infectious laugh can really bring life to a whole world of possibilities for a plot or a setting.
5. Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?
“Curtain Calls” is coming out February 9, 2013 in Dreamspinner Press’s Snow on the Roof anthology. It tells the story of an aging actor who worries that his place in the spotlight is about to be usurped by a younger man. Going back to the previous question, for “Curtain Calls,” I randomly sketched a doodle of a young man with freckles. I thought, “Who is this?” The story evolved from trying to figure out who this random fellow in my sketchbook was. All the details-- his name, his personality, his job-- derived from a few graphite lines on Canson paper. That’s what I love about writing; it’s a journey where I get to meet so many interesting (albeit fictional) people along the way.
“Curtain Calls” blurb: As aging British actor Kitt Holbrook gears up for a reprisal of his signature role in William Shakespeare's The Tempest at on London's West End, the part is unexpectedly re-cast to a much younger and more inexperienced actor, Bascomb Willows, in hopes of boosting flagging ticket sales. While the decision initially angers Kitt, he begrudgingly agrees to coach Bascomb. Will Kitt's bruised ego prove detrimental to the production, or can he fight his own pride to remember what it is like for a young man to make his way to center stage?
“Curtain Calls” Excerpt:
At fifty-six years old, Kitt Holbrook had spent the majority of his life on the stage. He had been much leaner and much hungrier in the early days. He spent every waking moment clawing his way up the rung of the theatre hierarchy until he finally received his break-- being cast as Ferdinand in Pleismann’s run of The Tempest in 1976. The reviews for his performance made him a sought after name in the West End and even landed him a few film and television roles. Ferdinand, however, remained his signature role and, like many other British stage actors, he returned to the part at various times afterwards. In three weeks, Kitt would do so for the last time, saying goodbye to Ferdinand in a final grand send-off.
Leaning back in his chair, Kitt scrutinized his reflection for several moments. He supposed he was aging gracefully enough. Long ago, the bright copper sheen of his hair had faded into a dark brown that, in time, turned grey. Hair dye returned some of the luster with just enough pigmentless streaks at his temples for Kitt to appear distinguished. Though his lips were unfortunately thinning, the deep-set lines around his mouth and eyes gave him a rather grim expression, so he often tried to keep his eyebrows elevated to look less prickly, even though that made his forehead resemble a cracked pavement in the muggy heat of summer.
Leave plastic surgery to the young, Kitt thought. It’s too much effort to fix what nature’s already wrought.
Author Bio: Pinkie Rae Parker is happy to use the moniker passed down from her great-grandmother. Born and raised in the southern United States, Pinkie Rae is currently a cultural historian and graphic designer. She enjoys researching fashion and design in Europe during the eighteenth century and studying French. However, writing fiction is a passion that she has had since she was a teenager, and she now hopes to pursue writing for publication (outside of academia) as a full-time career.