Welcome back to my blog, Golden. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write historical fiction, but I started out writing nonfiction. My spiritual gift is teaching, so the natural thing for me to write would be Bible studies, right? Well, I did write a Bible study, and a couple of publishing houses were interested, and it got into committee, but they decided in the end to pass. I had some other general inspirational books that got into committees, but no contracts for them either. One day on a whim, I took a couple of chapters of historical fiction that I had written around my family genealogy to critique group, and they confirmed that was where I should be. So I began to pursue it. I realized after attending a fiction class at Glorieta Christian Writers Conference that one can get spiritual issues across in fiction in perhaps a more palatable manner than sounding so “preachy” in a non-fiction work.
I loved reading historical fiction as a young person, and I love writing historical fiction now as an adult.
I love historical fiction, too, both reading and writing it. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Of course, my wedding day would have to rate up there, and the births of our three daughters.
How has being published changed your life?
It’s much more work than I ever dreamed it would be – marketing one book, editing another, then writing still another. But I’ve always been pretty good about juggling my schedule to get everything done.
It has changed my life in another way as well. I am much more observant -- of little quirks of human behavior, or the nuances of emotion, or a pithy quote. I’m more aware of good story and quality movie plots. I just feel I have learned so much and have so much yet to learn.
What are you reading right now?
I try to alternate reading Christian fiction with secular fiction. I feel I’m not very well-read in fiction and am trying to play “catch-up.” Right now I’m finishing MaryLu Tyndall’s Falcon and the Sparrow. Next up is Diana Galbadon’s Outlander.
What is your current work in progress?
Book #3 in the Darkness To Light series.
What would be your dream vacation?
To tour Europe, especially France (where my book In The Shadow Of The Sun King and A Prisoner of Versailles are set) with my own private tour guide and chauffeur; stay at 5-star hotels with spas; and dine at the top restaurants. I’m sorry, but I’m too old for climbing the Alps or camping in the Rain Forest or hunting wild game in Africa. :-)
How do you choose your settings for each book?
All of the settings for my books thus far have a tie to my family history.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I think I would like to spend an evening with Anne Graham Lotz. I admire her courage being a woman in ministry, and I would just love to hear her talk about that journey.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I like to travel. I’m a pianist, so I love music. I love to go to the symphony, or the ballet, or the theatre. On the other side of the spectrum, we are avid fans of the sports of our alma mater, Baylor University, especially football and basketball.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
So far, the most difficult writing obstacle was launching the writing of Book #3 in the series. I was asked to shift the protagonist to another character, and I had tough time doing that. If I get to a point where I seem to be blocked, I back off and do research or watch a movie about the period. It gives me ideas, and I’m ready to dive in again the next day.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Avail yourself of the networking and workshops at writers conferences.
Never, ever quit. I have a quote on my desk that says, “A professional writer is an amateur who never quit.” We were all amateurs at one time, and someone took a chance on us. If God has called one to write, he will make a way, and it will happen.
Tell us about the featured book.
It is a sequel to the first book, In The Shadow Of The Sun King and follows the saga of the Clavell family as they seek to escape the religious persecution of King Louis XIV. However, the king raises some formidable obstacles to their escape.
Please give us the first page of the book.
A Prisoner Of Versailles
By Golden Keyes Parsons
“Go after her. Spare no expense. Do whatever you must, but bring Madeleine Clavell back to Versailles.”
Captain Nicolas Maisson bowed to King Louis XIV. The musketeer’s blue tunic brushed the floor as he swept his hat around in a flourish. “Oui, Your Majesty.”
“I want her oldest son as well.” The king rested against the front edge of his desk, his head lowered. The voluminous wig hid his eyes. He raised his head and stared past the soldier. He began to pace, then stopped to peer out a window. “Is Versailles not the most beautiful palace on earth?”
“Yes, Your Majesty. None more enchanting in all the world.”
Visions of Madeleine strolling with him through the gardens when they and Versailles were all adolescents teased his mind. She had grown up with him here. He would get her back. “Why would one not yearn to be here?”
The soldier did not answer. The king turned and with a wave of his hand dismissed the musketeer. “Be on your way. Take whomever you choose and whatever forces you need. I would begin in Geneva, John Calvin’s bastion of Protestantism. That’s where most of the Huguenots flee.” The king’s lips tightened, and he clipped his words. “If she is not there, find someone who knows where she is.”
Captain Maisson bowed and prepared to take leave of the king.
“One more thing, Captain.”
“You are not to use unnecessary force. Do not harm one hair of Madame Clavell’s head, nor that of her son’s.”
I'm totally intrigued. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Golden, for spending this time with us. I look forward to being with you again.
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