Sunday, October 19, 2008

Author Golden Keyes Parsons - IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN KING - Free Book

I have had this interview scheduled for a while, then I met Golden at the national ACFW Conference in Minneapolis. I'm glad to introduce you to her and her new book.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

More than I care to admit! As with most new authors, my first work is based much on my family. My female protagonist bears many of my characteristics, including vanity, stubbornness and her humble and accurate opinion that she is always right.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

This was a hard one. By temperament I am about 50% melancholy, 50% choleric—not a “quirky” combination. I asked my husband, and he couldn’t think of anything either. I’ve done lots of stupid things, some bold things, had some adventures, but “quirky?” I guess the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is try to launch a writing career at my age. I kept asking God if he remembered how old I was—and he assured me that he did!

I know what you mean. Age is just a number and doesn't mean anything in the larger picture of God's plans for your life. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

Being raised in a family of newspaper editors and published authors, I always wrote. I was published in our hometown newspaper at the age of nine. I wrote poetry. I wrote plays. I wrote Sunday School curriculum. I wrote Christmas productions. I wrote training literature. But I never seriously pursued writing a novel and getting it published until just a few years ago.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

Well, of course, I have always loved historicals, which is why I have probably ended up writing them. I like Biblical fiction, allegories, and inspirational books that delve beneath the surface and make one think deeper. And being a fiction writer, this probably is an anomaly, but I love true stories, documentaries.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I have written a Biblical fiction novella series, Hidden Portraits of Nameless Women In Scripture, that has not been picked up yet. I have written a Bible study book, A Wise Woman Builds, that we self-published. I have four non-fiction WIPs on marriage and general inspiration.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

My husband and I pastor a church as well ministering through the writing/speaking ministry. Our church is small and in a small town, but it keeps us hopping. I promised the Lord in the process of developing this phenomenon of writing in my life, that I would spend about an hour every morning with him, before I run to the computer and regardless of what else is going on. I’m not legalistic about it, but I pretty much stick to that. I think that keeps me grounded.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I just research what names were popular at the time. My main character’s name, Madeleine, however just wouldn’t let me go. My actual ancestor’s name was Louisa, but it didn’t seem to fit her.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

That our three daughters love God and are walking upright in their communities.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

This was another hard one for me. The one I’m most like—I think I’d have to say an owl. I’m rather reserved, and I sit back and watch. I try to think before I speak. Some people have called me “wise.” The one I’d most like to be like? Probably a graceful swan or a gazelle. Our son-in-law is a big game hunter and the gazelles he has brought back are just beautiful.

What is your favorite food?

Like every woman I do love chocolate. But if I had to choose something that if I were stranded on an island and could have nothing else, it would have to be fresh fruits and vegetables. I love good homegrown tomatoes, cantaloupe, fresh corn, etc.

We've often had our own garden in our married life, and I know what you mean about fresh-picked produce. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

After so many years of rejections, it had to be the self-esteem, confidence issue. I’d had pretty good luck with getting articles published, but just couldn’t seem to hit it right in the book arena. I had a bad experience with an agent. Couldn’t find another one. My prayer many times was, “God, if you’ve called me to write, why can’t I get a book published?” Then when the time was right, he literally sat me down beside my future agent at a conference, and it took off from there. But I never quit. I kept on writing and submitting.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Avail yourself of all the networking available at writers conferences. Perfect your craft. And never, never, never give up. I kept a caption taped beside my computer during all those discouraging days, “A professional writer is an amateur who never gave up.” If you are a Christian and God has called you to write, stand on that call and keep pursuing it. It will happen in his time.

Yes, God's timing is always perfect. I often tell those I mentor that fact. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

Quite by accident, I came into the possession of an original, published genealogy of my family heritage from 1907. It chronicled the persecution of the French Huguenots under the government of Louis XIV and their subsequent flight from 17th century France, eventually coming to this country and settling in Pennsylvania. The story fascinated me, and up until that time, I did not recall seeing any novels on this subject. I have since become aware of several and have read some of them. What a price they paid for our heritage of faith! In The Shadow Of The Sun King is the first installment in a four book series on the story of my ancestors has they sought religious freedom.

Golden, how can readers find you on the Internet?

My web site is Or at, or

Thank you, Golden, for spending this time with us.

Readers, please leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of In the Shadow of the Sun King. Then check out Golden's web sites.

The Case of the Missing Winners:

I have several past winners who haven't contacted me with their mailing addresses. If you're one of these people, please click on the email link in my profile in the right hand column and send me your address.

If you know any of these people, tell them to contact me.

Alyce (two books), ausjenny, Sarah/Robert, Cheryl (Shyrackmom), Doreen, R. Byuel, Cherryblossomj.

You can order Golden's book here:


Mimi B said...

Happy Sunday, Lena. Please enter me to win Golden's novel. It sounds so good! I only met Golden briefly at the ACFW conference. There were so many of you there. :) But that was such a great event.

Mimi B

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

Chesh said...

This looks like a great book to read. I am always on the hunt for some good Christian reading material. Please sign me up!! Love your blog, btw!!!

angelleslamnet @

Doreen said...

Hi Lena, I just sent an e-mail off to you! :) Please enter me for the drawing of this novel. It sounds great! Thanks! purposedrivenlife4you (at) gmail (dot) com

Deborah said...

oh please enter me! i've been trying everywhere to win this book!

Anonymous said...

This book sounds wonderful.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.

herblady said...

Hello Lena & Golden,

I really enjoy reading about this time period in European history, whether fiction or not, so I would like to be included in the draw.
Thank you for the great interview and the chance to win this book!

hrbeck_98 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Stormi said...

This one sounds good. I would love to be entered in the drawing. I love trying authors I have not read before.


Lindsey said...

Ohhh how exciting - I have to read this book! The cover is gorgeous, too! Thanks for the giveaway!

ladyufshalott at

Janna said...

This book looks amazing! Golden was so sweet and nice at ACFW where I got to meet her briefly - please enter me!

ryanx6 at msn dot com

windycindy said...

Historical books are a favorite of mine! I especially like France because my paternal grandmother came over on a cattle ship from Calais, France when she was 13! I have traveled to France and have seen the
"Palace of Versailles!" Gorgeous gardens. Please enter me in your book drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

Alyce said...

Lena, I just sent you an email with my shipping info. I apologize that it took me so long, I thought I had already sent the information a while ago.

I would love to be entered in the contest for this book, it sounds great!

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Ausjenny said...

Im sorry too I did send an email from gmail but i must have gotten the email wrong. resent today from bigpond I hope you got it.

Judy said...

I loved this interview! I was particularly encouraged by her comment about wanting to ask God if he knew her age when a writing ministry became her path.
...I'm "up there" too :>)

CherryBlossomMJ said...

HI! Sorry, I've been away from the computer. Luckily the first thing I see when I get back is a twitter from a friend telling me to contact you!! I'm here I'm here!!

cherryblossommj (at) gmail [dot] com

I'll drop you an email.

Anonymous said...

This book looks so good! Great interview, as always. Thanks!


A happy heart at home said...

Please enter me for a chance at "Montana Weddings" (per your facebook note). Thanks!

~Susan (Sue L.)


Anonymous said...

I love what she says about God's timing being perfect. It may not seem like it at the time but that is absolutely the truth. I've seen it time and time again.
The book sounds good and I'm kind of excited to see that it will be a series.

Carole said...

Please enter me for Golden's novel. I think it's so important to read about our ancestors and the price they paid for our faith. Thank you for the interview and giveaway.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book...would love to win it!!

Cara Putman said...

Lena, It was so fun to meet Golden at ACFW. I"d love to be entered in this contest. And I'll contact Sarah/Robert for you.


Mommyhood is Thankless said...

I really love books and this looks to be a great one! Please enter me to win :D


Anonymous said...

This book sounds wonderful! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

Unknown said...

would love to read this! off to the library site to see if it is one I can borrow from them.... {if I don't win:)}

apple blossom said...

I'd love to be included in this book give away. I don't believe I've ever read any of Parsons' books.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com