by Parker J. Cole
The entire Sins of the Flesh series is out. After three years, all three books are out in the open for public consumption. Not just them, but all of my children have been in public eye for some time.
A few days ago, I was looking at my lists of books and I was pleased to see them. With each book and work I’ve written, I’ve learned something. After all, our books are our children. We go into labor, have contractions, and stay up for many, many hours to bring them to the light of the world. Then we slap a cover on them, clean out the rough edges, and give them to readers to enjoy.
So, what have my children taught me?
Dark Cherub, my very first book, taught me to stop being a dreamer and to become a writer. I’d labored with this child the longest. Ten years’ gestation, go figure. When I lost my job back in 2010, I saw her and I said, “You are going to get published. Stop dreaming and do!” The next year, it was published. Dark Cherub is the child that made me grow up.
Many Strange Women, my first romance, taught me to appreciate my talent. Often, as a reader, you can read a fantastic story and you think, “I wish I could write like that.” This young lady here showed me that I am a good writer. It validated myself at time when I didn’t think one copy would sell. She had been rejected by many publishers before she found a home at eLectio Publishing. Self-validation and confidence are essential to a writer. If you don’t believe in yourself, why do you expect anyone else to?
The Other Man, the second in my Sins of the Flesh series, taught me every writer needs improvement. When I receive the feedback from her sister’s critics and fans, I used the information from her to write a better product. The child of mine also taught me every book is different even if they are part of the same family. Sort of like kids.
Vengeful Vows, the third in my Sins of the Flesh series, taught me to use my talent to heal myself. Before, I wanted to tell a story. During the time of this book, my personal life was in an upheaval. I even wrote a blog post about it last year. For the first time in my life, I had to escape with these characters and these situations in order to keep ground. The reflections of my past mistakes, my disobedience and stubbornness are forever imprinted in these pages. But with that, there the great, wonderful joy of restoration that comes from the Lord.
Godforsaken (Realms of Our Own), a short story, taught me to stretch myself. I had never written a sci-fi story before although I consider myself a geek. This baby girl took some time to write. It was only 15k words but from the amount of work I put into it, it felt longer. Yet, I did. I published this book as a distributed anthology with other authors and we had such a good time. You can read some of our experiences and get an in-depth view on how it all came together.
The Druid’s Spear (Ascent of the Gem Bearers) my first Asian fantasy book taught me to branch out. I wrote this with a good friend of mine. I love Japanese culture and had a great time delving into it so I can accurately depict to the best of our ability these hard-working, people. Plus, it was fun to create a story based on our own mythology that is central to the story. Worldbuilding never looked so good
April and Mr. Grim (Birds of Passage Anthology), a short story, taught me to write without expecting much. This wasn’t as hard for me since I had begun my career with little expectation. Yet, April and Mr. Grim, is charity anthology, the first I’d ever been a part of. 100% of the proceeds goes to a charity which benefits educating their community. I was so on board with the idea and look forward to doing some more with them.
All these lessons have been taught to me by my children. I’d like to show them off to you. Aren’t they lovely? And guess what? I’m expecting!
About the Author:
Parker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.
Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com