Today, I welcome author and NineStar Press pub sibling K Parr to Queering Up Your Bookshelf. K recently ran the #LGBTrelease hashtag on Twitter and is here to talk about the writing community and how important it is to find your people, inspiration from fanfiction, favorite tropes, and her upcoming release The Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars, forthcoming from NineStar Press.
Welcome, K and happy reading!
K is a writer of multiple genres, including young adult, romance, fantasy, paranormal, and humor, all of which star LGBT characters.
She received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2017.
In her spare time, K reads and writes fanfiction, keeps up with way too many TV shows, and dances wildly in her apartment.
She currently works as a teen librarian in Rhode Island.
Find K online:
1. What is your writing origin story?
I started writing when I was young, maybe 5 or 6. My first story was called ‘Pie World’ and starred cavemen who learned they could cure their hunger by saying the word ‘pie,’ since a pie would then fall from the sky and splat on their faces!
I was 12 before I started to write more seriously. That’s when I came up with the original concept for ‘The Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars.’ I’ve been writing ever since!
2. What inspires your writing and how do you keep that inspiration alive?
Other stories and characters—either through film, TV shows, books, or video games—inspire my writing and keep my own inspiration alive! I particularly love complex, flawed characters, and storylines that challenge them to grow at every opportunity. Nothing is more cathartic than good storytelling with both comedic and dramatic moments!
Some of my favorites:
Characters - Dean Winchester, Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers
Shows – Black Sails, Skam, Queer As Folk
3. What does representation mean to you and how does it feature in your writing?
As someone who is currently questioning, I appreciate stories that center on characters who are not the ‘typical’ protagonist. Representation is crucial, and not just for me, but the generations growing up who will hopefully be more accepting of themselves and others. I’m happy that my work can help fill gaps in the industry.
4. What are some of your favorite tropes (or ways to subvert them)?
As a fanfiction addict, there are SO MANY tropes I adore! My favorite is probably hurt/comfort. I could read that trope over and over again! I also love the pairing of royalty/commoner, which I’ve written three times now. I can’t seem to get enough of it!
5. What is your writing process?
I get a spark of inspiration, then let it percolate in my mind for a while until I can come up with a few scenes. After that, and because I’m a pantser, I sit down to write and see what happens! The story will either unfold as I write, or I get stuck and have to pause. I keep going until I finish the draft, and then I get beta readers to help me know what to edit, and I complete my project and start querying it!
6. What is your best piece of writing advice?
Find your community. Writing by yourself is tough, and at some point, you need an outside perspective. Engage writers on social media, join writers groups, meet writers at conventions. Find people who want to see you succeed, and help them succeed in return!
7. What is the hardest lesson you learned while writing?
Related to the previous question, the hardest lesson I learned was that I couldn’t do it all alone. It was, and still is, hard to find other writers to help, but my work—and my sanity—has benefited from it!
8. What do you hope readers will take away from your work?
I hope readers will fall in love with my characters and appreciate my characters’ journeys. I also hope they leave the story with a positive feeling, as major themes in my work include gaining self-worth, forgiving others, and being kind.
9. What was your favorite character or scene you’ve written recently?
I’ve been editing more recently, but there’s a character in my head who’s been nagging me to write his story. Long story short, Xander is cursed to live while his boyfriend is cursed to stay dead (though he managed to come back as a ghost). They’ve got to find a way to be together! Xander is snarky, sarcastic, and nihilistic. I love him, and will someday figure out how to tell his story!
10. What are you currently working on? What’s next for you?
Despite my usual love of fantasy, I’m actually editing an M/M contemporary romance that I’m hoping to sell soon! After that’s done, I’ll move on to an M/M romance fantasy, and possibly a sequel for ‘The Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars.’
Can two girls save their loved ones before it's too late?
After being orphaned and forced to work as a palace slave, 15-year-old Rasha decides to end her life, but when she plunges a knife into her chest, she doesn’t die. Instead, a strange, icy power possesses her. The last time it took over, someone got hurt, and Rasha can't let that happen again.
But she's got bigger problems. Her twin brother is alive, yet held captive by Solaris, a powerful sorcerer. When Rasha runs into Adriana, the selfish princess she once served, they discover Solaris is a common enemy since he destroyed the palace and kidnapped Adriana's parents.
Together, Rasha and Adriana set out on a rescue mission. Personalities clash and tempers flare, but other feelings surface as well, feelings neither girl could have predicted.
And with the help of a ragtag group of companions, they might just be able to succeed on their quest...until an ancient evil emerges to wreak vengeance on their world.