Parris Afton Bonds is the mother of five sons and the author of more than forty published novels. She is the co-founder of and first vice president of Romance Writers of America, as well as, cofounder of Southwest Writers Workshop.
As one of three best-selling authors of romantic fiction, the award-winning Parris Afton Bonds has been interviewed by such luminaries as Charlie Rose and featured in major newspapers and magazines, as well as, published in more than a dozen languages.
The Parris Award was established in her name by the Southwest Writers Workshop to honor a published writer who has given outstandingly of time and talent to other writers. Prestigious recipients of the Parris Award include Tony Hillerman and the Pulitzer nominee Norman Zollinger.
She donates spare time to teaching creative writing to both grade school children and female inmates, whom she considers her captive audiences.
What motivates you to write and how did you get started?
I am possessed by the Writing Demon. Obsessed by the Written Word. Addicted to the adrenaline rush of escaping from the Ordinary World to the Extraordinary Word. So no motivation needed. I caught the writing virus when I was five and read one of my parent’s novels, The Golden Hawk by Frank Yerby. I never recovered from that virus and wrote my first novel that same year (a 3-pager).
What’s most rewarding about writing?
It’s more like . . . what is NOT rewarding about writing. But most likely ‘most rewarding’ would be a tie among these three ~ 1.) the words “The End”, 2.) the bank deposit from my book royalties, 3.) a reader telling me, “I didn’t want the novel to end.”
For specificity’s sake, I would venture that writing has blessed my life, enriched my life, in every aspect ~ and what amazes me is that in no way did I anticipate or prepare for this as a career; it is a gift/talent that accompanied my birth.
What’s your favorite genre and why?
Implausible, I know, but I figure my DNA got trapped over and over in past millennia, due to one of Cupid’s arrows burying itself in the passion nucleotide of my DNA, which is why Historical Romance is my favorite genre. Love is everything, don’t they say?
Where do your characters come from?
Okay, this is crazy, too, but I truly believe my characters are out there, just waiting for my imagination to summon them into existence; once on the printed page, they leap into reality, for me, at least. I also know that too many times to be coincidental things I have written have come to pass ~ and I have heard other writers make the same comment. The imagination is a powerful tool each of us possesses.
Who is an author who inspires you and why?
So many authors inspire me, because each brings a unique aspect to the written word.
What do you look for in other people’s books?
Tension ~ and the release thereof with the book’s denouement.
What are you writing now?
I am writing a mainstream that covers two-thousand years. Gulp.
What kind of book would you like to be known for?
I would like to be known for writing a novel that changed, at least, one reader’s life for the better.
What has writing taught you about yourself?
Primarily, writing novels has taught me that I have more patience and resilience than I would have characterized myself early on as having.
How has your life experience influenced your writing?
For simplicity sake, I would say that life has taught me (among a godzillion other things) that a coin has two sides. No one sets out to be or views himself as a villain. Compassion is important in writing (as well as, in life) when mingling with my characters.
What encouraging advice can you offer new writers?
All right, laying it on the line, I advise new writers definitely to seek out writing as a career if you, 1.) read a LOT, 2.) feel compelled to write 24/7 (well, almost), and 3.) warning, cliche coming ~ NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP.
Writers come most alive when we are writing. Joseph Campbell (Power of the Myth) said it, “Follow your bliss.”
♥ Oh, one last thing ~ I have five sons, who have malnutrition, their ribs are showing, and, worse, I may be thrown in Fiji’s Debtor’s Jail, so, please, please buy one of my novels! ♥
FROM PARRIS, WITH LOVE
Help keep me out of Fiji’s Debtors Prison ~ Read My Books