07 May 2016

Eliot Parker Blog Tour

Eliot Parker is the author of three novels: Breakdown at Clear River, Making Arrangements, and Fragile Brilliance. Fragile Brilliance was a 2016 Finalist for the Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize, which is affiliated with the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize and SIBA. He also received the Bronze Award from the National Literary Habitat organization for mystery/thriller writing. He currently teaches writing and literature at Mountwest Community and Technical College in Huntington, West Virginia. Learn more at www.eliotparker.com

FRAGILE BRILLIANCE: When off-duty Charleston police sergeant Ronan McCullough responds to the assault of a college student outside a downtown sports bar, he is brutally attacked and nearly killed by the assailants. As he struggles with the physical and emotional damage and doggedly pursues the perpetrators, his personal and professional relationships are strained to the limit; what he uncovers in his investigation takes him to heart of a deadly drug ring threatening the very core of the city. 

MAKING ARRANGEMENTS: The death of Colin Madsen’s beloved father brings Colin home to the small town of Concord, Massachusetts, facing a decision to keep or sell the family funeral home. Colin himself has no interest in the business, but he wants to make sure his father’s legacy is continued. As Colin struggles with the decision, he reconnects with Ava, his childhood neighbor and friend. Colin and Ava seem like an ideal match, but when Ava becomes unemployed and takes a corporate job in funeral home acquisitions, the seemingly innocent move sets off a chain reaction of problems that threaten their relationship and the existence of the funeral home he wants to protect. 

BREAKDOWN AT CLEAR RIVER: Cullen Brewer, starting quarterback for the Clear River College Cougars, discovers that his senior year will be far more exciting than winning a few football games. He is suddenly shocked when the body of his favorite wide receiver, Dane Antonelli, is found in a dormitory stairwell. He links up with Serena Johnson, a student newspaper reporter, searching for the truth behind Dane's death. As they explore ties to coaches and college administrators, Cullen and Serena find themselves facing perils more dangerous than they ever expected.
This book was a 2012 Weatherford Award finalist for Outstanding Fiction, sponsored by the Appalachian Studies Association. 

Twitter: @E4419

According to an analysis of my name....

•Your name of Eliot creates an idealistic, sensitive nature and a desire for culture and the refinements of life.

• You would work best in a relaxed environment at tasks involving writing, mathematical, or analytical skills that require concentration.

• You appear calm to others, but at times you suffer inwardly with nervous tension.

• You can find it difficult to express your deeper thoughts and feelings verbally.

• It is much more natural for you to express your deeper thoughts in writing.

• A lack of positivity and confidence is a source of difficulty in making decisions in business dealings.

•Although the name Eliot creates the urge to understand others, we emphasize that it limits self-expression and friendly congeniality with a moody disposition.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
Growing up, I was a kid that loved to read and loved stories. I really got interested in writing when I was in junior high school. I won the school writing award in eighth grade and it was the first time that I really felt like I had some talent with writing.

How long does it take you to write a book?

About two years. It takes me about a year to write the first complete draft of a book and then that is followed by about six months of heavy revision and then another six months of more editing and polishing the manuscript. I write slow and since I teach English at Mountwest Community and Technical College, my writing time is divided between working with students, teaching classes, grading papers, and committee work. I find my most productive writing time is during Thanksgiving and Christmas Break and over the summer.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I write every day, usually early in the morning when my mind is fresh. I get up rather early before everyone in my house is up and stirring around. I will write for about 45 minutes to an hour each day. Some days, I will generate 250-300 words during that time. Other days, I might only churn out 20 words. However, I’ve discovered that if I chip away at the book a little each day (and write more heavily and intensely when school is not in session) then I can have the draft of a book completed within a year. 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I write best in libraries. I have an office at home and will write from there most days, but some of my best writing comes from writing in libraries. There is something about being around the books and the quiet serenity of being a library that helps me think and helps me write. Plus, my cats (whom I love dearly) can’t bother me when I’m in the library and I don’t get distracted with needing to do laundry, run the dishes, etc.

How do your books get published?

Basically, from research. I look for publishers and/or agents that publish the types of books I write, which are mostly mysteries. Then, I send those folks query letters and sample chapters from my manuscript and then cross my fingers. Over the years, I have received a ton of rejection letters, but in most cases, something constructive was always mentioned in the rejection letter that helped me make changes to the manuscript and also helped me become a better writer. Writer should not be afraid to pursue all avenues when it comes to getting a book published. There are so many quality, independent presses that produce good books and are always looking for new authors. 

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

From real people and real experiences. The old adage that “truth is stranger than fiction” is true. Many of the plots for my mystery novels are loosely based on real-life crimes and criminal scenarios that have actually occurred. The characters in those books either are related in some way to the people involved in the actual case or are based on people that I have met and spoken with at various points in my life.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

The first book I wrote was called The Prospect, and it was written in 2008 when I was 28 years old. I had written some short stories that had been accepted for publication in the past, but The Prospect was my first book. I knew nothing about publishing books at that time, and it was self-published. The publisher has gone out of business and the book is now out of print. My first traditionally published book was Breakdown at Clear River, which came out in 2012 when I was 32 years old.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love movies, and I usually go and see one every week. I also love to read and spend time with my cats. I like to play basketball and travel as well.




Book Purchasing Links:

Breakdown at Clear River: http://www.amazon.com/Breakdown-Clear-River-Eliot-Parker/dp/0983394784/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452025599&sr=1-1&keywords=breakdown+at+clear+river

Making Arrangements: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Arrangements-Inheriting-Funeral-Trouble/dp/0865349827/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452025665&sr=1-1&keywords=making+arrangements

Fragile Brilliance: http://www.amazon.com/Fragile-Brilliance-Ronan-Mccullough-Novel/dp/178535082X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452025684&sr=1-1&keywords=fragile+brilliance

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