Blakely’s Friday Interview with Savannah & Zeke Parker

Please give a warm welcome to Savannah and Zeke Parker, authors of Billy Scarlet.

DSCN6229Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on or promoting.
-Our names are Savannah and Zeke Parker. We have been writing for ten years now. We used to just come up with stories while we playing when we were little, but one day we just decided that it would be really fun to start writing then down. Right now we are promoting our story Billy Scarlet. It’s being published by Ink Smith publishing. It’s going to be coming out on September 5th. This will be our first book to get published so we are really excited about it.

What genre is your book? Do you write in other genres as well?
-Billy Scarlet is an Adventure/Fantasy story. That is the main genre that we write in, but we also write children’s stories and young adult fiction. We like exploring all different kinds of genres just to test our writing skills.

Do you outline your stories or just go with the flow?
-We never really do a written outline. We talk out what our stories will be about. Mostly we just set down an outline in our minds. Sometimes we follow it, sometimes we don’t. We tried written outlines before, but then when we start writing everything just takes a different course, so now we just always talk it out and if it goes in a different direction, then, that’s just how it goes.

Who is your favorite author and why?
-We have different favorites most of the time, but the one writer we can really agree on is Tolkien. His writing has influenced ours in so many ways. His stories are about adventure, different worlds, and unlikely heroes. He could put so much into one story that just makes you want to read it over and over. We hope to capture a bit of Tolkien’s style of adventure in our stories.

What project are you currently working on?
-We are currently working on getting our story “Billy Scarlet” published. We are also working on revising some of our other stories that go along with “Billy Scarlet”. This story is the first in a series. There are two books that follow it, “The Curse of Laquendor”, and one that doesn’t have a title just yet. It also has a prequel call “The first Beginning”. We are also working the revisions of three other books that are tied into Billy’s story, “The Secret of Nautilus Island”, “Stakes on Life and Death”, and “The Dragon’s Empress”.

What challenges have you faced in your writing career?
-I’d have to say that the biggest challenge we faced was trying to get an agent or publisher. We were basically shooting in the dark when it came to writing query letters. It was a huge challenge just to figure out what to say in the letters. We sent off to more than two hundred agents and at least sixty publishers. When you get to the point where you are getting at least four rejections a day, it’ll either do one of two things for you. It will make you give up or it will make you revise and try harder. It only takes one letter saying that they want your story and then those two hundred who didn’t really don’t matter anymore. We’re very glad to be working with Ink Smith. It’s a great company and you couldn’t ask for better people to work with.

Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
-Yes. We have a tendency to write a bit of ourselves into some of our characters. Honestly, sometimes we don’t even mean to, it just happens. It started in the first story we ever started writing “The Secret of Nautilus Island”. The character Jonny, who is also in “Billy Scarlet”, was pretty much just writing Zeke into the story. Jonny was his character from the beginning. I put a bit of myself into the character Billy Scarlet. Her story is told from a first person narrative, so it was hard not to put at least a little bit of myself into the character.

Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
-Yes. The character that was most challenging was actually from “Billy Scarlet”. The character Rafe Newheart was pretty tough to write. He is a villain in the story, but he’s almost a sidekick. We’ve never really had trouble writing the main villains like Nate Grayheart, and Rossaletta, but there was something different about Newheart, something more complex. His story runs deeper into the plot. There were so many things about him that were hidden and secret. He was just really hard to explain.

Do you base your characters on people you know?
-Sometimes. It’s a way of knowing your character better. If you know who you want them to be like, it makes it easier to know how they would react in certain situations. We never fully base a character on any one person, but we always like to have an idea of what we want our characters to be like.

Click the book cover below to buy Billy Scarlet

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