I’m delighted to introduce to you my friend Golden Keyes Parsons, who is a popular retreat and conference speaker and author of historical novels. Her book In The Shadow Of The Sun King (Thomas Nelson Publishing), first in a three-book series based on her family genealogy, released in the fall of 2008 and was named a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Debut Author category. Her second book, Prisoner Of Versailles, was released September 2009 and was named a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Daphne contest and was also a finalist for the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association Golden Scroll Novel of the Year. The concluding book in the series, Where Hearts Are Free released September 2010 and is a Women of Faith Book Club selection. Her fourth novel, His Steadfast Love, a Civil War novel set in Texas, released November 2011 and was a finalist in the RWA’s National Readers Choice Awards for 2012.
Let’s find out more about Golden — isn’t that a GREAT name? — and about her newest writing project called Hidden Faces.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and where you live.
Golden: My husband and I moved to Waco, Texas, after retiring from the pastorate in Red River, New Mexico, four years ago. We are Baylor University alumni, and two of our daughters and their children live here, so it was a natural place to land. We have eight grandchildren, three of them grown with their own families. So we also have four great-grandchildren. Our youngest daughter and her husband live in Dallas. Of course, I’m much too young to have all of these grandchildren … and great-grandchildren!
Q: Tell us about your call to write in the Christian arena.
Golden: I’ve always loved the written word and have always written. I grew up in a family of newspapermen, editors, and authors. I had won some essay contests in school and had a few things published here and there, but I never tried to get published seriously until I started speaking professionally. I started out writing non-fiction, but soon found that my skills really were more in the area of fiction.
Q: Do you consider yourself a Christian who writes good fiction or a writer who writes good Christian fiction?
Golden: I would hope that both are true, but if I have to choose one, I would rather be a Christian who writes good fiction. Actually I’m not so sure that we even need the delineation between Christian and non-Christian fiction. I teach a workshop on What Makes Christian Fiction Christian. It provokes much thought and discussion, but that’s for another forum.
Q: What is your daily schedule? And what are you usually wearing when you are writing?
Golden: I try to write in the mornings and do marketing in the afternoons, but it usually depends on whether I’m on deadline or not. I usually start writing after my time with the Lord in the mornings, so I’m still in my pjs. Then about 9 o’clock or so, I stop and get dressed, exercise, eat breakfast, then get back at it.
Q: Name five of your favorite things and five pet peeves.
Golden: Favorites: family, beautiful music, travel, ice cream and of course, a good book!
Pet Peeves: Card inserts in magazines, rude store clerks, male chauvinists, drivers who tailgate when you are already going over the speed limit, and people who ask you a question and then don’t listen to your answer.
Q: What went into your decision to write in your particular genre and time period?
Golden: I loved to read historical fiction when I was growing up, so it was natural for me to want to write in that genre. My first series, Darkness to the Light series, with Thomas Nelson Publishing, is about my ancestors in 17th century France, so that of course was set in that particular time period.
Q: Do you read the reviews that are written about your books? Do you believe and/or take to heart the reviews that are written about your books?
Golden: I did at first, but I don’t anymore. I received some good advice from a seasoned writer: “Don’t believe any of your reviews – good or bad. Those are just people’s opinions.” The bad ones upset me, and the good ones really aren’t an accurate evaluation of my writing. So I just don’t read them anymore.
Q: What is the message you hope people gain from reading your book(s)?
Golden: That God is faithful. We can trust him.
Q: What do you like to read? What is in your “stack to be read” right now?
Golden: I try to alternate between secular fiction, Christian fiction and non-fiction. I just read Birdsong by Sebastian Faulk at the suggestion of my agent. I’m currently reading Glen Beck’s Being George Washington. I just finished Karen Witemeyer’s To Win Her Heart. (That book and my latest novel, His Steadfast Love [Thomas Nelson] were finalists in the RWA’s National Readers Choice Awards, and I wanted to see what the competition was. However, Irene Hannon’s entry won.) Next on my list to read is Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon.
Q: What do you like most about being an author? The least?
Golden: Creating story is what I like the most. I absolutely detest marketing.
Q: Being an author brings opportunities to speak to different groups—book clubs, workshops, conferences. Do you enjoy public speaking or does it frighten you?
Golden: Since my spiritual gift is teaching and I am a professionally trained speaker, I love speaking to groups. And the size of the group doesn’t seem to intimidate me, nor does radio or TV. In fact, I’m more at home in front of a large group than I am in a smaller setting.
Q: What is your latest project and where can readers find you?
Golden: My latest series is Hidden Faces: Portraits Of Nameless Women In The Gospels, which is a biblical fiction series about nameless women in Scripture whose lives were forever changed through an encounter with Jesus. The first one, Trapped! The Adulterous Woman releases in October. The other three are Alone: The Woman At The Well, Broken: The Woman Who Anointed Jesus’ Feet, and Helpless: The Woman With the Issue of Blood. These were all women whose stories were important enough to make the canon of Scripture, yet we don’t even know their names. I thought it would be intriguing to bring them to life through historical fiction.
They will release initially as ebooks, and then when the fourth one comes out, my publisher, Whitefire Publishing, will put them together in a print compilation.
Golden is an ordained minister, and she and her husband Blaine are retired from the pastorate and reside in Waco, Texas. She LOVES to hear from readers and you can contact her at www.goldenkeyesparsons.com or her email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BLOG READERS: If you comment, you’ll be in a drawing for one of Golden’s books, personally autographed to YOU! Whooohoooo! Have a GREAT Friday and a happy weekend of reading!