Intimate Conversation with Electa Rome Parks

24 Jul

Electa Rome Parks currently resides outside Atlanta, Georgia. After successfully self-publishing her debut novels, The Ties That Bind and Loose Ends, New American Library, a division of Penguin Group, bought the rights. Electa signed a three-book deal with New American Library. All three books were immediately chosen as Black Expressions Book Club main selections and embraced as Books of the Month by book clubs across the country. Dubbed a “book club favorite,” avid readers have embraced Electa’s true to life characters that tackle prevalent and heavy hitting issues.

Since then Electa has become a best-selling author of several mainstream and erotic novels, Almost Doesn’t Count, Ladies’ Night Out and These Are My Confessions, with Penguin Group and HarperCollins. Her latest novel is Diary of a Stalker with Kensington. The self-proclaimed, Queen of Real, Electa has been a frequent guest on radio shows, has been nominated for many industry awards and has been interviewed by newspapers, AOL’s Black Voices, Vibe Vixen, Upscale Magazine, Today’s Black Woman, Rolling Out and Booking Matters, to name just a few. She is currently following her true passion and working on her next novel.

BPM: Introduce us to your book, Diary of a Stalker.

Never judge a book by its cover. . .
Xavier Preston is tall, dark, and handsome, and the problem is that he knows it. He’s a bestselling author who is accustomed to adoring female fans, both young and old, flirting with him, throwing themselves shamelessly at him, and trying to get between more than the covers of his novels. He has always been more than willing to accommodate their needs and desires; however, his womanizing days have finally ended. He’s engaged to a beautiful woman, Kendall, and he’s decided to walk the straight and narrow. Or has he?

From outside appearances, the very stunning Pilar has it all: a great career, a beautiful home, and a trust fund that keeps her financially secure; however, looks can be deceiving. All that glitters isn’t necessarily gold. Pilar is searching for her perfect soulmate, and she thinks she has found him in Xavier. She believes in going after what she wants with a vengeance . . . and she wants Xavier. That is not negotiable. She will have him, even if it kills him.

When Xavier meets his fanatical fan, Pilar, he gets much more than he bargained for. What starts out as an erotic one-night stand quickly spirals out of control into a dangerous game of obsession and pain with both parties playing to win. Think you know what goes on behind the literary scene? Think again.

BPM: Tell us about your newest release, Diary of a Stalker.
Diary of a Stalker: a best-selling male author gets more than he bargained for when he meets a fanatical female fan. What starts out as a one-night stand quickly spirals out of control and into a dangerous game of obsession and pain.

As always, I offer readers an entertaining, steamy story that is fast paced, thought provoking, relationship based with an added twist. Readers will be fascinated and appalled at what drives some people to get what they want at whatever cost. I think I have birthed characters that my readers will develop a love/hate relationship and hopefully will be talking back to the book as they experience the various emotions that my characters pull out of them. Diary of a Stalker will make for heated book club discussions across the country and readers will definitely be talking about it the next day.

Since it has been a couple of years since my last novel, Ladies’ Night Out, dropped, I wanted this new release to be something a little different from my previous novels. Yet, I wanted to maintain the core elements that my books are known for. The drama, the fast-paced nature, and the steamy relationship-based elements are still alive and well.

I have attended a lot of literary events such as conferences, signings, workshops, etc. After awhile I started to notice a pattern no matter what city or state I was in. Even though the avid readers, mostly female, poured much love my way (I love you back), I noticed the male authors received an extra dose (smile). Maybe because there aren’t as many male authors??? I noticed if I attended a large event, I would see some of the same female readers hanging out with the same male authors. Hmmm. So then, I started thinking about how groupies follow rock bands, rappers, professional athletics, actors and entertainers. Why wouldn’t this exist in the literary arena as well? Throw a few over the top “what if questions” into the mix and Diary of a Stalker was born.

BPM: Besides the actual writing process, what is the most gratifying aspect of being a writer?
Hands down, the most gratifying part of being an author has been meeting and greeting new and interesting readers who are embracing my stories and e-mailing me and writing me and meeting me at signings and telling me how much they’ve enjoyed my books! We talk about my characters like they are old friends. No matter how many times I’ve experienced this, it always makes my day. Puts a big Kool-Aide smile on my face (LOL).

Their (the readers) feedback and reactions totally validates that my craft is a gift from God! If I can touch a number of people with my stories or even if I only entertain them and they don’t walk away with a life lesson, then I’ve still done my job.

As you know, my stories are typically relationship based, very drama filled with an ounce of spice thrown in, well maybe a pound of spice thrown in, and they usually cover a topical issue that is prevalent in today’s society. Believe me, I have so many characters screaming inside my head, waiting to tell their story, that I feel like the lady from the movie Sybil (LOL). So, bottom line, I pray and claim that my readership base will continue to grow and I’ll have wonderful opportunities to meet many more fans.

BPM: If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
Don’t laugh, but if I weren’t a writer, I’d probably be a psychiatrist. I absolutely love getting inside people’s heads and seeing how or why they tick the way they do. The human psyche totally amazes and intrigues me to no end.

BPM: How do you deal with adversity and failure?
I stress out! I totally freak out, have a pity party, and take to my bed (LOL)! I’m laughing, but I’m pretty accurate. I’m so hard on myself, I’m my worst critic, and I’ve got to stop doing that. I can’t enjoy my successes because I’m too busy worrying about what I could have done better or thinking about the next venture.

After I finally pull myself out of bed and stop my pity party (this usually lasts for roughly 24 hours), I analyze my situation like I’m breaking down a trigonometry problem. After all is said and done, I learn the lesson, file it in my permanent memory bank, remember I’m still standing and move on. In afterthought, life lessons are wonderful, even the ones filled with adversity and failure; they make us stronger and wiser and who we are today.  Also, if I may add, I have a good support team in place with my family and friends. Plus, I have a solid spiritual foundation that keeps me strong and undaunted by the dream dashers.

BPM: How do you define success?
Good question. Personally, I define success as being able to do something you truly love on a day to day basis, getting paid for it in the process, giving back to the community (to whom much is given, much is expected) and being the best person you can be which enables you to sleep peacefully at night. To me, those combined elements make you a successful person. And. . . if you place God and your family first, the sky’s the limit!

BPM: What is one thing most readers don’t know about you?
Most readers don’t know that I’m moody and a real perfectionist. Well, I guess that is two things. LOL.

Author Electa Rome Parks

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