Author Mysti Parker

Even When it Burns


Mysti Parker

rangerIn 2010, A Ranger’s Tale, my first fantasy romance book was published by Melange Books. Needless to say, I was quite excited and more than a bit naïve. I started scheduling book signings and other public appearances. One of those early showings was at the public library in my hometown for their book club’s monthly meeting. There, I would talk a bit about my writing and publishing process and read a passage from the book. Some of my family would be there too, so it was bound to be a great day.

The reality? Not so much. The ladies of the club gathered around a long table, while I sat at one end. For other authors, it might have felt like a place of honor, like Captain Kirk’s chair with less Spock. For me, it felt like being on the stand in front of a jury, accused of not being a real author.

That’s actually what one lady said as we wrapped up the hour. I think the exact quote was “I know a real author, Jane Smith*, and I don’t read fairy tales.”


I’d already endured the scowls from their group while I was speaking, and now I’d heard exactly what they were thinking the entire time.

Not a real author.

ranger2Don’t get me wrong. My family and the library staff were very gracious and happy to have me there. But these gals…they made me want to bury my head in a hole and never come out.

Had I not been stubborn, I may have thrown in the towel and gave up writing altogether after that, but I didn’t. Why? Because writing is a passion of mine. I want and need to write, and yes, I want to share my stories with the reading world.

So I dug in my heels and kept at it. I’ve published two more books in the Tallenmere series since then and am working on my fourth. I’ve expanded my horizons with romantic comedy, contemporary and historical romance and even children’s books.

Badge_Front copy

Me in elven warrior costume with mentor and author Leona Pence at Imaginarium in Louisville, KY, Sept. 2014.

 Though I have yet to speak to another book club, I’m no hermit. I’ve attended numerous conventions and book signings. Some have been good, some not so good. But I’ve met lots of great writers and fans who enjoy what I write and encourage me to write more.

Sure, I’ll never forget the book club turned trial, but I’m not letting one bad experience keep me from doing what I love. Or several bad experiences for that matter. It’s not just my ambitions that I have to consider. I have three children who watch what their mama does with keen eyes. I want them to know the satisfaction of working hard to achieve their goals. Even though I don’t want to see them struggling, I know they’ll have to if they want to succeed. I know that if they’re on fire for something, they’re going to get burned, but they’ll never know what they can accomplish if they don’t try.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite songs, one that helps me remember to keep getting up and forging ahead when the world (or snobby book club ladies) knock me down. No matter what your passion is, don’t let anyone tell you you’re not “real”. Get back up and try, try, try…

*Author’s name changed to protect identity.
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Bio: Mysti Parker is a wife, mom, author, and shameless chocoholic. She is the author of the Tallenmere standalone fantasy romance series and The Roche Hotel romantic comedy series. Her short writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, Christmas Lites II, Christmas Lites IV, The Darwin Murders, Tasteful Murders and EveryDayFiction. Her award-winning historical romance, A Time for Everything, will be published this summer by EsKape Press.

Other writing pursuits include serving as a class mentor in Writers Village University’s seven week online course, F2K. She has published one children’s book, Quentin’s Problem (as Misty Baker), with another (Fuzzy Buzzy’s Treasure) coming this spring. When she’s not writing fiction, Mysti works as a freelance editor and copywriter. She also reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder’s Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.


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5 Responses to Author Mysti Parker

  1. Mysti Parker

    @Kellie-thanks for commenting! I’ll check out your survey 🙂

    @Jeff-it’s hard to be excited about your work when people make you feel bad about it, but phooey on them. I’m still writing, and they can keep scowling.

    @Leona- You’re such an inspiration to me. Thanks for all the encouragement and feedback you’ve given over the past few years. It’s really made a difference.

    @Lisa-Thank you! It’s not easy to share stories like that, and I often read advice that authors aren’t supposed to talk about anything negative about their careers. I don’t like that. I want to be open and real about all the ups and downs so new writers will know what to expect.

  2. Lisa Finch

    Hi Mysti,
    I’m so glad you shared that story. It’s so hard to make it as a writer and, along the way, there are so many things (like form rejections) and people (who don’t think you’re “real” or treat your writing like it’s a hobby) that you have to face. You did so at the reading “trial” with grace and a great message! Thank you!

  3. Leona Pence

    Hi Mysti,

    I just opened Facebook and saw our picture. Nice surprise.

    I’ve only had two book signings on my own and both were good experiences. I was lucky, I guess, and my daughters being with me made a big difference.

    We can’t please everybody. You are an excellent writer as well as a good friend. One day your ship will come in.

    Keep on keeping on.


  4. Jeff Salter

    I had an experience partly similar to yours at the book club. It was a local writers group and while about half the room seemed interested and cordial, and maybe a quarter seemed ambivalent, there were at least two who scowled the whole time and conveyed the attitude that I wasn’t not worth listening to.
    Not sure how or why they formed that opinion, but there was no winning them over.

  5. Kellie

    I love this post, your determination is lovely to witness and I’m glad that everything seemed to turn out well in the end.

    I know this is random, and I’m terribly sorry, but I’m doing a graduate paper and I need some help with the research. Since you write romance, perhaps you could take a minute to answer this survey:

    Thanks in advance!

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