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Monday, March 21, 2011

A Ranger's Tale by Mysti Parker

First of all, thank you Brandy for having me on your blog today. Hope you’re doing well! I’m Mysti Parker, author of A Ranger’s Tale, my debut novel, available at Melange Books.

***For one lucky commenter on this post, I’ll give a free .pdf of my book, so please leave an email or contact link in your comment and I’ll draw a name on Thursday, March 24. ***

I hope you’ll all enjoy my post today!

Write What You Know

            When I began this crazy ride on the “writing bug”, as I so lovingly call it, I read a fabulous piece of advice. “Write what you know.” I was nodding my head in solemn agreement until I was shaking my head in shame. I’m a full time wife and mama of three. What the heck do I know?

As you can imagine, I was quite downtrodden by this realization. Especially when I read about writers who had lived much more worldly lives—literally traveling around the world, attending writing conferences in the Bahamas, scuba diving, hang-gliding, climbing Mt. Everest. If they had other occupations besides writing, they were way cooler than mine. They were doctors, lawyers, college professors. They’d all read 50,000 books and had written 10,000. I could never aspire to such great things, sitting here pecking at my little keyboard while my two-year old son climbs the “mommy jungle gym”.

Nevertheless, I kept pecking away, surrendering to the bug’s direction and after a while my thinking changed. It was a “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus” kind of thing.  The key to writing what I knew wasn’t Out There beyond my grasp. It was inside me, around me, hidden away in my memories, experiences, and every interaction I’d had with the people I love most in life.

With a new spring in my step (or typing fingers), I ran with this new idea and as a result, I think my writing has a truer voice now. In every story I write, themes of family, marriage, children, trust, forgiveness, and unconditional love emerge. And it took nothing more than really looking into who I am. The “who” is so much more than just a mom.

Growing up in rural Kentucky, I learned what it was like to live just above the poverty level. I lived through my grandmother’s death from Alzheimer’s and my mother’s death from lung cancer. Last year, my stepdad became ill and had to be placed in a nursing home, and my nephew died—it was a rough year. Through these hard times, though, I understand what it’s like to grieve, to be a caregiver, and to keep going when it feels like the world should stop for my heartache. Pain from events like these inspired this line from A Ranger’s Tale—“Clocks ticked, insistent reminders of time moving on when we didn’t want to”.

As in everyone’s case, my life hasn’t been a complete downer. The joys and blessings far outweigh the losses. On March 29, 1989, I became a Christian at the age of twelve. Faith has played a major role in my life, and comes out in my stories. It’ll be more evident in my work in progress, Serenya’s Song.

Of course, love is at the core of my romance tales. At the age of sixteen, my husband and I began dating and have been married for almost fourteen years now. Still very much in love, he inspires the romantic aspects of my stories. We’ve had three beautiful children. I was blessed to be able to deliver them all without so much as a pain pill and nursed them all for a year apiece. Being a mom is the best and hardest job I’ve ever had, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Consequently, marriage and children play a big role in A Ranger’s Tale and many of my other stories too.

Other aspects of life as I know it—a degree in biology, working in various service industries, books, movies, games, cooking, and other hobbies—fuel my writing as well.  I’m happy and proud to say that there’s a lot more to Mysti than “just a mom”.  So, if you think you’re in the “just a ___” camp, think again. Frank Cottrell Boyce summed my thoughts up quite succinctly in the article “The Parent Trap: Art After Children”. He says, “What is "me", if not the sum of all my relationships and obligations?” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/aug/01/art-children-pram-hallway)

Maybe you’re a mom, a grandmother, a nurse, a dental hygienist, a teacher, a librarian, a computer programmer. Whatever you are, you’ve got a whole treasure chest of inspiration right inside and right around you. Use it, run with it, and give your writing a voice only YOU can give. Write what you know, because even if you haven’t climbed Mt. Everest nor have three PhDs under your belt, the sum of your experiences is a story in itself.

Now, grab a cup of coffee, and read or write a good tale!

Check out Mysti’s blog, Unwritten, where she hosts author interviews, talks about writing and more! www.mystiparker.blogspot.com

      In the fantasy world of Tallenmere…

The high elf, Caliphany Aranea, nearly a century old, has never been allowed to travel farther than a few miles out of the capital city of Leogard. Her father, Sirius, leads the Mage Academy, and after losing his only son, he expects Caliphany to take his place one day. The trouble is, she doesn't want to study magic and doubts she'll ever be as good a wizard as her father. She dreams of leaving Leogard to explore the world and strike out on her own--lofty goals for Sirius' daughter, who also happens to be King Leopold's niece.

When two brutes at Leogard Harbor attempt to kidnap her while she dreams of faraway lands, half-elf ship captain and ranger, Galadin Trudeaux, comes to her rescue. From their first chance encounter, to the finale, where Caliphany must decide where her heart truly lies, she and Galadin will face more adventure, more love, more heartache, than they ever thought possible. Through it all, they discover the power of forgiveness and of a love that stands the test of time in A Ranger’s Tale.

Find A Ranger’s Tale at Melange Books.


  1. Thanks so much for having me! ~Mysti

  2. Oh wow Mysti! I'm so glad I came over to read your post today. It's an awesome essay full of encouragement and wisdom, one of those pieces that I wish I had read years ago.

    Sometimes I get completely discouraged with my writing and with writing "what I know." But your essay reminds me that all of my experiences made me who I am and gave me the voice I have. I just need to stop running from it all the time. Thanks Mysti and Brandy.

  3. Great blog Mysti. I like how you make me think of you as the girl next door. Of course reading Ranger's Tale was pure joy for me. I'm excited to read your others coming out. Best of luck to you.

  4. Very inspirational, Mysti. Good luck to you on all your future writing projects.


  6. I have to support my fellow writer because it is my fellow writers who support me. Without their encouragement and friendship, I would be _mom_, a woman?
    I am a poet, it has taken me hundreds of poems before ever saying that so yes, we are not 'just mom's', we are writers! What a great post!

    Onward and upward.
    Blessings in all you do!

  7. Great post! I had to warm up my hot tea while reading this. :) I'm sure visitors will feel like you're sitting right next to them...

    A Ranger's Tale sounds exciting, and so does your very busy life. So glad I stopped by!

  8. What a wonderful post! As a fellow writer I KNOW exaclty how hard and defeating writing can be! You're words are true inspiration! And A Rangers Tale sounds like a great read! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    Wishing you all the best!


  9. Thank you everyone for stopping by my blog & a BIG "THANK YOU" to Mysti for being my guest :)


  10. The Magic Hat has chosen a winner...

    Congratz Hotcha12! You'll be getting a free .pdf of A Ranger's Tale!

    All I need is your e-mail addy to send your prize. Thanks for entering!

    And thanks Brandy for hosting and everyone for the nice comments!