About Paul Russell Parker III:
Paul Russell Parker III is married, and has two children. Born in southern California, he now lives on the Crystal Coast in North Carolina. He enjoys taking his kids to their many dance and sporting events. He likes to watch football, and taking his family on trips. He is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps, and Operation Iraqi Freedom 1. After the military he got out and earned his Associate’s degree from Coastal Carolina Community College, and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Since then he’s traveled all over the world, and has held a multitude of jobs. Including working on military contracts throughout several Middle Eastern countries. He would like to write a few stories that he hopes others may enjoy.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve been an avid reader my whole life. I read everything, and anything. I love getting caught up in a good story, and feeling like I’m in the universe that the author created. This inspired me to want to create my own stories. I want to be able to write a story that others can get wrapped up in.
Tell us about your writing process.
I work a day job, and take my kids to their after school activities. I write when I have free time. I usually come up with the book idea, and then write some notes on it. Then I develop the characters. I’ll come up with all sorts of bio or background info that won’t ever make it into the book. It helps me give the character their own distinct personality or style.
After that, I’ll work on a plot line, or story line. I’ll break the story line up into chapters, and write notes on what each chapter should entail. I use a lot of notepads on my computer, as well as Word.
I don’t follow a word count, but know that I should be around a certain amount of words midway through the book. I know I should be around 80-100k words at the end of the novel.
That was the process I developed after my first novel. I’ve used this process for the 2nd novel I published, and the 3rd one that I’m working on now.
For my first novel? I did something different. I developed the story, and wrote some notes. I pretty much had an idea of what I wanted to write from start to finish. I added notes as I went for parts later on in the book. I developed the main characters in detail. Then I got to writing. I just wrote in paragraph form. Like I was writing an essay. No formatting for dialogue, no chapters, and ignored word count.
When I finished the novel, it took a long time to go back to break it up into chapters. Then formatting for dialogue. Then worrying about word count.
Knowing what you want per chapter is a big help as you write. Editing and formatting as you go also helps save you a lot of time when you’re done.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t listen or talk to my characters, but I feel like they’re real. They are living in the world I created. I just observe, and create for them. I can see them in my mind, and they have their own personalities. I’ve been writing a trilogy, and feel like I’ve known my main characters their whole lives!
I write realistically though. I’m not writing super soldier, undefeated type of people. My characters are regular people. They make mistakes, do bad things, do good things, and live with consequences. Just like in real life. I want the best for them, but we all don’t get the best in life.
What advice would you give other writers?
Find out what works best for you by writing! Just write. Write as much as you can. Sit down for a few hours and write. Or sit down for a few minutes here and there. Do whatever it takes to get your story out. You can worry about everything later. The most important thing is to write your story out. Take tips from others later, but it’s your story. Stay true to it, and readers will appreciate it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I work a day job, and take my kids to their school year round after school activities. Dance studio and sports. My wife takes night classes. So I don’t have a lot of free time, and don’t have a lot of resources. I had to make a decision. Will I try to sink a lot of money into writing? Will I spend a lot of time I don’t have in getting a publisher to take me on? Is writing my career, or a passion of mine?
I decided that I will self publish. I don’t have the time to do anything else right now. I do everything on my own, as I have time to do it. It’s probably not the best way to do things, but it works for me. It can be both a career, and a passion, but not for me right now. I have to pay bills, so I write novels as my 2nd job. It’s something I’m passionate about, but not relying on it to pay the bills.
Self Publishing has been incredibly easy for me. I literally spend no money to write or create the novels. I do everything for the book, from start to finish. I only use free promotion websites as well.
I noticed that when I had one novel, I didn’t get much notice as a self publisher. Book 2 brought more notice. People buy one book, and then buy the other. I’m hoping for more success with each book I publish, and have a dozen more book ideas written down.
I would say that if you can find a traditional publishing house to publish your book? Go for it. If paying a vanity press is an option because you have funds, go for that. If you write for fun, and don’t expect a lot of sales right away? Then self publish. Self publishing is the smallest way to start, and you have to work hard to get your book noticed. It keeps your work in your control though.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think if you’re an untested, and untried novice author? It will be extremely hard breaking into the traditional publishing business. Vanity presses are taking off, because people can just pay to get their work out there.
I believe self publishing ebooks is the wave of the future. It enables anybody to write and publish. No more rejections, and no more waiting a year or two for your book to come out after you wrote it. It will put more books in people’s hands, and bring the prices for books down. But it will also be available for more readers than ever before.
What genres do you write?: Action, Thriller, Romance, Sci Fi, Military, Young Adult
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.