23 July 2009

Getting to Know you Thursday's with Donald James Parker

Welcome Donald James Parker today to Getting to know you Thursdays.
Thanks for being on my blog this week.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a driven individual. Forty hours or more a week are devoted to programming for the company that pays my bills. About four hours a week are devoted to church. The rest of my life except for sleep, eating, and a little time for exercising and recreating belongs to my writing career. Promoting the kingdom of God and proclaiming to mankind the need to prepare the way of the Lord is my goal. I truly believe that we are drawing near to the time where no man can work, and I must give all I can to the Lord's cause now.

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books? I was a voracious reader as a child. The Land of Oz, Peter Pan, westerns, Call of the Wild, Little House on the Prairie, any sports novel, and Perry Mason stories. In the summer I sometimes read four books in a day (the limit for checkout at our local library at the time). (Jenny here oh how I wish I could read that fast I feel good if I read 2 books in a week)

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write?

I'm a sucker for romance and humor, but I don't think those ingredients necessarily constitute genres. You can include those two elements in any other genre. All of my books have male-female relationships woven into the plot of the story and my desire to be a stand-up comedian is always evident in my writing.

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
Mark Twain, Jack London, John R. Tunis, Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author? I was about 10 years old. I wrote one paragraph and decided I wasn't ready yet and deferred writing my first novel for twenty more years. After two rejected submissions, I gave up the dream. That was a big mistake. Unfortunately I didn't have the Internet then, so I could learn about the writing industry and realize exactly what needed to be done to succeed.

6. How did you go about becoming an author?

It's funny. I abandoned the dream but every once in a while I would get a plot for a novel and tuck it away in my head. I had no timetable for resurrecting the dream, but thought after retirement I might give it another shot. Then a life changing experience arrived. In September of 2006 I awoke one morning at two o'clock. Partially asleep, I had the feeling that I had experienced a dream or else heard a small still voice tell me to write a book about evolution, a topic I knew almost nothing about. In the morning when I awoke fully, the experience was still vivid in my memory banks. I asked the Lord if he had indeed asked me to write a book about Evolution. That small still voice inaudibly said - "And when you're done with that, I want you to go after Harry Potter and the sexual revolution." Sounded like a yes to me. Despite my fear of failure and my ignorance concerning the subject matter (I know you are supposed to write about what you know best), I decided to pursue an investigation. If God had really spoken to me, I was not going to drag my feet and not even check it out. After researching one book dealing with evolution, I knew that I had been called to battle for God's truth. Despite holding down a full time job, I somewhat reluctantly threw myself into the effort and did more research as I begin to weave a foundation around a love story. Most of the first section of the book is typical of a young adult romance novel. Then I threw enough facts into the story to present most of the basic and pertinent information dealing with the flaws of Darwinism and the controversy surrounding it. I tried to balance the science lesson with a equal doses of humor, romance, and scripture and ended up with what I've been told is a great story. After more research, I decided to self-publish and subsequently started my own publishing company called Sword of the Spirit. My writing has improved since then, as I polished my original novel and completed seven original novels in the next two years.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?

An actor. I love being in skits and plays. I was in a couple of short movies at church. Getting involved in TV and big screen movies is a goal of mine right now, mostly as a writer, but if I got the chance to play a role, I'd be thrilled.

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?

I think I had enough fun when I was younger. Jesus is coming back soon and I'm trying to ensure that my pot is filled with oil. I still try to stay in shape, spend some quality time with God (never enough of that though), and do some occasional fishing. I love to do lots of other stuff, but I refuse to give my time up for them. I have an eternity in Heaven to rest from my labors here.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?

I would love to visit Scotland, New Zealand, and Tahiti but I'd have to bring a laptop to keep working.

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?
Heidi Baker - missionary to Mozambique (Iris Ministries) - to feel the intensity of the love she has for people and get information on the countless people that have been healed through their outreaches. I want to chronicle these types of miracles in a novel some day.

JK Rowling: Because I'd like to witness to her about the damage she's done through her Harry Potter series and help her encounter the real supernatural power of God.

Bill Gates - so I could convince him to use some of his money for the kingdom of God, including investments for making movies that will change peoples' lives.

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web. I currently have eight novels that address the three topics that God spoke to me about as mentioned above and one more secular novel about basketball.
Sometime in August my newest will release. It is called Homeless Like Me and will put a spotlight on homelessness, the economy, and homosexuality (quite a combination). My next two books will be a book about Native Americans and a book that is somewhat a rewrite of C.S. Lewis' book Screwtape Letters.

Tex Harris has just turned 70 and been put out to pasture by his employer. The curtain seems to be falling on his life. Before the obese soprano can vocalize the final notes, Tex discovers there is more to living than a career. After rescuing a damsel in distress on the freeway, he decides the role of hero fits him as well as the white Stetson he always wears. He organizes a group of senior citizens to patrol the highway to help those in need. His quest brings him into contact with Lizzie, an attractive widow who captures his heart. Unfortunately, she also wins the affection of Tex 's best friend and his newly acquired nemesis. The three compete for Lizzie's affections as they all experience new things together. Tex learns that being a hero sometimes means making enemies, but more importantly that discovers that forgiveness is the most wonderful gift of all.

Cheri is an innocent fourteen-year-old raised in a small town in Nebraska. Her father lands a promotion, demoting her to a status of 'nobody' in a much larger and inhospitable city. One of the few people she connects with in her new school spills the beans that Cheri is still a virgin. Some of her cool schoolmates frown on that condition and exert pressure on her to ditch her inhibitions. Faced with the loneliness of the new environment coupled with relationship problems with her father, Cheri finds the temptation growing strong. When her father assigns an older babysitter, she is ready rebel. However, she finds that Jean Macalester is no ordinary sixty-year-old, especially to a girl with aspirations of resuming a love affair with music. Jean's womanly wisdom, background as a flute teacher, and love of God provide a counterweight to the peer pressure of Judy Green, the girl who goes on a personal crusade to convert Cheri to coolness. When Cheri and Duke Williams, Cheri's new crush, discover the church youth group planning a chastity pledge, they have to decide whether to join. In addition to dealing with guarding her own purity, Cheri tries to help friends in distress, win top chair in the band, and set her dad up with the teacher from the chastity class. Everything comes to a climax when two of her friends are brutally assaulted, and they all look to the peace that passes all understanding that only God can provide.

The Morales family is divided with two positive votes for Harry Potter and one against. Only the father's negative ballot is accepted in the election, and HP books go on the forbidden reading list. Barbara, a bombshell who has bewitched Mr. Morales, urges him to get a life. The kids complain he is not practicing what he preaches in regard to discovering truth for oneself, so he consents to study the first book with them to search for concrete evidence that Harry is a bad influence. In the meantime, the kids' world gets turned upside down when a new family moves to town and starts a gang, pulling the Morales kids in. This is no ordinary group of troublemakers, though they do encounter trouble at every turn. Adam, the son of an Assembly of God pastor, is the leader of the God Squad, whose members use Holy Spirit power to get into and out of adventures in a classic duel between magick and miracles.

Book 1 of the Masterson Family Series - There seem to be four inevitable things about Madison, South Dakota: The winters are cold, the summers are hot, the wind never ceases, and the Bulldogs always field a losing basketball team. Lance Masterson, who is known to his peers by the nickname of Bambi, can't do anything about the weather, but he decides he can do something about the basketball program. Though only an eighth grader, he drafts a document dubbed The Bulldog Compact in which the signers pledge to give do everything they can to win the state basketball championship. The mission they chose to accept is to train their bodies, minds, and spirits to make a heroic attempt at conquering the summit of South Dakota basketball. Bambi and his friends come of age as they find it is easier to sign on the dotted line than to pour out the blood, sweat, and tears needed to reach their goal. They discover that not only do they have to overcome the bigger schools of the class A ranks but also have to battle themselves and the naysayers of their own community in order to hang onto their dream.

Book 2 of the Masterson Family Series - The saga of Bambi continues as the young basketball player steps up to the college level. Later, the end of his scholastic days brings new changes and challenges as he enters the playing court of adult life. He discovers his enthusiasm, energy, and talent aren't always enough to win this game. A new friend introduces him to the Evolution debate, and Bambi begins a new chapter in his life as he becomes a truth seeker. Many novels have been written about boys sports, but girls track and cross country have been mostly ignored. These sports are featured in this book through the exploits of a delightful new character named Maria, whom readers watch growing up in this story.

Book 3 of the Masterson Family Series - For Jeremy, a high school senior growing up near Seattle, there are five seasons: rainy, dry, football, basketball, and baseball season. Jeremy`s world has always revolved around his father and sports. Now there is a new Heavenly body in town whose gravity is pulling Jeremy away from the orbit around his dad. Maria Masterson, the new girl in school, is on a mission to make her voice heard in the debate over the theory that man evolved from lower life forms. Jeremy`s father adamantly believes in Charles Darwin`s theory. Who will win the tug of war over Jeremy`s heart and mind?

Book 4 of the Masterson Family Series - Jeremy has studied the theory of evolution and its inherent weaknesses. His conclusion is that the world itself is a testimony to the existence of a creator. He decides to throw himself into studying religion to find out if he can determine who that creator might be and what such a powerful entity desires of him. His motivation is strong due to his love for Maria, who introduced him to Christianity, but Jeremy won't sacrifice truth even for the love of his life. He must find satisfactory answers to all of his inquiries, in order to pave the way to a mutually dedicated relationship based on common ideals.

Book 5 of the Masterson Family Series - Maria Masterson and Jeremy Dillon are loving, innocent kids whose world is about to be altered drastically. Their decision to engage the culture they live in and battle for truth in the debate concerning the creation of the Universe and mankind, leads them into conflicts in which their adversaries do not always fight by Queensberry rules. A reminder that Christians are to overcome evil with good halts them in their tracks in an attempt to fight back with similar methods. Their only weapon is the Sword of the Spirit of Truth. Their dexterity in the use of this weapon increases as the two are pulled into a battle that they can't win in their own power. This novel exposes some real life dangers that pose a risk to the most innocent among us. Lessons in dealing with adversity, whether common relationship issues, lifestyle choices, or physical and emotional intimidation, abound. This book is fiction but could serve as a primer on how to stand tall in a world that wants any person of faith in their Creator to lay low. Readers will be encouraged to know that they do not stand alone, and there is hope for a happy ending. This book presents intellectual and moral handholds and toeholds for those who are not afraid to do some spiritual rock climbing. For those who were not aware of the state of the universe, a whole new world will open up.


Jenny said...

I enjoyed the interview, Jenny. Thanks for sharing.

It sounds like you're quite a busy guy, Donald. :)

I read "All the Voices of the Wind" quite a while back, and really enjoyed it.

Donald James Parker said...

Yes, I am a busy guy, Jenny.
And a big thanks to AusJenny for posting this interview.
God bless!!!

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