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Talking Books with Joni Parker, author of The Seaward Isle Saga

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Joni ParkerJoni Parker was born in Chicago, Illinois, but left the windy city at an early age when her family moved to Japan. Upon return to the United States, her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she graduated from Camelback High School and began college. However within months, Joni quit college and joined the Navy where she became a Photographer’s Mate. After 3 years in the Navy, she returned to college and got married. She got a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA before she returned to the Navy. As a Commissioned Officer, Joni attended the US Army Command and General Staff College, completing a Master of Military Arts and Sciences Degree. She retired from the Navy with over 22 years of service and spent several years traveling the United States in a motorhome with her husband. When he died unexpectedly, Joni returned to work for the federal government in a civil service job. Five years ago, she started writing and retired once more to devote more time to her new passion. She currently lives in Texas.

Her latest fantasy books are The Black Elf of Seaward Isle, Tangled Omens and Blood Mission.

For More Information

Black Elf 3Title: The Black Elf of Seaward Isle
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 330
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle

On the mysterious Seaward Isle, Alex, the young daughter of Count Dumwalt, escapes Wizard Mylar’s attack on her father’s fortress with the help of two men, Hamlin and Tyrone, who take her to her brother in the village of Nyla. Disguised as a boy to stay at the Sword Academy with her brother, she learns of the death of her parents and vows to avenge their deaths. At the same time, a witch on the far side of the island predicts the rise of the Black Elf, the only person with the power to kill a wizard.

Meanwhile, Alex’s stay at the academy is cut short when the headmistress arranges her adoption by a Scinthian Scout, an Amazon warrior and her Dwarf companion. When her adoptive mother is killed in a pirate attack, Alex returns home to Nyla where Tyrone, now the Governor, takes her in as his ward as he accepts a cadre of Scinthian soldiers for training to restore their decimated Army. Since Alex can speak their language, she becomes a training liaison, leading to her selection as an elite soldier and assassin known as a tracker. Her first mission succeeds beyond all expectations and results in her selection as a training officer for the Scinthians, still involved in an extensive training program.

Upon assignment to a remote border outpost, Alex discovers evidence of foul play—eight missing soldiers. As she attempts to uncover the mystery, she meets with resistance and skepticism, but she leads a mission to save them. As she basks in her glory, the wizard shows up to seek revenge on Governor Tyrone, forcing Alex to intervene.

For More Information

  • The Black Elf of Seaward Isle is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Watch the book trailer at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Tangled Omens 3Title: Tangled Omens
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 320
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Alex, now an experienced soldier and proven tracker, goes undercover to learn the fate of a pirate leader. As she conducts her investigation in the market, she has her fortune read by the famous Witches of Winden, renown fortunetellers. Unimpressed, she’s about to leave when a man barges into the tent demanding his fortune be read. Alex observes and notices similarities to hers–their omens seem entangled, but she dismisses it as coincidence. However, she learns that he’s the Horseman, the most dangerous pirate spy on Seaward Isle and wanted for treason by her King. Although she attempts to follow him, he sails away on a ship.

When she returns home, she reports the incident to Governor Tyrone who tasks her to find and kill him or die trying, her first tracker mission. Although she doesn’t know his real name, she’s the only one who can recognize him. His trail leads her north, deep into the pirate stronghold of Riverton, her first solo mission.

For More Information

Blood Mission 3Title: Blood Mission
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 323
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle

While on leave from the army, Alex visits her cousin, Prince Darin of the Water Elves, and arrives in time to thwart an assassination attempt ordered by the rogue Elf Mellen. Although weakened by poison, the Prince assigns Alex a Blood Mission to kill Mellen. However, Alex finds the Elf elusive as he organizes and trains his pirates to take over the harbor at Agana, the best deep water port on the island.

At the same time, Alex must deal with Colonel Jeffrey, a handsome young man determined to marry her for her inheritance. Alex rejects his advances and faces his wrath, becoming the target of several murderous plots. Unfortunately, her path to success includes Colonel Jeffrey as she needs him and his soldiers to stop the Elf Mellen before he takes over and destroys the fragile civilization on the island.

For More Information

  • Blood Mission is available at Amazon.
  • Watch the book trailer at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Joni. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Multi-published. My first series was published by a small indie press, Village Green Press LLC. It consists of three books—The Black Elf of Seaward Isle, Tangled Omens, and Blood Mission. In addition, my publisher had me write a bonus estory, The Island Game: The Inside Story of Seaward Isle to help readers understand the island a little better.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

Initially, I self-published my first book, The Black Elf of Seaward Isle, but soon realized that was a mistake. It wasn’t properly edited and the cover wasn’t up to par. Later, I found an editor who took my books with her on her new endeavor, running a small indie press. She’s published all of my books so far.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

I signed a contract in May 2012 and my first ebook, The Black Elf of Seaward Isle, was published in July. The print version followed over a year later.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I was very excited when my self-published book was released in December 2010 and my friends even had a book signing party for me at a restaurant. The subsequent re-release by my publisher in July 2012 was without any fanfare. I couldn’t figure out a way to have a book signing for an ebook.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

The first thing I did was to send an email to all my friends and relatives to let them know I published a book. I was very excited.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I had a long dry spell of writing before I took it up again about 6 years ago, so I was very rusty. It took me several years to shake the rust out and get back in the swing. My vocabulary has improved and my style has become more fluid. Being published isn’t what made the difference. The process of writing, editing, re-writing, and plain hard work did.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The most surprising thing about the publishing industry is the need for authors, self-published or traditional, to be so involved in marketing. I guess I took it for granted that books would sell on their own merit, but they don’t. Marketing takes a lot of time and effort and is way out of my comfort zone. For me, writing was the easier part of the process; marketing is hard work.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

I’ve gained self-confidence in myself and my writing ability. I improve every day.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Keep your dreams realistic. Chances are your book won’t make the best seller list, but celebrate if it does.

You can also visit my website is http://www.theblackelf.com. Like my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJoniParker. Follow me on twitter @ParkerJoni.

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