LET'S WELCOME: PARKER S. HUNTINGTON AUTHOR OF: ASHER BLACK
Parker S. Huntington
The Author of:
Rad-Reader: What was your inspiration behind it?
Parker: John Wick and John Wick 2 are two of my favorite movies. I love the way the mafia world is built in them, so I endeavored to write my own mafia book, but I toned it down with corporate elements to ease new mafia romance readers into the fold. The next one will be more focused on the mafia!
Rad-Reader: How long did it take you to come up with the character Asher?
Parker: Asher Black just came to me. I'm not sure if there's a set length, but rather he is a culmination of all my favorite alpha male traits into one respectful being--and that was important to me. He needed to respect Lucy and her decisions without demanding things of her.
Rad-Reader: How or what was your inspiration behind the design of his house?
Parker: My mother and father do real estate, though they live on separate sides of the country. Asher's penthouse is inspired by some of the real estate listings my mother has had.
Rad-Reader: Did you know about bulletproof clothing or did you find out about it doing research? I know it has been out for a long time.
Parker: I learned about bulletproof clothing in 2009, during the 2009 inauguration. The media was doing a piece on a suit President Obama was wearing. It was bulletproof and 13-year-old me thought that was the coolest thing ever. It's also featured in John Wick 2, but I watched that after I had written Asher Black.
Rad-Reader: Asher’s equipment like his car door is better than James Bond and smarter. How did you come up with the idea with the door with wheels for his car?
Parker: I came up with that idea a few years ago while watching a season of 24. Those that know me know that I'm obsessed with the show. My dogs are named after Jack Bauer and Chloe O'Brien from the series. That said, in one of the episodes, Jack and a few special ops guys are pinned down in a firefight. They take apart the bulletproof door and carry it as a shield to protect them, but doing so takes forever and results in everyone's death but Jack's. At the time, I thought, "There has to be a better way." And so I wrote about it.
Rad-Reader: What was your inspiration behind Lucy’s character?
Parker: Lucy is a combination between myself and a classmate of mine. Similar to Lucy, my classmate grew up in CA's foster system, volunteered around the world, then transferred to Harvard (or, in Lucy's case, Wilton). I wanted to pay homage to her amazing background, so I included it in Lucy. In terms of inner dialogue, Lucy is me. I am a nervous mental rambler and notorious over-thinker.
Rad-Reader: Did she turn out the way that you thought she would by the end of the book as when you first started?
Parker: Yes and no. Like me, Lucy battles with courage. She has a lot of fears, and she usually runs from them. In my personal life, I fear taking the risk and making a career out of writing. Writing Lucy was my way of dealing with that fear, and it's just so surprising that, as she worked through her fears, I worked through mine. Well, I'm still working through it...
Rad-Reader: I liked all of the TV references that would go off in her mind like “Shawn” from Psych and then Person of Interest. Were all of those originally part of her character or did they come about as you were writing her character?
Parker: I'm glad you liked that! I knew people would either love it or hate it, but I included them because I wanted to stay true to Lucy's character. As a foster kid, she didn't have money to go around doing things outside and she never stayed in one place long enough to have friends to hang out with. That left TV for her, along with books. That's why she's a book, movie, and television reference machine!
Rad-Reader: Was there a reason that you had her character come out of foster care?
Parker: Firstly, I wanted to pay homage to a friend and classmate, who went through similar struggles. Secondly, I wanted to address a very relevant issue in my home state of California, which has the biggest foster care population in the US. Lucy has the opportunity to travel abroad to volunteer and attend a community college online for her GEs thanks to California's program, which gives a stipend to and pays tuition for its foster children up until, I believe, the age of 22. This helps them get on their feet. Moreover, I like that Lucy acknowledges the faults of the system, but at the same time, she's grateful for the hard work of her social worker. Because, yes, there are going to be problems with a system that is underfunded yet cares for so many, but there are so many people working to improve it. That has to mean something.
Rad-Reader: Was Lucy’s college roommate Aimee based on any one person or multiple people you have met?
Parker: Aimee is... She's her own character. I can't even begin to describe her or attribute her to anyone else because she wouldn't like that. She'd probably throw a package of Starbursts at my head.
Rad-Reader: So have you heard from Dr. Rolland’s character and splash zone? Does he know he made it into your book? (Maybe he doesn’t even know about the splash zone.)
Parker: LOL. I've always wondered if my Professor (who Rolland is based on) knows that he spit talks. The funny thing is I always ended up in the splash zone, but his class was so fun and interesting that it never bothered me. Any other teacher and I probably would have transferred sections.
Rad-Reader: Do you use an outline to write or are you a pantser where you just sit down and write, then change things as you go along?
Parker: I write a loose outline, but... the book is 95% different from the outline. In fact, I don't know why I do it. The only thing that remains the same is the background of the characters.
Rad-Reader: Was this an easy story for you to write or did you need to make a lot of changes to it?
Parker: It was easy up until the end. I wasn't ready to let go of the characters, and I wanted to keep going. But, it had to end somewhere. I debated including an epilogue, but since it's a series, I voted against it, as it would give away parts of the next book. So, after a lot of thought, I decided to end the book with Lucy realizing that she's healed, has moved on, and is finally enjoying her life without running. I thought it was a fitting conclusion to her ultimate inner turmoil--overcoming her fears.
Rad-Reader: When you wrote this story were you already having ideas for another story? And how do you stay on task with the current story?
Parker: Yes! There are five books in this series, and there will be two spin-off series--Wilton University and Black Security. One takes place at Wilton, and the other is based on Asher's security team. So, it was so hard to keep focused on the current story. I allowed myself to jot down ideas and scenes from other novels, and then I'd go back to Lucy and Asher's story.
Rad-Reader: So was there anything special you did for yourself or family after getting your book published?
Parker: My family does not know about the book, nor do my friends! I ended up getting a massage. My fingers were cramped from writing essays for school, and I was so anxious about sales. The massage did wonders.
Rad-Reader: Are you already working on a new book or did you write one along with Asher Black?
Parker: I'm working on a new book! I started it last week, and I'm about 15% done with the draft. I hope to finish it soon, but I'm a full-time graduate student, and I'll be taking some courses over the summer.
Rad-Reader: Some other authors we interviewed, said that their publishers wanted more than one story before they would publish the first book. Was that the same for you?
Parker: I self-published, which was risky, but I like having control of my work. I am a poet, an essayist, a novelist, and an artist. I don't think I'd do well sharing the contractual rights of those elements of my being with anyone, at least for my sanity's sake. That said, it's a good idea to have a second book ready after the first since readers aren't always patient.
Rad-Reader: You were very detailed in Asher Black’s fighting skills. Did you talk to anyone about technics in fighting or did you just do web searches?
Parker: My boyfriend has a second-degree black belt. He's like my personal search engine of fighting techniques!
Rad-Reader: If your book was made into a movie who would play…
Lucy: Amanda Crew
Asher: Matt Bomer
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Aimee: I agree! Margot Robbie is a fantastic choice.
Asher: Matt Bomer is a great choice also!
Niccolaio: Justin Clynes
Rad-Reader: What song best describes the two main characters or the book the best?
Shape of You - Ed Sheeran
Parker: It's odd that that is the song that comes to mind, but for some reason, it does.
Take Your Time - Sam Hunt
Rad-Reader: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Parker: I didn't really know until last year when I declined my medical school acceptance letters and decided to pursue a Master's in Literature and Creative Writing. It was a huge risk, but I've loved writing stories since I was 6, when I won my first national award. And before that, I've been reading since I was 2. Perhaps it has always been in my blood.
Rad-Reader: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Parker: A writer, an astronaut, the president, and just about every other dream in the book.
Rad-Reader: If you could talk to the young Parker what would you tell her?
Parker: Don't waste your time on all those pre-med courses! Take some fun courses during your undergrad, and spend the extra time writing your novels!
Rad-Reader: What is the one thing you would take in an emergency no matter what?
Parker: My dogs. But, if it's an inanimate object, my hard drive full of stories!
Parker: Blakney Francis ("Someone I Used to Know")
Rad-Reader: How old are you?
Rad-Reader: Who is your favorite author?
Rad-Reader: What is your next project and when is it coming out?
Parker: I hope to have Niccolaio Andretti (Book 2 in the Series) out in June!
Rad-Reader: Where can our readers buy your books?
Parker: Amazon! They're free on KU and available in paperback on CreateSpace and Amazon Prime.
Rad-Reader: Where can our readers find you on the Web?
at May 26, 2017
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