An Interview with Golden Keyes Parsons: Trapped?

Sep 27, 2012 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy –

1)      Golden, first of all, for our readers, could you briefly highlight the first few books you have done and how they are doing?

My first series, Darkness To Light, was based loosely on my French Huguenot ancestors who fled the Catholic persecution in 17th century France. “In The Shadow Of The Sun King” was a finalist for American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Author of the Year Award in 2008; “Prisoner of Versailles” (Book Two) was a finalist for the Romance Writers Association’s Daphne Award for Historical Romantic Suspense in 2009 and the Golden Scroll Award for Book of the Year in 2010; “Where Hearts Are Free” (Book Three) was a Women of Faith Library Selection.

My fourth book, “His Steadfast Love,” A Civil War Novel Set in Texas, was a finalist for RWA’s National Reader’s Choice Award.

Sales have been decent, but not spectacular. Except “Prisoner” was a Top Ten bestseller in Holland! The Darkness to Light series was translated into German, Dutch, Hungarian, Finnish and Slovenian. The books have done pretty well in Europe. As you can see, I’ve done better garnering recognition in writer’s organizations than in sales.

2)      You use the phrase “compelling fiction for the bold at heart “- where did that come from and what does it mean?

A couple of marketing specialists and I spent a few days during a marketing boot camp working on a “tag” for my writing. My writing seems to be a bit edgier than most of the other CBA (Christian Booksellers Assoc) books.

There’s plenty of action, and my female leads are a bit headstrong and rebellious. The full tagline we came up with was “Compelling Fiction For The Bold At Heart – Just a Lifetime Away.” That got a bit cumbersome, I shortened it. My agent says my books are too Christian for the secular market, and too secular for the Christian market. LOL!! I’m kinda caught in the middle, I guess.

3)      A Civil War Novel Set in Texas—tell us about that !

I absolutely loved doing the research on this book. I learned so much about my home state and the Civil War.

This year was the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. I wanted to write something about Texas, and not much has been written concerning Texas and the Civil War. So I just struck out and started doing the research.

Texas was actually very divided about entering the Civil War. Governor Sam Houston was adamantly against it. In fact he made a rousing speech against it here in Waco before the war, and he was run out of town! And I never knew that there was a prisoner of war camp in Tyler … and we lived in that area for ten years. Just lots of great history that I was never aware of.

4)      Now, let’s talk about Trapped- what were you trying to accomplish in this book?

I’m so glad you asked about that. This book has been in my heart for years. In fact, I initially wrote it about 15 years ago, but no publishers were interested in it. Biblical fiction was on the wane, and it deals with a subject that most CBA publishers don’t want to touch – adultery. But WhiteFire Publishing is a house that is not afraid to tackle the tough subjects.

What I want to accomplish in this particular book is to offer hope to women who may have felt “Trapped!”  by circumstances. The premise of the novel is that she, the adulterous woman, was trapped in order to frame Jesus. The biblical text does suggest this. It indicates that she was a betrothed virgin. And where was her partner? The law stated that both were to be brought before the rabbis.

Also, I would like for women to catch hold of the vastness of God’s forgiveness. Here was a woman who was caught in the very act of sin, but Jesus’s reaction was forgiveness. He wasn’t angry with her nor did he condemn her. It doesn’t matter where we’ve been or what we’ve been involved in, God’s response when we turn to him is always love and compassion.

As for the series, it seemed interesting to me that some of the most seminal encounters with Jesus involved women–and we don’t even know their names. I wanted to investigate their stories (albeit fiction) and give them names offering hope to women today in similar circumstances.

5)      It seems that women have more intricate complex emotional needs than men- does this book address this issue?

Do you think? Yes, these books do address those issues. And honestly, the woman at the well has proven to be the most difficult one—5 husbands! How do you write and make the narrative believable dealing with 5 husbands! Plus there is very little historical evidence about the Samaritans, much less Samaritan women. But each one of these woman has emotional issues they deal with in the books.

6)      Many books have a clear antagonist and clear protagonist- is there this clarity in Trapped ?

Very much so. Without giving away too much of the story, the woman, Anna, is the protagonist, the one the reader is rooting for. And Eli, the one who woos her into the trap, is the antagonist. But we all know that interesting characters have good and bad attributes–makes them more interesting. So do these characters.

7)      Let’s talk about adultery- is this a good topic for a book? Especially in this time period?

Wow! You ask great questions–exactly the questions I would like to be addressed.

Is it a good topic for a book? The pivotal word would be “good.” I don’t know if it is a “good” topic, but it certainly is a realistic topic, even in modern society. And to put it mildly, it is a tricky subject to write about in the CBA market. To put enough conflict in the intimate scenes without being offensive to the Christian audience can be done, but it takes some finesse to do so.

By “time period,” do you mean “today?” You know, God’s standards are salient and true, no matter whether it is in the biblical era or 2012. Adultery is wrong and is detrimental and devastating to the individuals involved. As pastors who have counseled many couples whose marriages were destroyed by affairs, my husband and I can attest to the fact that no matter how common it might be, or how accepted by our culture, it is always destructive.

8)      What other projects do you have going on?

I am working on a Christmas book, an Edwardian novel and a time travel.

9)      Do you have a web site where interested readers can visit?

Absolutely! www.goldenkeyesparsons.com

10)   What have I neglected to ask?

Some of your readers may not be aware of the fact that I am available to speak at women’s and writer’s events, and my husband, Blaine, and I lead marriage conferences as well. We can be contacted through the web site.

Thank you so much for the interview. Like I mentioned above, I love your thoughtful questions. Blessings to all!

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