Interview with Jim Parsons

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I certainly do ... and it was published! I was in Grade 5 in primary School and was thrilled to be published in the end-of-year school magazine. If I recall rightly, the story was about 6 lines long, involved finding a ghost in my room, throwing an alarm clock at it and watching it go clean through. Of course, I woke up to discover it was just a dream. I have subsequently learned that this is not an acceptable way to end stories.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is to immerse myself in the world of my books, become one of the imaginary family and listen to them talk around the table. It is a dangerous, seductive practice because sometimes this solitary occupation seems more desirable than socialising with family and friends.
What do your fans mean to you?
They give me a sense of worth. When I get hand-written letters from elderly people who say Beetle Creek took them back to their own childhood, or emails that tell me frankly that the reader laughed out loud at the funny chapters but cried at the end of Beetle Creek ... that is a measure of success far more valuable than a writing award or a million sales.
What are you working on next?
I am polishing two completed manuscripts for publication. One is a kid's middle grade story (ages 10-12) called Blake the Bored. Here's the synopsis:
"Arise, Sir Blake the Bored!”
Recruited by the treacherous Sir Hubert Tussleberry, twelve-year-old Blake Abbott, Tortellini's newest knight, will never be bored again – the evil Garunchi are on his tail, his mother is about to be sacrificed to a dragon and, worst of all, Princess Olivia can't make up her mind whether to kill him or kiss him.

Some friends in Germany thought it was such a funny kids' book that it needed to be published in Germany. They offered to translate it, so I am almost ready to offer both an English and German version.

My second completed novel is an ambitious historical family saga called Aunt Harriet's Legacy. It is set in colonial Australia between 1850-1890 and also in London and Sierra Leone. It examines the stultifying place of middle-class women in Victorian society, and shows a heroine torn between respect for the Old Country, much lauded by her maiden aunt, and the burgeoning freedom offered by the more carefree colonial life. Sarah must decide whether her adored Aunt Harriet has the answers. Is waiting for the perfect English gentleman such a good idea?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to travel and spend months in Europe and Britain most years. At home, I live on the glorious Gold Coast of QLD and can fish at my back door. Even though I am officially retired, I have a novel-writing course [ www.novel-writing-course.com ] that is very popular, so I am marking assignments daily. I also offer writer mentoring and edit manuscripts and academic theses and journal articles [ www.oz-edit-proofreading.com. ] Often I am too busy working on other writers' work to progress my own. Sob!
Describe your desk
Oh my God, I'd rather not.
Published 2015-12-19.
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Books by This Author

Beetle Creek
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,480. Language: Australian English. Published: December 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
The Bournleys of Beetle Creek - you'll love 'em, but you'll be so glad they're not your family. This wildly funny Aussie bush yarn takes a nostalgic look at life in the bush in the 1950s. Seven-year-old Denny blackmails the neighbours, teenagers Marcie and Davo are over-sexed and over-endowed, spooky little Lucy foretells the future ... and Jack, the budding author, writes it all down.