Monday, 22 October 2012

Author Spotlight - Q&A with Debra Parmley

STEPH: I don't know much about "Aboard The Wishing Star." Tell us about it.

DEBRA:My third book, Aboard the Wishing Star is the story of Kara, a widow who sails away aboard her first cruise thinking she has escaped her problems only to find they have followed her.

When Kara's husband is shot and killed in front of her in what she's told is a random act of violence, she becomes convinced the world is unsafe. Her life is quiet and predictable until she wins a Caribbean cruise for two and takes along her best friend Viv.

One of Kara's fears is a fear of deep water. She takes a first step in facing that fear by going on the cruise where she meets Nate, a scuba diver and ex marine.

Nate can't wait to teach Kara how to snorkel and will share his love of the sea with her, hoping she will overcome her fear.

Will Kara learn to trust Nate with her heart, when she fears this shipboard romance will reach an end and she'll never see him again, leaving her broken hearted?

When Kara's creepy boss, Daryl shows up at their first port of call unexpectedly, Nate's protective nature comes out.

Kara returns home from the cruise where her creepy boss is waiting and suddenly she doesn't feel so safe. She calls Nate, but will he rescue her?

STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

DEBRA: Aboard the Wishing Star was the second novel I wrote and it took a long time because the novel went through five rewrites to reach its present form. Several of them were major rewrites. This one has taken seven years and I'm thrilled it's finally out. The story wouldn't let me go and I'm thankful it found a home at Desert Breeze Publishing.

STEPH: Did you have to do any research for the novel?

DEBRA:Research wasn't something I had to do for this book because I worked as travel consultant for a few years and have been on many cruises to the Caribbean. It's a world I know well.

STEPH: How does the cover reflect the story within?

DEBRA: I love the cover for Aboard the Wishing Star. It's my favorite so far. Gwen Phiffer did a wonderful job of showing the elegance and old-fashioned romance of the story. I asked for a cover similar to the movie poster for An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, which was also on a cruise ship. Throughout the story Kara makes wishes and there are three wishing stars in the cover. One up in the sky above them, then one atop each "I" for a total of three. Gwen did a wonderful job adding little touches like that.

STEPH: Kara is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weaknesses?

DEBRA: Kara shows her strength when despite her fear of water she goes on a cruise and learns to snorkel. She's a woman who tries to overcome her fear instead of letting it freeze her. One of Kara's weaknesses is the way she usually gives her boss Daryl the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his behavior and intentions. It's her trusting nature.

STEPH: What does the hero, Nate, find intriguing about Kara?

DEBRA: Nate, a former Marine finds Kara's sweet, trusting nature attractive. She brings out his protective nature but while he wants to protect her, he also wants to teach her to face her fears and to overcome them.

STEPH: What is the theme of the novel?

DEBRA: Themes in the novel, well let's see. There is the theme of facing your fears and learning to be braver. Then there is the theme of making wishes and believing in them coming true.

STEPH: Where do you draw inspiration from?

DEBRA: As a writer, I draw inspiration from everything. My travels, historical sites I've visited, books and music. More and more I find myself drawing from places I have visited for my stories. With Aboard the Wishing Star, it's my cruise experiences. With the 1920's romance I am working on now, Trapping the Butterfly, which is an April 2013 release from Desert Breeze Publishing, the setting is Hot Springs, AR and many of the characters are staying at the Arlington Hotel, where I've stayed. When working on Aboard the Wishing Star I listened to music I'd heard on board cruise ships I've sailed on.

STEPH: Do you have an ebook? If so, which one?

DEBRA: My Kindle is about three years old and I love it. The letters are worn off the keypad, much like my laptop.

STEPH: Fun question: Are you dressing up for Halloween?

DEBRA: Oh I love Halloween and costume parties. I'm attending a costume party with my hubby and have to finish sewing our costumes this week. It's a yearly bash and they go all out, with creepy looking foods and decorations. I'm making hatching spiders to bring. These are deviled eggs with spiders on top made out of black or green olives. The round part for the body and strips cut for the legs. These sit on top of the deviled eggs like they've just hatched.





Buy links:

Desert Breeze Publishing


Barnes and Noble


  1. Debra,
    Wishing you lots of luck with this book. i need a cruise and I think I can afford this one with your help...via a real good read!

  2. Thank you Shaunna! I hope it will sail you away into a blissful Caribbean paradise! :-)