Electa Rome Parks

Electa Rome Parks
The Ties That Bind

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
June 27, 2002

1. Who is Electa Rome Parks?

Umm, thatís a hard question. Itís not easy to define or describe oneís self in a condensed version, but Iíll try. I was born and raised in Georgia. So yes, Iím a true Georgia Peach even though I lived in Chicago and North Carolina for many years. Basically, Iím just your average, down to earth, wife and mother of two who has a great passion for writing and reading. Honestly, I donít think I could live without books and the written word. Iíve found that a pen to paper is a powerful tool!

Letís see, what else can I divulge about myself and keep you interested? (smile) Believe it or not, Iím actually kinda quiet and laid back. I can be moody and oversensitive (Pisces trait). So. . . be careful what you say about ďThe Ties That BindĒ because Iím sensitive about my stuff. (LOL)

I have a very vivid imagination that is evident in my books and I believe in a lot of theories that most people would think bizarre. Letís just say I absolutely love ďX-FilesĒ and the entire concept of spirits, guardian angels, and karma. I once had a palm reader to tell me I was a writer in another life and thatís why writing validates and elevates me to be in complete sync with my spirit. I thought that was so deep and so unbelievably true.

Bottom line, anyone who truly knows me will state that Iím real. Iím very approachable and have a genuine caring nature (another Pisces trait). I have my ďfewĒ imperfections and struggles just like the next person. However, I believe in order to really get in touch with our true spirit, we need to discover our gifts. I feel that we are all born into the world with a special gift and Iíve found mine. That brings me great joy!

What else? I pretty much suck at any sport, my favorite color is purple, Iíve never weighted more than 112 pounds my entire life, my all-time favorite movie is a toss between Soul Food and The Best Man and I have tons of stories to share with my readers. (I know, Iím acting totally goofy, but today is one of those days).

2. What inspired you to write the novel The Ties That Bind?

The Ties That Bind is just one of many stories that I carried around in my head for many years. Whenever I had a quiet moment, Iíd mentally add on another chapter. Mia was always my primary character because she reminded me of so many women who are looking for their Mr. Right. I asked myself some ďwhat ifĒ questions such as ďwhat if Mia meets a man who she THINKS is the one, only to find out once she has gotten caught up in the relationship that he has a lot of issues he needs to address?í

Once Mia, Brice and Christian started showing up in my dreams, I felt it was time to put them on paper.

3. How did you come about the plot for the novel The Ties That Bind?

The plot just happened; it was a natural chain of events given the circumstances. When I write, I let the characters guide and lead me. Itís like they take on a life of their own and Iím the medium to tell their story. I never know the outcome of my stories until I write that last word. In The Ties That Bind, the storyline was flowing freely and the plot kinda took on a life of itís own. Once you have your characters down and know them inside and out, you know how they will react to certain situations. So my plot became more of a domino effect; this is a consequence of that action by that character.

4. How did you come about the title for The Ties That Bind?

The title was easy. Actually, I chose it first; before I even completed the book. After researching and realizing there were several books out with variations of my title by other authors, I still decided to keep my original title. I felt there wasnít a title that was more appropriate. Mia, Brice and Christian had many ties that bound them together in different ways, on various levels. Unfortunately, those same ties made for very complex relationships and interaction amongst the characters. They soon determined, at some point, you have to make a decision and determine where your loyalties lie.

5. How did you come about the characters for Brice, Christian and Mia?

I know this may sound strange, but they just came to me. Miaís character was always very vivid in my mind, but Brice and Christian were developed in response to Miaís characterization.

For the record, no, I do not know a Brice or Christian. You wouldnít believe how many readers have asked me that. And no, Iím not Mia. These characters arenít based upon anyone. This is strictly fictional and my very vivid imagination. (lol)

6. Why did you choose to write about spousal abuse?

Iím an avid reader period, but I particularly enjoy relationship stories and thatís probably why I prefer to write in that genre. However, for The Ties That Bind, I wanted a relationship story, but I also wanted to deal with some topical issues as well. I wanted to write about an issue that was very real and prevalent in todayís relationships. I wanted to write about a topic that may be pushed under the carpet because no one wants to get involved in family matters or matters of the heart. Spousal abuse came to the forthfront.

7. Are there any of your personality traits in Miaís character?

If Iím truly honest with myself, I would have to say yes. When I was in my twenties, in matters of the heart, I was known to wear those same rose-colored glasses. I embraced the entire concept of having a soul mate; that one person we are truly yoked with on a mental, sexual, emotional as well as a spiritual level. Yeah, that was me Ė innocent and sheltered from the true realities of life. (lol)

Like Mia, I also place a high value on getting an education in order to elevate ourselves to the next level. I tend to follow my dreams and not let anything deter me.

I too, sometimes do things impulsively; I tend to go with the flow if I feel that Iíve gotten a sign or my heart tells me it is right.

8. Will there be a sequel to The Ties That Bind?

Yes, most definitely! I plan to release ďLoose Ends,Ē which is the sequel to ďThe Ties That BindĒ in late September or early October. It starts off five years later from where ďThe Ties That BindĒ ends. The same characters are back along with some new, off the hook ones as well. Iím really excited about ďLoose EndsĒ and I feel that the readers are going to embrace and love it!

9. What messages would you like readers to receive from reading The Ties That Bind?

Iím a realist and I know that in real life, relationships do not always have a happily ever after ending. That seems to be a central theme in many relationship stories. In the end, the girl gets the boy, then they skip off, hand in hand, into oblivion and they live happily ever after. Not! Thatís not always life. Thatís Harlequin Romance novels. (I hear some amens in the corner over there)

I wanted to write realistically about the flip side of relationships where there may be some topical issues going on larger than HIM cheating on HER or vice versa.

Mia represented a collage of women Iíve met during my lifetime who are looking for their soulmates in life. Unfortunately, a lot of times, they are looking for someone to make them happy and complete them and they havenít quite figured out you have to be happy with yourself first. Love yourself first and then you wonít be willing to put up with a lot of BS. In fact, you wonít allow yourself to be treated as anything less than a Nubian queen.

10. What type of atmosphere do you require to write?

When I really get into a writing project, it doesnít matter what type of atmosphere I surround myself. The words will flow naturally.

A lot of times, I mentally write my chapters when Iím driving. I can drive, zone out mentally (without causing an accident) and come up with great dialogue and an additional chapter or two. When I arrive home, I swiftly run to my PC and simply type it down before I forget. So, itís like Iím writing down what I saw at a movie or play with great detail included.

If I had to name a preference, I prefer a somewhat quiet, relaxing, peaceful atmosphere.