I have seldom had the opportunity to interview an author possessing dual personas, but Pam McCutcheon is one such and writes under the pseudonym, Parker Blue.
Parker Blue writes the YA Urban Fantasy Demon Underground Series, along with paranormal romance novellas. As Pam McCutcheon, she also writes fantasy short stories, romantic comedy, paranormal romance, and books for writers. She lives in Colorado Springs with her rescue dogs where she spends her spare time feeding her addiction for reading, beading, and watching television.
I asked her to describe the most recent release from her series, and she described it as follows:
What’s a vampire slayer to do when San Antonio’s vampire leader goes missing and rogue vampires are suddenly on the rise? Find him and bring him back—no matter what the cost—before the vacuum of power pits vampire against vampire in a deadly showdown for supremacy… with her boyfriend Austin’s immortal life at stake.
When she discovers that her ex, Shade, may have been “accidentally” responsible, Val Shapiro’s problems take on a whole new dimension and her loyalty to everyone in her life will be tested.
Please tell us how your series began.
The series, starting with Bite Me, came about when Buffy sadly ended. I loved the show and the characters, and wanted to write my own vampire slayer, without copying genius Joss. How could I make her different? By making her part succubus lust demon, of course—one who really fights against her demon nature by channeling her desires into slaying vampires.
And I had to give her a companion to talk to, so my terrier-poodle mix, Mo, inspired the creation of Fang—the snarky telepathic hellhound who turned out to be everyone’s favorite character. Mo passed away last year, but I love that she still lives on in Fang.
What was the biggest challenge you faced writing these books and how did you overcome it?
I didn’t realize the Demon Underground would be so popular, and wrote one book at a time without a plan for the entire series or making a series bible. Makes it difficult to figure out where to go next sometimes. I overcome it by brainstorming with my critique group, who have been there since the beginning with Val and Fang.
Would you care to expand a bit on the series’ extent?
The Demon Underground Series is six books in all so far: Bite Me, Try Me, Fang Me, Make Me, Dare Me, and Catch Me (I’m running out of “me” titles!)… I also have a free prequel short story called Forget You, and a couple of paranormal novellas outside the Demon Underground universe: “Wolf Rising” in the Magick Rising anthology, and Time Raiders: The Healer’s Passion. Under my real name, Pam McCutcheon, I write fantasy short stories, romantic comedy, paranormal romance, and books for writers (check out pammc.com for more info).
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I hate writing first draft, and I’m a night person, so I write first draft in the morning when my left brain isn’t quite engaged yet—it gives my right brain full rein. I usually write until I finish a scene, then quit for the day. Once I have a draft, I can edit at any time of day. I usually take a chapter at a time to my critique group.
Tell us about your path to publication.
I’ve always loved reading, and wanted to try my hand at writing, so I read a ton of craft books, went to writing conferences, and took classes. My favorite genres are fantasy, science fiction, and romance. So when futuristic romance first became popular, I knew that’s what I had to write. My first novel took a couple of years to write while I was learning, but it sold to the third publisher I sent it to: Golden Prophecies by Pam McCutcheon. That subgenre trend didn’t last long, though, so I switched to romantic comedy and other paranormal romance, then eventually to the YA urban fantasies.
Do you create an outline before you write?
Yep. Actually, I have my own method, which I detail in my book, Writing the Fiction Synopsis (insert shameless plug here). The book not only discusses what at a synopsis consists of, but the process of getting there describes my outlining process.
Why do you write?
I’ve never quite believed in that overused writer maxim: Because I have to.
Okay, I do have to be creative in some way (I’ve done a myriad of hobbies over the years, the latest of which is beading). But I write for fun, because I enjoy creating a new world, helping characters find their own happily-ever-after, and making my critique group laugh.
It’s nice to encounter one who avoids the clichéd. Do you have another job outside of writing?
I used to work for the government as an industrial engineer, but now I work from home providing ebook services for other authors, including editing, scanning, formatting, and uploading.
Do you have any pet projects?
My dogs are my pet projects (insert groan here). Seriously, I currently have two dogs I rescued through National Mill Dog Rescue, and I enjoy watching how far they’ve come in trusting people after all they’ve been through. They make me smile every day.
Being a pet owner *slash* animal lover, I have to relate how that touches my heart. Your comment makes me especially glad I invited you. Before I provide our visitors with an excerpt from your series’ most recent installment, entitled Catch Me, I’d like to conclude with my traditional Lightning Round, because of the insights it often provides. So, Pam, in as few words as possible, please answer the following:
My best friend would tell you I’m… Anal. I prefer to think I’m organized, with meticulous attention to detail.
The one thing I cannot do without is: My dogs.
The one thing I would change about my life: I’d win the lottery so I could travel more.
My biggest peeve is: Puppy mills!
And rightly so! Those of you who would like to learn more about my guest, Pam McCutcheon/Parker Blue, can do so by following the links I provide right after this excerpt from Catch Me:
Though the moonless night was already black as ink, I retreated farther into the deep shadows of a live oak outside my townhouse. My mouth went dry, my heart pounded, and my stomach churned as if a dozen vampires were cavorting about inside me. Yes, it was my most frightening outing yet—a date with Austin.
Beside me, Fang, my trusty hellhound, snorted. You’ve taken on dozens of vampires, mage demons, and blood demons . . . and you’re afraid of a date with the guy who wants to be your boyfriend?
I’m not afraid of him, I sent Fang telepathically.
Then what are you afraid of?
Oh, maybe looking like a child to the vampire who was way over a hundred years old and sexy as hell. What did he see in me, an average-looking eighteen-year-old with virtually no experience in this kind of thing? I’d never really “dated” before, though I had two short-lived relationships—one with Dan Sullivan, a full human, and the other with Shade, the broody shadow demon. Neither had prepared me for a date with a sexy vamp.
After the fabulous Valentine’s Day flash mob he’d arranged for me with “zombies” dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller a couple of weeks ago, I’d promised to go out on a real date with him, and this was the first time we’d both been able to arrange it.
Unfortunately, Fang could read all my doubts and insecurities and would call me on every single one of them. I cringed, waiting for it.
You’re not half bad-looking, Fang said.
Don’t be an idiot. What could he possibly see in you? Well, maybe it’s the fact that you’re an awesome slayer, or maybe because you’ve saved his butt and countless other vamp and demon butts in San Antonio many times in the past few months—not to mention that of unsuspecting humans. Or maybe, just maybe, he’s hot for your inner succubus who makes his butt feel so gooooood.
“That’s a lot of butts,” I murmured. But I had to admit my inner succubus—I called her Lola—liked Austin, too. A lot.
You do get that Lola isn’t a separate entity? You are the succubus—that one-eighth demon part of you isn’t something or someone you can separate from your human self, no matter how much you might want to.
“How can I forget when you keep reminding me?” I muttered. Besides, I’d only wanted to get rid of Lola before I’d been kicked out of my home. Everyone else in my family—my mom, stepfather, and half-sister—was fully human, so I’d felt like a freak. But now that I’d discovered the Demon Underground, I didn’t feel so much freakish as I did . . . inexperienced.
Well, Fang drawled. There’s one way to get that experience, you know.
Yeah, I know. I’m doing it, aren’t I?
If you stop hiding—from yourself and him.
Austin drove up then, in one of the black luxury cars the San Antonio vein of vampires kept in their motor pool. He stepped out of the car, wearing jeans that snugged in all the right places, a black leather jacket, snakeskin boots, and his ever-present cowboy hat. My heart beat faster. What a hottie—and so out of my league it was ridiculous.
Fang nudged me with his nose. Don’t be ridiculous. You’re Val Shapiro, the Slayer, the Demon Underground’s Paladin enforcer. He’s out of your league.
Yeah, right. As if I could hide from Austin’s keen vampire vision anyway. His gaze found me in the depths of the shadows, and a slow, sexy smile widened his mouth. “Hello, darlin’.”
Would any girl not melt into a puddle right then and there? True to form, Lola surged front and center, her interest sharpening. As for me, I swallowed, trying to get some moisture in my mouth. “Hi,” I managed. Oh yeah, I am witty beyond belief.
He leaned against the car, waiting for me to come to him. “Shall we go?”
I took a deep breath and sauntered toward him, or tried to. Instead, I tripped over a root of the massive tree. Graceful, I was not.
I felt my face flame hot and wished I could rush back inside without looking like a fool.
Too late, Fang jeered.
As promised, here are Pam’s/Parker’s social Links:
Her book buy links are as follows: