Hey Flirty and Dirty Crew….
We are today’s stop on the Textual Encounters Blog Tour. Now y’all know I’m not always a big fan of novellas. But lately some amazing authors have been makin’ me eat my words. Morgan Parker, author of Textual Encounters is one such person. I love ‘smart’ books– I mean books that make my mind work a mile a minute and question plots, characters, twists and everything about a story. Textual Encounters did just that. I was invested in this story and wanting to find out how the relationship would develop. Check out the synopsis, my interview with Morgan and my review for this book. Leave a comment at the end I will be giving away an ecopy to one random person.
Katie discovers an unlocked iPhone in the back seat of a taxi. But instead of turning it in to the driver as lost, she decides to keep it for herself. Outside of the usual clutter you would expect to find on a smartphone, what captures Katie’s interest is the single conversation she finds on the phone’s secure text messaging service, a three-month dialogue between a woman with an uncertain past named Christine and a single, eligible man named Jake. What starts out as a message intended for someone else ends up being the beginning of a relationship more powerful than anything Christine or Jake have ever experienced.
Thank you for taking the time to give Flirty and Dirty an interview. So, Textual Encounters has caused me to become a bit of a fan girl. I absolutely loved it!!!
D: What made you decide to write this book on the sole premise of a texting conversation between strangers?
MP: The idea of a texting conversation appealed to me for a few reasons. I have to admit, the concept was inspired by Nick Bantock’s Giffen & Sabine series from back in the 1990’s, in which two people carry on a relationship through messages on postcards (I wonder if postcards inspired text messaging… hmm, something to think about). For me, the idea of telling a love story through nothing but texts sounded really neat at first… not so much fun after a few LOL’s and smiley faces.
D: With the lack of inner monologue of characters and the perceived as opposed to intended tone that text can take on, how do you think this affects the story being told? And do you think then that there may actually be more than one story being told here?
MP: The biggest challenge with this story was the lack of exposition and inner monologue, especially since I had and still have a specific agenda with the story of Jake and Christine. However, I hope that the lack of traditional narration allows the reader to bring their own interpretation to the story. That seems to be the case – so many people have asked if that story was written about them. As for there being multiple story lines, I completely agree that there are. For example, when my wife asks me to do something, it’s never about doing the task – it’s about doing it a certain way and within a certain time frame. Yeah, you never really know what the true meaning is, do you? I think that rule applies in the texts between Jake and Christine.
D: Although I was surprised to find out you were a male author, I was completely drawn in to this aspect. I think there is a somewhat preconceived notion that men cannot do romance let alone write about it. What do you think about this and how do you think being a male brings a new perspective to writing a romance type of book?
MP: I’m surprised we don’t see more men, like Nicholas Sparks, writing romance novels. The common belief is that men aren’t as skilled as women when it comes to the tactile and emotional aspects of romance writing, and I can appreciate that (it’s why I rely heavily on female readers and editors). Yet as men we have all experienced love or heartbreak. And that’s not a male-or-female story, it’s a human story. As a male, I don’t think I offer much of a new perspective on a romance story, I simply offer a different one on a human story.
D: A friend recommended this book to me and I’m so glad she did!! To me, this book was a ‘smart’ book. By that I mean I was constantly thinking and questioning not only the story and characters but also your motives and intentions. I love when a read drains me cognitively. When you were writing Textual Encounters, did you always know where the story was leading to and how did you maintain the ‘smart’ factor? Because what I read was not just a random string of texts, which easily could become just that- words on a page.
MP: I love your friend! With all of my writing and Textual Encounters in particular I spend a lot of time with the outline. For me, I need to know where I’m going, otherwise the Attention-Deficit Disorder kicks in and leads me astray. This is especially true with a series, like this one. I have to say; I’ve never been accused of being smart, but the texts between Jake and Christine were indeed painfully deliberate as they needed to establish the foundation of their story as well as the series as a whole.
D: I am more than excited for the next book. Will you continue with the texting aspect or will there be more inner monologue to divulge more intention? Either way I can’t wait!!! And when is this book going to be available to readers? I need to know what’s going to happen to Christine and Jake.
MP: The second part in the series is told largely through text messages, but there is also a lot more narration than I intended. This was necessary given the change of direction the story took at the end of the first book. To accommodate for editing, the second book will be released in May 2013. And, to prove that I can write in a more traditional style, I’m publishing a “supplemental” short novel (not texts at all) about what Christine has been up to during her absence. It explains a lot of what this first book left out. Look for this supplemental piece in July.
So there you have it crew. A little insight to Morgan Parker and his book Textual Encounters. Click the link for my review…
About the author:
Morgan Parker is the pen name of someone who thinks he is more important than he really is. At 38 years old, Morgan has two young children and is married to a woman who puts up with his self-diagnosed hypochondria and literary obsessions.
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Buy the book: Download Textual Encounters to your Kindle now!