Sunday, October 13, 2013

Featured Author: J. Daniel Parra

J. Daniel Parra is a New York-based author of Pieces of Tracy, a work of contemporary fiction, published by Diversion Books. I'm happy to have him here today to talk about his debut novel.

About the book:

Two lives... two romantic cities... Meet Teresa Felicia Santana León. In New York, she's Tracy León, a would-be artist and telemarketer who falls for an older tycoon, Bruce Babich. When Bruce's mother sends her to Rome to find a stolen painting, Tracy assumes an alter ego, the zesty Felicia Santana. In Rome, she meets a younger artist named Mario Giordani who helps her on her quest. Before long, she is juggling two romances and two distinct identities: Tracy, demure trophy wife wannabe in New York's high society, and wanton, thrill-seeking Felicia in sultry Rome. Against the backdrop of these exciting cities, she follows her divided heart, even if it leads her in the wrong direction. The secrets behind the stolen painting send her on an unforgettable journey that prompts her to re-examine her own talents and inspirations. As the pieces come together, Tracy faces a life-changing choice, one that will lead to surprising discoveries about love and her own identity.

Interview with J. Daniel Parra 

Who are your favorite authors? 

It’s a long, eclectic list, but I would definitely say Henry James is my top favorite, followed by Edith Wharton, Philip Pullman, Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, James Clavell, Anne Rice, Ian Fleming, Larry McMurtry, Sidney Sheldon, John Jakes, John LeCarre. And I love the French: Hugo, Dumas, Flaubert, Maupassant, Proust, Balzac, Laclos, Colette. I could go on.

With a list like that, you must have a very long to-be-read pile. Just how long is it?

I’m still working my way through my pile from BookExpo America which was in May. At this rate, by the time next year’s BookExpo rolls around, I’ll be only partially through my current pile. 

I think that is a common problem among authors! But it's a nice problem to have. What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)? 

I just finished David Leavitt’s new novel, The Two Hotel Francforts in hardcover.  He has a real gift for dialogue. Now I’m starting The Three Musketeers by

Do you have a routine for writing?

I’m a morning person so the earlier I start, the clearer my head and my thoughts. When I’m writing the heaviest, I usually start around 7 or 8 in the morning and keep going until I’m in a place I can comfortably pick up again the next day.

Where do you prefer to do your writing?

I have a place along the beach that’s quiet and has an office space that’s piled high with reference books and magazines. It’s my escape from the city and its day-to-day stress. I do write in the city but it requires much more effort to concentrate.

Where’s home for you? 

New York City. There’s always something happening here, and I love to eavesdrop on conversations on the street, some of which have ended up word-for-word in my fiction. New Yorkers, you’ve been warned!

What’s one of your favorite quotes? 

From Henry James, of course: “Go everywhere, do everything; get everything out of life. Be happy—be triumphant.”
What three books have you read recently and would recommend?

All these are new releases that I’ve reviewed on my site: Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford, The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan, and The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

Not surprisingly, I read a lot. I draw compulsively and have since I was a child. I also love running and am frequently doing loops in Central Park. If you see me, please say hello.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

I am lucky to say I already live here, in New York City.

What are you working on now? 

A new novel but that’s all I can say for now.

Well, I hope you'll come back when you can say more!

Alexandre Dumas in trade paperback. I love the French!

About the author:

J. Daniel Parra was born in Mexico City and grew up in Oklahoma and Texas. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, he has written for a variety of publications. His working experience includes ten years in advertising and marketing where he won awards for campaigns for major national advertisers.

 He lives in Manhattan and is currently at work on his next novel.

Connect with the author:
Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter |

Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble