Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Desert and Danger with Edith Parzefall

 It is with great pleasure I welcome my dear friend and fellow MuseItUp sister, to my magic garden today. I give you the international jet setter and thriller novelist ...


Come sit under the wattle tree, Edith. You have visited me in Australia but you aren't Australian. Tell us where you come from.

 I grew up in a little village in Germany, Oberhinkofen, surrounded by woods and fields, but with a—now abandoned—military training ground nearby and the city of Regensburg with 100,000 inhabitants in biking distance. So it didn't really feel like we lived on the countryside, with German and US tanks driving by and starfighters in the sky disturbing classes, while we enjoyed all the benefits of nature around us. As a child, I wouldn't have wanted to live anywhere else. Now, I live in Nürnberg with half a million inhabitants and enjoy city life.

What one place in the world appeals to you the most?

 To pick only one place is tough, Wendy. I've never been to Africa and I really hope to go there some day, maybe to Namibia, since it's rich with minerals and that should entice my partner to visit. And I'd love to return to Australia and South America. Both continents still offer so much for me to explore and the inhabitants are fabulously friendly and helpful.

Do you think you’d like to live anywhere else?

 I do dream about living in a house at the sea, but my life here in Nürnberg is extremely comfortable, and we have a small airport a short underground ride away. Even traveling to the other side of the planet isn't a big deal these days. So unless a move would offer something really intriguing, I'll probably stay put and keep traveling to different places when I find the time and money.

What is the setting for your latest MuseItUp release, Crumple Zone?

Cover Designer: Nika Dickson

Crumple Zone is set in the Atacama desert in Chile, a fascinating place of stark contrast: a lush coast line set off against the barren desert rimmed by tall volcanos.

Tell us a little about this novel?

Crumple Zone is psychological suspense unfolding along Ruta 5, the Pan-American highway running from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Lara is crossing her own emotional desert as she travels through Chile and hooks up with a seemingly charming backpacker—until trucker Enrique crashes into her and thwarts her flight from life and his escape from reality.

The main theme is? 
No risk, no love.

 Crumple Zone explores human emotions, most of all the power and danger of love. Beware, it's not a romance.

Who is the main character based on?

Mostly, Lara is a child of my imagination, although she shows some traits of my younger self, taken to some extreme. Of course I won't reveal which traits. :-)

Now you have us guessing. :)

Do you place much faith in your muse or do you believe writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration? Can you expand on this?

Without inspiration, I can't work up a sweat. First I need a powerful idea that drives me on during the marathon of writing a novel. The quality of a first draft depends on how much perspiration I'm willing to invest right away.

Since revisions are fairly painful for me, I've become far more disciplined while crafting a novel. It spoils the fun of simply running with the muse but allows for more fun and satisfaction while polishing the story. I'm slowly turning from a true panster into a half-hearted plotter. In terms of percentages? I have no idea. I only know, without that tiny seed the plant wouldn't grow, no matter how ideal the sun, the soil, and the fertilizer might be.

Why writing? Why not some other craft like painting or quilting etc?

 In school, art class was too painful. Thinking back, I know I could have enjoyed painting, potting, or anything creative, but teachers forced creativity into molds that made my muse sulk. Why walk in shackles, instead of learning to climb a rockface? Since I always loved to read books or listen to stories, it came fairly natural to try my hand at it myself.

Is there anything that can pull you away from writing?

Traveling to unknow countries is a force that can make me drop my virtual pen quickly but I'm always hoping for an interesting story to spark. Friends can pull me away from writing fairly easily, because usually, they are very understanding when I turn into a recluse. So once they start dragging me away from my computer, I'm happy to comply and glad that they are still willing to talk to me.

Could you share an excerpt please?
 Here's an except from Chapter Twenty-Two:

The Atacama Desert changed colors the further south Lara drove. A hundred miles north of La Serena, earthen and reddish tones indicated a more fertile soil. Not only rocks, but dry shrubbery broke the smooth surface. Tiny green bushes sprouted white blooms. Suddenly, the desert turned purple. A web of flowers covered the sand and washed up the slopes of the hills.

Wow, look at this,” Lara exclaimed. She switched to four-wheel drive and took the X-Trail off the road, carefully picking her path toward the first patch of color. She jumped out and knelt at the bed of flowers, no more than four inches tall. They swayed in the gentle wind, but she managed to take a few photos that weren't blurred. “This is fantastic.”

Rick laughed. “The flowers weren't in your guidebook?”

Her gaze arrested by this miracle of nature, she didn't look at him. “Of course they mentioned the blooming desert, but I didn't think we'd get to see it.”

Why not?”

It's rare. Only when the earth is moist enough can these tough little flowers make a stab at life, growing their little stems and leaves and buds and blooms, so they can spread their seeds before they die in the dry heat.” She gazed up at him and smiled. “We're damn lucky, dude. There must have been a light drizzle during the night.”


Thank you, Edith. I've enjoyed our time together and hope you and JJ will visit us again, if we don't get to your place first.  :)

Edith's books are available from
and more of her books at here  at her Amazon page


ccarpinello said...

Edith, Your book sounds intriguing. I love that you would drop anything to travel. I'm like that also as my husband will tell you!

Edith Parzefall said...

Thanks so much for inviting me to sit under the wattle tree with you. As always it's been a great pleasure.

Thanks for your kind words, Cheryl. I'm glad to hear Crumple Zone intrigues you. Traveling to exotic places by reading is less hassle though not quite as exciting.

Rosalie Skinner said...

Great questions, Wendy and Edith, interesting to learn more about you!
Africa... I can imagine the novel that would come from a visit there. :)
Strays of Rio and Crumple Zone are almost as good as being in the country they describe. :) Saves on air fares and inoculation. (Lucky... cause I can't afford them.)
Keep writing. Don't be too distracted by friends, we are looking forward to your next completed novel.

Edith Parzefall said...

Thanks, Rosalie. I've been dragged to an Irish Pub yesterday and probably should have passed on that last round of Guinness. Tasted real nice but today I'm a little tired around the edges. :-)

Next I'll take my readers on a suspenseful adventure trek through the Alps, close to home, but great fun.

Wendy said...

Hi Cheryl, thank you for stopping by. So you have a travel bug too. I used to but as the years wear on...

Great to share the secret garden with you and your friends, Edith. Good luck with Crumple Zone and your other books.

Hi Rosalie, glad to see you here, I agree, some of the places Edith visits are above and beyond the call of duty but her readers really do appreciate her 'sacrifices'. :)

Francene Stanley said...

I wish I could sit under a wattle tree with you all right now. But we live where we live. Who wouldn't want to look out on a beautiful coastal view? That would be my ideal too.

Wendy said...

Hi Francene, you are here now. :) You are most welcome to come and talk about your books here too, whenever you are ready.

Pat McDermott said...

Edith, if an interview is this entertaining, your stories must rock! Lots of folks love to travel, but few turn them into books. And yes, do watch that Guinness. I only use it to make beef stew :-) Wonderful post, ladies!

Edith Parzefall said...

Right, Wendy, I'm such a martyr to put up with traveling to harvest new stories. ;-)

Hm, the Guinness stew sounds nice, Pat.

Leona~Author said...

Hi Edith, I'm fairly new to Muse. I had the pleasure of reading Strays of Rio and if Crumple Zone is half as good, you'll have a winner.

I read a lot of books, and some stick in my mind for a long time, and I still think of the depth you gave your characters. Some were people we wouldn't want to hang around with, but...we still rooted for them. Vigilante justice, I guess has an appeal for the right reasons.

I enjoyed your interview.

Lorrie Struiff said...

Wow, that little teaser is so picturesque, I feel like I'm looking at it. If the whole book is written that well, it's for me.

I can only travel in books and this one looks like I want to take the trip. Oh yeah, on my wish list.

Erin Albert said...

Great interview! I enjoyed it!

Wendy said...

Loeona, Hi, with Crumple Zone the desert sets the tone of this psychological suspense as you travel along Route 5. Very different from the frantic, colourful experience of Rio, but just as gripping.

Erin, Welcome. Thank you for coming.

Edith Parzefall said...

I'm really happy to hear you've read and liked Strays of Rio, Leona. Great start to the day. :-)

Beth Overmyer said...

I enjoyed the interview and excerpt--and the picture. Where was that taken?

I'm intrigued by your talking about love and then warning us that your book's not a romance. Suspense, you said? Will I be biting my nails? *adds to quickly growing to-be-read pile*

Edith Parzefall said...

Thanks for stopping by, Beth. All the photos were taken in the Atacama Desert in Chile, including those used for the cover. During that trip I learned to appreciate crumple zones. ;-)

Yes, your nails might be in danger. Sorry!

Wendy said...

An extra special welcome, Lorrie, for some reason your comment went to my spam. I'm very sorry. If you need some arm chair travel the Atacama Desert is the place to go. ;)Your in for a bumpy ride!! :)