Writers on Writing: Interview with Parris Afton Bonds – Co-founder and First Vice President of Romance Writers of America

Parris-230x300Parris Afton Bonds is the mother of five sons and the author of forty published novels. She is the co-founder and first vice president of Romance Writers of America as well as the cofounder of Southwest Writers Workshop, all of which jolted her closer to being committed to Bedlam, which she has managed to avoid so far by a pretense at sanity.

Declared by ABC’s Nightline as one of the three-best-selling authors of romantic fiction, the award winning Parris Afton Bonds has been interviewed by such luminaries as Charlie Rose and featured in leading newspapers and magazines as well as published in more than a dozen languages. A New York Times best seller, she provides her time to teaching creative writing to both grade school children and female inmates both of which are captive audiences.

The Parris Award was established in her name by the Southwest Writers Workshop to honor a published writer who has given exceptionally of time and talent to other writers. Prestigious recipients of the Parris Award include Tony Hillerman and the Pulitzer nominee Norman Zollinger.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

The most important thing I have learned is that I must permit myself to write wrong; that I must not sweat and angst over this first draft.  By doing this, worry-free, I both increase my daily output and enhance it.

How has this helped you as a writer?

You know, Diane, this method of writing, permitting myself to make mistakes, has been most invaluable not just as a writer but as a human being.  Life flows much more effortlessly.  Not saying that I still don’t angst a little.

PAB Stardust

Mac or PC?

I use a PC.  I know, I know ~ Macs are supposed to be so much better, but I typed my first book when I was five-years-old on a Royal manual typewriter, so when it comes to making changes in the name of progress, I wail and stomp about and take years to come around to succumbing to change.

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Word–for the same reason as the “Mac or PC” question.

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

Neither.  Aren’t I a pathetic professional?

Do you have any writing rituals?

Yes, I spend the first hour or so each morning tending to the business/marketing/promotional side of writing ~ answering emails, etc.; then the switch to the creative side of writing flows more smoothly.

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I used to research first, because it required checking out many books from the library, and I would try to accomplish this in as few trips as possible.  Now, I just write first, then if I need to check a fact, I switch my screen to the Internet and voila in a matter of seconds or minutes, I find out what I need to know.

 PAB dust-devil-final

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

In a cubbyhole with no view.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

Same as the above question.


Diane, thank you for giving me the opportunity to connect with your legion of readers!

Thank you so much, Parris, for your kind words. Most of all, thank you for giving me many, many full-circle moments. I remember curling up on my bed reading your books as a teen while escaping from an extremely chaotic and excruciating childhood. Reading is one of my most treasured childhood memories. I am grateful to you and all the phenomenal writers who have guided me through and continue to navigate me today with such magnificent stories. It is a gift I cherish.


Visit Parris’s website for all the latest news.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Review first appeared in Blogcritics.

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