Artist and Writer
Wordsmith and collage artist Laurie Parker, author/illustrator of popular rhyming favorites such as Everywhere in Mississippi, Mississippi Alphabet, Louisiana Alphabet, The Turtle Saver, It Really Said Christmas and A for Angels,
is excited to announce that she has released
HER THIRD NOVEL:
Hush, Swing, Hush
Fans of Laurie Parker’s first two novels, The Matchstick Cross and
Yonder Breaks the Morning, will lap up the multi-dimensional writer’s latest masterpiece in prose.
DID YOU KNOW?
Most Mississippians are more familiar with Laurie’s books than her other artwork. However, she was supporting herself by making and selling the pins you see below for four years before the release of her first book! The pins are made through a COLLAGE process—CUTTING WITH SCISSORS AND GLUING—and this is the same way Laurie creates ILLUSTRATIONS for her children’s books. An epoxy coat makes these lightweight pins look like enamel! CLICK HERE to see some more images of the jewelry and ornaments she makes, HERE to see samples of her delightful children’s book illustrations...
Besides CREATING, here are a few
of the author’s favorite things:
Click here to see some shots of
the author’s own backyard garden!
Other Favorite Pastimes: decoupage,
junking (enjoys turning trash to treasure!!)
Favorite Food: ALL vegetables, OLIVES (especially jalapeno-stuffed), pizza, fish and hushpuppies, seafood—all shellfish...
And she is a SWEET TEA addict!!
Favorite Dessert: GUMMI BEARS!
Favorite TV Show : All-time favorite is ANDY GRIFFITH,
hands down; she has seen every episode probably over 200 times, quotes from it all the time and gives obscure show characters photo credits in her books! Also likes Seinfeld, I Love Lucy, and Leave it to Beaver
Favorite Artist or Band: Can’t pick just one—
Loves 70’s music. Also: U2, The Who, Tears for Fears, Cranberries, Fleetwood Mac, The Sundays, The Shins,
The Innocence Mission, Ray LaMontagne, and Coldplay
are just a few artists she likes.
Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption (nothing holds a candle to it). Also: Splendor in the Grass, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Ghost. Adores Back to the Future (but NOT the horrible sequels). As a child her favorite movie was Planet of the Apes ! (which she still enjoys!)
Favorite Book: Laurie likes reading metaphysical works and her favorite author in that genre is Thomas Hora. She admires the poetic writing styles of Sam Keen and Frederick Buechner. Her favorite book? Can’t pick just one—Walking on Water by Madeleine L’engle, Falling Through Space by Ellen Gilchrist, and Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke are high on her list. A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway, Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy, The Collector by John Fowles and Willie Morris’ My Dog Skip are also favorites.
Madeleine L’engle, Zylpha Keatley Snyder and C.S. Lewis are her favorite children’s authors.
Other things Laurie likes: Cats and kittens, poetry, picnics, antiques, rainy days, trees, animals, old books, birds, libraries, hot baths and BIG bathtubs, gardening magazines, interior decorating magazines (Southern Accents was her fav), word games/word puzzles, driving out in the country, the smell of honeysuckle, wisteria and fresh-mown grass, Provence/the south of France…
Dislikes: colored Andy Griffith episodes—(especially with Howard Sprague!), people talking/texting on their cell phones constantly, people’s addictions to and obsessions with that technology, pork chops (YUCK!!!), chicken-fried anything (YUCK!), contemporary decorating, rap music (oxymoron), partisan politics, the high-speed decline of good grammar and the rampant misuses on TV ( news, commercials)—there are dangling participles everywhere!
Laurie Parker has collected inspirational quotes since she was twenty-five years old. Click on the turtle picture below
(from her book The Turtle Saver) to go to a website she did (a long time ago!) to showcase some of the words that inspire the poet and artist...
BOOKS BY LAURIE PARKER
Everywhere in Mississippi (Quail Ridge Press, 1996)
All Over Alabama (Quail Ridge Press, 1997)
Mississippi Alphabet (Quail Ridge Press, 1998)
Texas Alphabet (Quail Ridge Press, 2000)
Louisiana Alphabet (Quail Ridge Press, 2001)
The Turtle Saver (Quail Ridge Press, 2002)
It Really Said Christmas (Laurie Parker, 2003)
Mad for Maroon (Laurie Parker, 2004, out-of-print)
Tales of the Good Life (Laurie Parker, 2005)
A for Angels (Parker, 2007; Quail Ridge re-release 2010)
The Sweet Dreams Book (Laurie Parker, 2009)
Everywhere in Mississippi (Laurie Parker, 2012)
Hush, Swing, Hush (Laurie Parker, 2012)
The artist explains at a book talk in April 2007
how she creates her original collages, which
are the same size as they appear in her books.
Here are some book report-friendly FUN FACTS
ABOUT LAURIE PARKER’S BOOKS:
Everywhere in Mississippi, Laurie Parker’s first book, is based on a premise that came to Laurie while she was in the BATHTUB in 1995! She knew as the water was going down the drain that the book would rhyme, would be about a lost dog named Skippy, and that the story would incorporate Mississippi town names in the owner’s wild and wacky statewide search!
Then, lo and behold, in 2001, it happened again, when the concept for
The Turtle Saver also came to the writer while she was taking a soak!
The Turtle Saver received an endorsement from Jack Canfield,
author of The Chicken Soup for the Soul series!
Laurie VERY first book signing ever—for Everywhere in Mississippi—was on September 27th, 1996 at GAYFERS in Northpark Mall, Jackson, MS! She also had her very first TV interview that same day—with WJTV in Jackson.
Laurie Parker had never even been to Texas before she released
Texas Alphabet in 2000. To date, the book has sold well over 30,000 copies.
The BIGGEST book signing Laurie ever had was in November of 1998. She was signing Mississippi Alphabet at Mistletoe Marketplace. The store who hosted her for 3 days, The Inside Story, sold 975 copies! And no, Laurie is not rich! The store and her publisher split the proceeds and she got a royalty—which was about 80 cents per book sold! Many people think that because they see Laurie’s books in stores that she makes a LOT of money as a children’s book author. It just doesn’t work that way! There are very few rich children’s book authors, and one has to go national to achieve that. Laurie is just a small-scale, grass-roots, regional author!
2009’s The Sweet Dreams Book is the first book into which Laurie incorporated hidden pictures. She had so much fun doing it, that she used hidden pictures extensively in her 2011 Garden Alphabet book.
Laurie Parker does NOT do school visits. Laurie GREATLY appreciates that teachers use her books in the classroom, and that many children do book reports on her, but there are more schools in Mississippi than there are days in the year, and she gets hundreds of requests a year. She would have to accept all invitations if she accepted one invitation, and she would not be able to keep being an artist and writer if she became a full-time speaker! Teachers are called to teach ... Laurie’s part of herself that she has given, her GIFT, is the books she creates...her calling is that of ARTIST and WRITER...
Laurie with a REAL turtle that SHE saved while on her
Spring 2002 Turtle Saver Book Tour!!
Laurie Parker’s Artist/ Writer
Click on the image of the book for list of stores, info for retailers, book-signing itinerary—and for those of you who love Meridian, MS—a list of some of the fun & familiar places mentioned in the book!
HUSH, SWING, HUSH
Set in Meridian, Mississippi in 2008 Hush, Swing, Hush is the third novel by author/poet/artist Laurie Parker.
Dee Loder, a forty-year-old divorcée and school librarian in Meridian, Mississippi has a lot on her plate in the spring of 2008. First and foremost, she is dealing with the ongoing challenges of being the mom of a special-needs child, an eleven-year-old boy with Asperger Syndrome, whose dad is a bombastic high-school football coach and little help with their son. Then, when her book-hoarding father passes away suddenly, Dee, a bibliophile herself, is left to deal with both the memories of a man she never really knew, as well as the overwhelming number of boxes he crammed into the Craftsman-style bungalow in which she grew up.
When handsome Leland Dixon arrives in town from Texas with a guitar and a gallant willingness to help her out, things become all the more dicey for this mother of a misfit and daughter of a mystery. Before she knows it, life begins dishing out a heaping helping of bombshells, and she is hit head-on with the heavy realization that she may ultimately have to rewrite more than just her own personal history. MORE...
The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
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“All work is meant to be heart work; it comes out of the heart and goes to the heart…”
—Matthew Fox, theologian
Her posts are creative and have lots of fun literary trivia!