Mississippi Writer and Artist
DID YOU KNOW? Most Mississippians are more familiar with Laurie’s books than her other artwork. However, she was supporting herself for four years by making and selling the pins you see below—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 150 times, quotes from it regularly, 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 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, PORCHES, 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 1996
All Over Alabama 1997
Mississippi Alphabet 1998
Texas Alphabet 2000
Louisiana Alphabet 2001
The Turtle Saver 2002
It Really Said Christmas 2003
Mad for Maroon 2004 (out-of-print)
Tales of the Good Life 2005
A for Angels 2007
The Sweet Dreams Book 2009
Garden Alphabet 2011
Everywhere in Mississippi 2012
The artist explains at a book talk in 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 CHILDREN’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’s Artist/ Writer
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
Kindle versions of three of Laurie’s southern novels are available on Amazon for only $2.99 each.
Click on the book to go directly there.
(E-book not available for The Matchstick Cross; it is available only in hardcover, directly from the author via her Facebook page.)
GENTLY SCATTERED INTENTIONS :
In June of 1977, the summer before her tenth-grade year, Eugenia (Gina) Reese moves with her family from Canton, Mississippi, to the state’s otherworldly Delta region, where she is content to keep to herself, sitting around at her grandmother’s farmhouse in a borrowed seersucker duster watching As the World Turns. But when she dares to take an out-of-the-ordinary and sticky-hot job as a flagman guiding her uncle’s crop dusting planes on their spraying swaths across local cotton fields, she meets a young pilot who unwittingly becomes her reason to get up every day. After her family moves into town so that she can attend Greenville High, she comes to know Lily Ng, an aspiring photographer and the daughter of a local Chinese grocery store owner. The two form a bond when they share their foremost secrets with each other. But Gina never develops interest in making friends at her new school beyond Lily, as her abiding crush on the sparkling-eyed pilot, five years her senior, continues to guide her thoughts and actions. Sadly, her relationship with confidante Lily is strained by teenage bickering during their final year in high school, and on an ill-fated night just five weeks before graduation, Gina’s self-serving behavior contributes to Lily’s mysterious disappearance.
Thirty-one years later, Gina is working as a paralegal in Memphis when yesterday comes calling with a double punch. A skull has been located in the county where Lily Ng vanished in 1980, and Gina’s old aviator heartthrob, the alcoholic son of a Mississippi millionaire, reappears in her life. All at once she finds herself teetering on the unpleasant edge of learning the ugly truth about what happened to her classmate over three decades ago while struggling with resurrected feelings for the very man who has long been considered the prime suspect in the cold case.
In her poetic and authentically southern voice, Laurie Parker presents an affecting narrative that alternates seamlessly between the past and present as she carries the reader through the events that led to tragedy long ago and gets beneath the skin of a flawed character who finds herself in turmoil when her deep and indelible feelings for a man seemingly can’t be reconciled with justice for an old friend. Warmly imbued with Mississippi Delta color and aching truths, Gently Scattered Intentions is an artful and profound tale of friendship, infatuation, second chances, and the unshakable effects of remorse, rumor, and unanswered questions from yesteryear.
NEW IN OCTOBER OF 2018!
Laurie’s much-awaited latest novel,
Gently Scattered Intentions, is set in Greenville, Mississippi, and Memphis and is now available in Kindle format from Amazon for $5.99. Click on the book image below to go there. Hardcovers are available directly from the author via message on her Facebook page, Mississippi Writer Laurie Parker