Welcome to Writers4Higher
This issue, Writers4Higher features
Robert L. Parke
Hi, Robert. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.
I had a wonderful career in the fields of law enforcement and civil investigations. As a Certified Legal Investigator and Certified Evidence Photographer member of several professional associations, it seemed appropriate to share what I had learned along the way, and contributed numerous articles on those subjects to their journals. I retired from the law firm at the end of 2008 because I was 69, and it seemed the appropriate thing to do. My wife, Ely, and I fulfilled our "Bucket List" wishes by traveling the United States (I don't "do" foreign countries - a certain amount of latent paranoia left over from my career, I suspect). Spent another couple of years being retired, and discovered it just wasn't enough - I believed I had more left to contribute. By then, I was way too old to become a cop again, too old to go back to flying and didn't want to go back into civil investigations (too intense), couldn't see myself in some of the other honorable but mundane jobs old guys take to keep busy at something, so called a long-time friend (we played in a band for nearly a decade) who owns a security agency. It seemed to be a natural evolution from my prior experiences, and indeed it was.
After bouncing around from assignment to assignment, I landed at the sorority, and knew, within a few days, that I was "home." To many, I became their "Grandpa" away from home. They know that their safety is my paramount concern. As the Acknowledgements indicate, I soon realized that many of them, at one time or another, were putting themselves at risk - in one way or another. I asked for, and received, permission to speak to them about being safer "out there." The results of my one-hour talk to the Chapter members were dramatic and immensely gratifying. At the same time, my college freshman Granddaughter was into the not uncommon denial mode of the "bullet-proof" teenager when I started to talk to her about these things. That did it. The light bulb went on over my head, and the book was conceived. It's creation was sometimes grueling. I did an enormous amount of research to amplify and back up my experience-based knowledge. For a short book, it seemed to take forever to complete and then to tweak to my satisfaction.
My biggest break was to meet and sign on with Terri Gerrell of Southern Yellow Pine Publishing. She has become far more than "the Publisher" - she is my mentor and my friend. Would that all aspiring writers get such a lucky break.
2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
An idea for a novel is rattling around in my brain. As might be expected, if I go there, it will be related to "Staying Safe."
3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?
With luck and continued good health, I will continue private security work at "my" sorority for several more years. That, and the promulgation of my book, will, I hope, be my lasting contributions to easing this "mortal coil."
Would you like to find Robert?
Check out the links to this talented author:
Fiction with a Southern Twist