In a misguided attempt to summon the Muse, Robyn Parnell once saw the profile of the love child of Barbara Kingsolver and Chuck Norris formed by the dust bunnies underneath her computer monitor. She chugged a caffeinated beverage until the image faded. Parnell is an Author’s Guild and SCBWI member; her fiction, poetry and essays have been published in over ninety books, magazines and journals (several of which have not filed for Chapter 11 protection). In 2012 she got to practice her It’s-an-honor-just-to-be-nominated speech when one of her short stories was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Notable publishing credits include her juvenile novel The Mighty Quinn, her picture book My Closet Threw a Party and her short fiction collection This Here and Now; less notable credits are not noted in this notation. When not working on innumerable fiction projects Parnell rehearses her NEA grant refusal speech and considers obtaining whatever professional help is necessary to enable her to compose a more pretentious Author’s Bio blurb. For more information, see: www.RobynParnell.net and www.theblogimnotwriting.com
Robyn, in “The Assassin,” excerpted from your novel Looking Up, JD and Ciela are recovering in the aftermath of life, post-“incident.” JD is trying to attain a new “normal,” hence his fateful visit to Rivercrest. At what point do these scenes arise in the novel?
What JD and Ciela come to call The Incident occurs in the book’s third chapter. Before Cheryl’s death and Ciela’s peculiar injury (“The Incident”), JD regularly walked/hiked in Rivercrest Park. JD’s desire to return to a normal routine after Cheryl’s funeral (Chapter 14) is what prompts that fateful visit to Rivercrest (Chapter 15).