Local author conceives her second novel, ‘Daughter of Careful-ish’
Satirical story picks up where debut novel ends
It’s time for season two of “Careful-ish.”
Last October, Park City resident Honey Parker, who co-hosts the “CoupleCo: Working With Your Spouse for Fun & Profit” podcast with her husband Blaine, published “Careful-ish: A Ridiculous Romp Through COVID Living As Seen Through the Eyes of Ridiculous People,” a satirical novel that examines the antics of six characters who are in COVID-19 lockdown in New York City.
Her new book, “Daughter of Careful-ish: What Have We Learned? Nothing!” picks up right where the first book ends.
“It starts the morning after the first book ends, and everyone — the same core group of friends from ‘Careful-ish’ — has a massive hangover in their own respective apartments,” Parker said with a laugh.
These characters, whose storylines formed during Zoom calls between the Parkers and their friends back East, include an African-American financial officer, his white, punk-rock roommate, a Chinese-American floral designer and a Jewish news reporter.
“They are a group of 20-something friends who all went to high school together and reconnected in New York City during the COVID pandemic,” she said.
Since these characters were established in the first book, Parker enjoyed expanding on their backstories that influenced their individual idiosyncrasies.
“There were a few things that I didn’t realize that would happen, but as these situations approached, things became inevitable that a certain character would do something specific even if they knew better not to,” she said with another laugh. “On the other hand, I couldn’t force them to do anything, because they were too developed. So, as I wrote, I basically had to let them take the lead and do what they were supposed to do.”
“Daughter of Careful-ish” introduces new characters and fleshes out secondary characters that originally appeared in “Careful-ish,” according to Parker.
“Some of these new people are long-distance relationships who were more like shadows in the first book,” she said.
Parker did turn one original character’s life upside down by introducing eldery parents into the mix.
“I had her move to Florida to care for her parents, which opened a whole new world of people who are in their 60s and 70s and have learned nothing regarding COVID,” she said. “The funny thing is that her character was the most un-careful-ish one living in New York, and finds herself wondering how she became the most responsible one in Florida.”
While Parker enjoyed adding new characters into the story, she found it a challenge to juggle all their storylines.
“The book is ultimately one story, but there are so many substories happening within, and they all have to work with each other,” she said. “But at the end of the day, all of these tales are a study in human behavior. This has been a potent time to look at behavior, because all the ridiculous things we do and the caring things we do seem to be heightened in today’s climate.”
Still, Parker didn’t want to bog down the story with blame, because she believes everyone is being careful in terms that fit their lifestyles.
“I went through the pandemic in Park City, and while I was mostly in my house, I skied in the winter,” she said. “I’m sure my friends in California wondered what I was doing, like when I would see what some of my friends in Texas were doing. We all justified our choices, and this is the most potent time of all time to justify human behavior.”
“Daughter of Careful-ish” is the second book in Parker’s trilogy, which will end with “Bride of Careful-ish.”
“I wrote ‘Careful-ish’ after I had been asked by a friend who works for a major network to write a pilot for a sitcom,” Parker said. “As most things happen in television and Hollywood nothing happened, and her network decided not to do anything COVID-19 related at that point.”
So, Parker’s husband told her to write the pilot as a novel.
“He said I wouldn’t have to wait for anyone to green light it, and at the end of the day, win, lose or draw, the story would be told,” she said.
When Parker was three chapters into her first draft, her husband told her she needed to write a trilogy.
“(I) asked why, and he said ‘prevailing book wisdom is your third book sells your first book,'” she said with a laugh. “So, I am now 25% through writing the third book.”
Honey Parker’s novel “Daughter of Careful-ish: What Have We Learned? Nothing!” is available on Amazon, Goodreads and daughterofcarefulish.com.
• Her debut novel “Careful-ish: A Ridiculous Romp Through COVID Living As Seen Through the Eyes of Ridiculous People” is also available on Amazon, Goodreads and carefulish.com.
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