Park City podcaster’s new novel inspired by crazy COVID antics
Honey Parker’s novel “Careful-ish: A Ridiculous Romp Through COVID Living As Seen Through the Eyes of Ridiculous People” is available at amazon.com.
A new satirical novel, “Careful-ish: A Ridiculous Romp Through COVID Living As Seen Through the Eyes of Ridiculous People,” written by Park City resident Honey Parker, is inspired by real-life events.
The book, which is available at Amazon, examines the antics of six characters who are in COVID-19 lockdown in New York City. The storylines started forming during Zoom calls among Parker, her husband Blaine and their friends back East.
“We would talk about the ridiculous things we heard that are taking place out in the big world during the pandemic,” said Parker, who, along with Blaine, has worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter. “And because of my background, I thought I’d write a sitcom pilot.”
Parker credits Blaine for changing the pilot into a novel.
“He said I needed to write it up as a novel, because chances are the sitcom will not get done due to things in Hollywood moving at a glacial pace,” Parker said. “He also said if I wrote the novel, I could self-publish it, and it will go out in the world and make friends.”
While Parker and her husband, who host the “CoupleCo: Working With Your Spouse for Fun & Profit” podcast, have written books about marketing and branding, this was the first time she wrote a novel.
“I was completely intimidated, but I dug my heels in,” she said. “Six weeks later, I had my first pass, and I did two editing passes in the following two weeks.”
A friend in publishing told Parker to self-publish through Amazon.
“He had read the book and said it needed to come out this fall, and there weren’t any publishing companies who would turn it around that quickly,” Parker said.
The six diverse characters that include an African-American financial officer; his white, punk-rock roommate; a Chinese-American floral designer and a Jewish news reporter are not based on any of Parker’s friends or acquaintances.
“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. “I did, however, certainly added a little bit of my quirks in the characters.”
Also, the parents of one of the characters are a “blatant rip off of” Parker’s own parents.
“You see my mom and dad when you watch any sitcom that has Jewish parents,” she said with a laugh. “I mean, I came from a family where humor was very important, and my mother would say so many funny things without knowing it.”
Rewriting the sitcom into a novel proved to be a challenge for Parker.
“In a sitcom you have a conflict that gets resolved each week, but there is a much different story arc in a novel, and things don’t always get resolved in such a short time,” she said.
Parker needed to think of each character differently to flesh out their stories.
“I purposely kept the setting in four apartments throughout the whole book, although we see some things happening on the characters’ TV sets or outside their windows,” she said. “Part of the fun was wanting the readers to get the feeling of being inside with these people during a pandemic, and then coming up with nutty things the characters would do when they didn’t think anyone was watching.”
While Parker had mapped out the storyline, and knew how the book was going to end, some of the characters ended up surprising her.
“As I started to get to know the characters better, and they really began to write themselves,” she said. “And there were some organic things that happened along the way that I didn’t see coming.”
That’s when the book took on a life of its own.
“It’s really what kept things fun and interesting for me,” she said.
“Careful-ish” is the first book in a trilogy, Parker said.
“I already know where the next books are going to go,” she said. “One of my goals was to make this an affectionate satire. I want the stories to be humorous and, hopefully, very human, and I want people to start laughing again.”
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