Debra Parmley’s Path to Publication Story

Today I’m thrilled to have Debra Parmley on here, sharing her Path to Publication story. We’re both Historical Western Romance authors (she also writes in additional genres), so I’m happy she’s willing to share her story. Without further ado, here’s Debra…


_MG_3142_ppFirst, thank you Christi for inviting me to share my path to publication and my stories here today.

My path to publication has been one roller coaster of a ride.

I’ve always wanted to be an author from the time I was in elementary school and reading books as fast as I could get my hands on them. I had written poetry in high school and short stories in college. But a novel seemed so large. I’d had one short story published in a horror anthology, More Monsters From Memphis and my story Vampire from Memphis had romance in it. I was already leaning toward romance.

At the Ozarks Writers Weekend in Arkansas, Dusty Richards, a western author issued a challenge to write my first novel and make it a western. The winner of his contest would receive a full read by his agent. I started my first novel and a year later at the conference I had a first draft but he no longer had his agent. However he went over my first three chapters and gave me some pointers. I had written a western that turned into a western romance fairly quickly. (What I would soon learn is that everything I write no matter my intention setting out, turns into a romance. I am just romance minded!) Well I edited the story and then entered it in Bobbi Smiths writing contest at the RT convention and it won third place and a critique by Bobbi. She told me that my story really began in chapter three. So I revised A Desperate Journey and entered it in the American Title II contest put on by Dorchester Publishing and Romantic Times Booklovers magazine. When I was notified I was a finalist I had to hurry and get a website and start asking friends to vote for me. Each month two of us were kicked off and the prize was a publishing contract with Dorchester. I made it to the second round before being bumped but soon landed an agent and a year later he sold A Desperate Journey to Samhain Publishing.

Five publishers later, I made the decision to open my own boutique press, Belo Dia Publishing. The publishing world has changed so much since 2008 when my first book came out and two of my publishers are now closed.  In 2016 I decided to leap and open my own house. I am now bringing out all my back list books as well as new ones. I’m thrilled to be able to offer A Desperate Journey to readers again now that the rights have reverted to me. I’m also able to spin several of my books into series.

My new Butterflies Fly Free series is about teenagers coming of age in the 1920’s. Writing about young flappers is so much fun and this is a time period that publishers weren’t interested in when I pitched it to them a few years ago. So it’s a joy to be writing the series now. Trapping the Butterfly, book one in the series, was a RONE award finalist and right now I am working on book two, Dancing Butterfly. For summer I have put three of my books on sale. Trapping the Butterfly (1920’s), Dangerous Ties (western historical) and Aboard the Wishing Star (contemporary beach read).


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00061]Trapping the Butterfly Blurb

Bethany is celebrating her eighteenth birthday in Hot Springs. If her aunt and uncle have their way she will return engaged. Her life has been controlled, from the clothes she wears to the food she eats. She longs to be like other girls and bob her hair, raise her hemline, and learn to do the Charleston, but first she has to break free from the aunt and uncle who have kept her–and her inheritance–very close.

Paul Tollick chased butterflies when he was young. Now he chases gangsters. A detective whose job plunges him into the harsh underworld of gangsters, bootleggers, and fast women, he is captivated by the sight of innocent Bethany, sitting in the park surrounded by butterflies. But two other men have determined to catch her and one is a dangerous gangster who is part of Al Capone’s gang. Will Bethany exit her cocoon, find strength and fly free or be trapped?

Trapping the Butterfly, a coming of age love story, is the first in Debra Parmley’s 1920’s Butterflies Fly Free series.


Buy Links

Trapping the Butterfly – sale – 99 cents

Smashwords                   Amazon


Author Media Links


Author Bio:

Debra Parmley enjoys spreading love, one story at a time.

Fascinated by fairy tales and folktales ever since she was young, she has always ended her stories with a happy ever after.

A hybrid author, Debra writes in many genres. Western historical romance, contemporary romance, fairy tale romance, futuristic romance and 1920’s romance. Damsel in distress stories are some of her favorites and you will find this theme in many of her stories. Her westerns have been described as gritty.

Debra enjoys writing, reading, playing a medieval lady in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) and world travel. Her work as a travel consultant gave her the opportunity to visit many countries and her luggage often carried home folk tales from the countries visited.

Her three favorite things are dark chocolate, visiting the beach and ocean, and hearing from her readers. Each card, letter and email is a treasured gift, like finding a perfect shell upon the beach.

For more information about Debra, please visit her website at

You can also listen to her live Internet radio show “Book Lights – shining a light on good books!” at 8:30pm EST on Tuesday evenings at



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