- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
As one of the main staff writers and editors of the eParis Extra!, Jeff Parish is known for delivering quality articles about Paris — covering a variety of topics from community board meetings and local events, to Parisian business, culture and lifestyle.
However, unbeknownst to many, Mr. Parish — going by the pen name J. Aaron Parish — is also a published novelist.
In a book called Jennings Grove, Jeff captured the eye of publisher, Graveside Tales, and the result is a fiction piece that, according to a reader review on Amazon.com, ‘is a novel with a psychological layer reminiscent of early Stephen King (but without all the foul language).’
When Jeff isn’t spreading the news of Paris via the Extra, or scribbling away at pages of the next novel, he is an English teacher at North Lamar High School, as well as a graphic designer and owner of design company, 7th Square Designs.
He started writing in the eighth grade at Commerce Middle School.
“It began with really bad poetry and a few mediocre short stories,” Jeff stated. ”I gravitated to fiction, and my writing gradually improved — much to the relief of the people I forced to read my work.
After publishing this first story, the first four chapters to the novel quickly followed, and became the basis for the rest of the book, Jennings Grove.
“In all, it took about three years to write,” Parish said. ”I had periods where time did not permit much writing — mostly when I was looking for work.”
The story is set in a little community that Parish made up called Jennings Grove, just north of Chicota, right on the Red River.
“The name is actually a ‘mash-up’ of Jennings and Honey Grove,” he says.
If psychological thrillers and horror stories are your genres of choice, Jennings Grove is a book you could get lost in (no pun intended). The synopsis of the book on Amazon.com is as follows:
When Vernon Hamilton loses his job in Houston, he moves his family to a small community in far North Texas. They get an odd reception, and as the sun sets, they discover just how dark the country can get away from big city lights. They learn the darkness of Jennings Grove isn’t like other places. It’s alive, and it hungers. Can Vernon save his new home? Can he even save himself?
“The story evolved as I translated it to a novel, of course,” Jeff stated. ”My main character started as an industrial worker. In the novel, he’s a PR guy turned teacher, which is kind of my own career path.”
Jeff says that the idea of ‘living darkness’ — which is the antagonist of the book — has its roots to his childhood.
“My brother and I would sometimes spend the night with our grandmother on the weekends for church,” he said. ”She lived in town, with a streetlight not too far from the window. The rest of the house was dark, and it always looked to me like the shadows were fighting the dim light to push their way into the room.”
This ‘fighting darkness’ takes a dark role in Jennings Grove, and Vernon must find a way to survive, and hopefully save his family. The townspeople offer little help to his obvious discontent, but they are fully aware of the danger the darkness imposes on the small community of Jennings Grove. No one leaves their house after the sun goes down and no lights go off.
In another review from a reader on Amazon.com, it stated:
The author of this book has managed to take a simple thing most children are sometimes scared of, shadows, and step the fear up a notch with great creativity, imagination and verbal descriptions. The book is captivating in that I had trouble putting it down.
The book was published in May of 2012, by Graveside Tales. You can buy it on Amazon.com, where it gets a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Click here to get the book.
Jeff isn’t going to stop there though, he is currently in the process of a new work that will be coming soon.
“I have a story collection called Where the Sun Don’t Shine, due out from Belfire Press next fall.”
He also has his design company, 7th Square Designs, housed in the Red River Region Business Incubator. They offer custom graphic design, advertising, flyers, business cards, newsletters, mail-outs,etc. Call (903) 905-4979 for more information and pricing.