Joey Robert Parks
not the thing.
They merely point
to the thing.
The writer's task
is to persuade
(Published 22 Sept 2023)
"I love how masterfully crafted each line is, and the story itself is so powerful. The narrative is an exploration of creativity and self-discovery, revolving around the character, Matthew, and his interaction with a forest entity that serves as a metaphorical muse. Matthew's journey from confusion and desire to realization and resolution is incredibly thought-provoking, with a very uplifting ending.
The Shallow Poet is a compelling read that will make you ponder the power of words and the nature of desire and fulfillment. It's a short read [10,000 words] but I just couldn't put it down.
If you're on the fence, pick it up! You won't regret it."
~ Sarah Larson
"Captivating, relatable, a very delightful read."
"I wasn’t able to stop reading it until I finished. What makes this story special is it’s relatability. The author could replaced the protagonist’s name with my own and it wouldn’t have skipped a beat."
"The Shallow Poet is a unique and thought-provoking literary experience that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone seeking a short story that combines history, philosophy, and the beauty of nature in a way that’s both eloquent and memorable. It’s a testament to the power of words and the unexpected paths life can take us on."
Triple Entendre of the Heart is an unforgettable love story about a relationship. Two threads intersect and become entangled. Her name is Alice. Her lover is unnamed. It could be any relationship, really.
We don't know how old they are, where or when the story takes place, nor all the typical backstories you'd expect to learn in a love story. And yet... all evidence of their past is there for us on full display in their words and their actions. Just as it is in real life when we meet people, get to know them, and know we don't truly know them as much as we think we do.
An original story of avant-garde short fiction by Joey Robert Parks
Illustrations by Kat Fiscaletti.
"The morning was green behind grey.
His eyes silently paused. His hand looked behind the hidden glassed case for the warning.
His secret world was shaped gray green.
His hands were drunk. The straight iron delicacy could be sweeping and brilliant except when disturbed and taken where seen. Nearly burning and desperate, his hands went quickly over the little pleasure."
Praise for Triple Entendre of the Heart:
"This was a stunning read and very cleverly written. Truly enjoyed it!!"
"I love this. Very emotional. And this amazing game of words at the end."
~ Kinga Jesman
"Wow! This is so cool!! I really love the way you phrase things, the word choice, and how things come out as a whole. It's beautiful. I can't believe you wrote this on the go."
"I read your novel today. It's beautiful and sad. Somehow if feels like a lonely room, even though there are two people. An empty room, a crackling record, Tom Waits moaning under the waning moon. I really like your sagacious ways of phrasing. Your edgy descriptive language. Like in southern American magical realism where bits of reality get utilized by unbridled imagination, setting the mood and letting the reader feel what the characters feel. Can't wait to see where you'll take the reader next!"
~ Olga Balogo
~ Sarah Hadir
"Never before have I experienced what it must feel like to be in the mind of the author at the moment of creation.
This is exhilarating."
~ Cody Hayes
"Salvador Dalí with words."
~ Blanca Torres
"This is indeed, amazing."
~ Jina Upadhyaya
(Ghostwritten, pub April 2021)
Witness the true oddities of John Iannarelli's 20-year career as a top FBI Agent, from hilarious memorable arrests to truly bizarre search warrant discoveries. Whether arresting an actor on stage, catching a criminal in a hot tub, executing a search warrant at the home of a grown man who lives with hundreds of dolls, or witnessing the office meeting that turned into a tribal council moment from Survivor, Disorderly Conduct is arrestingly funny and often hard to believe--but all true.
A well-known, 30-year veteran TV producer said it was the funniest thing he’d read since NBC’s The Office.
John Iannarelli's ("FBI John") investigative work included the Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11, the Sony hack, bank robberies, kidnappings, and other assorted crimes. During his 20-years with the FBI, Iannarelli was on the FBI Cyber Division executive staff, served as an FBI SWAT team member, and was the FBI’s National Spokesperson when he operated out of Washington D.C.
When in the FBI’s Phoenix Division, he was the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of overseeing all Criminal, Cyber, and Counter Intelligence Investigations in Arizona. During his FBI tenure, he was selected from the ranks of the Bureau’s 35,000 employees and awarded the FBI Director’s Distinguished Service Award. Iannarelli is also the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Computer Science in recognition of his contributions to the field of cyber investigations.
“Joey Robert Parks did not have much exposure to law enforcement before we first met. After a couple years listening to my stories and helping me put this book together, he now has the equivalent of a doctorate in policing. This book would not have been finished if it weren't for Joey and his skills.”
~ John Iannarelli
“John's mantra was ‘be nice to everyone you meet, but just in case, always have a plan to kill them.’ Without getting dark or political, Disorderly Conduct is without a doubt a great and entertaining read.”
~ Kenny Kramer, the Real Kramer of NBC's Seinfeld
"FBI John" is not only one of my favorite guests on my Joe Piscopo Radio Show, but he has a wicked sense of humor. His book will keep you laughing with his hysterical anecdotes from his years behind the badge, and you just might learn something, too.
~ Joe Piscopo, former Saturday Night Live cast member and comedian
”To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the most unlikely words in the English language are: ‘I'm from the FBI and I'm here to make you smile. I've seen plenty of fiction about funny cops — from Leslie Nielsen to Andy Samberg — but I assumed that real-life lawmen, especially in the FBI, never so much as grinned. Wow, was I mistaken. John Iannarelli has written a thoroughly enjoyable book with the very message that we promote on Candid Camera: Life is filled with humorous surprises. You just have to know where to look for them.”
~ Peter Funt, entertainer and host of Candid Camera
“Couldn't put it down! As a former law enforcement officer, I could really relate to these stories! The author's sense of humor is outstanding and his ability to convey that humor to the reader is a true gift.”
~ Verified Amazon Reader
“Amazing, true, and written by a master storyteller! This book is impossible to put down. He’s been there ... and now you can go there too ... through this fantastic perspective”
“Entertaining Genius! This work gives the reader an insight rarely seen by outsiders. This is one ride along you don’t want to miss!
“Great book, will make you laugh and shake your head. A book that is sure to keep you entertained and will make you smile.”
~ Kevin Rice
“John’s unique sense of humor makes his latest book a fun and interesting read. I was a recruit in the police academy with John. His positive attitude and humorous outlook in difficult situations kept us motivated and amused. I always knew he was destined for great things.”
~ Debby B
“Fun read! I had a hard time putting it down! This is a great read with entertaining insights into law enforcement, funny stuff.”
~ Michael O’Shaughnessy
“Fabulous read! This book had me in stitches; I literally could not put it down. An entertaining read. I highly recommend reading this book.”
My specialty is being able to write in any genre, about any topic--regardless of whether I know anything about it or not--and make it read like I've been writing about it for a decade.
I've written fiction & nonfiction books, blogs, screenplays, stage plays, ghostwritten books and speeches, whitepapers, and more. I'm an art director, social entrepreneur, and eternally wide-eyed, insatiably curious documenter.
"Joey is a 𝒑𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒍 𝒗𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒓𝒚, which means that he pairs a 𝒄𝒖𝒕𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈-𝒆𝒅𝒈𝒆 𝒇𝒍𝒂𝒊𝒓 for the creative with bottom-line, 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍-𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒍𝒅 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒖𝒍𝒕𝒔."
~ 𝘎𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘵 𝘉𝘦𝘯-𝘋𝘰𝘳 (MBA, CSW, Master Sommelier)
"Joey brings 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒕𝒂𝒈𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒉𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒂𝒔𝒎 & passion... He encouraged [us] to get out of [our] comfort zone."
~ 𝘌𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯 𝘉𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘴 (Photographer)
"Joey did not have much exposure to law enforcement before we first met... He now has the equivalent of a doctorate in policing. [Disorderly Conduct] would not have been finished if it weren't for Joey and his skills.”
~ 𝘑𝘰𝘩𝘯 𝘐𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪 (Retired FBI Agent, National FBI Spokesperson,
Oversaw all Criminal, Cyber, and Counter Intelligence Divisions,
SWAT Team Member, advisor to the Pope)
“Of all the characteristics Joey embodies, two in particular resonate throughout: an amazing enthusiasm that makes working with him 𝐟𝐮𝐧 and a skill that's very rare indeed: the 𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐱 𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐬 into a written form that makes perfect sense the first time through.”
~ Chris Tingom (Tornado Design)
►Since 2003, I've ghosted 30 books in fashion, law enforcement, the escort industry, mortgage brokering, insurance, investment philanthropy, memoirs, supernatural healing, politics, fiction, history, and 20 other professions. I've even ghosted books pretending to be another ghostwriter.
Most of my ghosted books are under NDA's which don't allow me to share titles or author names. If you ask, I'll share more details, but not enough that you could figure out who I'm talking about. I've self-authored three books, with many new ones in progress.
I'm currently developing multiple stories in different genres and forms. I generally had around 12 writing projects at a time for the last couple decades, but when I got Covid for three weeks in November 2020, followed by six months of long-Covid, I decided to slow down. Now, I'm keep it under six concurrent writing projects. lol.
This tornado of activity would terrify most.
I live in the center. I find it calming. Peaceful, even.
I've never had writer's block. I can start writing instantly with no warm ups and I can stop just as quickly. That wasn't always the case, but in 2015, I taught myself to do it in about two weeks and it transformed my productivity. (Hint: it comes down to trusting your talent and not giving any heed to "the shitty committee" in your head who like to sit in judgement. Get control of them and you're 95% there.)
My creative nonfiction book, Biggest Small Town, is in progress. It will teach readers to think like an entrepreneur in a way no book has ever done. It will be traditionally published. It features stories from one entrepreneur in every state in America and one each in 24 countries. As of 3 Oct 2023, I'm on my 43rd of 74 interviews. My goal is to have an agent in place before the end of 2023.
To get periodic email updates on these projects (and others), subscribe to my weekly newsletter. Click the link to read past issues. Easy to unsubscribe.
How I Became a Ghostwriter
Between 1996 and 2002, I worked at Starbucks full-time as a barista.
Starting in 1999, I pre-sold (mostly at work) 500 copies ($29.95/each) of my first book: a magical realism tale I called, "die reading: an espionage fable". I raised $15,000 towards self-publication, hired a painter for the 1,000-book limited release hardcover dust jacket, a graphic designer to layout the manuscript and cover, and a team to make the website.
I sold advance copies of the book while I wrote it.
Every spare minute I could find in my days were filled with writing. Not isolated in my room somewhere like a typical introvert writer. My extrovert blood combined with my (then) un-diagnosed and untreated ADHD needed to be surrounded by people and culture and coffee. Because my story's antagonist had the same coffee barista gig I did, my work doubled as research. (Even with my coffee discount, anything I bought that was related to coffee was a tax write-off.) Every day, after work, I'd remove my green apron. sit at a table among my fellow coffee drinkers, and write.
You wanna write for a living? You gotta live to write.
After die reading's Halloween Day 2002 release, 20 die-readers left these glowing reviews about their experience (from the archive.org website). The contrasting 3-star average from a whopping three Amazon reviewers (to date) used to bother me. Until, I realized that all writers have to start somewhere, it's better to weed out those who weren't part of my audience so I could figure out how to better promote future writings to my core audience, and it's a great way to inspire other writers-in-waiting to persevere and power-ahead while learning to write and promote their work.
I'd had no formal training on how to write a fiction story, but I didn't care. I had an absolute blast writing die reading.
A big part of my research included a four-month stay at New Zealand's Kare Kare beach, where I lived in this beach-facing music studio & home.
The link is a 12-minute behind-the-scenes video of the making and recording of the 1993 Crowded House album, Together Alone, which took place in this home studio. I didn't get to meet Neil Finn, but I was there at the invitation of the owner, who I'd met in Scottsdale, AZ a few years prior. He'd been passing through on his way to Los Angeles to sign a record deal for his best-selling artist, Emma Paki. I spent a lot of time getting to know her in NZ and we still keep in touch.
Prior to die reading's release, I'd been making maybe 35% of my income from writing website copy, brochures, creative bios, etc. One of the people would bought my book was Diane, a woman in her early 60's. She liked it so much, she hired me in 2003 to coach her to write a children’s book. We started a couple months later and met at her home on a Tuesday morning. After getting me a cup of coffee and catching up a bit, we sat down to get started. I opened my mouth to get us started, but she interrupted me and announced that a month prior, she'd just been diagnosed with terminal spinal cancer. She'd been given six to eight months to live.
Wondering why I was sitting there to coach her on writing a children’s book, I asked if we were still doing that.
“No,” she said. “I want to write my memoir.“
So I coached her on how to do that.
A few weeks in, she started chemotherapy. Every time we were going to meet she was either sick, or hadn’t done the homework, or we had to reschedule. During this time, I’d heard her story. This woman was in her mid-60’s. I knew her as this quiet, mousy, church lady. The lady who hosted bible studies at her house for college students.
I learned that when she was in high school, she learned that the black sheep of the family, her aunt –a grifter who traveled the country with a man setting up small cons, ripping people off, then skipping town – was her biological mother! The woman she thought was her mom was actually her aunt!
Her aunt (who she thought was her mom) was heavily involved in the occult. All through her childhood, Diane routinely saw demons, devils, ghosts, and all manner of the supernatural while she was growing up.
I was riveted.
She wasn’t getting her writing assignments done, though; understandably, on account of her illness and chemo. “I’m worried," I said, "that we won’t be able to finish your book in the next six or seven months. I’m great at pretending to be other people and mimicking them in writing. I’d like to pretend to be you and write your book for you, as if I were you. Like a method actor, but instead of the stage, I’d perform on the page.”
I’d never heard of ghostwriting.
She loved the idea and off we went. While working on that project, a Starbucks customer asked what kind of writing projects I was working on. I told her about this one and she said, “Oh! You’re a ghostwriter!”
“I’m a what?” I said, hypnotized by the word the instant I heard it.
“You’re a ghostwriter. That’s where you pretend to be someone else and write as if you are them.”
If I just use that word when people ask me what kind of writer I am, I thought. They’ll be as mesmerized as I am! They'll ask me all kinds of questions about it and I can talk about all the things I'm writing, not just ghostwriting! I bet I can get clients that way, too!
When I looked into it, I discovered I could make a very good living doing it. I absolutely loved it. That’s the day I became a ghostwriter.
That was 32 books ago.
Though I still ghostwrite, the events of 2020 led me to shift from pure ghostwriting to phase two of my career: solo-authored fiction and nonfiction. I write about all of these projects in my weekly personal and engaging newsletter.
“Of all the characteristics Parks embodies, two in particular resonate throughout. An amazing enthusiasm that makes working with him fun and a skill that's very rare indeed--the ability to transform complex ideas into a written form that makes perfect sense the first time through.” ~ Chris Tingom, Tornado Design