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Liz Parker is the author of The Family Compound, which is now available.
Liz Parker is a literary agent at Verve Talent & Literary. She has written for the New York Times’s Modern Love column, and she lives in Los Angeles with her wife, Sarah, and their two dogs, Beep and Tiny. Her first novel, All Are Welcome, was published in August 2021, and The Family Compound was published in August 2022.
Here’s the synopsis for The Family Compound:
Five cousins must band together to decide the future of their shared inheritance—the family’s sprawling property in Stowe, Vermont—but with each at a different place in life, reaching a unanimous decision seems unlikely.
Penny struggles with depression and craves stability in an unstable world. Halsey is divorced, raising her child, and contending with an unexpected realization about herself. William can be counted on only to fall in love as capriciously as he falls out of it. And both Laurie and Chris are floundering after betrayals—hers professional, his personal. With little in common except childhood memories, the five face impossible choices. It’s going to take sacrifice, compromise, and a plan for moving forward they can all agree to. Until then, the fate of the Nolan family compound is as uncertain as their paths in life.
As five lives in flux converge and tensions run high, the cousins will have to rely on each other if they’re to have any hope of preserving the past. From the author of All Are Welcome comes a novel about a family legacy worth fighting for.
Let’s get to know Liz as she talks favorite novels, writing inspirations, family dynamics in fiction and more!
When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I always wanted to be become an author — I knew I could when I had an idea (for my first book, ALL ARE WELCOME, in late 2018) that stuck to my ribs and showed me that we don’t forget our best ideas.
How has your experience as a literary agent influenced your fiction writing?
I spend so much time helping writers craft their stories, I realized in that service, I was learning how to craft stories of my own. Even if I only get to write for an hour or two a week, I’m thinking about stories 24/7.
What inspired you to write The Family Compound?
I wanted to write a story about cousins – it’s a particular type of familiar relationship, because it’s one accompanied with similar unconditional love of a nuclear family, but it’s also one that can drift over the course of adulthood. My family has a property in Vermont, and I think often about what it will look like fifty years from now. I wondered, what if we couldn’t do a thing without every single person truly on board?
Oftentimes, these types of family inheritance stories revolve around siblings—how is the dynamic different when it features cousins?
It’s easier to leave cousins behind. So much of establishing a cousin relationship depends on whether the parent generation is close. If it is close, those cousins grow up spending holidays and vacations together. They might even live near each other. But as that structured exposure wanes – people grow up, people get old, people move — it takes more active effort to maintain those relationships. And yet, cousins often possess a well of love and nostalgia for each other. For me, my cousins encompass so much of my childhood, and those memories that carry me through today. I wanted to include the intricacies and nuances of that.
What was your favorite part and/or chapter to write?
I loved the ending! I was smiling ear-to-ear writing it.
What are you currently reading and what’s on your TBR (to be read) list?
My taste is definitely eclectic: I’ve just finished The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles and devoured it. Same with Upgrade by Blake Crouch and Queerly Beloved by Susie Dumond. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin will soon be considered a classic.
Click here to order The Family Compound on Amazon.