Monday, July 28, 2008

Meet Trish Perry - Interview & Book Giveaway

PhotobucketIt’s my great pleasure to present author Trish Perry. I met Trish last year at the ACFW conference in Dallas when we were in the shuttle bus on the way back to the airport. So, we just barely met, but she made a great impression on me. You can be sure this year I’m going to hunt her down before it’s time to go home!



THE BIO

The author of Beach Dreams (2008), Trish Perry lives in Northern Virginia with her hilarious teenaged son. She discovered her love of writing while earning a degree in Psychology. She switched career paths in 1997 and never looked back. Her debut novel, The Guy I'm Not Dating, placed second in the 2007 FHL Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, and her second novel, Too Good to Be True, is a current finalist in the 2008 FHL IRCC. To learn more about Trish and her novels, visit her web site: www.trishperry.com

THE INTERVIEW

JA: Your latest book is Beach Dreams. Please tell us about it.
TP: Beach Dreams involves two of the characters from my past novels. Tiffany LeBoeuf was the bad girl up until the end of the second book (Too Good to Be True), and even then, she just squeaked by—barely accepted The Truth before The End! Jeremy Beckett is a delightfully charming hunk from England who constantly seeks Ms. Right in all the wrong places. I just love the guy, and I get comments from plenty of women who want to come to Northern Virginia and find him, LOL! Circumstances throw these unlikely romantic leads together in Beach Dreams, and it’s fun watching their relationship grow from dislike to friendship to romance. Complicating matters are both of their fathers and Jeremy’s dishonest girlfriend, each of whom have secrets that are revealed at the beach house.

JA: Your heroine, Tiffany, has gone through a lot of upheaval in her life. What’s the hardest, or easiest, thing about putting your characters in heart-wrenching situations?
TP: There’s that balance you want to achieve in a Christian character, between the sinner she will always be and the believer who has given her life to the Lord. With a new Christian like Tiffany, it’s not quite as difficult, because she can get away with being truly rough around the spiritual edges without turning the reader off. But some readers want their Christian characters perfect, while other readers feel Christian characters aren’t imperfect enough. The opinion is very subjective, and the best we writers can hope for is to write the characters the way we feel the Lord leads us to. What I always liked about writing Tiffany was that it didn’t take much to show why she turned out as she did, prior to her acceptance of Christ. I’d like to write unlikeable characters more often (or what readers might consider unlikeable). I find them interesting.

Trish Perry - Beach DreamsJA: Originally, you intended for this book to be set in Northern Virginia. How did the location switch to San Diego?
TP: The crux of the story was that it had to involve Tiffany and Jeremy. Because my first two books took place in Northern Virginia, I was going to keep Tiff and Jeremy’s story there, and that’s how I started writing it. But when Harvest House asked if I would write the book under The Beach House Series—which always takes place at the same beach house in San Diego—I needed to get our hero and heroine to the other side of the country! Since they weren’t even friends, let alone married, I certainly couldn’t have them staying together at the beach house. So the entire plot changed, and I really loved what happened with it.

JA: What do you hope people take away after reading Beach Dreams?
TP: First off, I hope they’re entertained. I try to work the way the Lord wants me to, but I think he likes us to be entertained on occasion. Why else would he have created dogs to chase their tails or babies to giggle over absolutely nothing?

That said, as I told the story, I found my characters learning a few things along the way. Situations aren’t always as they appear, for one, and we can be fooled or we can misjudge others if we don’t constantly seek God’s wisdom and guidance. And sometimes we can miss out on His blessings if we fail to see situations as He means us to.

Another thing I felt from the characters is how difficult it can be when a believer is drawn romantically to a nonbeliever. I’ve touched on the subject before, but in Beach Dreams, the nonbeliever is someone who feels almost real to me (and many readers) at this point. I feel a renewed empathy for Christians in these circumstances. Again, God’s guidance and strength are so important.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
TP: This isn’t definite yet, but there’s a chance I’ll write the next book in The Beach House series. If I do, it will involve an entirely new set of characters. They’re already in my head, bulking up for the adventure. I’m eager to hang out with them!

JA: You have a degree in Psychology. Have you found that helpful when it comes to writing fiction?
TP: Really helpful. With only a bachelors, I’m certainly not qualified to do anything but armchair analyzing, which is as proficient as armchair anything. But I’ve definitely been molded to look beneath the surface of one’s behaviors and choices. And I can often anticipate how a person’s behaviors or words might play upon another person over the years. So, my degree has been excellent training in character development.

JA: Is there something people would be surprised to know about you?
TP: Hmm. I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, how about that? It’s been several years since I’ve practiced the sport (or anything all that physically taxing, to be frank), but I used to know how to break a man’s neck with my bare hands. At least that’s what they told me—I never actually tried it. Honest.

JA: If money and time were non-issues, what’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
TP: I’d love to slowly travel Europe. If you’ve read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, you know the first third of her memoir involves her living in Italy, virtually eating her way through the country. I’d like to do that through all of Europe. Now, will you just take a look at the difference between this answer and the one directly above it? The difference between these two frames of mind is SO evident in my waistline. You said money and time were non-issues, and I guess I’d also like weight gain to also be a non-issue, as long as we’re fantasizing.

JA: Here, here! I hereby decree weight gain a non-issue! (If only it were that easy.) Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
TP: I’ll make a point of posting about such things on my blog, which is on the first page of my web site (www.trishperry.com) I love visitors! I’ve started interviewing other authors and hosting book giveaways each week, too.

Thanks for the interview, Jennifer! It’s been fun.

Thanks for spending some time with us, Trish. Now that I know about your Tae Kwon Do training, I’ll be sure not to sneak up on you in Minneapolis. May God continue to bless your writing journey!

JEN’S REVIEW

With a title like Beach Dreams you’d expect this to be the perfect book to take with you for a day of lounging in the sun. And it is. But really, it’s perfect to read anytime. Full of wonderfully flawed, real characters, Beach Dreams is as satisfying as a hunk of watermelon on a scorching summer day… or a cup of cocoa during a snow storm.

One of my favorite things about this book is how the people relate to each other in completely believable ways. There’s a time-honored tradition in romantic fiction of using misunderstandings and miscommunication to keep the hero and heroine apart. Problem is, it’s used so often it usually comes off as an old and tired contrivance. Three cheers for Trish Perry for not taking the easy way out! Yes, a misunderstanding is what brings our eclectic cast of character together at the beach house, and it’s set up beautifully. But as the story progresses and opportunities for misunderstandings arise, the characters do something amazing; they talk to each other! Rather than jump to conclusions, they think things through. What a refreshing concept!

As for romantic male leads, you’d be hard pressed to find one more appealing than Jeremy Beckett. Suave, sweet and self-effacing, I found him sounding like Hugh Grant in my head, especially during a scene at a boardwalk amusement area.

If you’re looking for a fun love story with a strong moral center and a hunky leading man, check out Beach Dreams. You won’t be sorry!

WIN THE BOOK

If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Beach Dreams just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on August 4th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

28 comments:

windycindy said...

What a wonderful location for a book! The cover takes me to the ocean! The story line and the characters sound very interesting. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Audra Elizabeth said...

loved the interview! :)

and sign me up for the drawing! :)

thepeachykeenwriter[at]yahoo[dot]com

Blissful said...

Congratulations on the book and the interview!!!

Lauralee

Kathleen said...

I haven't read any books by this author but I would like to and I love the beach although I have only been a couple of times in my life. Sounds like a good book! I'm in for the contest.
khw4christ@yahoo.com

Alessandra said...

Great interview! Please enter me in your giveaway. Thank you!

Alessandra
outofblue1[at]gmail.com

haras w said...

enjoyed the interview.
please enter me in the draw.
thanks,
sarahwoll[at]hotmail[dot]com

cpullum said...

Would really love to win!! Beach House sries sounds good!
I will have to look into getting it.
cpullum(at)yahoo(dot)com

Stacey said...

Ooh, please enter me in the giveaway. I adore Trish's books and could really use a mental beach vacation. Thanks.

stacey_dale[at]yahoo[dot]com

traveler said...

Thanks for this lovely giveaway. Your review captured my interest. The cover artwork is delightful and captivating. I love the ocean.
rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

anne said...

This novel is a beautiful story which interests me greatly. The characters and setting is wonderful. Thanks for this chance.
saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Smilingsal said...

I'd very much like to win/read this book. The cover alone makes me want it! Thank you..
smilingsal55[at]yahoo[dot]com

ruth said...

Thanks for choosing this book which appeals to me. I always have enjoyed the ocean and this book looks enticing. Love the cover which depicts it so well.
bencanada1(at)yahoo(dot)com

pearl said...

Your interview was great! What an enjoyable summer book. Thanks.
elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included! tWarner419@aol.com

Pamela J said...

We have been working on the concept to talk about things instead of jumping to conclusions. Sounds like a great book to cement this needed action into lives through a book that puts it into practice. Please enter me.
Pam Williams
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

artst4christ said...

Sign me up please who couldn't use a taste of the ocean breeze in the middle of a HOT summer
( I live in Texas ) I could use a cool down even if it's all in my vivid imagination !

http://www.shoutlife.com/artst4christ

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hey Ladies,

Great to see you all here! Many of you mentioned the book's cover... isn't it great? Really gives you that refreshing "beachy" feel.

I'm not a terrific beach person, but my son is. So my idea of a great vacation would be to stay in a beach house where I can lounge on the deck and watch my son hit the waves with his boogie board. Awesome dude!

Trish Perry said...

What an active audience you have, Jennifer! I'm looking forward to sending that free copy to one of your lovely gals.

I love the cover, too! As my brother said when he saw it, "I want to be in one of those chairs!"

Blessings,

Trish

MaryZ said...

Beach Dreams is on my "want-to-read" list, I would love a chance to win it!
Thanks!
maryzan{at}gmail{dot}com

Jennifer AlLee said...

Thanks for stopping by, Trish!

I may be partial, but I think I have some of the best readers of any blog around :+}

Hannah said...

I JUST finished reading Trish Perry's Second book... about 30 minutes ago! I CANNOT wait to read the next one!! I'd love a chance to win it!
rosebudluvsjesus@comcast.net

Sarah said...

I am SO excited about this book. I have been waiting for a book about Jeremy since I finished reading "Its Too Good To Be True". I can't wait to read it. Please enter me in the drawing. sarahwoody03[at]comcast[dot]net

ForstRose said...

Jennifer,

Please enter me in the drawing. Trish's book is on my wish list.

Trish,

Thanks for offering the book to be given away.

Melissa
forest_rose[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cheri2628 said...

This sounds like a wonderful read! I like the description of the characters and the story. Please enter me in the drawing.

castings[at]mindspring[dot]com

Beth said...

I'd love to read this book. Please sign me up for the drawing.

ervin[dot]beth[at]gmail[dot]com

Thanks!

Crystal said...

What a fun interview! I read Trish's "The Guy I'm Not Dating" and it was great. I'd love to be considered in the drawing for this "beach house" book.

Crystal

crystalgt{at}gmail{dot}com

Cheryl said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Please enter me in the drawing. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

Jennifer AlLee said...

Today's winner is anne! Congrats, and big thanks to everyone who stopped by.