Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Interview & Book Giveaway with Author Trish Perry

A big welcome to a dear lady and great author, Trish Perry!

Q:  What was your inspiration for Unforgettable?
A:  When Summerside Press indicated an interest in working with me for their When I Fall in Love line, they gave me several song titles to choose from (each book’s title is the title of a popular song). I chose Unforgettable, because I’ve always loved Nat King Cole’s rendition. Of course, I’m a little sick of it now, after hearing it in my head every day for several months. But that’s an occupational hazard I can live with. The books in the When I Fall in Love line all focus on the time frame during which each song was released. I was born in the Fifties, so I was too young to truly experience the era, but history shows there was so much going on in that decade—especially in the early Fifties, not long after the war, when much was changing and building in our country and in the lives of young men and women. And ballroom dance was just starting to become nationally competitive, so I saw a fun romance possibility there.

Q:  Have you always wanted to be a writer?
A:  No! Or, rather, I didn’t think of myself that way until I was an adult. I dabbled here and there with silly little short stories when I was young, and I’ve always been a huge fan of fiction and film. It wasn’t until I went back to college as an adult that I realized how much I loved writing stories. It’s never too late if it’s something the Lord has planned for you!

Q:  How does your faith impact your writing?
A:  I wouldn’t be a writer if it weren’t for my faith. I know the Lord directed me to return to school in my adult years, and He was the one who lit the fire in me to switch my plans away from becoming a psychological counselor in order to write novels. I learned so much about creative writing in college, and then at classes and conferences elsewhere. Now I don’t even try to write a story before going to Him first. I honestly have a hard time answering that question, “Where do your ideas come from?” because half the time I can’t remember their beginnings. I think that’s because He puts the ideas in my mind while I’m not even trying. Not only does He bless me that way, but also He blesses me by allowing me to play a role in the lives of some of my readers. I don’t wrestle with the “message” of my stories, because I know He’s using whatever falls out of my imagination to touch a reader who needs to know how much He loves them. And He touches them in a way I couldn’t possibly plan.

Q:  Do you plot out your story ahead of time, or do you think it up as you go?
A:  I do quite a bit of character design before plotting, and then I get my basic plot planned. Then I write the first several chapters before filling in more of my plot. So my specific chapters are only plotted out about four chapters ahead of what I’m writing. I’m always on my way to a major plot point, but how I get to each one isn’t always set in stone before I start writing the book. I’ve always loved planning more than doing, so I have to write this way to keep from procrastinating with the actual writing. Otherwise, I’d plan until the Second Coming.

Q:  Do you treat yourself to something special when a project is completed?
A:  No, I treat myself to something special the entire time I’m working on a project! I spoil myself rotten. I mean, I spoil myself in little ways. Like, dinner is my reward for reaching my daily word count—otherwise, I’d break for dinner and find a reason not to come back and finish. I’m the proverbial donkey with a carrot in front of herself—that keeps me seated here at the computer, making progress. But I don’t set something special out there, like a new pair of shoes or a night at the movies with friends or a trip to Europe, which I’ll give myself when I finish a novel. Just finishing the project is a huge thrill and relief for me. I must admit, though, that a trip to Europe would probably be a bigger thrill—maybe I should rework my methods.

Q:  What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a fledgling writer?
A:  I’m like a broken record with this, but it’s so important. If you feel led by God to write, start every day by going to Him and dedicating your writing efforts to Him. Then just do your best with the day you’re given. Write what you can, attempt what you can to find publication, and accept rejection as a part of the process. As long as you’re writing to honor Him, He will bless what you do. He won’t use rejection to tell you to give up. We all get turned down at some point in this business. But pay attention to your drive—do you feel joy in writing? Or is there something else that draws you more? If you feel drawn elsewhere, He’s probably guiding you there. If you feel joy in writing, He’s guiding you there. So write. Give it to Him. Be patient.

Q:  What do you think about writing contests? Have you participated in any? What’s the benefit to an unpublished writer?
A:  I’m a believer in the merits of writing contests. I still enter a few each year. I found my wonderful agent as a result of a writing contest, so, indirectly, I’m published because of a writing contest. And I know I’m not alone in that. For the unpublished writer, the best thing about entering contests is getting your writing in front of agents and editors who will read something of yours they might not have read otherwise. Once you’re published, it’s still a good idea, because it gets your book in front of more readers and might even lead to an accolade you can list on your book page. Every bit of promotion helps!

Q:  What does your family think about your crazy career?
A:  They’ve been wonderfully supportive and always express a lot of pride in my efforts. My daughter was already an adult by the time I started publishing, but my son has grown up around my writing, and I think our conversations influenced his choice to go into filmmaking in college. We talk a lot about story and character when we watch anything together.

Q:  There’s been a lot said about the future of publishing and the possible death of the print book. What’s your take on eBooks, self-publishing, and such?
A:  I don’t like the idea of print books becoming a thing of the past, ever. I love books—love to have them around, to hold them as part of the reading experience, and to share them with friends. But I think there are some rather exciting developments taking place in the industry because of e-books and the increasing availability of e-publishing. As someone who generally publishes romantic comedy, I like the idea that I might be able to e-publish something a little different, perhaps in an entirely different genre.

The drawback to self-publishing remains what it’s always been. Anyone with sufficient funds can self-publish anything, whether through print or e-book, whether well written or abysmally bad. And self-publishing an e-book is far less pricey than self-publishing a print book. So there will be much more junk out there. But I think the market will adjust to that. Both professional and everyday reader reviews will gain more value. Word-of-mouth will play a larger role in a book’s success. And untrained, mediocre authors who slapdash something together and e-publish it will get bad reputations quickly.

I do hope the publishing industry will make whatever adjustments they can to remain solvent. I love my personal library, and holding an electronic device with a file containing one’s labor of love? Just not the same.

Thanks for stopping by, Trish. It's always a pleasure!

If you'd like to read what Trish has to say about writing with humor, visit her guest post at Seekerville.

Award-winning novelist Trish Perry has published eight inspirational romances as well as two devotionals. Before her novels, Perry published numerous short stories, essays, devotions, and poetry in Christian and general market media. She has served as a columnist and as a newsletter editor over the years, as well as a 1980s stockbroker and a board member of the Capital Christian Writers organization in Washington, D.C. She serves on the Board of Directors of CCW and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She holds a degree in Psychology.

Trish’s nostalgic romance novel, Unforgettable (Summerside Press), released in March and Tea for Two, Book Two in her Millicent’s Tea Shop series (Harvest House), released in April. She invites you to visit her at

Rachel Stanhope tries to see the good in everyone. But even her good graces are challenged when she meets Josh Reegan outside her Arlington, Virginia dance studio on a brisk fall morning in 1951. Admittedly, he’s attractive, but she finds his cynicism and cockiness hard to tolerate.
A hard-news journalist and former World War II Air Force pilot, Josh considers distractions like ballroom dancing frivolous wastes of time. He has yet to shed his wartime drive to defend good against evil whenever he can. Yes, Rachel’s confident nature is a refreshing challenge, but he wouldn’t tangle with her if his newspaper hadn’t roped him into covering one of her studio’s competitions in New York City.

Between Arlington and New York, between the melodrama of ballroom antics and the real drama of political corruption, between family involvement and romantic entanglement, Rachel and Josh have their hands full. The last thing either of them expects is mutual need and support. But once they stop dancing around the truth, the results are unforgettable.

If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Unforgettable, just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on Tuesday, July 12th. (NOTE: This time round, US addresses only. Thanks.) 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!


karenk said...

i would love to read trish's latest novel...thanks for the chance :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Exchange Hosting Service said...

This novel sounds interesting!

Vie Herlocker said...

Fabulous Interview! I enjoyed reading it.
vie at sonfiremediadotcom

margie said...

This book sounds "Unforgettable"!!! I grew up in the 50s and love that time period...sounds like a great read. Thanks for the opportunity to win a free copy!

Jennifer AlLee said...

The winner is... Karen! I'll be emailing you for your mailing info.

Big thanks to Trish and to all who stopped by!