Monday, August 14, 2006
Author Intro: Trish Perry
See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.
Trish Perry: I’ve been a Christian for 18 years and a serious writer for 12. In hindsight, I see that the Lord used that six-year gap to prepare me for writing, even though I was a tad clueless about what was going on. He led me through an education in Psychology, which has been a great help in understanding characters and what drives them. He led me through oodles of opportunities to learn about the craft of writing and to get to know people associated with the business: fellow writers, editors, agents, readers, and teachers. He opened doors for me only when my family could handle my walking through them.
I live in Virginia with my landscape-designing hubby and my brilliant teenaged son. My lovely daughter is fully growed, as Tammy Tyree used to say, and she and her dear husband have blessed me with a grandson who cracks me up constantly.
See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book?
PERRY: The Guy I’m Not Dating is a romantic comedy (chick lit) about Kara Richardson, a sharp, young Christian woman who is sick of failing in her romantic efforts. She decides to take the non-dating approach to all future relationships with men. Kara figures she’ll leave the romance part solely up to God. He’ll choose the proper man for her out of her group of male friends, and settle her easily into a respectable courtship at the proper time. That’s the plan.
Kara couldn’t have picked a worse time to meet Gabe Paolino, an immensely datable (and interested) young man who comes to town. But Gabe agrees to a platonic friendship, and the two friends do well until circumstances intervene. A road trip, from Virginia to Florida, becomes necessary for both of them. In an overcrowded van—filled with three restless teens, one odd elderly aunt, Kara’s best bud, and a vixen with eyes for Gabe—the struggling uncouple ventures forth and develops their friendship, crash-course style. Kara discovers that the guy she’s not dating may just be the best boyfriend she’s never had.
See Ya On The Net: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
PERRY: First, I want my readers to have a good time. I don’t set out to write “message” stories; I just want to write entertaining books. But the whole non-dating idea intrigues me, and I have respect for people who take that kind of care in finding a truly good friend before trying to find romance. I hope readers will enjoy the humor of Kara’s struggle to do the right thing, despite her attraction to Gabe. And I hope the way God blesses His obedient children in this story will be the book’s most attractive facet of all.
See Ya On The Net: What led you to the idea of writing this book, and then to the actual writing of it?
PERRY: Several years ago, at a women’s Bible conference, my daughter introduced me to a girlfriend of hers. The girl had lived with her boyfriend when neither of them was a believer. When the boyfriend found Christ, he moved out, leaving his girlfriend angry and devastated. In time, though, she accepted the Lord and became friends again with her old boyfriend. Eventually their friendship matured, and he asked her if he could court her, with marriage in mind. So they went from ultra-worldly to ultra-pure. I loved their story and decided to write a humorous non-dating romance some day. I had a few works in progress at the time, but two books later, I finally got cracking on this story, and now The Guy I’m Not Dating will release this month!
See Ya On The Net: What makes your writing style unique?
PERRY: People have said my writing is like conversation. I’ve never been a poetic gal, really, other than a nice turn of phrase dropping miraculously onto the page here and there. But it’s easy to read my writing. Not Dick-and-Jane easy, I would hope, but easy as if you were chatting with a girlfriend, but she’s doing all the talking while you’re relaxing in the tub with a box of chocolates. I can’t be the only one who loves reading that way. With the tub and chocolates, I mean.
See Ya On The Net: What is the hardest part about writing for you?
PERRY: Shutting out the rest of the world. I am not one of those people who writes well in noisy environments. No music, no phone, no conversations allowed. I lose my focus easily, so I guard it as if it were the Windsor family jewels. So summer, when my son is home during the day, is a struggle. My boy could watch a lousy old rerun of Saved by the Bell, and I’ll find myself listening to the storyline. Torture!
See Ya On The Net: How did you stay motivated to finish the book?
PERRY: One word: deadline! When I got my contract for The Guy I’m Not Dating, I actually sold it on the strength of a few preliminary chapters, along with another completely written novel, also contracted the same day. But I had envisioned the completed novel as the first release, with The Guy I’m Not Dating coming afterward—a nice tidy book set, a nice tidy writing plan. Blessed are the flexible, though, because my publisher decided to open with The Guy I’m Not Dating. Not only did that require my making significant chronological changes to the completed novel, but it also required my finishing The Guy I’m Not Dating far earlier than I planned. The decision to switch the order of the books was a good one, though. The Second Novel Formerly Known as the First Novel (Too Good to Be True) will release in March 2007.
See Ya On The Net: What do you do to make time for yourself?
PERRY: Honey, that’s the whine I have with dinner every night! Seriously, I consider my evening time untouchable winding-down time, spent with my family. I seldom go back to work once I’ve stopped to have dinner and relax with my guys. And I belong to a women’s book club, which meets monthly and is great fun—we even discuss the book once in a while. Finally, two weeks out of every year, the guys go away together, either to church youth camp or on a skiing trip out west. Those are my free weeks, and I produce like a powerhouse during that time and still have time to relax, eat Chinese food, and catch up on chick flicks.
See Ya On The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?
PERRY: That was actually one of my book club’s choices, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. Good grief, the woman doesn’t let you go until you only have one and a half pages left. I couldn’t have slept without finding out if poor Janie was found guilty or not (I’m being deliberately vague—I hate spoilers!).
See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
PERRY: I love hearing from readers and writers! Contact me through my website (www.trishperrybooks.com), my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), or my new Amazon blog (Trish Perry on Amazon).