Today’s guest is the lovely Trish Perry. Trish is offering to give away a copy of her latest book to one fortunate winner. Please leave your email address and a comment below to be eligible. We must have at least ten comments to make a contest. Continental US only.
Trish, thank you for joinging us. Introduce yourself to our readers.
While I was born in Newfoundland, Canada, and lived part of my childhood in California and Colorado, I’ve lived most of my life in Northern Virginia. I love it here. I grew up with two brothers and two sisters (I was the middle child and the middle daughter—LOTS of middle-child psyche stuff there). I was raised Catholic, and although I walked away from the Church as a young, wild adult, the foundation my parents and the Catholic Church gave me served as a fertile ground of faith in whom Jesus truly is. To this day I shy away from organized religion, but when I finally turned to Christ in my thirties, I had no doubt about His being God incarnate. I just needed to take that final step of recognizing Him as my Savior and guiding light.
I’m now an empty nester, and I love it. I still get to visit with my kids (although never enough) and I’m able to make decisions without having to consider too many others in the process. I started a day job outside the home this year, out of financial necessity. So I have less writing time available. It’s good for me to get out and among people, but if I had my choice, I’d still be at home, writing full time. I miss that, and I look forward to the retirement years, when I’ll get to spend more time doing what I truly think God created me to do.
Thank you for sharing that. In this economy, it is hard to stay at home and write full time. I am a semi-empty nester right now and am facing the possibility of working outside of the home.
What did you like to read as a child? Is there a book that still brings pictures to your mind?
I was asked a similar question in another interview recently, and it brought to mind the first book I chose from the library and read on my own: My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett. My memories of that book are so fond, I checked it out of the library again last week. I’m going to sit down with a nice cup of tea and enjoy it all over again.
As a child I read fantasy stories like that, and then I seemed to forget about books for awhile. That seems so strange to me now. I’m always in the process of reading several books at once now, and I’ve been like that for decades. The truly weird thing is that I relearned my love of books when I was a teen and my older sister started reading ridiculous bodice rippers. I started reading them, too, and I got hooked on reading again. The bodice rippers quickly lost their allure, of course, and I moved into espionage and political thrillers. By the time my reading addiction became strong and permanent, I had branched out into just about every genre imaginable.
What is your favorite genre to read now?
I’m pretty easy to please, genre-wise, as long as the writing and story are good. I don’t read many thrillers anymore, but I’m sure I’d still enjoy them if I did. I read at least as many CBA novels as ABA. I love a good romantic story, and history is a favorite, as well. I’ve been reading a few classics lately, and I’ll often throw a hard-core literary novel in there to keep it interesting. Just about the only genre I’m not interested in reading is horror and its like.
Tell us about the journey to getting published.
I just dabbled here and there when I was younger. I wasn’t like a lot of authors who just had to write from an early age. No doubt my life would have traveled a different path, if I had been. But when I went back to school as an adult in order to get my degree in Psychology, I remembered how much I enjoyed writing. I had professors whose comments and encouragement further stirred that pleasure, and by the time I got my degree, I was submitting for publication and achieving it in various magazines and such. Still, I didn’t get my first book contract until seven years later. Once that happened, I focused primarily on writing novels, which is my true love.
What was your biggest obstacle?
Besides my own wishy-washy self-discipline, I was probably slowed down most by raising a family. But that’s a good kind of “obstacle.” It’s important for authors to keep their perspective in that regard. The writing success will come in its time, when God knows your schedule can afford it. Family is more important. One’s kids, in particular, are more important. I don’t regret for one instant the time I took away from my writing in order to enjoy my time with (and fulfill my obligations to) my family.
I homeschooled for fourteen years. I totally agree that family is first and worth the writing sacrifice. How many books do you have published?
I’ve published nine romances and two devotionals (the latter with a few author friends).
Trish’s latest book is Labor of Love.
Kendra Silverstone has been certain of her calling to be a midwife as long as she can remember. Whether aiding in childbirth at the Willamette Valley Hospital Center or in the privacy of a family home, she feels God’s loving hand in her work. But when a local doctor campaigns aggressively against midwifery at the same time one of Kendra’s mothers experiences the loss of her newborn, she finds her confidence shaken. She starts to reconsider her life’s work and question her reading of God’s guidance. Her blossoming romance with carpenter Steven Nichols provides a bright light in her circumstances, not only because of his supportive, nurturing love, but because of the journal he finds while repairing and refinishing an antique desk passed down to Kendra through the years. Will the guidance and blessings provided through her ancestors’ words be enough to convince Kendra of God’s will for her life?
Her fellow authors in this exciting collection are Jane Kirkpatrick, Rhonda Gibson, and Pamela Griffin.
What are you working on right now?
I’ll be writing a Christmas novella for the new Bloomfield series for B&H Publishing. I’m thrilled to be a part of that new series. I think it’s going to be a terrific success, and it will involve some of the best novelists in Christian fiction today. Very good company.
Sounds exciting! Do you put yourself into your main character, or do you find yourself borrowing from family or friends as your characters develop?
When I write a character, I’m in her head and not really thinking about myself. But I suppose every author has a bit of herself in every one of her characters. They are created from the author’s thoughts, after all, even if the character’s thoughts and behaviors may be far from what the author actually embraces. The perspective is still there, coloring and flavoring the fictional beings. That’s kind of weird when you think about the negative characters some of us create, right?
It is weird now that I think about it. As far as your writing goes, are you a plotter, a pantster, or somewhere in between, and can you elaborate on your answer?
I’m a bit in-between, but I definitely plot out the main points before I begin writing. I design my main characters and plot idea. I figure out where in the story specific twists or events will happen, and I determine what has to happen to get to each one of those events. Often in the process, if I feel I’m getting too structured, I’ll stop planning and just write a few chapters. That generally keeps me from getting bogged down, and the initial plotting keeps me from going too far off the rails as I write.
What are your favorite themes to write about?
Love, of course. Leaning on God (and how we tend to forget about that). The value of family and friendship. Loyalty. Humor and how it filters into even the most difficult times of our lives.
Do you have a favorite scripture? If so, why is it your favorite?
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
God put that verse right before my eyes shortly after my husband walked out on my son and me. It was a scary time for me in some respects, especially with regard to the fact that I’d been a stay-at-home wife and mom for 20 years. I didn’t know how I would pay the bills, as writing is a wonderful career, but it’s not a particularly lucrative one. But within days after my husband left, the Lord showed me the above verse. I still turn to it when I get nervous about the future, and it gives me peace every time. I like to think that Jesus is that “righteous right hand.”
That is such a powerful verse and a very powerful story! I love that you lean on the Lord to be your Boaz! I know a lot of our readers today can relate to your story. Where can they find out more about you?
My website is www.trishperry.com. I feature new releases (my own and those of other Christian novelists) twice a week, and the author gives away a signed copy of the novel a week after the interview is posted.
I’m also on Facebook (TrishPerryAuthor) and Twitter (TrishPerryWrtr). I’d love for readers to “Like” my Facebook Page!