Hi, Trish, welcome back. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Yes, I’ve definitely learned that I can’t keep up with what God is doing in my life! I’m at the point where I just tackle what I can each day and trust He’ll keep everything in order. With regard to the horizon, I’m honestly not sure. I have proposals for six different books floating out there, and I’m overdue in getting another one together. I know the Lord is going settle the right story into my lap.
Tell us a little about your family.
I’m a single mom who is about a year away from being an empty nester. I don’t like that last part! My son and I have a great relationship—we make each other laugh all the time—and I’m cherishing this last year with him home. My beautiful daughter is my best friend. She blessed me with my hilarious grandson six years ago, and she’s getting remarried (in Jamaica!) in eight months. I’m amazed at how beautifully the Lord blessed me with my brilliant, funny, kind children.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I read more Christian fiction than I used to. I’ve always been fine with reading secular work, and I like just about every genre. I enjoy serious, literary work as much as I enjoy light, funny reads. But since getting further enmeshed in the Christian publishing industry, I’ve learned more about all of the excellent books out there written with a Christian worldview. I find it hard to keep up with all of the books I want to read, which I know is a common dilemma.
What are you working on right now?
As I mentioned above, I’ve been putting together proposals for a number of different books. Some of them are projects I’ve wanted to work on for a few years, and some of them are brand new, triggered by requests or ideas from publishing houses. So my writing has been focused on early chapters and book summaries. I’m itching to dive into one of these projects; I just need to know which (if any) will be required of me first!
What outside interests do you have?
Since becoming a single woman I’ve been amazed by all of the women in my church who are in the same position, either through widowhood or divorce. Both situations can be sad and lonely, but the Lord has blessed all of us by drawing us together. So, getting to know this group of Godly, funny women has become a new interest of mine.
I also love to sing, read, and watch films and some of the better television shows with my son.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I enjoy setting stories nearby (in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area), because there is so much going on here and because it makes my research simpler. But my two most recent books were set at a beach house in San Diego. That setting came about through necessity—the books are the third and fourth installments in a series initiated by Sally John. All of those books are set at the same beach house, with different characters and storylines for each.
The proposals I’ve been putting together are a mix of the above; three of them are set in Washington, D.C., one of them is set in a little town in North Carolina (to fit with the publisher’s needs), and three of them are set in an imaginary town (again, for the publisher).
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I think an evening with author P.G. Woodhouse would be fantastic fun. His writing was clever, charming, and sometimes silly—all of the things the Brits can do so well. He had a firm grasp on how seriously the upper class tends to take itself, and he knew how to take the stuffing out of just about any situation.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I had known how helpful groups like American Christian Fiction Writers could be. I have always had an invaluable critique group, but I considered groups like ACFW to be venues solely for published authors. Now I encourage anyone writing fiction to join ACFW because of the valuable education and moral support it offers. Even someone just starting out will benefit from the guidance available to every member, regardless of publication status.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
He seems to be impressing upon me the importance of leaning on Him for the next steps in life. I have many new life phases approaching me, including the empty nest I mentioned and my plan to go back to a day job, even if only part-time. My heart starts to pitter pat when I think about the future. When that happens I’m immediately reminded that He has my best interests in hand. He’s always protected me, and He always will.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
a. Pray daily about your writing—ask for guidance and clear thoughts.
b. Try to write something daily, because that will affect how you absorb everything around you. Everyday events take on new significance.
c. Join American Christian Fiction Writers and read lots of novels and good books about writing.
Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s my short summary of Sunset Beach (Harvest House Publishers, June 2009):
Sonny Miller is tired of not knowing who she is. Soon she’ll begin graduate school to earn her masters in Psychology. But how can she counsel future clients about their identities when she isn’t even sure about her own? To that end she has cooked up a little meeting at a certain beach house in San Diego.
Sonny’s mother, classical soprano Teresa Miller, isn’t aware she’s about to be reunited at the beach house with her sister, Melanie Hines, after 25 years of estrangement. And Sonny isn’t aware her mother has invited a surprise guest of her own. Russian adoptee, Irina Petrova, finds herself dragged along on a trip so tumultuous she summons her handsome concert violinist brother for moral support.
The four women converge on the funky little beach house in San Diego, each with her own disappointments and hopes about family, identity, and love. For Sonny, the trip reveals all she expected and more than she ever dreamed.
I had a blast with these characters. There’s a romance in there, but there’s also plenty of fun conflict about family secrets.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Here are my links:
My web site: http://www.trishperry.com/
My monthly column: http://www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/berzerk_stranger.html
My Shoutlife page: http://www.shoutlife.com/profile_view.cfm?uid=12222
My Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=1459576628&ref=profile
My Twitter page: twitter.com/TrishPerryBooks
It's always a pleasure to have you, Trish, and to learn more about you and your writing.
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