Thursday, March 03, 2011
I was raised Catholic, but by the time I reached my teens I had already realized how unable I was to live up to the rules that would get me into Heaven. I walked away from the Church, but felt certain in my heart that Jesus was the Son of God. It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties, when my sister was dying, that I struggled with how best to pray for her. A secular counselor advised me to simply pray that God would help me accept whatever He had planned for her. I did that and was amazed at the peace He gave me. So I made that prayer of acceptance a part of my life—I couldn’t believe the change that came over my heart. I started reading my Bible because I was so thankful, and I wanted to know what He wanted from me in return. Then I met a born-again friend at work, and as we talked I realized that what I had actually done was turned control of my life over to Him. I read about the four steps to salvation and embraced them and Christ’s gift of salvation.
I'm so glad you did. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
I’m going to assume you mean there will be no guests other than the five of us. In that case, I would make it cozier than were we teaching others. (This is still a difficult choice.) I’d say Sandie Bricker, Debby Mayne, Miralee Ferrell, and Shar MacLaren. I cross paths with each of these ladies about once a year, and I find them all inspirational, great at brainstorming, and big believers in the power of laughter.
Yes, I love spending time with each of them. They're lots of fun. Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I don’t really, not yet. And I’m not sure how much speaking the Lord has in mind for my future. I’ve addressed writers’ groups before and have an engagement to teach fiction writing at a conference this summer, but I’m not actively pursuing speaking at present. I have too much on my plate as it is.
I hear you. With my five more looming book deadlines, I've curtailed some activities, but not all my speaking. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
Wow, there are so many choices, it’s hard to rank a single one as more embarrassing than all the others. So I’ll just pick one. I used to sing on my church’s small worship team. I was the lone alto, and I always sang the harmony and provided embellishments in songs—meaning, if there was a part that strayed from the melody in order to accent the song, I sang it. One of the songs we often covered was Third Day’s “God of Wonders.” There’s a part in the song where the “Angus Dei” (“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty”) is sung on top of Third Day’s melody, as a nice weaving of the two songs. But in order to make that work, “God of Wonders” has to be played a certain way, allowing for the extra singing.
One Sunday I had missed practice, so I didn’t know the worship leader decided not to include the oversinging of “Angus Dei.” I was way into the song by that point and wasn’t listening to the fact that the music didn’t allow for me to burst into “Angus Dei” where I normally would. So when I did it (and with great gusto, I might add), I not only caused the rest of the worship team to stutter, I jolted the entire congregation out of the song as well. And if there were any attendees who didn’t know about the overlay, it must have looked as if one of the worship singers suddenly went rogue and decided to start singing an entirely different song.
Stuff like that keeps you humble. As far as how I handled it, I just kept my eyes closed, picked up with everyone else, and worked my thoughts back into worship. The moment wasn’t supposed to be about me, anyway.
Good for you. People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I’d say, “That’s great! Everyone who is published felt the way you feel right now, so it could happen. You just have to be so drawn to writing that you want to do it even if you never publish. You have to be committed to completing what you start, because it takes a lot of discipline, time, education, networking, and prayer to reach that goal. You have to really want it, and you have to want to do it long term. Publishers like authors who have many books inside of them.”
Very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
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.
I can hardly wait for my book to arrive. Please give us the first page of the book.
June 18, 1951
Rachel Stanhope talked to herself as if such behavior were perfectly normal. Like a lion in a cage, she paced back and forth in front of her Arlington, Virginia, dance studio. When she was stressed, she tended to focus squarely on the cause of her stress. All else—people, traffic, dignity—faded far away. She only appeared imbalanced as she muttered. In point of fact, her public monologues kept her sane.
“Should have known better than to count on Betty to get here in time this morning. This is the last time I’ll let her lock up the studio at night. The last!”
She checked her watch for the tenth time since she arrived and found herself locked out. The first session of her summer ballroom dance class for junior high school students was due to begin in fifteen minutes. Her budget couldn’t handle the loss of these new students, and she had already used up all of her favors with the bank. She stopped pacing, made note of the cars driving past, and huffed out her frustration that Betty’s DeSoto wasn’t among them.
“Where is she? What an impression this is going to make!” She pulled her long, strawberry-blond hair back from her face and fanned the back of her neck. It was going to be a warm day, even if she managed to cool her temper.
Yes, I have to read this. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://www.trishperry.com/, and my blog is at the same address. I’m also on Facebook as Trish Hawley Perry and Twitter as TrishPerryWtr.
What fun to have you on my blog again, Trish.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.