Glowing Author #21
What kind of novels can readers expect from a psychology major who was a stockbroker who held positions at the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as in several Washington law firms? Well, since that describes Trish Perry, and since she’s our Glowing Author this week, let’s find out.
Interesting background, Trish. Tell us something about your writing journey.
I thought I was going to be a psychological therapist when I was in college—and I attended as an adult, so I was pretty sure of my direction. But God had other plans, and while I wrote papers for my degree, I started to realize how much I enjoyed writing. My professors encouraged me in that area, as well, so by the time I got my degree, I had changed course. I planned to take two years to try writing and then go back to get my doctorate in Psychology. But the writing was clearly the direction God planned for me, and I’ve never turned back. My first published novel released in 2006, and I’ve been publishing ever since.
Tell us about your most recent book.
That would be The Perfect Blend, Book #1 in The Tea Shop Series (Harvest House Publishers, September 2010). The second book in the series will release April 2011. Here’s a blurb about The Perfect Blend:
Steph Vandergrift left everything to elope with Middleburg attorney Rick Manfred, who then stood her up at the altar. Too embarrassed to return home, Steph hopes to earn enough to get by until she can decide what to do next. Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel hires her and appreciates the extra help at the tea shop. Also appreciative of Steph is Kendall James, one of the kindest, most eligible bachelors in the area. But by the time Steph feels able to consider dating again, her run-away fiancé returns and tries to win her back. Steph is wary, but she and Rick always blended so well. Christie Burnham, the frank-talking equestrian from whom Steph rents a room, and her frillier sister Liz become fast friends and confidantes to Steph. Between the two sisters, there isn’t much any man is going to pull over on Middleburg’s newest bachelorette and tea shop employee.
Many writers have a “day job.” Do you?
Not at the moment, but sometime during 2011 I may go back to work. If I do, my plan is to work as a courtroom reporter. The various court cases might inspire story ideas, but the main inspiration I’m counting on is to get all of my bills paid on time.
Worthy goal! (And an illusive one for many of us.) How much of yourself do you put into your writing?
I seldom put any of my own experiences into my heroine’s stories. I think when I wrote my first novel (not published), I put more of my own life in it. I think many new authors do that because they don’t know what else to write about. Now my heroines’ lives are vastly different from mine. But the voice in my novels is very much my own voice. I’ve had critique partners make notations next to comments my heroines make or certain parts of narrative, saying, “That is so you.”
How do you come up with your plot lines?
That actually differs from book to book. Sometimes I start completely from scratch, so I’ll design the main characters first and see how they interact and what kind of story develops because of who they are. Other times an editor will suggest certain story or setting parameters, or a book line’s theme will dictate what kind of story I’ll write. Regardless, my stories always begin with the designing of the characters. And I’ll develop a general idea of what might happen eventually before I write a few chapters to get the creative juices flowing. Every chapter I write sparks ideas for future plot events, so I keep stopping and adding to the story’s plot points. Eventually I have the entire plot worked out and waiting for me.
What books are on your bedside table?
A stack of Inspirational fiction. I read both mainstream and Inspirational fiction, so I keep a number of Inspirational novels out to remind me to get to them. I’m horribly slow, though, and I have more than 900 books in my personal library. But some of the books on my nightstand are Wanda Dyson’s Shepherd’s Fall, Susan Meissner’s The Shape of Mercy, DiAnn Mills’ Sworn to Protect, Janice Thompson’s It Had to Be You, and Shar MacLaren’s Maggie Rose. None of those are the most recent releases from those authors. That’s how far behind I am! I have more recent releases from fellow Inspirational authors, but they haven’t even made it to my bedside table yet.
Too late to bed, or too early to sleep! So tell us, what’s one thing that would surprise us about you?
I love living alone. I mean, I can be very gregarious, and I absolutely love my kids and my family and friends. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with people and laughing and dining out, and all manner of social activities. But now that I’m an empty nester I keep waiting to feel a lack of some kind when I’m home alone, and it just isn’t happening. I think that’s simply because I’ve never lived on my own before. I’ve always had a roommate, a husband, children, someone with me, and generally I’ve been the one taking care of the others. That’s a perfectly worthy role in life—don’t get me wrong. But for now I’m thoroughly enjoying the autonomy in my day-to-day life.
What writing advice do you have for writing hopefuls?
Be sure to open each day with a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the gift of writing. And offer Him the fruits of that gift every day. Ask Him for guidance and inspiration to write whatever it is He has in mind for you. Then pay attention to inspiration, motivation, and opportunity. Do these things, and you’ll always be working within His will, whether you’re published or not. That should give you peace about your efforts, and if He wants you to do something other than the writing, He’ll just gently lead you to that something else.
I love to hear from readers! Visit my site (www.trishperry.com) and drop me a line anytime!
“Don’t ever think the heartbreak of rejection is God’s way of guiding you. Rejection is part of the business, but God won’t guide you by breaking your heart.”