Friday, October 8, 2010

Whose that Guy She's Not Dating? An Interview With Trish Perry.

We welcome the lovely Trish here. You won't want to miss this.

Trish: Thanks for having me, Shirley!

So who is Trish? Nothing less than the famous Award-winning novelist. Trish Perry has written The Perfect Blend (2010), Sunset Beach (2009), Beach Dreams (2008), Too Good to Be True (2007), and The Guy I’m Not Dating (2006), all for Harvest House Publishers. (Now, that's a busy lady!)
Her monthly column, “Real Life is Stranger,” appeared in Christian Fiction Online Magazine during its inaugural year. She was editor of Ink and the Spirit, the newsletter of Washington D.C.’s Capital Christian Writers organization (CCW), for seven years.
Before her novels, Perry published numerous short stories, essays, devotionals, and poetry in Christian and general market media. She will release several new books in 2011.

And where does she get the time? I ask you.
Perry holds a B.A. in Psychology, was a 1980s stockbroker, and held positions at the Securities and Exchange Commission and in several Washington law firms. She serves on the Board of Directors of CCW and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She invites you to visit her at

SKC: Whew! It's great hearing all about you, Trish. It’s good to have you back here at A Pen for Your Thoughts. I know besides writing, you stay busy with your blog too. How did you come up with your blog’s focus, and how do you incorporate that focus with the books you write?

Trish: I decided very soon after I started my blog that readers would get sick to death of my constant rambling and would prefer more variety than that. So I let other authors do most of the rambling for me. I’m hopeful that, while readers visit to learn about some of the best Christian authors today, they’ll take a look at my books as well.

SKC: And what a great way to look at things. LET OTHERS DO THE WORK!  (smile) How did you happen to choose your specific genre and why? And do you ever consider changing genres?

Trish: Actually, my first book was in a different genre. It was a supernatural story. I wrote it because that was the story God put on my heart first. But it had some terribly dark elements to it. By the time I finished it, I was eager to write a romantic comedy. That turned out to be a better fit for my voice. I’ve been offered the chance to write in other genres and probably will at some point (if God has future contracts in store for me). But so far the romantic comedy contracts have been the ones I’ve pursued and won.

SKC: How long does it take you to complete a book? Are some more difficult than others and do you find it becomes easier with each new book, or more difficult and why?

Trish: I take as long as I’m given, to be honest. If I have one book contract and six months, I’ll take six months. But I’ve had three book contracts in that time frame as well. I’m very deadline driven! I do think some elements get easier with practice, but I’m always learning something new about how to make novels better, so I don’t think I’ll ever consider the job easy sailing.

SKC: When you mentioned "deadline driven" I thought of working for a stockbroker and I could picture it perfectly.
Do you have any point in your novel writing when you come to a stand still? If so, what do you do to get yourself going again? If not, what is your advice to someone who does have more than a few “stand still” moments?

Trish: I come to a stand still nearly every day with my writing. I seldom have a day when I sit down at the computer and just flow all day long. I get restless, I seek distraction, and I don’t want to put the first word down because I’m not sure what the best first word will be. The cool thing about writing regularly is you learn to ignore that stand still. Just start writing, even if you don’t know whether or not you’ll keep what you write. You’d be surprised at how much of what you write is worthwhile.

SKC: What do you think is one of the most important things you have learned so far since becoming a published writer that coincides with your spiritual walk?

Trish: I’ve learned not to worry anymore about the next contract. And that’s most definitely not because I assume I’ll get one. The reason that lesson ties in with my spiritual walk is that know the first contract I ever got was a gift from Him after I simply surrendered the entire writing gig to Him. And we’re talking hours after I surrendered. I give my writing to Him every morning before I even begin my day. So if I never get another contract, I’m at peace that His will doesn’t include future books. If His will does include contracts, my worrying about them isn’t going to change a thing.

SDC: Such a wise way to look at things, Trish. Now, let's jump to another subject. If you were a reader as a child, how did your reading habits affect your writing style today? And what were a few of your favorite stories as you grew up?

Trish: The first book I remember reading was My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett. And Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink. I loved those books. I honestly can’t remember many more impressions until I was around 13 or 14 and read The Catcher in the Rye. Quite a scandalous book for a young girl, but the conversational style of Salinger’s writing made a definite impression on me. I think I have a bit of that conversational style about my writing, although I never set out to make it that way.

SDC: Thank you. So let's move on. During your free moments, what do you most enjoy doing? And who with?

Trish: I love to get together with girlfriends and enjoy good food and each other’s company and laughter. I enjoy watching good films and reading good books. I love spending time with my kids and my grandson, but I’m an empty nester now, so that happens far less often than I would like. Such is life!

SDC: Especially when we have the time, huh.
I know I keep changing the subject, but now let me ask you this.
When do you sense the greatest pressure with writing? Do you find it is at the beginning of a new manuscript – during the rewrites – or when your book is about to come out? As a follow up, have you ever been disappointed at the end result?

Trish: Most definitely I sense the greatest pressure at the beginning. Once I get started, the story is constantly visiting me--forming in my head while I grocery shop, giving me snippets of dialogue while I’m in the shower, ricocheting random ideas off of things I see on the news or on the TV or even other books. But getting started, out of thin air? Torture. I pray like a wild woman.

SDC: I can almost see you writing a story called "Like a Wild Woman."  Can't you? We all celebrate in one way or another at the end of our stories. How do you celebrate? After you share with us, please tell us all about the book soon to be released and the book you are planning to donate to one of our readers.

Trish: I don’t have an official way of celebrating when I finish. The thing is, I don’t deprive myself of much while I write. So there isn’t anything I lack when the job is done. Time, maybe. I do take some time between projects, even if I have a deadline bearing down on me. Otherwise I’d implode. No doubt about that.

Here’s the blurb about my new release, 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.

SDC: Oh, I like the way that sounds. I am always grateful to the authors who come by who are willing to graciously donate a book. And since this is A Pen for Your Thoughts, if you could ask anything at all to one of your fans that you’ve never asked before what would the first thing be that would come to your mind?

Trish: What’s a subject you wish someone would write a novel about? If you were to read the back cover of a novel, what one topic or character type would cause you to grab that book and take it home?

SDC: THANKS SO MUCH, Trish! It’s been a pleasure having you here. Where can our readers find you and be able to purchase your material?

Trish: My site/blog address is  (and I have giveaways every week, too!). My book is available through bookstores and at all of the online sites. Here are some of the links:

Thanks, Shirley!

AWESOME INTERVIEW. See the question above from Trish? Write in your comments,and one of you will be selected to win her book. We look forward to hearing from you.

Woo Hoo! Many congrats to Sandy Elzie of McDonough, GA. You just won a copy of Trish's new book! You're going to love it, I'm sure. BLESSINGS, Shirley


  1. Great interview. Hummmm, I think the book that is a must-buy is one that puts the heroine in a difficult spot but she has a hunky guy waiting in the sidelines to help. I prefer medical or military, but I love it when there are kids in the stories.
    (as you would guess from reading what I write)

    Sandy Elzie

  2. Loved the interview.

    For me to even consider a book it must have a happy I'm a romance reader all the way.

    I love books where you can see the characters grow and develop and know at the end--beyond any doubt--that they are going to be happy together for the rest of their lives.

    I like to see them interact with family and friends and to see that they're part of a larger social network.

  3. Enjoyed the interview, on both sides. I'd like to read more books about older heroines. When I hear stories of people getting back together, even in their eighties, I love to cry over the details. HEA comes no matter our age; if it's meant to be, even after separate families have been established.

  4. a teenage pregnancy and the guy or girl gets saved before running off. ?
    Loved the interview. and love your books, trish.
    caree c

  5. This question is sooo hard. I think it's more about the characters for me than the topic. I want a character that sounds intriguing.

  6. Enjoyed the interview. Trish, I'm still trying to win "The Perfect Blend." This story appeals to my appetite for good books with some humor. In answer to your question, I'd like to see a story about a couple of senior citizens that fall in love. One saved and one isn't. Having just turned 72 last Saturday, and my husband turning 75 on the same day...LOL. As we've grown older, our disagreements can become very funny and from my point of view, very unnecessary! I say he's growing old, and I'm just aging gracefully. Seniors also have a whole new set of things...grumpiness..on and on.Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win this good book. I hope I do!

    Sharing Christ's Love,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  7. I love your suggestions, ladies! I think it can be a little difficult to find a big market for an older hero/heroine, but as secondary characters they can certainly have a strong story within the story. I think I'll run with that in the next book idea I put together.

    Re the happily ever afters, you probably all know that that's actually required, by definition, in a romance. Otherwise, you're probably reading/writing a love story--whole different animal. I'm a big fan of the happily ever after, too!

    And Shirley, I like the way you have your interviewees ask your readers a question. MUCH better comments than the standard "please enter me to win this book." I'm afraid I'm going to have to steal your idea for my future interviews. ;-)

    Thanks for the interview, Shirley, and thanks, ladies, for the comments.

  8. I think my answer to your question Trish, would be to have a book where it involves two saved people who meet, along with some mystery, and get married. I am kind of tired of the books where one is saved and the other is not. That is partly why I enjoyed The Perfect Blend(Actually, I LOVED it!). You had two characters that were saved. Sure, one was not following the LORD but she was saved.
    I would love to win this book as The Perfect Blend was my first novel from Trish. Loved the humor and definitely loved the plot.

  9. Great interview. I would love to read a story on teen pregnancy where the girl is saved and how they deal with it.


  10. Interesting comment, Charity. I hadn't given the saved/unsaved idea that much thought--I just design the characters and there they are. But the follow-up to The Perfect Blend (Tea for Two) also involves two saved people, and so does the book I'm just about finished writing (Unforgettable). I must have gotten tired of the idea of one saved/the other not, too!

    Looking forward to the drawing! Thank you so much for your story ideas! And thanks again, Shirley, for the interview.