Tuesday, December 23, 2014

*Special holiday feature* Author interview with Trish Perry

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Only two days away! What better way to celebrate the holiday than by reading a Christmas novel? Better yet, how about reading that holiday story without having to buy the book?

My featured author for today, Trish Perry, agreed to give a copy of her book Love Finds You on Christmas Morning, to the winner of the book giveaway contest we're hosting here on my blog! 

The contest starts right now and will end Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. You can enter the contest by answering Trish's question for my readers at the end of this author interview blog post. You are required to leave your e-mail address in your comment in order to qualify to win the book. We need your e-mail address so Trish can contact you and make arrangements for you to receive your prize. The winner will be announced here (my blog) on Thursday, Jan. 8. 

Now without further ado, on to the author interview! :) *Questions from Alexis in bold, answers from Trish not in bold...

Alexis: Love Finds You on Christmas Morning is a beautiful story title. Tell me about your holiday book. Is it a novel or novella?

Trish: It’s two novellas in one book. Debby Mayne’s historical story Deck the Halls, is set in Cary, North Carolina in 1925. My contemporary story, ‘Tis the Season, follows. It’s set in the very same town several generations later. Debby’s hero and heroine are my heroine’s great grandparents.

Why did you write this book?

Debby and I have become good friends through the years and we worked together on another project, a book of devotions, before Christmas Morning. We’re a no-drama pair of writers—that is, we like to keep the drama on the page. Debby’s a great idea gal, so she probably came up with the idea of Christmas Morning too, if I remember correctly. She had written for the Love Finds You line previously, so I was blessed when she asked if I was interested in collaborating. I think we’ll do it again in the future.

Did you like working with Debby on this holiday book? Why or why not?

I love working with Debby. She’s fair, open-minded, and fun. And she’s disciplined, which is fantastic in a collaborator. You don’t have to worry she won’t make a deadline. Quite the opposite. If we lived closer to each other, we’d hang out. And I’d be happy to work with Debby on future projects.

Is Love Finds You on Christmas Morning your first holiday story?

Yes, this was my first holiday story. I have a few others in mind and I hope to work on those at some point when I’m not quite so busy in my day job.

Who is your favorite character in Love Finds You on Christmas Morning? Explain why.

I really love Harvey Fennicle, the eccentric, elderly billionaire for whom my young heroine Nikki is a personal chef. He has a dear heart. Despite his wealth and busy life, he cares about his family and his small band of personal employees.

If you could spend Christmas Day with one of the characters from your book, who would it be? Why?

Certainly, I’d enjoy Nikki’s company, even though I’m far older than she is. I love the fact that she’s driven to regain a piece of her family history. I think many of us have fond memories of our childhood years and the homes in which we spent them (especially our Christmases). The fact that Nikki cares about her nostalgic memories as much as she does is endearing and interesting to me. And isn’t nostalgia one of the best by-products of Christmas gatherings?

Where did you get the inspiration for these characters?

Debby and I brainstormed a bit and once I had a good feel for Debby’s storyline and main characters, I knew which future family member I wanted to create and focus on. I had the advantage of having some of my heroine’s backstory told while Debby’s story unfolded. So I knew some of the qualities she inherited.

Describe your writing space. Do you have a special writing ritual? If yes, please explain.

When I moved into my townhouse several years ago, I set up a writing desk in the reading area of the master bedroom. But I set up my computer desk on the main floor, right next to the kitchen. That’s where I ended up setting up shop. It’s warmer, has more light, and is convenient to both the kitchen and the breakfast nook so I don’t need to truly stop working when I take breaks.

When I’m under contract, I usually work out how many words I need to write each day—assuming breaks for vacations and commitments to family and doctors and such—in order to meet my deadline. I’ve found I definitely do not have time to write on the days I work my day job, so I write on my days off. I start the day going through emails and tending to any business necessary. Then I start writing. Although I fit breakfast and lunch in between bouts of writing, I don’t allow myself to break for the evening (and dinner) until I’ve reached my word count. It keeps me driven!

What’s your favorite Christmas book? Why?

I have to say, I still remember sitting in the tub, crying while reading The Christmas Shoes, by Donna VanLiere. I read the novel before the song was written, using the same story, but it was fairly clear where the story was heading. Still, when the most poignant scene in the book hit me (you’ll get no spoilers from me!) I was a wreck. I recommend it as a lovely Christmas read.

What are you hoping your readers will remember the most about Love Finds You on Christmas Morning?

I hope the importance of family will impress readers. That importance isn’t news, of course, but we all need the reminder from time to time. And I hope they’ll just have an enjoyable experience. This book won’t make anyone cry, but I do think it will make people smile.

Did your real-life personal love story happen at Christmastime like it did for the characters in your book? If so, please share details. 

Christmas does lend a lot of romantic atmosphere to our lives, doesn’t it? I’m no longer married, but we did get engaged during the Christmas season. I chuckle remembering the moment, because my husband wasn’t the most romantic guy in the world. He pulled me into the bathroom at his house in order to have privacy when he proposed. Not exactly skywriting or proposing a la flash mob. But it was a charming proposal, nevertheless.

Complete this sentence: At the end of this holiday season, I will ________________.

At the end of this holiday season, I will spend as much time as possible with my adult son. He’s moving to the other side of the country in January and I’m going to feel his absence in a very strong way!

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Trish! Is there a question you’d like to ask my readers? 

Yes! When I reach the point that I can cut back on my work hours and write more steadily again, I plan to work with Christian publishing houses, but I may also join many of my fellow traditionally published novelists and do a bit of independent self-publishing (e-books, mostly). 
I’d like to know if readers are currently reading any such books written by Christian authors. 

Trish's question for my readers to answer: Do you feel comfortable buying self-published books by proven authors, or do you still need that traditional publishing house stamp of approval on every book you buy?

Author bio:

Award-winning novelist Trish Perry has written The Midwife’s Legacy (Barbour Publishing, 2012) with three fellow authors, as well as Tea for Two (2011), The Perfect Blend (2010), Sunset Beach (2009), Beach Dreams (2008), Too Good to Be True (2007), and The Guy I’m Not Dating (2006) for Harvest House Publishers. 

Perry's 2011 releases for Summerside Press are Unforgettable, Love Finds You on Christmas Morning (with Debby Mayne), and two devotionals, including Delight Yourself in the Lord (Even on Bad Hair Days), with four other notable authors. 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.

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 is a Customer Relations Expert for The Great Courses company. 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 www.trishperry.com

Connect with Trish via social media:

Website, www.trishperry.com
Facebook, www.facebook.com/TrishPerry/Author
Twitter, www.twitter.com/TrishPerryWrtr

Buy the book Love Finds You on Christmas Morning:

Amazon.com, http://amzn.to/1GVKWbg

Barnes & Noble, http://bit.ly/1sWflxU

Christianbook.com, http://bit.ly/13XE7Ij

1 comment:

  1. I would undoubtedly purchase a book written and published by an independent author. Well written books that educate and inspire attract me more than a house publishing stamp of approval. 😉 thanks for sharing this interview Alexis.


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