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. 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.
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 www.trishperry.com
My book blurb: 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 runaway 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.
Brief review: "Perry (Sunset Beach) entertains and gently inspires in this first of the Tea Shop series, a cozy tale about love lost and found. . . Perry takes what could be a glib, weightless tale and makes her own blend work." Publishers Weekly
Here are a few questions that will help visitors get acquainted with you:
1. What is your writing vision?
I wanna be rich and famous.
No, seriously, I seek to entertain first, but my prayer at the beginning of every book is that God will touch whomever He has in mind with the story He gives me. I think the best novels are those we simply enjoy reading, after which we realize we’ve grown in some fashion, however small, as a result of what we’ve read.
2. What inspired you to write this particular book?
The series idea itself was hatched by my wonderful editor during a brainstorming phone session last year. Once I chose Middleburg for the setting, I decided the best way to introduce the charming little town and Milly’s Tea Shop would be to have my heroine seek employment with several merchants. The circumstances that would put her in that position came next. And the rest of the story idea fell into place, especially once I beefed up my characters and their personalities. Since the story opens with a pretty scathing bit of rejection, I suppose the inspiration of the book was all about acceptance. I didn’t recognize that at first, though. It was one of those God things that developed by the end of the first draft.
4. Please give us a brief story of your journey to publication.
I started seriously writing while I worked on my Psychology degree, and I took several creative writing courses while at college. By the time I was ready for grad school, I decided to take a few years off and just write. I never went back to school! I read everything I could about the craft and joined writers’ groups and wrote and entered contests and went to conferences. About nine years after I started seriously writing, I got my agent as a result of a writing contest. A year later, she landed a two-book contract for me. The work has been fairly constant ever since.
5. What advice would you give to an unpublished writer?
If you feel driven to write, keep at it and submit your work. Back when we did everything by snail mail, author Sherman Alexie was asked what the difference was between successful and unsuccessful authors. He said, “Postage.”
As an added bonus for us Christian authors, if you dedicate each day’s writing to the Lord, you can carry on with the assurance that you’re living His will for you, as long as you still feel driven to write (He does that to us). If I had been told at the beginning that I would spend several years writing an entire novel that would never get published, I might have given up. But that’s what happened before I wrote the book that got me started. I’m so glad I just took it a day at a time and hung in there, not letting my unpublished status keep me from working and learning as best I could.
Thank you so much, Trish. These are such wise words for both aspiring authors and those who are multi-published and wondering when that next contract is coming through.
If you would like to be entered into a drawing to win a copy of A Perfect Blend, leave a comment below. This drawing is limited to residents of the United States and Canada and is void where such drawings are prohibited. It is the responsibility of entrants to know the laws of their own state or province. The drawing will be held on October 2, 2010. We must have ten entries, or this drawing will not take place. So tell your friends! AND BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOUR NAME IS DRAWN!!!