Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Interview with Trish Perry

Welcome to Robin's Writing World, Trish. I'm so glad you could drop by and visit with us. Congratulations on the release of TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!

Thanks, Robin! The new release is a thrill. And thanks for this interview.

My questions are a bit off the "beaten path" of a blog tour, but I'd like people to get to know another side of you. LOL

Excellent! I’m getting really sick of me, I must admit.

Give me three adjectives that describe your heroine.

Vulnerable, fallible, and lovable.

If you could sum up the theme of your book in one sentence, what would it be?
It would be a miracle, but I’ll try anyway.

Theme of Too Good to Be True: Sometimes we shake our fists and stomp our feet, wondering how some events are in our best interests; but God smiles indulgently and often demonstrates that He meant it when He promised to prosper us and give us hope and a future.

Tell me your hero's man quirk.
He has to be in control of his family—not the one he hasn’t yet created, with his own wife and children, but his parents’ family. His dad is more absent than present, his mother enjoys letting her son run the show, and Tru (our hero) acts as the head of the family even though he hasn’t lived with them for years. It never even occurs to him to let go.

Now, let's switch to the author for a moment. . . you knew I'd get there, right? LOL Every author puts a little bit of themselves into their main character--what of you is in your character, and which character?

Our heroine Ren’s smart mouth is my smart mouth. She doesn’t set out to hurt anyone—most of her sarcasm is self-targeted, as is mine. Ren typically keeps her cynical thoughts to herself, but when pushed to that breaking point, she lets fly with some troublemaking comments. I have a bit of experience in that department.

And that theme I mentioned above, about God’s plans for us? Ren grapples with accepting His will, constantly feeling she needs to help Him figure things out. I identify with her struggle there.

Share with us your thoughts on where you see CBA publishing heading in the next 2-5 years.
I see a real marketing challenge for CBA fiction. I think many Christian readers feel they should be reading strictly nonfiction, because the general aim of Christian nonfiction is for the reader to learn more about serving God, pleasing Him, being the Christian He wants her to be. The flip side of that belief system is that fiction—even inspirational fiction—is purely for entertainment and escape from our great purpose in life. But the email I get from my fiction readers tells me that inspirational fiction—even inspirational chick lit—can be thought provoking, inspirational, moving, convicting, and edifying to the reader.

So I see the need for the marketing to play up the fact that inspirational fiction is more than fun—it can serve an eternal purpose, just as inspirational nonfiction does. If that message can be expressed more powerfully, I see Christian fiction exploding in popularity over the next few years. I’m praying to that end!

If you could get just one fan letter from a reader, what would it say and why?
Wow, Robin, I decided to go back and find a real fan letter which particularly touched me, and I got all caught up in them.

Those which are the greatest blessing are the ones in which the writer sees how the book relates to real life, like this one:

I absolutely loved The Guy I'm Not Dating! I found myself in tears from laughing so hard. At the same time, I really appreciated the core values of the book. As a youth leader, I was really touched by Rachelle and the impact Kara and Ren had on her. Rachelle reminded me of so many of the girls in my youth group. They really do pay a lot more attention than we sometimes give them credit for.

Okay, lastly, I have to say that Aunt Addie was my absolute favorite of all the characters. Great job and I can't wait for Ren's story to come out!

I love the fact that she enjoyed the characters and the story, but I’m especially blessed that she took something away that might edify her mission for Christ. That’s great stuff!

Writers talk all the time about the growth of a writer. . . what aspect of your writing, in your own opinion, would you most like to improve on?

I’d like to delve deeper into my characters for my readers. Chick lit authors walk a fine line there, because the books mustn’t be too heavy, but they still need to be more than a simple boy meets girl, girl breaks nail and falls apart, boy assures girl she’s still a fox, girl feels fulfilled until she gets a blemish on her nose. I know that’s an exaggeration, but we chick lit gals are required to not get too Anna Karenina on anyone. So I’d like to develop further the happy mix of light and deep.

Thanks so much for dropping by, Trish. It's been a fun interview!

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