with Trish Perry


Welcome back to Patterins, Trish!
Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
It really was an epiphany, Patty. I was about to complete my Psychology degree and needed to align myself with a professor for my grad study work. I had started my first novel on the side, and suddenly wasn’t sure whether to seriously pursue the writing or go on toward my doctorate in Psychology. I was making the bed one morning, praying somewhat petulantly about the fact that God had always given me such peace about my degree pursuit. “Why aren’t you giving me guidance, Lord? I always knew I was in Your will while working on my degree, but now I’m not feeling it. Where’s the guidance?” And as if He spoke the words right into my head, I realized He was no longer guiding me toward Psychology. The moment I “thought” those words, I felt utter peace about pursuing the writing. I figured I’d give it a couple of years to decide for sure. I’ve never gone back to the grad work, and the writing has definitely worked out!

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I struggle to remain disciplined with my writing. It’s very easy to get distracted and to procrastinate when you know the alternative is sitting at the computer and filling that empty screen with something you’ve pulled out of nowhere. That’s why editing and rewriting are so much easier—the creation is done; now you get to refine it.

The most effective deterrent to a lack of discipline for me is the beloved deadline. Honestly, deadlines are our friends! Another way to develop discipline is to just sit at the computer there and start. Just have a basic idea of what you want to accomplish in a given chapter and then let it pour out, without giving too much thought to whether or not you’re writing something you’re going to keep. I’m finding I’m more likely to do that when I’m forced to write in longhand and transcribe it later, but I’m not keen on writing by hand, so I seldom utilize that approach. But when I do, my right hemisphere really kicks in—my censor runs off to grab a cup of coffee or something.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
Of course that would have to be my heroine, Steph. She’s young and sweet, but she lacks direction and self-awareness. She’s very capable—she just doesn’t realize it yet. I enjoyed watching her grow through her various mishaps and experiences in her new hometown. And I loved watching her relationship with the hero develop and watching her come to the realization of why she made some of the bad decisions she did in the past.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m not a terribly quirky gal. But in answering another question below, I thought of something kind of strange I’ve done in the past. Because I earned my college degree as an adult, I attended as a part-time student. So the studying was spread out for several years, and between my college work and raising a family, I didn’t have much time for pleasure reading (as in, novels). So once I finished my degree, I started buying novels for myself. Lots of them. I took advantage of local book fairs and online discount sites. I stopped shopping like that about five years ago. Regardless, I have about 775 unread novels in my library, and that doesn’t include those that come along for me to read for endorsement or to influence or for my local book club or the CD books I listen to while I drive. I still get joy just looking at my bookshelves—all of those adventures my mind has yet to experience. I guess that’s pretty weird, huh?

LoL—it may be weird, but I sure understand it! ;-)
What would a perfect day for you look like?

On perfect days I manage to get to my Bible study first, my writing quota second, and still have time to get together with friends or family members. I enjoy beautiful weather, but I’m not all that much of an outdoorsy girl, so my day doesn’t have to be glorious outside to be perfect (but it does help). On a perfect day we have a nice lunch/dinner/evening out, with plenty of conversation, capped off by a fun film or show and more conversation.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read both Christian and mainstream novels (I always prefer novels to nonfiction), and I read in just about any genre. I’ll deliberately mix it up, so if I read a historical Christian novel about a woman in 1890s New Mexico, the next one might be a mainstream experimental novel in which everything occurs backwards in time. Then a light, romantic comedy, followed by a heavy literary masterpiece. Ooo, just writing this paragraph makes me want to go pick up a book!

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
I used to be a slave to Lays Potato Chips and Fritos. Now I don’t eat that kind of thing anymore (or not very often, anyway), because I lost weight and love being thinner. My new “chips” are cashews or almonds. Crunchy stuff definitely does it for me. I can’t imagine sitting here with a cup of tapioca or a block of cheese. There’s something squishy and dense about that kind of snack, and I don’t want to be squishy or dense. I want to be crunchy!

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I never set out to write a book with a specific theme in mind. Rather, I design the characters and their setting and figure out what their conflicts are. But as a result of their having to work through those conflicts, a theme eventually emerges. Since I write Christian fiction, the theme always involves God. A few years ago Robin Jones Gunn pointed out that for most of us, if we looked at what we’ve written over time, we would see a particular facet of our relationship with God that He put on our hearts to express. I realized I was attached to the idea of His guidance and our need to keep turning to it. That theme certainly flavors all of my stories in a broad fashion.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
He’s been teaching me to lean on Him about the future. I’m in a position where I will probably need to supplement my writing income sometime soon, unless He has other writing-related things in mind for me. I’ve taken steps toward supplementing my income, but He has blessed me with so many writing opportunities, I’ve had to push my other efforts aside several times now. So I’m leaning on Him mightily for day-to-day guidance about His will. See? My “guidance” theme raises its ever-present head again!

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I have three books coming out in the first half of 2011. I’m uncertain on the release dates for two of them. Those two are Unforgettable (Summerside Press), a 1950s romantic comedy about a ballroom dance instructor, a brash newspaper reporter, and the adventure and romance they encounter between Arlington and Manhattan; and a totally fun, touching devotional, Delight Yourself in the Lord . . . Even on Bad Hair Days, (Summerside Press, maybe in March), which I wrote with the fabulous Kristin Billerbeck, Sandra D. Bricker, Diane Hunt, and Debby Mayne.

The third release date I do know about, and that’s the April release of Tea for Two (Harvest House Publishers), the second book in The Tea Shop Series. I loved writing this book. Here’s the blurb for it:

Zack Cooper tries his best to raise his children, but he's losing his grip on them in their teen years. They've both had scrapes with the local law.

Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel has the perfect woman in mind to help Zack. Counselor Tina Milano meets weekly at the tea shop with her women's group. Milly encourages Zack and Tina to work together to draw the teens back before they get in even hotter water. Milly never thought things might heat up between Zack and Tina. Or did she?

Tina's connections with the Middleburg police department prove a mixed blessing for Zack and his kids. Both her best friend and old boyfriend are officers on the force.

And when Tina's women's group gets wind of her personal pursuits and clashes, they want to help. The group's meetings at the tea shop take on a slightly different flavor. Tina wonders who, exactly, is counseling whom.

Thanks, Patty, for the interview! It’s been a pleasure visiting.

Thank you for stopping by, Trish! I really enjoyed this interview with you!

Trish is giving away a copy of The Perfect Blend. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment by Monday, Sept. 27th and check back on Tuesday, Sept. 28th to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on this post and once on tomorrow's interview with Trish. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar, and purchasing, I will receive a very small percentage of the sale.

If you haven't already, be sure to enter Lorna Seilstad's book giveaway for Making Waves by leaving comments on her spotlight and interview.


  1. Laughed at the crunchy comment. JUST what we wanna be, eh? :D

    Please enter me :D

  2. Crunchy is good!
    But, I sure enjoy a nice cheddar with my crunch! LOL

    Great interview! Enter me! :)

  3. Enjoyed the interview and the blurb. Not a really crunchy gal myself. More of a chocolate freak myself, especially when it comes to my favorite dessert brownies. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!


  4. Anonymous5:03 AM

    Sounds like a great read! I'm for the chocolate!

  5. I really enjoy Trish's books. This sounds like a great read! The interview was fab -- it was great to learn more about Trish.
    I'd love to be entered in your give-away!


  6. The Tea Shop series seems to be a fresh, new theme in Christian fiction and I'm eager to read it. Your new book, Unforgettable, also sounds wonderful, Trish.

    For a long time, I could also relate to your book-buying habits, Trish. I'm afraid to count mine!

    I enjoyed the interview and appreciate the chance to win The Perfect Blend.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  7. Love Trish's books....so am anxious to read this one! Please enter me! Thanks!!


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