Thursday, March 15, 2007

Interview with Author Trish Perry

Today, I am delighted to bring you an interview with my friend and fellow author Trish Perry. Her second book Too Good To Be True released this month. As soon as I read it, I'll post a review, but I am fully expecting a rollicking fun time laced with some "Ouch, I can apply that to me" moments. I LOVED The Guy I'm Not Dating, and still have friends telling me how much they enjoyed it, too. Now on to the interview.

My friends and I are still enjoying The Guy I'm Not Dating. How does Too Good To Be True tie-in? Or does it stand alone on its own?

I’m so glad you’re still enjoying Kara’s story, Cara. Have you convinced your friends that the story isn’t based on your own life, yet? Sigh. Wouldn’t we all like a Gabe Paolino in our lives?

Too Good to Be True takes place almost a year after The Guy I’m Not Dating. Whereas The Guy centered on Kara and her efforts at purely platonic relationships with men, Too Good focuses on her best friend, Ren, who has been reluctantly divorced for a year when we join her.

Ren’s story can stand on its own; readers don’t need to read The Guy in order to fully “get” Too Good to Be True. But if you have both books, I’d suggest reading The Guy first, just because that’s their order in time.

Sounds like you threw Rennie and Truman into some difficult situations. What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

Yeah, they do have their life struggles, most of which are pretty humorous when they’re happening to someone else!

Besides hoping my readers have fun with the book, I hope they get a sense of how Ren tries to spiritually process her experiences, how she tries to understand God’s purpose when things don’t go the way she thinks they should. Ultimately she gets a glimpse of how much better He knows than she does what’s best for her and for everyone she loves. That’s what I’d like readers to take away from Ren’s story. I think logically we all know God’s way is the best way. But don’t we often second guess Him or try to “help” Him or at least try to figure out what He’s up to? Ren’s situation demonstrates the importance of simply accepting His often-mysterious plan when we accept His Son into our lives.

Which character is your favorite and why?

Of course I love Ren and enjoyed being in her head. But the character with whom I had the most fun was Clarissa, Ren’s snooty mom. I think most mothers have a few controlling tendencies, and it can be especially hard to let go when our children leave home. But Clarissa is like the ├╝ber-control freak you just can’t shake. She made me cringe sometimes, but I cared about her, too. And I liked how Ren—who is really quite different in personality from Clarissa—still manages to recognize a few controlling tendencies of her own.

Both characters have mother issues. Do you have a good relationship with your kids? How do you find a good balance as the mother of grown kids?

I have a fantastic relationship with my kids! I think it helps that there are 13 years between the two of them. Each was essentially raised and nurtured as an only child, except they still had each other, if that makes any sense. Never any sibling rivalry, never a great deal of having to share me (or anything else, for that matter). And they’re different genders, so many their needs are different. But they both have the same sense of humor I have, which is key, in my opinion. All three of us see humor in oddball situations and people, and we love to laugh together. And we’re very open about how much we love each other.

The mother issues that Ren and Tru have are real situations I’ve seen, but they’re ramped up a bit to make them more fun.

And...drum roll...what did the Lord teach you as you wrote this book?

He taught me that, if I don’t get off my rear end and walk around once in a while, my hips practically creak by the end of the day.

Also, the takeaway I mentioned above, about accepting His plan, is something He constantly re-teaches me. But during the actual process of writing Too Good to Be True, He taught me to enjoy myself with my writing. He opened up scenes and dialogue for me which were just such pleasurable experiences.

And He taught me to be flexible! I originally wrote Too Good to Be True in the first person point of view, and then we needed to change it to the third person, in keeping with The Guy I’m Not Dating’s point of view. I had to rewrite the book and try to hang onto Ren’s personality, even while stepping a bit outside of her head. That was a surprise and a challenge, but it was completely possible with His help.

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