Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trish Perry's Blog Tour - Beach Dreams

Trish Perry is an award-winning writer of The Guy I’m Not Dating and Too Good to Be True. She served for seven years as the editor of Ink and the Spirit, a quarterly newsletter of the Capital Christian Writers organization in the Washington DC area. She has published numerous short stories, essays, devotionals, and poetry in Christian and general market media, and she is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Trish lives in Northern Virginia with her son, and has a gorgeous adult daughter and an amazing grandson. You can learn more about Trish at her website, www.trishperrybooks.com.

Beach Dreams

Tiffany LeBoeuf recently lost her mother to cancer. Still grieving, Tiffany seeks rest for her body and soul at a cozy beach house in San Diego. A scheduling mix-up causes a double booking, and Tiffany ends up sharing the house with a woman named Eve. When Eve’s boyfriend, Jeremy, arrives to surprise Eve, Tiffany is surprised as well. He settles in at the beach house next door, and what happens after that surprises them all.

A fun, contemporary romance about how God uses even our mistakes to bring about His divine purposes. Beach Dreams is the perfect get-away read.

Read Excerpt
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Author Interview

Tell me a little bit about your background and your family.

I’m the middle child; middle girl. I was raised as one of five kids by my British mum and my WWII Air Force vet dad. I lived in Newfoundland (Canada), California, Colorado, and finally Virginia, which I’ve called home for the greater part of my life. I love it here. Most of my family still resides in Virginia, which is a bonus.

My late sister lived a rough lifetime of medical problems, which had a distinct bearing on our family lifestyle and our sensibilities toward the hardships of others. Her eventual death may have been a blessed relief for her, but it was a huge loss for us. The loss is what brought me to the Lord.

Both of my children are believers, which brings me such peace. I have a 29-year-old daughter, who is one of the coolest, smartest, most intuitive women I know. She’s blessed me with a remarkable grandson, now five. And my 16-year-old son is brilliant and funny, and he tells me daily that I’m weird (but I can hear the “I love you” in there when he says it).

What has God been teaching you lately?

I’ve been blown away by how clearly He forgives my weaknesses. Things have occurred in my life over the past 18 months for which (right or wrong) I carried a burden of guilt. You know, that feeling of “how did I contribute to this mess?” Yet He has blessed me so abundantly in the midst of my feelings of conviction, that He amazes me daily with His obvious love. The blessings keep me humbly aware of how much I need Him. And they instill in me such a strong desire to serve Him and to follow His guidance and will.

Where are you headed next?

I’ve just begun work on the follow-up to Beach Dreams, which is tentatively called Sunset Beach. We’re expecting a June 2009 release, but that’s not definite yet. The book’s setting will be the same, but all of the characters will be new. I’m having fun with it!

How did you get involved in writing?

I dabbled with writing on and off when I was a kid, but I didn’t feel the great calling I hear other novelists describe. I didn’t get the itch until I went back to school as an adult. I planned to become a psychological counselor, but my English professors kept giving me wonderful feedback on the writing exercises I did for them, and I realized I liked opening up that right hemisphere and pouring out the ideas. By the time I got my B.A., I decided to skip the doctorate program and focus on writing and getting published.

What’s the most difficult part of the writing process for you?

Being disciplined enough, especially at the beginning of a project, to just sit here at the computer and do it. I’m always amazed, once I’ve put something up there, how easy it is to make it better. If you have something to work with, you’re halfway there. So I’m trying to be better about the beginning of a project—not to over think it before I start.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
I love writing dialogue. What a control freak’s dream, to have control over what everyone says, including the antagonist. If only life were that easy, LOL! But truly, sometimes a scene simply shapes itself right before my eyes when the characters are engaged in dialogue. I don’t know quite what will be expressed sometimes, and I love it when it flows even faster than I seem to be able to think it.

Where did you get the idea for the book?
I wanted very much to write a book about Jeremy and Tiffany, who were secondary characters in my first two books (The Guy I’m Not Dating and Too Good to Be True). I started to write the third book with the same setting as my first two, but then Harvest House asked if I would move the setting to fit The Beach House Series, the first two books of which were written by Sally John. So I started over and made my east coast protagonists travel across country to sunny San Diego. It was fun to create that facet of their story—it added quite a few layers to the plot. In fact, the circumstances of their getting together was completely different than what I originally planned.

What are the major themes of the book?
The importance of seeking God’s guidance constantly surfaces in my stories—the different circumstances that drive my themes usually fit under that umbrella.

Situations aren’t always as they appear, for example, and we can be fooled or we can misjudge others if we don’t constantly seek God’s wisdom and guidance. And sometimes we can miss out on His blessings if we fail to see situations as He means us to.

Another theme that emerged was how difficult it can be when a believer is drawn romantically to a nonbeliever. I’ve touched on the subject before, but in Beach Dreams, the nonbeliever is someone who feels almost real to me (and many readers) at this point. I feel a renewed empathy for Christians in these circumstances. Again, God’s guidance and strength are so important.

What is a mistake - big or small - that you’ve made that you could later see God used for a specific purpose and how did he use it?

I was deeply into adulthood when I went back to school to earn a degree. Rather than fretting over having waited so long, I focused on the fact that now I knew what I really wanted to be. A psychological therapist. You couldn’t have found a more attentive, diligent student, and I did well. So, when I neared graduation and realized I had developed an overwhelming desire to write fiction, I freaked out just a little. How could I switch gears yet again? Had I just wasted years earning a degree I wasn’t going to actually use? That felt like a huge mistake.

But God knew what He was doing. If you want to do an in-depth study of character goals, motivation, and conflict, you go on out there and earn a degree in Psychology. I may not be too quick in the plotting and scene-setting departments, but my psychological training comes in handy when creating characters and walking with them through life. I think that’s why God led me to get that degree, and now I know I didn’t waste a moment learning what I did.

Thank you for stopping by Trish!

Trish would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave her a message.

You can join her on her blog tour at the following stops:

A Christain Romance Writer’s Journey
A Peek at My Bookshelf
Amber Miller
Artistic Blogger
Behind the Mountain
Blog Tour Spot
Book Junkie Confessions
Book Nook Club
Book Room Reviews
Camy’s Loft
Christy’s Book Blog
Edgy Inspirational Author Blog
Footprints in the Sand
Gatorskunz and Mudcats
Heart Chocolate
His Reading List
I Don’t Wanna Blog
Kells Creative Musings
Lighthouse Academy
Lone Star Latte and Libre
Margaret Daley
My Christian Fiction Blog
Mystery, Suspense, and God, Oh My!
Net’s Notes
Readin’ N Writin’ with Patricia
Real Women Scrap
Refresh My Soul
See Ya On the Net
Sips ‘N Cups Cafe
So Many Books. . . So Little Time
The Friendly Book Nook
The O.L.D. Blog
The Writing Road
Write by Faith
wandering, wonderings of a whacked-out woman
Writing on the Edge

1 comment:

  1. Toni, thanks so much for taking part in the Beach Dreams blog tour. Your support is appreciated and so is the exposure you've given Beach Dreams.

    I enjoyed reading about your book. Monster alerts--made me laugh.