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Trish PerryTrish Perry is an award-winning writer and 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.

Favorite Verse: Isaiah 41:10 NIV  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”


 Our Interview with Trish Perry


What is your favorite Bible verse?

Isaiah 41:40 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I dabbled in a number of different fields before I became a writer. I worked for Washington, D.C. attorneys, I worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and I became a stockbroker—a pretty terrible one. I went back to school to get a Psychology degree and go into counseling. That was when I discovered my love for writing. God really drew me to writing in a way I never experienced before. He helps me use my degree to develop my characters and to understand how they might react to one another.

I’m about to become an empty nester this year, so I feel I’m embarking on yet another interesting phase of life. I plan to continue writing as long as He provides the opportunities, the stories, and the readers.

What made you decide to become a Christian fiction writer? 

While I worked on my degree, I took quite a few writing courses and discovered how much I loved writing fiction. My first novel idea involved spiritual warfare. I wasn’t really thinking “Inspirational Market” versus “Secular Market,” but the more exposure I got to the publishing industry, the more I realized I was writing a novel for the Christian market. I didn’t publish that novel. But the idea of using God’s gift to write books that might encourage readers to turn to Him? Amen! I was sold.


How did you come up with the concept for The Perfect Blend? 

As I neared the completion of Sunset Beach, my Harvest House editor and I bandied about a number of different ideas for upcoming books. Harvest House has published lovely non-fiction books about tea in the past, and my editor wondered if there might not be a series there somewhere—The Tea Shop Series—using the shop as the setting that connected all of the books. I loved that concept and put together a series summary and a few novel ideas. The Perfect Blend is the first idea I had, about a fairly naive young woman who elopes to an unknown town, is jilted by her fiancé, and tries to pull together a new life. And the next will be Water Hot Enough, involving a different cast of characters and one or two characters who figure in all of the books in the series.

What a great cover!!

I know! I love it! I’m so pleased with how that came about. I set the series in nearby Middleburg, a beautiful, diverse, historical town in Northern Virginia. Just to give the folks at Harvest House an idea of how I pictured the tea shop, I took a shot of the building you see on the cover. Harvest House’s cover designer ended up using my photo and making it truly beautiful. That’s exactly the way Milly’s tea shop looks in my mind.

Is any part of The Perfect Blend factual?

Only the delicious crab cakes at the Hidden Horse Tavern. On rare occasions I use actual incidents in my novels—if I personally do something goofy and realize people might get a good laugh out of it. But typically I shy away from using real people, places, or incidents in my stories. When my mind is in the fictional world, I find it awkward to incorporate real-life people and events. They don’t get along well with the people in my head.


What is the most interesting tidbit that you learned while writing The Perfect Blend?

I learned that one of the business owners in Middleburg was the sister of an old high school friend of mine. That surprise connection led to the business owner giving me quite a wonderful tour of the town, introducing me to a number of the townspeople and shop owners there. I look forward to further developing those acquaintances.

What other projects do you have on the horizon?

I’m currently working on the manuscript for the next book in The Tea Shop Series, Water Hot Enough, about a single father struggling with his trouble-making teens until he joins forces with a young counselor who improves his life in more ways than one. And I have a couple of other projects being considered, including a romance set in the 1950s and a devotional or two. After that? Only God knows!

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

My greatest challenge is self-discipline with regard to my time. I’m far too easily distracted. That’s why I work best with a deadline and a very structured time frame for completing my books. I know exactly how many words I absolutely must write each day to meet my deadlines. Otherwise, I’d fool myself into thinking I had written more than I actually had before leaving the computer to go read or watch American Idol.


Who was the person who most influenced you in your writing journey?

I’d have to say novelist and short-story author Richard Bausch. When I was in college, he was a visiting author under whom I studied short-story writing. Besides writing his own fiction, he’s currently the editor of the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, which makes absolute sense to me. The man writes tightly and beautifully. I write nothing like he does, but he taught me to study good authors and then write with my own voice.

What message would you like your readers to take from The Perfect Blend?

I never start out with “a message” when I write a novel, but a message always emerges through my heroine’s experience. In The Perfect Blend the concept that arose was the importance of embracing Christ’s acceptance of us, rather than depending upon acceptance from anyone else in our lives in order to feel valued. We humans often let each other down, and we often let Christ down. But He will never let us down—His love is constant and unconditional.

What is your goal or mission as a writer?

I want my readers to be entertained. I love when a reader writes to me, telling me she was moved, spiritually, by something in one of my novels. But if the book isn’t entertaining to begin with, no one is going to read what God has put on my heart. So my goal, after prayerfully listening for His guidance, is to draw the reader into a fictional world she will find enjoyable and uplifting. That’s my calling.

What do you do to get away from it all?

If it makes me laugh, I’m there. Whether it’s getting together for dinner and conversation with girlfriends, watching a funny (or just fun) film with family, or reading a book that makes me laugh out loud, I get amazing relief from laughter. What can I say? I have simple needs!


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