The Inside Habit


Trish Perry Sunset Beach

I haven’t actually received my ARC for Sunset Beach yet, but it’s coming. I’m promoting the book nonetheless, and will review it later.

Sunset-Beach-cover-194x300 In the popular Beach House series (more than 60,000 copies sold), a worn and comfortable coastal home in San Diego intersects with charming, contemporary stories—Sally John’s The Beach House and Castles in the Sand followed by Trish Perry’s Beach Dreams. In Sunset Beach, Perry delights fans by returning to the beloved backdrop where women gather and lives change.

Meet Sonny Miller, a recent college graduate with plans to get her master’s degree in psychology. With the intention of resolving some family drama and putting her academic interests to the test, Sonny cleverly invites her mother, Teresa, and her mother’s estranged twin, Aunt Melanie, to the quiet and quirky beach house. They both show up…and with surprises of their own. Teresa, a successful classical singer, brings her latest protégé, Irina, and Melanie brings along secrets about Teresa and the identity of Sonny’s long–gone father.

The strong personalities cause some big waves, and Sonny is in over her head. Soon she is drawn to Irina and Irina’s charming brother, Grigori. Her faith is strengthened by their story of being adopted as children from a Russian orphanage by a Christian couple from America.

Readers will love being a guest alongside these characters. Between each sunrise and sunset is another day for healing, laughter, rediscovering the importance of family, and embracing the hope of God’s care.

Here’s my short interview with the author:

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think I probably wanted to be an actor when I was a child. I memorized dialogue, imagined scenes, and studied actresses I admired. But I never went out for Drama in school. I was horribly shy and couldn’t imagine auditioning for anything. Still, I was well served by my obsession with dialogue and the visual exercises of creating scenes in my mind. Sometimes I still come up with my scenes and dialogue by simply visualizing them on screen or acting them out with imaginary characters. I try to keep these antics private, of course. I’d be in big trouble on one of those Big Brother type of reality shows.

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.

When you write do you generally know where you’re headed or are you sometimes as surprised as your characters about the way things end?
There is always surprise, no matter how well I plan out a book’s progress. I was just talking with my editor about that the other day, the fact that the initial summary I write might change a bit as events unfold around my protagonist. I think that’s happened with every book I’ve written. I typically write a summary, which tells me generally where the story will go, and then I write a sentence or two per chapter idea, and then I start hammering away on Chapter One. As I write actual chapters, the events between “Once upon a time” and “The End” evolve in more significant ways than I expected in the first place. It’s an exciting process!

Where did you get the idea for the book?
The setting (the funky little house on Mission Beach) and time frame (one or two weeks’ time) were already established for me by my publisher. All of the books in The Beach House series fall within those parameters. But the characters and their stories formulated over time. First I dreamed up Sonny—a young woman who had lived her entire life devoid of details about her family background, thanks to her secretive mother. Sonny had reached a point where she wanted to take control of her own life. Her mother was the barrier to that, so Sonny needed to both go around her mother and barrel headlong towards her. The hidden details about Sonny’s past arose as I created each new character. Even though my own family is close and forthcoming about our family history, there have always been fuzzy areas about which I’ve wanted to know more. I imagined how difficult it would be if your entire family history were fuzzy. I know I’d be compelled to act as Sonny did.

With which character do you, personally, identify most and why?
Although we’re nothing like each other, I’d have to say I empathized the most with Sonny. As I mentioned above, I shudder at the idea of being in the dark about all of your family members, including your own father. I don’t identify with the questions Sonny had, but I can certainly imagine them. And the fact that Sonny got her degree in Psychology, of course, is the closest tie I have with her. Knowing how little I know with a B.A. (versus graduate education and years of actual practice), I had fun making Sonny charge forth as if she thought she could cure her family’s woes. She certainly had her heart in the right place, but her methods were slightly half baked.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
First, I hope they’ll find the book entertaining. I want them to enjoy Sonny’s journey and the way her discoveries uncover secrets and feelings for the people around her. I hope they’ll be amused, but only when I mean them to be! On a grander scale, I hope readers will be touched by the whole issue of personal identity and how God factors into that. I never want to write a preachy book—but I certainly enjoy hearing when my books are inspiring. My prayer before every book I write is that God will give me the story someone somewhere needs to read in order to feel more of what He wants them to feel. Then I leave it up to Him.

Okay, not so short interview. Hope you enjoyed it!

Sunset Beach on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0736926755

Trish Perry’s Website and Blog: http://www.trishperry.com

Trish Perry’s Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/people/Trish-Hawley-Perry/1459576628

Follow Trish Perry on Twitter: https://twitter.com/trishperrybooks

Others on the book tour:

A Peek at My Bookshelf
A Spacious Place
All Creature’s Great and Small
Blog Tour Spot
Book Junkie Confessions
Book Nook Club
Cindy’s Stamping and Reviews
Cornhusker Academy
Drive Home Productions
Edgy Inspirational Author Blog
Fictionary
Fresh Brewed Writer
Gatorskunz and Mudcats
Giving Up on Picture Perfect
Heart Chocolate
I Don’t Wanna Blog
J’s Spot
Lighthouse Academy
Net’s Book Notes
Our Family’s Adventures
Real Women Scrap
Refresh My Soul
S.A.G.A
Scraps and Snippets
Sherry Kyle
Springs Writers
The Friendly Book Nook
The Sarah Jane Diaries
The Writing Road
This That and The Other
wandering, wonderings of a whacked-out woman
Word Up Studies
Word Vessel