I have decided that since this book was so good that I am going to give away my own copy of Beach Dreams by Trish Perry, but I also want to you know about this other little contest too.
Trish’s special contest:
Prize: a beach bag filled with a few goodies.
How to enter: On your own blog (not here), post a response to the following prompt: How has God used a mistake you made – big or small – for his purposes?
The example may be serious or funny, complex or simple, and you may or may not have realized he was even using it at the time it occurred.
Here is a link to the spot that the contest is on http://blogtourspot.com for you to add your post and read the other entries. All entries must be received by 5pm CST on August 22. Trish will judge the entries and declare her favorite.
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.
Tell me about your road to publication.
I didn’t know what kind of writing I wanted to pursue when I first started to write seriously. So I read Writer’s Digest and The Writer magazines and joined the Writer’s Digest Book Club. I bought a ridiculous number of books about writing and poured over them. I took Creative Writing courses while I worked on my Psych degree—the workshopping alone was excellent training for skin thickening. I joined a local writing organization and hung out with other writers. I started submitting poetry and personal essays to small publications. I experienced plenty of rejection and kept trying. I wrote several short stories and eventually realized I wanted to write a novel. So I read several books about novel writing. And I read a lot of novels! While I worked on my first novel, I continued to submit smaller pieces, and I started publishing. I joined a small critique group.
The above actions took me years, and I still hadn’t submitted a novel for publication (or rejection). This is a long road, but it’s best to just put one foot in front of the other and not worry about the length of the journey.
I entered writing contests, and one of them led to my finding representation by my fantastic agent, Tamela Hancock Murray. Mind you, this was representation for my second novel. Once Tamela started representing me, it was a matter of months before she got me a two-book contract. The contract did not include my first manuscript—that baby still sits at home and may never see publication. But it was all part of the journey.
Where did you get the idea for Beach Dreams?
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.
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!
Tiffany LeBoeuf just came back home after taking care of her dieing mother and was not expecting to find out that she lost her job. Now what is she going to do since she has no social life but her friends Ren and Kara. Then she meets Jeremy and thinks things could be looking up, until she meets Eve, Jeremy’s girlfriend.
Ren suggest that Tiffany take off and enjoy this wonderful beach house that her and Tru had used before, so Tiff takes her father because she knows he needs to get away too. There is just one problem: Eve. Jeremy’s girlfriend is suppose to be staying at the same beach house.
Jeremy shows up unannounced and not only surprises his girlfriend but Tiffany as well. Tiffany is a new Christian and she is having a hard time with her feelings for Jeremy especially since he is now hanging out around the Beach House.
Trish Perry is very good about writing light-hearted comedy romances that make you smile, laugh and really feel for the characters in her books. Trish does a great job of showing how God can take all of our little mistakes and turn them around his purpose as long as we will let him. I really enjoyed reading Beach Dreams.
I will be drawing a name for Beach Dreams on August 25th.