Hi everyone! We are so glad you could share a bit of your day with us today. We had a good friend of ours, author Brenda Perlin, stop by for just a minute. We just have to say, isn’t she beautiful!!!! She is SO CRAZY BUSY, so this is a wonderful treat. We were able to ask her some great questions. It’s great to learn about the back story of an author and their work. Let’s jump right in.
Where are you from?
I am a Valley girl from North Hollywood, California. I lived in the same place all through my adolescence.
A little about yourself (ie: your education, family life, hobby, etc.)
Thank you for asking. My first passion was photography and later decided that I was hiding behind the lens when I should have been in front so I started taking acting classes. I am what you would call a shy-extrovert. I am not as good one on one as I am with large groups. Privately my soft side comes out but most of the time I am quite the ham and love to act silly.
I was a personal trainer for many years and that was where my bossy side came out. Bossing people around came natural to me. It has kind of stuck with me as I tend to be a bit of a controller.
Tell us your latest news?
I have a trilogy in the works. The third book in the series, Fractured Vows is just about ready for editing. I am excited for that one because it’s the first story that is coming from a males point of view. It’s also the first story that is not based on my life. What a relief. I have been in the hot seat long enough, I would say!
I am also working on a children’s book, Ty The Bull with the brilliant K.D. Emerson. She has been able to turn this sad story into one of inspiration. It’s about bullies and divorce. Two really tough subjects for all of us, no matter what age. Here’s the Facebook link so you can keep up with the latest on this book: https://www.facebook.com/Tythebull
When and why did you begin writing?
In my earlier years I wrote every single day. I would go to neighborhood coffee shops and sit there for hours writing on paper napkins. I wrote for hour on end. Funny, I can’t ever remember getting kicked out for over staying my welcome. I think when you are young you can get away with a lot more.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess that happened when my book was first released on amazon.com. To me, that was a BIG deal.
Shattered Reality was Brenda’s first book
What inspired you to write your first book?
I am just an Orange County Housewife without a husband. I had a husband after moving to Orange County but things changed for the worse. Before moving we lived in Los Angeles with our dogs. I was a personal trainer for many years and never really thought I would start writing again. That was something I stopped years before I planned to get married. When I was engaged and set to be a bride that was when I started writing again.
It was then that I felt I had something interesting to write about. The wedding business seemed like such a joke and I wanted to show in my story what a farce it all was. Telling my story was pretty liberating and I decided to make it my coming of age story that really wasn’t going anywhere so I put it down some months later after the wedding. It wasn’t until I was going through this nasty divorce that I realized that NOW I really have something to write about. I had a story to tell and I didn’t care who would disown me, resent me or even hate me.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Style, not at all. Raw is what I hear a lot it seems. That is because my works not polished. I pretty much write how I talk although I talk way too fast trying to get all the words out and when writing I get the luxury to go back and clean it all up.
How did you come up with the title?
The original title for this trilogy was Home Wrecker instead of Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles. The new titles only came out when I got sick of the judgment that I faced with such a bold title. Now I think people can read my stores and decide if they want to judge, or not.
Is there a message in your novel(s) that you want readers to grasp?
More than anything this is a story of inspiration. This is a modern-day survival story. Maybe a bit unorthodox but it was written from my most honest place. I love stories that are able the human existence with real struggles. No one should feel alone in their hardships. I take a lot of pride when I learn that someone has read one of these books and have related or got what I was trying to say. It’s the best feeling ever!
How much of the book(s) is/are realistic?
100% if you exclude the names.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life, or are they a figment of your imagination? (i.e. – is your hero/heroin you? – is your ‘bad guy’ you or someone you know?)
The first two books, Shattered Reality and Burnt Promises are both based on my life. Shattered Reality is my real life coming-of-age story. I tried hard not to leave out any of the important moments. The third book, Fractured Vows is a coming-of-age story based on my boyfriends life. I still can’t believe he agreed to open himself up to the ridicule. Originally when I asked him if I could write his story (since it’s such a compelling one) he refused. Perseverance goes a long way!
What books have influenced your life the most?
Judy Blume’s book by far influenced me the most when I was a pre-teen and feeling like an outcast. Her book “Are You There God It’s Me Margaret” blew me away. I related to the main character and through this book I found a place where I could relate and not feel so alone.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I think I have worked the closest with John Emil Augustine. We work very well together. He is brilliant and I have the time. Haha!!! I have also really enjoyed working with Arlene R. O’Neil. With Shattered Reality we went back and added dialog. Arlene would add things and I would play with what she did. It was so helpful to learn that I could get my feet wet, not fear it and just make it conversational. These two people are awesome. Wildly inspiring and a God-given gift to me. I can say the same thing about Kim Mutch Emerson but I have just given her room to do her magic and what she has done with the Ty The Bull story is magical. Can’t wait for you all to read this one!
What book(s) are you reading now?
I just finished reading Second Hand Stops: Book I: Black Moons by Katie St. Claire which was brilliant. It’s a YA and there is nothing about this story that isn’t cool. From the awesome cover, great title, and the sharp writing. It’s a winner, for sure.
I read a ton so that can change on an hourly basis but the next book I am starting is a Master Koda book.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There are many. Here you go just to name a few. T. L. Burns, K. R. Hughes, John Emil Augustine, D.W. Davis, Kim Mutch Emerson, Arlene R. O’Neil, Jennifer Loiske, Karen Magill, Tricia Drammah, Lisa Day, Melanie Toye, Jessica Kong, Jane Caroll, Mark Barry, Mary Ann Bernal, Ngaire Elder, Anne Maro Slanina, Joey Paul, Katie St. Claire, K.S. Brooks, Jerrid Edgington. It’s a long list. I could just keep going and going. Shall I?
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
John Emil Augustine, Natalie Walker Idrogo, Kim Mutch Emerson, Rebbekah White, Arlene R. O’Neil, Jennifer Loiske, Karen Magill, Tricia Drammah, Lisa Day, Melanie Toye, Jessica Kong, Jane Caroll, Mark Barry, Mary Ann Bernal, Ngaire Elder, Anne Maro Slanina, Greta Burroughs, Vickie Johnstone, Ed Drury, both you girls and the list goes on. It takes a village and I am a part of one!
If you could pick any celebrity to star in the movie version of your book, who would it be?
This answer has been well thought out. Take a look… http://www.pinterest.com/brendaperlin/brooklyn-and-bo-chronicles-movie-cast/
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I hope not because my books have been a real work in progress. If I could go back, and I might I would play a bit more with Shattered Reality. This story I started writing almost twenty years ago. I have matured and my writing has since evolved.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? (a short excerpt would be great)
~~This is from Burnt Promises (Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles: Book Two)
On the day that I left for good, I remember getting into my car like I always did. While driving out of the garage I watched our dog Grace watching me drive away. I knew it would be for the last time. Fortunately, she wouldn’t remember any of it. As for me, I wouldn’t be able to get that image out of my head. As I drove away, tears filled my eyes. The guilt that I felt at that moment was insurmountable. Those tears that I cried were the only tears that I shed throughout that entire time period. Never once did I cry for my husband.
What is your particular writing quirk?
I am pretty quirky but the first thing that comes to mind is I like to start too many sentences with “I” or “I feel.” I am working on changing that. It is a bad habit. Also, I use just and really too much. I have all kinds of bad habits.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was publishing this book. The first time around with a vanity press was the worst experience ever. Almost made me want to call it quits and then Master Koda Select Publishing picked me up and has turned everything around.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
There have been many lessons learned. Most of all I have learned that anything is possible. If you want it bad enough don’t put your dream aside. Go after it.
Also, before you sign any contracts be sure to get some legal advice.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be true to yourself. Don’t settle or compromise if you don’t have to.
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BRENDA PERLIN’S AUTHOR PAGE ON AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Brenda-Perlin/e/B0088M542Q
SHATTERED REALITY (BROOKLYN AND BO CHRONICLES: BOOK ONE) http://amzn.com/B00CKBWWIU
SHATTERED REALITY (BROOKLYN AND BO CHRONICLES: BOOK ONE) BOOK TRAILER http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjvDi8OIQ5U
BURNT PROMISES (BROOKLYN AND BO CHRONICLES: BOOK TWO) BOOK TRAILER http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Iy9vDNLhgU
K.R. and T.L.