Dear readers you have certainly noticed for two days now that I fell head over heels in love with the novel of a debut author: Devney Perry (a very enthusiastic review (here)+ signed paperback giveaway (here) should have clued you in).
It’s her first work but I can tell you she is already mastering the art of writing. If you’re a fan of romance happening in a small town with alpha heroes and single mom this is for you. I swear she avoided all the traps and it’s not cheesy or too much. It’s just right and beautiful.
Anyway Devney Perry is not only a gifted writer but she is also a lovely person and she agreed immediately to answer my (many) questions. I had a blast reading her answers.
So if you are curious and would like to know more about this very promising author just read below and enjoy 😀
First let me thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. The Coppersmith Farmhouse has been a revelation for me. I know this is your first published book (that I know of at least) but it does certainly not feel like it!
I guess you must be very busy writing the second book in the and that’s why I’m honored that you agreed to answer my questions.
- Let’s begin with some fun questions to get to know you a little better: If you would be an animal what would you be?
A Golden Retriever puppy. I love that they are such happy creatures.
- What are your guilty pleasures? Just tell us what’s lifting your mood or what you need to survive as a happy woman. Now on the contrary what can’t you stand or has your panties in a twist?
Red wine is definitely my top guilty pleasure. I also love going to movies in the theater and binging on popcorn, Skittles and Diet Coke. I don’t get to go often but I so enjoy it when I do.
Books definitely lift my mood. I love that I can escape for a little while into a different world while I’m reading. There are so many amazing stories out there and I love discovering new authors or re-reading books that I have come to cherish.
- How was little Devney like? Did you always know you would write books one day?
Little Devney was bossy. My younger brother and I played outside constantly during the summers and I was always in command of whatever game we had invented. We built a lot of forts and rode our bikes everywhere. In the winter, we spent as many weekends on the ski hill as we could manage.
Growing up, I aspired to be a doctor so writing wasn’t even on my radar. In college, I changed course from pre-med to economics and eventually went into the tech industry. Writing was something that I decided to try out of the blue but it’s the perfect fit. I guess you could say I went through a process of elimination to find my dream job!
- Let’s get into your book now. So what was your writing process? What are the “lessons learned” or the “mistakes” you would not do again? Did you cut many scenes?
My writing process has been an evolution. I’m still learning and I’m finding my groove. An outline really helps me keep the over-arching story in mind and make sure I’m not dropping plot threads. When I’m editing, I read the book on my Kindle so I can get a better feel for the flow. I’ve just finished writing the fourth book in the Jamison Valley Series and I think I’ve finally landed on a process that works best for me.
When I started The Coppersmith Farmhouse, I wrote whatever came to me at that moment. I had a rough outline and some specific scenes in my head, but I didn’t have the entire novel plotted. Honestly, I wrote the book thinking I’d just keep it for myself. The first draft was rough and I spent a lot of time reworking things and making cuts. My editor, Elizabeth, helped me immensely with removing unnecessary filler. I can’t say enough wonderful things about her. And by the time I had the finished product, I’d worked up the courage to publish it for others to read too.
- Where did the idea come from? Did it start with the characters and then the plot? Or you had the plot and imagined the best fitting characters?
The idea actually came from the setting. I was visiting my dad’s hometown of Ennis, MT and I thought “How cool would it be to write a book set in a town like this?” From there, I started dreaming up the characters. I’d think of certain scenes and jot down notes. Finally, I sat down one day and started Chapter 1.
- And how do you choose and build your characters? And do they hijack your stories? Do they have something from friends/teachers/people you know in them? And does Gigi share some characters trait with you?
For the most part, the characters are their own. There may be tiny hints of a real-life inspiration in them, but when they came to me, they were unique in my mind. Gigi and I do share some traits. I love to cook and read. I try to do too much on my own. Rowen shares a lot of traits with my oldest son. He was definitely my inspiration for her character. I love that when I re-read The Coppersmith Farmhouse, I’ll always have a reminder of how he was when he was four.
- What’s a typical writing day for you? Do you have rituals? Things you need to be able to write? A favorite music/band/singer/song? And how do you deal with writer’s block?
I long for a typical day. Right now, things are hectic at my house. Every day is a different mix of kid activities, etc. My husband travels a lot for work and his schedule is always jumbled. I do a lot of writing at night after my kids are in bed. I love to sit in my living room with a nice glass of wine and my laptop. If I ever get blocked, I set my work aside and find something else to occupy my mind. Sometimes I’ll just go for a drive to clear my head.
- What are your advices for aspiring writers?
Do it. If you love to write, give it a try. What have you got to lose? Friends are great readers (especially for your first draft) but an editor is priceless. If your budget can afford it, hire an editor that will give it to you straight.
- Could you tell us something about your future book?
There will be five books in the Jamison Valley Series. As of today, I’ve planned to release them all in 2017. The Clover Chapel is coming out in May. I LOVE Nick and Emmeline’s story and hope you do too. The Lucky Heart, Silas and Felicity’s story, will be out in August and it is currently in the editing process. I’ve just finished writing The Outpost, Beau and Sabrina’s story, and will be refining it over the next couple of weeks. Then I’m going to start on Hunter and Maisy’s story. I can’t wait to give readers more Maisy!
Now back again to lighter stuff:
- What books inspired you or moved you or..? What and/or who would you recommend us to read? Why?
I love Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and anything Harry Potter related. I’ll read anything that Nora Roberts writes and often re-read some of my favorites. I was on a huge YA kick a few years ago and fell in love with the City of Bones books. And, yes, I am a huge Twilight fan too. These days I’ve been reading a lot more contemporary romance and am a sucker for a good motorcycle club series.
- Can you share a favorite quote with us? Be it from your books or elsewhere?
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” – Helen Keller
- What was the last movie that made you cry?
Beauty and the Beast. I got all teary when it ended. They did an amazing job with that movie.
- What would you say to your eighteen self?
Slow down, Dev.
- What celebrity would you have dinner with? And do you have book boyfriends?
Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. Those two crack me up.
Book boyfriends? Oh yes. I have football player book boyfriends. Men in uniform book boyfriends. Hollywood book boyfriends. The list goes on.
- If you could master one skill in life, that’s not writing, what would it be?
Gardening. I’d love to be good at growing flowers and vegetables. I try, but more often than not, things die.
Thank you Devney!