[Author Interview] Randi Perrin – Virtue and Honor
Featured Authors Talk About It
ATAI: Tell us a little about you.
Randi Perrin: I’m Randi Perrin, a little quirky, a little country, a little rock-n-roll, all snark. By day, I’m a mild-mannered (oh, who am I kidding? I am not mild anything) technical writer and by night, I’m the creator of alternate realities with bad-ass female characters and smooth-as-silk guys who love them. (Sometimes I even write a bad-ass male character and the guy who loves him.)
Honestly, if you want to get to know me, read my books. All of my characters have a little bit of me in them. Some more than others, but they all have a little piece of my personality in there somewhere. But no, I’m not telling you which character’s quirks are mine and which aren’t. Where’s the fun in that?
ATAI: How long have you been writing?
Randi Perrin: When haven’t I been writing is the more apt question. Whenever life throws a curveball at me, I cope by writing and always have. But, if I had to pinpoint a moment, I really got my start when my second-grade teacher put me on the newspaper staff (an honor that was not normally allowed until the third grade). I’ve been writing ever since. A friend and I wrote a mystery book in the fifth grade, which my brother illustrated for us and my stepdad bound. (I sent it to someone and never saw it again. Sigh.) I was first published nationally when I was thirteen in a poetry anthology. I was on the newspaper staff off and on throughout school, and then I got a degree in journalism, and worked at a newspaper for a while. I’ve interviewed a poet laureate, Miss Kentucky, Junior Miss Kentucky, civil war re-enactors, movie directors, and everything in between.
The non-fiction that I get paid to write wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to write fiction, too. I’m kind of like Ariel: You want thingamapublications? I got 20. But who cares? No big deal. I want more.
ATAI: What was your most recent release?
Randi Perrin: My most recent release is called Virtue and Honor. It’s the third book in the Earthbound Angels trilogy. (ATAI reviewed the first in the series, Virtue of Death, when I submitted it to the 2016 Romance novel contest.) All of the characters you loved from the first two books are back in this one, along with a few new ones. Each book is a standalone, but do build upon each one, so there weren’t really a whole lot of loose ends to tie up, but I did it anyway. Loose ends you didn’t know were loose ends (heck, I didn’t even know were loose ends until I got deep into it) get tidied up.
ATAI: What do you love most about writing?
Randi Perrin: It’s a release. When someone at work drives me nuts, I go home and write it out. The person doesn’t necessarily make it into the story, but the act of pounding on my keyboard relaxes me (my husband says he swears keys are going to come flying off my laptop because I’m such a loud and aggressive typer—I say he’s just jealous). Plus, when I’m writing, I’m able to completely forget the things around me for a little while, and be in a completely different world. When I wrote Virtue of Death, I was able to escape back home to Virginia Beach. Or Promises of Virtue, I was back in Paris, enjoying the sites and the food. Or Virtue and Honor, running up the steps at the Art Institute of Chicago toward the Impressionist wing. I get to be somewhere else. I get to be somebody else. The trials in my daily life are gone, albeit temporarily. It’s freeing.
ATAI: What do you find most challenging?
Randi Perrin: Navigating the business. Doing the right marketing. Finding the right audience. Hunting down the reviews. Doing the right signings. Ordering the best swag. There’s so much that can go wrong, and so many people out there who are trying to scam authors, that it’s inundating. Writing the novel is the easy part (and writing a book is not easy, by any stretch, but in the grand scheme, it’s the easy part). Then you have to deal with rejections, rewrites, marketing, reviews. It’s a lot, and there’s so much that can go wrong along the way.
ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?
Randi Perrin: There’s no telling. I will admit that more plot ideas come out of the shower than anywhere else. My best friend bought me one of those notepads with waterproof pages, and it’s gotten a lot of use. (The girl didn’t earn the title ‘best friend’ for nothing.) There’s nothing worse than coming up with a great idea as I’m falling asleep but not writing it down. I think, “It’s so awesome, there’s no way I can forget it.” The next morning—poof!—like Keyser Söze, it’s gone.
ATAI: What is your writing process?
Randi Perrin: I have no process. Every book is different. In fact, there are times I may not even start in the right place. One thing is for sure, I’ve never written a full-length novel (or novella) in order. I write as the scenes come to me, and then stitch them together at the end. Which often involves drastic cosmetic surgery to make it fit and be pretty where it ends up. For example: in Virtue and Honor, the antagonist wasn’t the antagonist in the first draft. It wasn’t until the second draft that I changed up who it was entirely, which involved several heavy rewrites and finessing to make it work.
ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?
Randi Perrin: Yup. I stopped using outlines after my characters gave my outline the middle finger, shoved it off the table, and went, “So, what here’s what we’re going to do instead.” It’s their story, not mine, so I tend to listen to them. (And now I sound equal parts horrifying and crazy.)
ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?
Randi Perrin: It’s really hard to pick just one. It’s a cop out answer, I know, but there are so many parts that are special for so many different reasons. However, I will say, there’s a scene in Virtue and Honor that involves two cars, a garage, and a rainstorm. This happened in real life, and after it did, my friend goes, “that needs to be in your next book.”
I said, “Challenge accepted.”
ATAI: What are you working on next?
Randi Perrin: I’m happy with where the angels wound up, so I’m going to step out of the paranormal/fantasy romance world for a bit and work on some contemporaries. I have a romantic comedy that I’m rewriting (for the fourth time—because sometimes that’s what it takes; if this book ever happens it will truly be the tale of the little novel that could) and I also have a women’s fiction rolling around in this head of mine. Then, who knows where my muse will take me.
ATAI: Where can people find you online?
Randi Perrin: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randiperrinwrites
Reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/389424504774060/
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/randiperrin
ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.
Randi Perrin: Thank you for having me. Come and find me on social media, engage me, ask questions, post pics of hot guys.
*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.
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