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Register Guard Interview

February 22, 2005

NAME: Perry P. Perkins, Wilsonville.

WHAT HAVE YOU WRITTEN?
I’ve had quite a number of articles published in outdoor sports magazines, as well as five stories included in Chicken Soup anthologies. For the last several years I’ve focused on novel writing, with Just Past Oysterville being published in 2004, and Shoalwater Voices (the sequel) published by WingSpan Press in October of this year.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A WRITER?
While my early magazine articles focused on fishing and hiking, kind of “Me & Joe” humor stories, I’ve moved into inspirational fiction lately. I’ve found that the problems that most characters face (and the rest of us too) have to do with a misunderstanding of the inherent value that each person possesses. I try to lead my characters to an understanding of how recognizing the intrinsic worth in themselves and others, as uniquely created beings, can lead to all important spiritual break-throughs like forgiveness, acceptance and redemption.

Though I write in the Christian genre, I try to keep the characters as real as possible. I learn a lot more from the guys who struggle through the same failures and pit-falls that I do, then from a two-dimensional hero who never falls to temptation.

WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU?
“Stephen King and Dean Koontz, both for their skill at story-weaving and a super-human dedication to keep putting words on paper. One of my earliest favorites was JRR Tolkien whose ability to create new worlds is often emulated, but (I don’t believe) has ever been matched. As far as inspirational fiction, I feel that Frank Peretti really ushered in the era of quality Christian fiction, and Ted Dekker is quickly rising to carry on that torch.”

In King’s book “On Writing,” which I think is the best work available on being a writer, he states that when he first considered writing fiction (as a child) there was “an immense feeling of possibility at the idea, as if I had been ushered into a vast building filled with closed doors and had been given leave to open any I liked.”  I can relate to this. I remember reading “The Hobbit” as a child, and being filled with wonder that a writer was able to make a total stranger see and feel and taste someplace that he had created, simply by putting the right words on paper.

WHAT IS YOUR WRITING ROUTINE?
I do most of my writing at home. As much as I would love to get cozy with my laptop at the local coffee-shop, I’m just too easily distracted. I need a quiet, familiar place with a minimum of interruptions. My ideal writing room would be well-lit but windowless, with just a desk, a chair, and my computer. I try to spend at least an hour a day, everyday, writing. I’m a procrastinator, and one day off can easily lead to a month away from my keyboard.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR WORK?
I work in the marketing department of major computer hardware manufacturer in Wilsonville. It’s a great job, as I can use the internet during my lunch hour to do research for my current projects, and then go home and not get distracted by online comics and EBay when I should be writing.

WHAT’S NEXT?

I’m writing a novel about a young pastor who moves to a small town in Eastern Oregon to escape his past and becomes embroiled in a murder-mystery surrounding the local timber baron. The working title is called “Rough Waters.”  There is also a third book in the Shoalwater series that I’m going to have to get back to soon.

CATCH HIM AT:
www.perryperkinsbooks.com or e-mail him at perry@perryperkinsbooks.com.
 
Oregon Authors appears regularly on the Books page. Direct comments or suggestions to Assistant Features Editor Paul Denison, who can be reached by phone at 338-2323, or by e-mail at pdenison@guardnet.com
 

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