SL Perrine - Drop and Give me 20! 20 Hard Questions for Hard Authors
Pre Question - So, who are you?
I am Shannon. Although, I’ve never felt like a Shannon. Mostly because I’ve been mom for eighteen years. I have a wonderful husband. I am a licensed Cosmetologist, Medical Assistant, and have an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. I’ll finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing in October of this year.
I would prefer to spend most of my time at home, other than work, that is. I try to make time to visit my friends, and my parents at least, but I hate leaving my house, so nobody else sees me. That’s put a strain on my relationship with my siblings (I have nine). I’m trying to change that.
I like to read. I know, big shocker. I also enjoy crocheting, painting, drawing, and writing. I’m a huge fan of camping. If you follow my Instagram you would have seen lots of camping pictures last summer. This summer will be crazy, we’ve got a seasonal site and are buying a camper. Love to fish, and I bait my own hook. Country girl never leaves the mind, even if the body now lives in the city.
OK, enough with that stuff! On with the interview!
1. Are you “An Author” -or- “A Writer”? What’s the difference?
That’s a difficult question. Only because I think of it all the time and haven’t come up with an answer, but her goes nothing. “A Writer,” to me, means someone who writes and does nothing else. “An Author”, is someone who’s published and have found themselves on the New York Time’s Best Selling list. I’m neither…
I create worlds and characters. I create stories and art. While most of my art is in the form of the written word, I do create graphics as well. I am also a web designer. So, with that said, I am neither. I’m a creator.
2. What is your biggest failure?
I’d have to say that, not taking care of my greatest and most needed tool is my biggest failure. By that I mean, my body and mind. If I had known all the problems I would have had years ago, I would have cared better for myself. I think about the years to come, and can only hope I’m able to continue to move forward with my writing. I also want to be around for a long time for my family.
3. What is the worst lie you ever told?
“I am happily married.” When I was married to my ex, that was what I said on almost a daily basis. Now, I can say it and its total truth.
4. Do you Google yourself?
Of course, I do. I’d be crazy not to. The reason being, I try to make sure the only things online about me, are the things I want online about me. I try really hard not to let anyone tag me in anything that would be deemed unprofessional. Not just because of my writing profession, but because I’m a Medical Assistant for a respected surgeon. So, I like to know nothing horrible is going to show up where I don’t want it to. I’m human just like everyone else, and I’m worried my bad mistakes are somewhere on the internet, but so far, so good.
5. How would your friends describe you? And what about your worst enemy?
My friends might say I’m quiet and reserved. A “good girl.” My best friends know I’m nothing of the sort. I’m loud and obnoxious. A pain in the ass, who’s always around one minute, and then drops from the face of the earth the next. I tend to resurface occasionally.
My worst enemies? Hmm, I don’t know that I have one. If I do I wouldn’t know what they’d say. Maybe just the standard issue, ‘She’s a bitch.” Frankly, I don’t really care. If someone has a problem with me, I’d be more inclined to think it had more to do with themselves than me anyway. I’m a peach! J
6. What is your creative Kryptonite?
Same as anyone else I’d imagine. The damn internet. I’m sitting down to write and I get a message on Facebook, next thing I know it’s been an hour and I’m reading the same crap I read in the morning. It’s bad. Like a drug you don’t have to ingest, and none of the high.
7. What popular movie/book/music which others adore, do you secretly despise?
Fifty Shades of Grey. I loved it when the books first came out, but now I’m over it. I’m not really a big fan of erotica. No, I’m not a prude, I wrote a semi steamy romance. I’m just not that big a fan. Some things should be left for interpretation of the imagination.
8. What is the worst criticism you ever received? How did it make you feel?
What’s that? Oh, well there is the fact that I was always told I couldn’t sing. That sucked.
To be completely honest, the worst criticism I’ve been given, in regards to my books, is that my book felt over edited and rushed. At least that’s the one that most stands out. I didn’t feel too bad about it, since it was a five-star review and also said it was amazing otherwise. See, I need a bad review so I have something more entertaining to answer with.
9. If you could have one “do-over” in your life, what would it be?
Nothing. I know, it’s a standard response and boring. However, I am a true believer in fate and karma. I really wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t lived through everything I lived through. I may have ended up here sooner or later, but since we can’t ‘rewind’ I’m good with being here now.
10. How long/how many rejections did you get before someone gave you your shot?
Nailed it on my first try! So, either they were hurting for manuscripts or I’m just that good. Then my second one, nailed it… and so on and so forth. I did recently send something out, and haven’t heard back. So, there is always that chance I’ll be shot down soon. I’ll get back to you if that happens.
To be honest, I have been extremely lucky with the publishers I have. I’m signed with Burning Willow Press, and The Dragon’s Rocketship Publishing. Both are indie companies, and in both I’ve found a lot of new friends. I’m honored to be a part of both and look forward to the work we put out together in the future.
11. What was the last movie/book which made you cry?
Everything makes me cry. More recently, due to the holiday season, it was White Christmas. I cry during that movie more times than Bing Crosby sings.
Right now, I’m reading the Bloodlines Series. I cry. I’m an emotional basket case.
12. Which writers trope are you the most sick of...an possibly caught yourself doing?
I’m so tired of hearing that female leads can’t be emotional, or weak for even a minute. They must be strong, with nerves of steel. Can’t fall in love too quick, and forget letting her be a part of some big fate/prophecy scenario. My goodness, if I had a dime for every time I heard that, I’d have more money than JK Rowling.
I get all bent out of shape when I realize my book, The Beast Within has a prophecy. Then I remember Hermione Granger. She may not have been the main character directly associated with the prophecy, but the story had one. It was the main focal point of the entire Harry Potter series.
Also, my character Renee has a few moments of weakness in the first book. I get nuts about that too when I read through it, but then I remember I don’t like the poof thing. Poof, she’s strong, poof she’s learned a lesson which nobody knows because there was no character growth present.
Things like this sometimes can’t be helped. I don’t want a story about a female MC that’s been strong all her life and continues to be a bad ass. I want to see a weak girl realize her potential and strive for it, only to reach it in the end and becoming a bad ass. If there are some bumps along the way, then so be it. I’m good with that.
13. On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your writer’s ego?
Oh my…I’d say that depends on the day, and where in a MS I am. If it’s a good day and I’m starting out a new story, or just the beginning of the next book in the series, then I’m a solid 5.
If I’m somewhere in the middle and I can’t remember which city the stupid people just traveled to, then I’d say a 3.
If I’m at the end and I must re-read the beginning to remember which story I’m writing, it’s a 1 day.
First edits I feel about a 6. Second round, maybe I’m down to a 4. Then when it’s release day I’m a 8.
By the sixth month, I have nineteen reviews, sitting at 4.5 stars on Amazon, but eight actual sales…back to a 1. I think that averages out to 4. J
14. Do you have any scars (mental or physical)? Which one(s) is/are your most memorable?
I have mental scars, which I don’t like to share. I’m sure we all have some. I do, however, help them aid me in my writing. Especially when writing horror.
I have tons of physical scars. My body has been through the wringer. I don’t think any of them are more memorable than the one I received after having my daughter. We both almost died that day. That put me in a deep depression that lasted six years. She’s thirteen now and sometimes I wanna kill her…that’s ok though, cause it’s the love talking.
15. Have you ever been in a fight/punched in the face? How did/would you react?
Okay, I’m gonna get shit for this one, but here it goes.
I’ve mentioned not knowing if anyone dislikes me. Well, I think I was eleven. One of my friends started hanging out with a new group of kids. They were older and considered the ‘cool’ crowd.
We got off the bus one day, and unbeknownst to me they dared her to punch me in the face. Well, I was naive, and when she asked me to take off my glasses I did. BAM! I was humiliated. How stupid was I? I just took off my glasses and didn’t see it coming.
The next day I let her get off the bus in front of me. When she got close to the cast iron fence on the corner I plowed into her and slammed her face into the fence. I walked home covered in blood, and my mother dragged me up and down the streets looking for her, because I said I didn’t know here she lived.
That’s how I became a hard ass. The exact moment I decided not to let anyone walk over me again. She was someone I considered my best friend. So, that was my first fight, but not my last. I never instigated anything, but wouldn’t back down, and for some reason guys at school really wanted me to punch them.
Then I was shipped to the country to live with my father and fights were less frequent. I can say it felt good to know I could stand up for myself. However, to this day I wonder if I broke her nose on that fence, and should apologize, but I won’t.
16. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters with sexual identity different from your own?
I haven’t yet. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Soon, actually. I know of a few people I can ask questions if need be.
17. Which of your characters do you most empathize with? Which character do you least empathize with? Why?
I empathize with Elyse Crawford. Not because she finds out she’s a witch, or because she has to figure out how to explain to adoptive parents that her biological parents are alive, and she found them. Mostly because she was given this crazy new life. A shit ton of power. Her aunt, she’s never met before, is trying to kill her. If that’s not enough, she’s now coming to find out she’s responsible for the entire magic community. Book three and four really put her through hell. Of course, in the end she might be just fine…notice I said, might.
The character I least empathize with is…well, I can’t really say. She’s not exactly a bad guy, but she’s a bitch. She’s gonna get hers though, and since it hasn’t happened yet, I don’t want to give it away.
18. I looked at your Amazon author page. Amid the three teenage boys (my sympathies) But, it was a quote of yours at the end which caught my eye. You said “If I never make a dime off my books I don't care, I just love the fact that my work is out there for others to read.” So, my question is: Why do you write? And I’m not looking for some cop out answer. Why do YOU write?
I write because it’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s not a cop out either. While others sat in school and fully, or maybe not so fully heard the world around them, I saw and heard only the worlds I made up in my mind. It’s a wonder I made it through school at all.
Ever lay in bed at night and wish to be a different person, only to realize there’s a movie playing in your mind as you fall asleep? That’s me…every night for as long as I can remember. Sure, when I was a kid I dreamt of a different life, with different circumstances. Being made to believe I was overweight, made me become overweight. I didn’t think I had many friends. I excelled at being invisible. Being in the country didn’t help. I was quiet and reserved. I spent most of my life like that, until about seven years ago. Now, I say what I want, and always mean what I say. I’d like to think I’m outgoing and I know I can be loud and obnoxious.
That stopped the movies in my mind at night. I don’t think about myself in a different life anymore. It wasn’t until I started writing that I realized I was never dreaming of something different for myself. I was dreaming up stories of others. Characters that needed life. The only way they’re going to get that life is if I write them.
So, like I said, it’s what I’m supposed to do.
19. You close your eyes for a full 10 seconds of peace from family, life, the world etc. But when you open them, you are not alone. Around you, everywhere you look, you see the vengeful spirits of the world. And, they can now see that you see them. They turn to you and begin to scream. You can have one weapon of your choice, three books and one luxury item...what do you do?
The books would be my current reads, my luxury item would be my recliner. My weapon…a deck of tarot cards. I’m spiritual, so I’m sure after all the screaming is over with, we could have a nice conversation. If not, I’ll read and they can go about their business. I can ignore anything while reading…just ask my husband.
19. What would you like fans and potential fans to know about you as a person?
I strive to be kind and truthful. Unfortunately, sometimes the truth is not always kind. That’s when I stop talking and bottle it all up. I’d rather be uncomfortable, and stew over something, than upset anyone.
I admire true honesty; I’m impatient; a bit of a perfectionist, and a bit messy, but its organized chaos in the best of circumstances.
Thank you so much for the interview! best of luck in your writing career! For more information about SL Perrine, check out her website and author page!
www.slperrine.com; New release with Burning Willow Press coming March 4th. The Beast Within: Book One.