Today, I’d like to introduce Jane Perrine, one of the co-authors of the non-fiction book, The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. She has a new fiction release, The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek, (which you can win a copy of by commenting below) and has not only agreed to be interviewed about it here, but she is also on my blog, Living the Body of Christ, talking about her struggle with dyslexia.
Here’s a little blurb about her latest fiction release, The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek:
Immediately after graduation from seminary, Adam Jordan heads west to the beautiful hill country of central Texas, and moves into the enormous, echoing parsonage. One man with six bedrooms. He’s met by a welcome committee led by Miss Birdie and her friend Mercedes, also known as “the Widows.” They recognize immediately that it is their chore to education Reverend Jordan and to find him a wife.
Sadly, the latter fails so they set their sights on amputee and Afghan vet Sam Peterson who only wants to be left alone. When two red-headed boys show up in his back yard, Sam can hardly remain a hermit. Then he meets the boys’ mother.
“[G]entle, funny, romantic, and honest new series…. The veteran author and ordained minister has a sure eye for small-town church drama, as well as the dynamics of life in a town where everyone knows your business. Perrine does a fine job blending small and large story lines, portraying details and dilemmas of regular folks, and offering spiritual messages from real life. This is a delightful first volume in what promises to be a wonderful series.” Publishers Weekly
Hmmm, a young, inexperienced minister and a bunch of Widows … I can see the fun now. And to think, someone can win a free book if they comment below.
Thank you, Jane, for joining us today. Please tell us about yourself.
I’ve had three careers. I taught high school and college Spanish; served as a pastor; and now write. My father was a minister and medical doctor. My husband is a minister. We all seem to blend together in the idea of service to others.
Wonderful. Give us three more facts about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1) I once taught marksmanship at a summer camp; 2) I’m fluent in Spanish; 3) I’m a rabid fan of Kansas State and University of Louisville athletics. In my study, I have a Power Cat clock, Tiffany lamp, and wastebasket in addition to other KSU paraphernalia.
Remind me never to speak ill of Kansas State while you have a rifle in your hand.
As a child or teenager, did you ever dream of being an author?
I always dreamed of being an author. I wrote and illustrated an art book when I was six. Sadly, I couldn’t draw noses so everyone in the illustrations had flat faces—but the directions were written spectacularly well for a child that young. All the way through grade school, I wrote plays for classes—most of them produced. In college, I co-wrote an award winning one-act play.
Wow! What is your favorite genre to read?
This sounds really strange but I love warm books about small towns like James Herriot’s and I love murder mysteries—cozies, of course.
How many books do you have published and where can they be found?
I wrote three books for Avalon; 4 for Love Inspired; am on a 3-book contract with FaithWords. Several Love Inspired authors and I collaborated on a non-fiction book about being dyslexic. The titles is: The Overcomers. We self-published that book both because we were so proud of it and it didn’t fit any niche.
Tell us about your latest book series.
I’m currently writing a series about a young, inexperienced minister who is called to a small church in Butternut Creek, TX. Although each of the books has a romance or two, the main focus is the interplay of the personalities. The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek was issued in April, 2012. The second, The Matchmakers of Butternut Creek, will be available November 20 of this year. The third, The Wedding Planners of Butternut Creek,will be out in 2013.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
Wish I could explain this. They come to me.
How do you choose names for your characters?
Because I’m dyslexic, I easily forget the names of my characters. For that reason, I very often borrow friends’ names. I taught with Mary Firestone and, in this series of books, I have Janey Firestone, a combination of Mary’s name and mine. My husband is George. So is Adam’s next door neighbor. The name of the young minister is Adam Daniel Jordan, putting together three Biblical names/places. I named Gussie Milton in honor of my dear mother-in-law, Ollie. I have several books of first and last names and search on-line a lot. I need to have that character name fit—and I have to be able to remember it.
What are your favorite themes to write about?
Risk and redemption. In order to get what they want, characters have to risk the most important thing in their world. Only then can they find what they need: love, renewed faith, and, often, redemption.
What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
The cat wakes me up before seven every day, earlier than I want. I eat breakfast, then go in my study. I write until noon, go swimming when it’s warm enough, or walk, if not. After that, I catch up on blogs and email. When I finish, I read. I write in my study/guest room where I have a desk, huge bookcase, and day bed for guests and my naps.
Does your faith affect your writing? How?
My faith affects everything I do. I have been so blessed to have found faith as a child, so blessed to have married my husband, and incredibly blessed with the talents a generous God showered on me. For those reasons, I’ve always been active in church and in volunteer work. With The Overcomers, I felt it was very important to witness to others who are dyslexic. I wish I’d know what this meant when I was a child. With fiction, I write about people of faith and use humor so my novels aren’t preachy. Even before I wrote inspirationals, the characters in my books went to church on Sundays, had high moral standards, and cared about other people.
Do you put yourself into your main character, or do you find yourself borrowing from family or friends as your characters develop?
With the TALES FROM BUTTERNUT CREEKseries, I’m shameless about this. Everyone I’ve talked to says they can see people they know in these books. There are many scenes in my books that come from real events—although both slightly and greatly changed—like the time the donkey ran away on Palm Sunday. The list is too long to mention.
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
If I weren’t writing, I’d have to clean house. That’s why I write.
Hah! Me, too. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Where can fans find you or your books on the internet?
Jane can also be found at the following:
Don’t forget to comment below to win your copy of The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek.
Jane is offering a copy of her novel, The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek, to one of our commenters today who lives in the US or Canada. To be eligible for the drawing, leave a comment below with your email and I will announce the winner Tuesday, May 29th. The winner will receive his or her choice of a book or Kindle download.
Jane Myers Perrine has worked as a Spanish teacher, minister, cook, rifle instructor, program director in a state hospital, and been an active volunteer, but she’s always wanted to write. Finally, she found time and has published books with Avalon Books and Steeple Hill Love Inspired. Her short pieces have appeared in the Houston Chronicle and Woman’s Worldmagazine.
She’s now writing a three-book series she loves about a young minister in a small town of Butternut Creek in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas. She likes small towns, warm, friendly people and humor. The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek, the first book in the series, was published in April, 2012. The Matchmakers of Butternut Creekwill be available in November, 2012.
With her minister husband, George, she landed in the South after living many years in cold areas of the country. They decided to give up changing seasons for no snow and have never regretted that choice. They now live north of Austin where their lives are controlled by two incredibly spoiled tuxedo cats.