Writer Wednesday – D.R. Perry

1. Who are you?
Who are you, who, who, who, who? I really wanna know! Ahem. Okay, time to stop singing The Who. Hi, I’m D.R. Perry and I’m living la vida dorka.

2. What type of stuff do you write?
I write spec-fic and silliness. Also some poetry. So far, my books have been Paranormal with loads of humor. My series is called Providence Paranormal College and it’s about what happens when shifters, vampires, faeries, psychics and magic users all go to an Ivy League school in New England.

3. What do you want to pimp right now?
Hey, I do interviews, too! I just got done with Summer Splash and now it’s Autumn Authors over at my website (http://www.drperryauthor.com/news). I also do Friendly Neighborhood Fridays, where I talk to cover designers, web designers, editors, and the folk who help authors get their book into publishable shape.

4. What’s your favorite book?
My favorite book is like my favorite color and song. They change all the time! I would have gotten thrown off the bridge on Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail. Red, no bluuuue! Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi, no A Fox’s Love by Brandon Varnell, no Dream Stalker by Amy Hopkins. I. Can’t. Decide! Aaaaaargh!

5. What other hats do you wear besides the writer hat?
Let’s see. There’s the mom hat (I have one kid with fur and four legs, another with hair and two), the gamer hat (I play WoW and pen and paper RPGs), and the audio hat (I used to be a karaoke DJ). I love my family, my fun, and my music. Couldn’t live without them!

6. Where can we find you?
I’m all over the place! Well, on the Internet, anyway. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, Author Central and my website, complete with mailing list. Oh, and you can also find me at author events in Rhode Island. No, it’s not an island and not Long Island. We’re a tiny state in the US, but the food here rocks!
FB: https://www.facebook.com/drpperry/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DRPerry22
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/d.r.perry/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/drperryauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8588997.D_R_Perry
Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/author/drperry
Website: http://www.drperryauthor.com/
Mailing List: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/p9i8u6

 

 

The Importance of Being Covered

Always judge a book by its cover. At least, that’s what we should do as writers. The cover is the first thing anyone sees of our books, so it’s important that the cover reflects what’s inside. If a reader would love your sci-fi book about Kung-Fu aliens from planet Borax, you wouldn’t put a dude in Civil War era clothing on your cover, right? Is it possible to have something that jarringly inconsistent between cover and content as the above example? Yes, it is. I should know. I made that mistake myself.

I have a book about a sarcastic brainiac Nerd Queen tutoring a half-asleep
shapeshifting jock with a closeted geek streak. There are Star Wars references, puns running rampant along the pages, and goofy situational comedy. I have a gal who turns into an owl saying “hoo boy,” for crying out loud. But readers who like that kind of thing didn’t find my book because this was the cover:

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That cover on my book was like a bowl of salsa on a package containing a chocolate cake. People saw it and expected steamy love scenes. I did a live event with that cover and got snickers. No, I don’t mean people threw candy bars at me. They laughed, but not for the reasons I intended. Even worse, they scurried away, desperate to avoid the stigma of buying what looked like a bodice-ripper in front of the PTA president at the local Farmer’s Market.

I knew it was all that pouty shirtless man’s fault, so I replaced him. Nothing against pouting, shirtlessness, or men, you understand (because I do like those things). It’s just that I realized they belonged to literature light-years away in the Steamy Galaxy from my book. So, I checked around for titles with content similar to mine and discovered I needed something like this instead:

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And lo, the author said “let there be shirts” and there were! And they were illustrated! This is exactly the cover I needed on my goofy, geeky, unsteamy book. And do you see that library? That lets the picture tell readers these two are students because people don’t always see “Paranormal College” on a thumbnail. It worked, too. See the little badge? Yeah, I went from barely (ha, pun!) any interest in this book to nominated for an award.

So, go ahead and judge a book by its cover. Also, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. What would this article be without the pictures, after all? Point, set, and match, Mr. Pouty Shirtless. I’ll save his picture for some other…um, project. Yeah, I’m winking at you from behind my computer screen now. Thanks for reading!

Bonus Post – Kingdom of Vosh Tour

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Okay, so…  Apparently I was supposed to review a book for a tour stop, and when they checked a couple days ago I realized that I never received the book.  Um.  So I had to come up with something, and I decided to stay in the spirit of both the holidays and this blog.  “Let him do a book review, I thought.  So I decided to ask the author one simple question.

What is your favorite holiday story?

I’ll admit that his answer wasn’t exactly what I was expecting (and, like all authors, he’s a bit long winded), but here ya go:

Picture for yourself a young man and woman, engaged but not yet fully committed and married. The young woman finds out that she is pregnant, which in itself is peculiar because the two have not come together in that fashion and she swears to him that she has known no other.  He doesn’t believe her though.  What fool does she take him for? He looks upon her with distrustful eyes now.  He loves her but his heart is broken and full of doubts.  He has decided to end the engagement but to do so secretly, without shaming her name and family.  A gentleman’s maneuver but it pains him deeply.

One night, while alone and in bed, he dreams of a Titan who comes to speak with him over the girl.  “She is special, and the child she carries will be the future King!  Do not leave her.  She has been faithful to you.  Give the child this name, a name above all others, for he will save many.”  The Titan tells him.  The young man awakens, startled over the words but believing the vision to be real he is relieved in his heart that she was true to him.

The man and woman soon leave thereafter, and head south to pay their dues to the current King.  The woman is ready to give birth now, but the city is full of travelers so there are no more rooms available.  In a last effort of desperation they ask a farmer passing by who tells them they can use his stable with the animals for the night.

Elsewhere that evening, not far from where the young girl travails, a group of shepherds minding their sheep are suddenly startled from the skies above.  Out of the cool night sky bursts forth an army of Titans!  Glorious light shown all around them, filling the air with brilliant wonder!  Horns and trumpets sounded their arrival and then a hush fell over them as one began to speak.

“Behold!  Your King has come!  May glory be to his wonderful name!  You will find him close by in a manger.  May peace and goodness come to all men.”

The host of Titans then vanished into the night, leaving the shepherds who witnessed the event speechless for a moment.  “We… we must go and find this King!”  One of them said.  They all agreed and quickly left their flock as they searched the town for the child.  A few found the newly born boy exactly where the Titans said. They then left and found the others and gathered them together at the stable.  Silently, as a cool breeze swept in through the thin, twisted boarding, they looked upon the young man named Joseph, his wife Mary, and the newly born King, the savior of the world….Jesus.

Now the above story sounds fantastical.  A virgin birth, an army of Titans (Angels), the Savior of the world, but this is no fantasy story.  This is of course the story of Christmas and what hundreds of millions if not billions of people are about to celebrate.  It is the reason for the season.  But perhaps you are skeptical.  Perhaps you do look on this as some made up fairy tale, passed down through the generations and squirreled away in some crusty old Bible.  I can’t convince you in a blog what to believe for yourself.  You are your own person and can make up your own dang mind.  You should be skeptical, about everything!

Through the spectacle, though, one shouldn’t miss the important message and it is from the words of the Angel that appears before the shepherds.  It is why this is my favorite holiday story.  It’s found in Luke 2:10-14 if you dare to look it up.  You won’t find words of hatred or malice.  They are not words of judgment or condemnation.   The message is peace and joy to all people.  The birth of Jesus is pronounced as a joyful occasion for the world, a message of love.

This time of year is not about tackling people over saving thirty bucks for a toaster oven.  It’s about helping those in need, showing the love to others that was shown to you and laying down a part of yourself as your gift at their feet.

You are a wonderment, a gift to behold and specially created by God above.  Those around you are equally special, equally crafted.  Don’t see them for the color of their skin or what fancy clothes they wear or what nation they are from. We are all children of God and should be treated as such.

I encourage you to find someone in need, someone lonely or hurting or troubled, and take a moment to be a blessing to their lives.  I hope you have a blessed Christmas and holiday this year and go read something good!

Jason C. Conley
Writer & artist for The Kingdom of Vosh: The Chained Princess

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