Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Author Interview: Laurie Perry & Giveaway

Earlier today, I reviewed a fun book called HOME IS WHERE THE WINE IS by Laurie Perry. If you are familiar with Ms. Perry's blog, Crazy Aunt Purl, then you already know she's hilarious. But if you're not, it only takes reading a few pages of her latest book to appreciate her sense of humor.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading her book, and I especially appreciated the knitting and crochet patterns in the back! I am so glad that Ms. Perry took time from her busy schedule to answer a few of my questions.

Booking Mama: HOME IS WHERE THE WINE IS is your second book, but you also maintain a full-time blog. How do you find the time to balance your work, your writing, your play, and of course your knitting?

Laurie Perry: Well, I don't sleep much. I have chronic insomnia, so sometimes staying up knitting or writing helps me get my mind cleared enough to fall asleep. There are times when I'm busy at work and I have a deadline with the book or some aspect of promotion and the website won't get updated for a few days but I try to keep up with it, I think the longest I've ever gone without posting is five days. When I'm writing a first draft or in the editing process for a manuscript I have zero social life, everything revolves around the book or the deadline. But I'm so happy in that zone, I have no complaints. It suits me, I'm a homebody.

Booking Mama: How does writing a book differ from writing blog posts?

Laurie Perry: There's the mechanics -- a book is obviously much longer and the voice and tense all have to work together. There's pacing in a book, and story arc and flow and you have many, many editors. Your regular editor, the copy editor, the reader, the sales team, the editorial director, your publicist -- a lot of people go into making a book. In a blog post it's all standing alone on its own so the pace is contained, the tense can be whatever you want, the voice can be totally different from yesterday's post. And you are your own editor, with complete control of the content.

But nothing tops the feeling of seeing your book on a shelf in a store. Nothing. I don't have children, and for me it was like seeing my own baby right there on the shelf!

Booking Mama: Your honesty in the book is so refreshing. Do you ever find it difficult to write about an event in your life or feelings that you are experiencing?

Laurie Perry: All the time. For example, in this book I was totally against writing anything about dating. I thought that if your personal life became your content, you would no longer have a personal life. (I still believe that, by the way!) And I'm a very private person, contrary to what folks may think. So I wrote the dating content for myself mostly, just in my diary, and I was re-reading it and I realized it was the funniest material because we've all been there, we've all had these awkward experiences and wondered what on earth we're doing. If I am able to write something that doesn't hurt someone else and makes people laugh I don't mind sharing a little more than I expected. I do think there is a very fine line, though. I almost never talk about politics or religion or sex, and I definitely self-edit all the time. It's a balance between keeping your life private and still being able to write honestly and relate to people.

Booking Mama: I am a fellow knitter (not a great one by any means) so I absolutely loved the pictures and patterns in the back of the book. Can you tell us a little bit about how you began knitting? What is the knitting project you are most proud of?

Laurie Perry: I started knitting as a way to keep myself busy during my divorce. I couldn't sleep and I was slightly insane most of the time and a friend of mine dragged me to a knitting class. I was hooked! I loved it from the very first moment. It kept my hands busy and my mind occupied and it was relaxing and at the end of a project you would have a scarf or a hat, miraculous! Now I've been knitting for six years and I'm not particularly advanced but I still love to knit. By far my greatest knitting accomplishment is my entrelac scarf from last year. I am so proud of entrelac I may add it to my resume.

Booking Mama: Do you have any words of advice for bloggers out there hoping to make the next step to writing books?

Laurie Perry: Write! Write all the time, never give up. And the best advice I could give anyone is just to get out of your own way as much as possible. Sometimes we get hung up on being the best or writing the Great American Novel or trying to emulate someone else's success and it becomes this giant mental roadblock to our own voice. Just write your best. Your best is really good enough.

Booking Mama: I almost always end an interview asking what books you are currently reading, but I'm also very interested in what knitting projects you are working on right now?

Laurie Perry: I'm reading BEL CANTO by Ann Patchett. I wanted to get into it the way I did with THE MAGICIAN'S ASSISTANT but it's been slow for me, so I also started re-reading THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO because I just saw the movie on TV and wanted to re-read the book. The book is always so much better than the movie! As for knitting, I'm working on another long scarf knit lengthwise in garter stitch. It's all these crazy yarns mixed together, I love it. It's crazy like me.

I'd like to thank Laurie for taking the time from her very busy schedule to provide such wonderful answers to my questions.

And now for the giveaway information...thanks to the publisher of CRAZY AUNT PURL'S HOME IS WHERE THE WINE IS, I have five copies of the book to giveaway! To enter, just leave a comment with an email address telling me something you found interesting about Laurie. The contest will be open until March 8th at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I will notify the winners the following day. This giveaway is open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting that Laurie has chronic insomnia -- I do too :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Love the interview - you asked great questions!

bermudaonion said...

Great interview! I had to look entrelac up - I should have saved that for a Wondrous Words Wednesday post - and I found it interesting that Laurie's so proud of that! Please enter me. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Amanda said...

I just heard about this book today and I am loving the concept and cover! That's too funny that she has insomnia and stays up and knits or crochets. I do too but I read. I just started knitting and am wanting to re-learn how to crochet. I'd love to check out her patterns. BTW, Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite book of all. Glad to hear she is re-reading it!

Thanks for the giveaway!

nycbookgirl at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

I started reading Laurie's blog several years ago. She is so funny (and real)! I thought it was interesting that she didn't want to include her dating in the book, but then realized that her experience were funny. Thanks for doing the giveaway!


Melanie said...

I've been reading Laurie's blog for awhile now. She a beautiful knitter and has very handsome cats. She is such a positive person and always has a good sense of humor about life. Your interview was great.

Unknown said...

I have follow Laurie's blog for at least a year. I have also read her previous book, and it was hilarious!
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

katsrus said...

Please don't enter me as I have both of her books. I absolutely love her! The way she writes it's really hard to put down her books once you start reading.
Sue B

Sara Anne said...

I enjoyed your interview with Laurie...Knitting when you can't sleep is a good idea - I think I'll try it next time I can't sleep. I also like what she said about writing for a blog vs. writing a book and the different voices she uses.

saracuse9 (at) hotmail (dot) com

traveler said...

What an interesting and lovely interview. This book would brighten up my day. Thanks for this chance. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Benita said...

I find it interesting that Laurie is a very private person.


Linda said...

One of the best blog posts I've read in quite awhile, altho' it has cost me an hour or more: googling about entrelac, visiting Laurie's blog, and reading thru several of her "about me" posts. How exciting to think this novel contains knitting patterns. I'd never even heard the term entrelac, and here I am ready to try it. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

Amy said...

I found it interesting Laurie picked up knitting as a way to keep herself busy an copy after her divorce.

Unknown said...

I always like to hear what authors are themselves reading ;-)

librianapril at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Great interview! It got me right "there" when she talked about seeing her book up on a shelf...like her baby.

APSkap (at) comcast (dot) net

Stacie said...

I have found it interesting how many authors are also knitters. I think the two go hand in hand! I just have a hard time deciding whether to read or knit in my spare time! Sounds like a great read! Staciele(at)netins(dot)net

Anonymous said...

Great interview!! I haven't had an opportunity to read it yet so would love to win!

Julie, thanks so much to both you and Laurie for putting this together and sharing it with your readers!

Charleydog said...

Like Laurie, I am up in the middle of the night - 0230 to be exact. This was necessary when I travelled a great distance to work and had to leave the house at 0330. The habit has remained with me.
Please enter my name in the giveaway for the book. Thanks!

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

holdenj said...

This looks like a great book. I think you asked some great questions. It's interesting that she's been knitting for six years already and that it helps with her insomnia too. Thanks for the chance to win.

a real librarian said...

I think it's interesting why she decided to reveal her dating stories - they do sometimes make for the funniest ones!! Thanks for the giveaway!!


Ruth said...

Sounds good. Am a subscriber. ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

Bonnie said...

This was a great interview, I enjoyed reading it. I was interested in what a entrelac scarf was and had to google it to find out what it looked like. Thanks for the giveaway.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, darling. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Nancye said...

I learned that she started knitting as a way to keep herself busy during her divorce.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Miss Haley said...

I'm a knitter!!! I love knitting :D :D great interview.


Anita Yancey said...

I find it interesting that she is a knitter. I have always wanted to knit, and I've tried but I just can't seem to get the hang of it. Love to read this book. Please enter me. Thanks!


Dawn M. said...

Great interview! I've been reading Laurie's blog for a while now but never knew she was an insomniac. But then it also took me a while to figure out she was an author and had a book. LOL. At any rate, I'd love the chance to read it. :0)

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

ossmcalc said...

I discovered that Laurie has chronic insomnia. It was nice to discover someone else who has this problem. I get alot of cleaning done before I can get to sleep.

Thank you,


Seaside Book Nook said...

I would love to win this book! Loved the interview.