On Writing had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Ferry-Perata about her experiences writing
What are the lies we tell ourselves to stay sane?
In the world of a Texas feed store, the line between reality and truth blurs when love and friendship are at stake. Meet Sarah and Zoe, two best friends who work in a family-owned feed store. Their lives begin to unravel when love sparks between Sarah and the feed store owner’s only heir, Tom. Patriarch Otis quickly makes it known that his only son’s future won’t include the feed store “girl”. The clash over Tom’s love life erupts in a family feud where business is expected to trump love. In the meantime, a romance also ignites between Zoe and the local town physician whom she nicknames “Dr. Sex on Two Legs”. The women are quickly caught up in a family feud that leads to unexpected consequences, loss and tragedy.
Grains of Truth is an intense, emotional and passion-filled story about two best friends looking for that one thing everyone wants — love. It’s a story about friendship and accepting what you can’t change. Grains of Truth will move you to tears and leave you astonished. It’s a must-read story with an unexpected twist.
What inspired you to start writing?
I always had one eye on my children and one eye on my career. I worked a typical Monday through Friday 45+ hours a week job. I was well respected in my field and still am. But, funding got cut one year and I was one of the unfortunate people to get laid off. It was devastating because I thought what I am going to do? However, I had this opportunity to do something that has always been on my “bucket list”. I had the opportunity to write. As I began to spend time with my children, this idea formed into my head, so I began to write it down. Then I began to write every day.
When did you complete your first piece of writing? What was it? How was that process?
My debut novel, Grains of Truth, just got completed this year, July 30th, 2017 to be exact. My book was a labor of love. Blood, sweat and tears went into this project. At first, I thought the story was going to be a basic story about boy and girl who meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. However, as I got into the story, I realized that I wanted to write something that will intrigue readers and get them to think about how they would deal with certain situations if they were faced with them. When I made the characters, I derived them from real-world people and situations. Thus, Grains of Truths happened.
For me the process took 2 years. However, there were some personal bumps and obstacles along the way that hindered the release date. However, with much perseverance, I was able to accomplish this great task of writing my debut novel. I worked closely with my book coach/publisher who was my advocate and helped me develop the story and make my dream into a reality. By blocking off days on the calendar that were just devoted to writing, it helped me stay on task along with meeting my book coach once a month.
What is your favourite genre to write? Why?
My favourite genre to write is contemporary romance/drama. For me as an author I want to create stories where people escape from the hustle and bustle of life and fall in love with characters and places. I want the readers to feel alive emotionally and tell others about their experience after experiencing my stories. I enjoy telling my stories, and I get to spend time with my “families”. I feel like I have the best of both worlds.
Do you model characters after real people?
I do model my characters after real people. I find that many people carry traits that are relatable for others. When I wrote, Grains of Truth, one of my main characters, Sarah was a hybrid between two of my really good friends. I took some of their characteristics and made one character in which others were able to relate to that character. They enjoyed her sassy ways and the way that she just tells it how it is. When people learned about Sarah, they laughed because it was someone that they knew. Now, I didn’t ask if was them or not, but I loved hearing how relatable she was for the readers.
When I meet people, I get inspired because I love people watching. I find that it helps bring the readers closer to the story and they feel like they are in the story and meeting my characters as if they were actual people.
- Do you have favourite characters from your own writing? What made them so special to you?
To me every character is my favorite because this is my baby – my first book, and a labor of love. But, if I think more deeply, Sarah and Zoe are my two favorite characters. I see parts of Zoe in me. She loves her family, and is driven and very focused. For Sarah, it is how she looks at things and tells you how it is.
To learn more about the author Elizabeth Ferry-Perata, click here.
To purchase her book "Grains of Truth" click here.