Welcome to Day 10 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors June Series! @PTLPerrin #TerrasCall @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC
At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing! Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!
On the 10th day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…
AUTHOR, PTL PERRIN!
I grew up in a military family. We lived in Germany and Italy during my preteen and teen years, where books were my main source of alone-time entertainment. We had no TV, and electronics were the stuff of science fiction. I traveled a lot, attended German and Italian schools for a time, and developed a keen curiosity and active imagination. I’ve never lost my sense of wonder.
NJ: Hi, Patty! I’m so excited that I get to chat with you today! So, let’s jump right into this interview. Is your author name a pen name or your birth name?
Patty: It’s a combination of both. Perrin is my last name, but for the pen name I use the initials P.T.L.
NJ: If it is a pen name, what made you decide to write under a pen name?
Patty: I wrote my first book, Reflections of a Misfit, as a gratitude project. I read portions of the Bible every day, and many of the scriptures brought out memories of my life as an Army brat and perpetual misfit. It turned into a bit of a memoir. In honor of the God I love and serve, I decided on P.T.L. for Praise the Lord. The fact that those are my actual initials doesn’t hurt, either.
NJ: WOW! Patty, how awesome is that? I never knew that about your initials! Well, Praise The Lord, PTL! How long have you been writing?
Patty: I’ve written newsletters for a couple of churches I attended over the years but didn’t seriously write to publish until I took a writing course about ten years ago. As a result of one of my assignments, I published several articles in a local newspaper. It wasn’t until 2014 that I published my first book. You could say I became serious about writing later in life. Much later.
NJ: What genre or genres do you write under?
Patty: The first book was a memoir/devotional, but since then, I write Teen/YA SciFi and Fantasy. It was my favorite genre growing up and I never lost my taste for it.
NJ: Here’s my favorite question I love asking! Are you indie-published or traditionally published?
Patty: I’ve done both. Reflections of a Misfit was first published through a vanity press, mainly because I was completely clueless about the book publishing process. I learned a lot, and indie published my next three books. A legitimate small-press publisher picked up Reflections and my series. They were great, but after I finished my last book of the series, we had some differences of opinion, and they graciously released me from my contract. We parted ways amicably, I took all the books back, revised each of them, had new covers made for the series, and have indie published under the SeaQuill Press imprint ever since. I’m happier having full control over the books. It isn’t much different from having a publisher because no matter how you publish, you’re still responsible for your own marketing.
NJ: If only every author understood that. If you have to do the majority of all the work anyway, why would you hand over control of your baby to anyone? I just can’t wrap my mind around it! Since you did use a publisher in the past, can you give our audience a pointer or two as to how you found a publisher, in the event that someone reading this interview is attempting to go the traditionally published route. By the way, I am a strong advocate for Indie publishing and would not have it any other way.
Patty: I would say to beware of vanity presses. They ask for a lot of money up front, deliver minimally, and then pester you to buy additional services. A legitimate publisher will not ask for money and will provide a number of services, such as editing and possibly cover design. They take a share of your royalties as payment. They also control the formatting and other aspects of your book. If you wanted to revise the book, they might not allow it. I found my publisher at a book signing event. For me, it was serendipity. Some authors query agents. I did not.
NJ: Yes, I’ve never queried anything in my life. Sorry, too busy and not at all interested. I think I’m just as big as the next guy so why would I need them to tell me my work is good or not? Hutspah! Patty, how many books have you published to date?
Patty: Five to date. I’ve just finished writing the first draft of the first book of another three-book series, and I hope to publish all three by early next year.
NJ: Which is your favorite and why?
Patty: My Tetrasphere series is my favorite because it explores the premise that alien races have not only been living on our planet for thousands of years, but that we can interact and get along with them when it matters – and not only with them, but with ancient earth dwelling races. Our planet has some amazing mysterious places, many of which are scenes in the books.
NJ: Let’s focus on TERRA’S CALL since it’s book 1 and we’re only focusing on one book here. Give us just a little background on that book. What is it about?
Patty: The four-book Tetrasphere series follows four enhanced teens as they grapple with the challenges of saving the world from self-destruction while battling alien enemies, discovering ancient peoples and species living on Terra (our Earth), and learning to accept and work with aliens who are also interested in saving our planet. In the first book, Terra’s Call, the teens meet, discover each other’s gifts, and find out that they are the ones an ancient Cherokee prophecy foretells will be called to save Terra. They face some life-threatening challenges and struggle to decide whether to take on this monumental task. As they get to know each other, they form deep friendships and even fall in love, but will they overcome their personal trials before the planet dies? Each book in the series builds to the next one, and although you can read them as stand-alone books, it’s best to start at the beginning and go from there.
NJ: Seriously? Did you not hear me say that we’re focusing on only ONE book here? Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?
Patty: The books are available on Amazon. You can find Terra’s Call at getbook.at/TerrasCall. The E-books are $2.99 each.
NJ: (whispering to her show producer so Patty can’t hear) Kirit, the interview is almost over. I’m sorry.
Uh, Ms. Patty, I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing?
Patty: I wanted my books to be affordable to my target audience – teens and young adults. They’re also available to read free on Kindle Unlimited, for those who use that service. Many of the books written for that age group are priced between $2.99 and $7.99. When I’m a NY Times best-selling author, I may raise the price, but I doubt I will. Raise the price, that is.
NJ: I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there. What was your main reason for getting on Twitter? For support? For fun?
Patty: I learned about the power of Twitter as a member of RRBC. I volunteered for the Tweet Support Team, followed other members, and now enjoy the interaction on Twitter.
NJ: Our TST is amazing, Patty! Thank you for serving there! Now, what other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) do you use to market your book(s), and have you found them to be beneficial?
Patty: I post a lot on Facebook, not only about my books but about other authors and their works. I’ve boosted posts on Facebook and Amazon and haven’t noticed an increase in sales. However, the point is to get our names and titles in front of a lot of people for the name recognition. Most people won’t buy the first time they see or hear something, but if they see it often, they’re more likely to take a look.
NJ: So true, Patty. Many authors don’t understand the importance of name recognition. They want that immediate sale, but, sometimes folks, it isn’t all about that almighty DOLLAR. Supporting others is a huge part of my identity, Patty. I believe that when you invest your time and support in others, you find that your circle grows by leaps and bounds of others giving the same to you. When I first got involved heavily on Twitter, I was pushing others more than I was pushing myself – I continue to do so. Do you support others on social media? If so, how?
Patty: I do. I love supporting other authors. I firmly believe that generosity is life-enriching in many ways, and that it encourages others to be generous. The Tweet Support Team has been fun for me, and I’ve seen other members support each other and even me. I enjoy reblogging articles I find interesting, especially those that feature other authors. We have a super-supportive community in RRBC and RWISA, and I do all I can to participate in both. They’re also my source for great books!
NJ: Patty, if you keep up with all this amazing praise for RRBC & RWISA, I’m not going to have to use these other weird faces I have waiting for you. Now, do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?
Patty: I read the ones I retweet. I’ve found some wonderful articles that way, and love sharing them with my followers.
NJ: Good for you! If you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you. How could they best support you? What would you have them do?
Patty: I’d love for them to share what I post about my books, but also what I post about others. You mentioned how your circle grows by leaps and bounds when you support others. It’s a great way to encourage others to do the same for you. I don’t write blog posts as often as I should, but when I do, it would be great if my followers would reblog or shoot out a tweet about it.
NJ: That’s important, Patty! We all learn something new almost every day while on social media and I like sharing what I have learned with other authors, in hopes that it will benefit them in some way. Have you come across any writing resources that might benefit other authors? If so, share 2 or 3 of them with us, please.
Patty: There are a few I regularly follow. Watch Nonnie Write! is one of my favorites because your articles are full of good advice. I also follow A Writer’s Path, Florida Writers Association, and Jane Friedman. Each has a different flavor, but there is a lot of great writing advice on all of them.
NJ: Thanks, Patty! That’s so sweet of you to say. Now, authors are always seeking good formatting services. Who do you use to format your books, and would you recommend them?
Patty: I format my own books using Vellum, which is for MAC users. I like the variety of templates and the fact that it formats for all the ways you might publish your books.
NJ: Oh, so Apple really is good for more than just making and selling uber-expensive iPhones that I’m forced to buy for my daughters every 15 seconds when a new one comes out? Breathe, Nonnie, breathe. Oh, I’m sorry. I got carried away. Apple is a trigger for me. Yes, I’m an iPhone user but just because I love their phones doesn’t mean I love their phone prices! Patty, can you share with our audience 2 or 3 of the top methods you use to market your books?
Patty: I have an author page on Amazon and have used Amazon ads, Facebook boosts, author interviews, and online book fairs (like the ones sponsored by RRBC). My favorite method is participating in in-person book signing events. There is nothing like face-to-face interaction with people.
NJ: Yes, face to face is awesome, but in this day and time, we still need to be extra careful. Mask up! What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?
Patty: Only one?
NJ: Here we go again…
Patty: Here are two that go hand-in-hand. Write with your inner editor turned off, and when you’ve finished and done all you can to clean up your first draft, have your work professionally edited.
NJ: I can’t with you, Patty. I just can’t. Is writing only a hobby for you or do you write full time?
Patty: Timewise, I’d have to call it a hobby, but if I could, I would write full-time. Retirement is a myth, at least for me. We have a large family that grows exponentially with each generation. That, added to my many interests and projects, limits my writing time. The story, however, is continually going on in my head.
NJ: A growing family is a beautiful thing. Patty, is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?
Patty: My reputation is important to me, and a twitter brawl is not in my future…or past, for that matter. However, my reputation is based upon who I am and what I believe. It’s certainly conceivable that I won’t agree with everyone, and there are many who would disagree with me on different issues. Yet, I respect everyone’s right to their opinion. Brawl? No way.
NJ: Good for you! Sometimes folks let their feelings and hurt pride get the best of them and before you know it, they’ve made themselves look like the biggest you-know-what in public. Not I, said the cat! In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old?
Patty: Writers today are much more approachable. It’s easier for their readers to get to know them, which might encourage those who might like to publish their own work. The writers of old had their mystique, which I also liked. People judged them based only on the quality of their work. Good writers today should be just as concerned about the quality of their writing, but they’re also judged on what they reveal about themselves on social media.
NJ: The mystery from the writers of old was the main thing that made me so want to be one of them. I don’t like the fact that authors are just so approachable and only a DM away, so, I just pretend I’m a writer of old. Patty, do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?
Patty: I cannot control how others behave. I can only control my own behavior. If someone’s behavior bothers me, I have the option to ignore them or unfollow them on social media. Those who are unprofessional in the literary arena, whether by publishing unpolished, unedited, or badly written books or by acting in unprofessional ways, make those of us who wish to be taken seriously shine all that much brighter. I believe the diamonds will distinguish themselves. You have some brilliant diamonds right here in RRBC and RWISA.
NJ: I could not have said it any better, even if I tried. You’re spot on with that response, Patty! And by the way, you’re one of our brilliant diamonds here at RRBC/RWISA! Don’t you feel so blessed to be part of the RRBC/RWISA family? I know I do and I created the darned organizations. Let’s move along. If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?
Patty: I appreciate the fact that someone took the time to read my books, or at least the one they’ve written the review on. I value their opinion, understanding that not everyone is going to love what I write. If they point out something I can fix and I agree with them, I’ll fix it. I assume you’re not speaking about trolls who don’t read the book and simply criticize for whatever pleasure they get out of it. Those, I ignore.
NJ: No. I was referencing genuine readers. You know, the ones you know deep down are telling the truth about your book with no ill-intent meant towards it or you? Those. Patty, do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?
Patty: I appreciate honesty. I belong to a RWISA critique group where the feedback is always honest, and my partners have helped me improve my work. It’s a priceless gift. In my opinion, it does not require thick skin, but a desire to be a better writer with the understanding that there is always room for improvement. For me, writing a review is different from critiquing someone’s ongoing work. When I have the time to review, I only review books I enjoyed reading, and the number of stars I give is based on how well I enjoyed what I read. A book does not have to be flawless to rate four or five stars, but it does have to leave me wanting to read more by that author. I don’t lie when I review a book. I would hope my reviewers are also not lying.
NJ: Do you blog about any specific topics or are you a random-topic-blogger?
Patty: I blog about whatever touches me, so that would be random. The subtitle of my blog is “Thoughts and Reflections and Treasures I’ve Found.” I find a lot of treasures on other people’s blogs and reblog them. I also write my own entries.
NJ: Patty, from my heart, this has been one of my most favorite interviews ever. Thank you!
ANOTHER QUICK FACT ABOUT PATTY…
- She welcomes visitors to her blog and website and hope for new followers
FOLLOW PATTY ON…
Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Patty on Day 10 of the June “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series! It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of her book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon. Ensure that you leave her a comment below, and also LIKE her feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above! We’d both appreciate it if you would share this feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.
To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page! There will be a new series in July! I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJules, as my truest joy is in service to others. I’d love to support you, too!
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series? Click HERE to sign up!
DISCLAIMER: Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted. It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.