I love meeting authors, especially from all over the world. I met Peter through a friend and when he told me about his upcoming release, Grace’s Turmoil, I knew I had to interview him. He’s lived such a fascinating life and now can add published author to his many accomplishments. Sit down and join us for a chat. Take it away, Peter:
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
The names, especially of the main characters, are highly important. Firstly, I research names appropriate to the year/period the book is set in and the nationality of the character. Then I look at the character profile and character interview I have created and try to visualise the character. And, then I derive a shortlist of names and from that road test a final name on my wife.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Beyond any shadow of doubt it is writing my debut novel, Grace’s Turmoil, and getting it published. This is because I have never done any serious writing before or read even one romance novel. Oh, and not to mention that I’m getting my very first novel accepted at the age of seventy-three having only submitted this one book to a single publisher.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
There’s no doubt in my mind that I am by nature a pantster. I started Grace’s Turmoil with only the vaguest concept and no plot. The manuscript came together initially as little more than a series of conversations, linked by a small amount of narrative. Sadly, as the book developed, I found I had to delete or seriously rewrite a huge amount of the content as it ran into dead ends or failed to make sense. Because of all this, the book probably took at least twice as long to write as it should have done. Although I’m sure I’ll never be a fully- fledged planner I intend to do things differently in subsequent books.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
That’s easy. It would be Erotica. I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing about graphic sex, let alone having to discuss it with others who critique my work.
Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?
Yes, but technically I have two, for different reasons. For uninterrupted peace and quiet and access to the internet, my files for research, and my laptop, it must be my home office. But, for scribbling notes and conceiving ideas I can’t beat sitting by a lake while fishing for carp. If I’m having a quiet day fishing I can get my creative juices going without being distracted by such things as an overwhelming desire to play my online multiplayer game or pretend I am Lara Croft on my PlayStation 4.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Yes. Sex scenes are hard for me to write. Maybe I’m not emotive enough or perhaps I’m too old-fashioned and prudish. Given that for the foreseeable future my main characters (and most minor characters) will be over sixty it would be hard for me to feel comfortable or credible writing strong sex scenes. So, much of the sex written about in my books will be hinted at or described minimally and as tastefully as possible.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
Yes. ‘Grace’s Turmoil’ is my debut novel, but it is being published as Book 1 of a series entitled ‘Not Too Old for Love’. The plan being to write primarily about the characters who share The Grange Retirement Village with Grace and Alfred in this novel.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I’m not great at multi-tasking so I’ve not done much formal writing over the past few months while editing and proofing has been going on. But I have scribbled quite a few snatches of dialogue, fragments of scenes, and random ideas in a notebook. So, I have at least got something to kickstart Book Two of the planned series. And I know who will be the main characters for Book Three, and have had requests for certain characters in this book to get their own books. It’s conceivable that what started off as a one-off book, to see if I could write one at my age, has the potential to stretch to between three and five books.
Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?
I’ve never been much of a drinker, even in my days in the Royal Air Force (RAF). And nowadays I’m pretty much teetotal, and my hero in ‘Grace’s Turmoil’ has a real bee in his bonnet about heavy drinking.
I’ve smoked a little over the years, mostly in my days in the RAF. But even there I was more of a social smoker than a serious one, even in the social clubs or sergeants mess. Sadly, despite the small amount of smoking I ever did the effects of passive smoking caught up with me a few years ago. And, although I managed to avoid lung cancer, I now have a lung condition called COPD that I have to cope with.
What is your biggest fear?
It used to be getting cancer. But as I’ve got older and I’ve seen friends succumb to Alzheimer’s disease so that has become my fear. Ironically, I suspect it wouldn’t be too bad for me personally if I succumbed to full blown Alzheimer’s as I’d be oblivious to the condition. But my family would be the one’s to feel it most, especially my wife of almost forty years, my beloved Ann. The worst thing would be being at the stage where I had moments of lucidity and knew they would get shorter and less frequent until they disappeared forever.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
My favourite expression is “Youth passes, but with luck immaturity can last a lifetime.” So, I guess it would have to be something like “He was still waiting to grow up, but he ran out of time.”
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
I would love to visit the International Space Station, some two-hundred-and-twenty miles above the earth. To gaze down at our own planet and see it spread out like a giant atlas would be awesome.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
It would have to be an elephant. My memory has never been good, and it has got a lot worse as I’ve aged. It has been established that elephants have remarkable memories for some things. For example, two elephants met at an animal sanctuary and got excited about seeing each other. Investigations proved they had last met while working at a circus, twenty-three years before. I would settle for a memory a fraction as good as that, and my wife would be a lot happier as well.
If you could have any name in the world, what would you choose?
Pierre le Grande. Not because of its piracy connection, or even because my family is apparently of French decent. But, because I love the ring of it. And as a Peter myself being Peter the Great would be cool.
What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
I rarely recall more than fragments of my dreams. But from what bits I do remember, and my wife’s description of my actions, it would seem they are always violent, and action filled. I love Tomb Raider on my PlayStation 4, and World of Warcraft on my laptop. So, maybe I’m just acting out the games. It would be nice if my dreams helped me play the games better.
Title. Grace’s Turmoil: Not Too Old for Love, Book One.
Author. Peter Perrin
Genre. Contemporary Romance. (Seasoned Romance).
Publisher. Devine Destinies.
Divorced and emotionally damaged, artist Grace Stollery wants nothing more than to spend her semi-retirement painting and let time heal her emotional scars.
But when dashing widower Alfred Nobel moves into her retirement village he turns her life upside down and her heart inside out by awakening feelings she wants to keep dormant.
Alfred quickly sets out to woo Grace and slowly she warms to him. But the village’s resident femme fatale wants him for herself. Will she succeed in driving a wedge between Alfred and Grace?
Grace jabbed at the volume button on the remote control, turning up the sound on the television. She was trying to drown out the chatter which filled the palatial residents’ lounge. It had been like that for days, and she’d grown tired of it. Who would have thought the imminent arrival of one man could affect mature ladies like that?
One of the things which had appealed to her when she moved to The Grange retirement village was the lack of men. Yet a man who aroused feelings in her she didn’t want was going to add to their number.
Grace had caught a glimpse of him across The Lounge a few months ago, taking the standard tour of the seventeenth century mansion that now housed The Grange. He’d towered over the young woman he’d been with, and she’d guessed he was at least six-foot-five. Built like a tank, with a mass of wavy white hair and a snow-white beard, he’d reminded her of a polar bear. His presence had been overpowering and almost menacing. An image of him defending the old mansion in days gone by had jumped into her mind.
Looking at him had sent a spontaneous burst of attraction rippling through her. It had caught her by surprise. Becoming attracted to anybody was the last thing she’d needed right then. Her divorce had been too recent and too painful. All she wanted was to focus on her painting to block out the pain. Although she hadn’t come there to look for a man, there was no denying how she’d reacted to the sight of him. She wondered how she would cope when they met. And she couldn’t help feeling he was going to have quite an impact on her life. Whether it would be a good impact or not was the million-dollar question. He might be the greatest thing since sliced bread! Or he could turn out to be a snake in the grass like her ex-husband.
It wasn’t only the divorce which caused her to temper her excitement at his arrival with caution. Being a Pisces, her emotions were her weak spot, and she’d tended to fantasise about her love life. Her relationships had always been traumatic until she had married, at the age of forty. Then, for the first time in her life, she experienced stability and calmness. She’d thought she had a good marriage. Then everything had fallen apart. She was in no rush to risk such heartache again—in no hurry to get involved once more.
Grace stared at her watch for the umpteenth time and fidgeted in her over-padded chair. She peeked around a heavy curtain and glanced out of the massive sash window yet again. But she couldn’t see any sign of him. Frustrated, she tried to put him out of her mind and focus on watching Bargain Hunt. It was one of her favourite programmes, and she always tried to guess which of the teams would win. The persistent buzz of women’s voices filled her head. And she had to concentrate hard to follow the programme. But even then, she had to turn the volume up high to be able to hear it. In a fit of pique, she slammed the remote down onto the arm of her chair.
Grace became aware of movement out of the corner of one eye. When she turned around, she saw the General Manager, Sara Novak, and the man she’d been thinking about. The sight of him made her cheeks grow hot, and she turned away to look at the screen. As she did so, she realised Tim Wonnacott was about to announce the winning team. Then she felt something brush past her arm and the screen went blank. She spun around and saw Sara holding the remote.
“What did you do that for?” Grace snapped.
Sara blushed. “I’m sorry, Grace…and anybody else who was watching that programme. But we don’t often get so many residents in one place at the same time. So I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce our newest resident. This is Air Commodore Alfred Nobel.”
Alfred smiled and threw the residents a mock salute, by way of greeting.
“Alfred is a widower and a senior ex-Royal Air Force officer,” Sara continued. “I’m sure he’ll make a welcome addition to our small group of gentlemen residents. He’s an accomplished ballroom dancer—a talent some of our ladies will appreciate.”
Sara’s announcement created quite a buzz among the ladies. “I’ll bring Alfred around to meet as many of you as possible before lunch,” she said in conclusion.
Grace rose to her feet and faced Sara and Alfred.
Publisher’s Book Page http://www.devinedestinies.com/coming-soon/grace-s-turmoil/
(Links coming in late December)
Peter Perrin writes sweet, seasoned romances involving larger-than-life mature characters who will make you rethink your views on older people in a positive way. His characters are mature in age but not necessarily in their behaviour. They may not be in the first flush of youth but that doesn’t stop some of them acting like hormonal teenagers.
Peter was born in Romford, in the county of Essex, England. For nearly twenty years he has lived with his wife of almost forty years in a quiet suburb of Swindon, in the county of Wiltshire, in England. He is a father and grandfather.
He is a former member of The Royal Air Force who has served in the UK, and in Madagascar, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. He was also stationed for two years in Aden—which nowadays is part of Yemen.
After almost fifteen-years’ service in The Royal Air Force Peter worked in Engineering, Quality Control, and Procurement Management, not to mention myriad smaller jobs in between those careers.
Now retired Peter’s interests are Writing, Carp Fishing, and (despite being in his early seventies) PC and PlayStation games.
His favourite quote is “Youth passes, but with luck, immaturity can last a lifetime.”
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