Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Interview with TJ Perkins

If you like mysteries, manga, or fantasy, you just might like today's interviewee. TJ Perkins is here to discuss her well-rounded career as a writer and publisher.

TJ Perkins is a gifted and well-respected author in the mystery/suspense fantasy/manga genre. Her
short stories for young readers have appeared in the Ohio State 6th Grade Proficiency Test Preparation Book, Kid’s Highway Magazine, and Webzine ‘New Works Review,’ just to name a few. She’s placed five times in the CNW/FFWA chapter book competition. Her short story of light horror for tweens, The Midnight Watch, was published Oct 2007 by Demon Minds Magazine. TJ is available to conduct speaking engagements and workshops.

Finished works of her young reader’s chapter books are entitled: The Fire and the Falcon (which won two chapter book awards), Wound Too Tight, Mystery of the Attic, and On Forbidden Ground. Published books in the Kim & Kelly Mystery Series include: Fantasies Are Murder, The Secret in Phantom Forest, Trade Secret, Image in the Tapestry (which won a chapter book award) and In the Grand Scheme of Things (all with GumShoe Press 2006).

Mystery of the Attic was made into a play by the Café Theater in NJ, Oct. 2005. TJ has developed an all new cross-genre of fantasy/manga. Silver Leaf Books publisher her 5-book series Shadow Legacy; book 1 is an award-winner.

Welcome to We Do Write, TJ. How long have you been writing?

Since I was 14.  I realized I had a knack for it when I was 12, but started to perfect storytelling in high school.  I finally got serious 18 yrs ago.  I’ve been published for the past 8 yrs.

Tell us about your books. What have you published?

I started off getting published with POD publishers then realized my mistake 3 yrs later. At that time I took all I had, which was my first 8 YA mysteries and formed my own company GumShoe Press.  I put out the following:
Wound Too Tight
Mystery of the Attic and the sequel On Forbidden Ground
5 books in the Kim & Kelly Mystery Series include:
Fantasies Are Murder
The Secret in Phantom Forest
Trade Secret
Image in the Tapestry (award-winner)
In the Grand Scheme of Things

I was then picked up by Silver Leaf Books and
contract to do a 5 book fantasy series for teens entitled Shadow Legacy.  The first 3 books are out with books 4 & 5 to follow in 2014.
Art of the Ninja: Earth
Power of the Ninja: Fire
Heart of the Ninja: Water

How did the story ideas come to you?

Mystery of the Attic was based on things that really did happen to me when I was 13 yrs old while living in an old farm house.  So, that one was easy.  I grew up loving Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes and all the greats and wanted to create a new mystery series for African American girls, thus Kim & Kelly were born.  The idea for Shadow Legacy was sort of wacky.  I fell in love with Anime because of my kid’s interest, and video games (mainly Final Fantasy).  So, I decided I wanted to write a story using the only thing that hadn’t been ‘written to death’ and that was ninjas.  I took all that I’ve seen, all that I knew, all my past experience in martial arts and weapons and created a story that has become the first cross-genre of its kind – fantasy/manga, which is fantasy that reads like a good manga.

Fabulous! My daughter loves manga and fantasy. I see an extra visit to Amazon in my future ... Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I have no help at all with my books.  If I need an editor for my personal work I have to find someone and pay them. Silver Leaf Books provides the editor for Shadow Legacy.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I start off as a plotter, and then as the story progresses I become a pantser

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The ending of any story

What are you reading right now?

I’m just doing research for my newest novel, but I what am really waiting for the last book by Maria V. Snyder “Taste of Darkness” from her Healer series.  Maria and I are good friends and she always conducts a writing workshop with me at Balticon.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?  

To communicate with animals and nature

That would be awesome! I have so many questions just for my pets that I'd never leave the house. What's the weirdest thing you've googled? 

Ninja powers

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... working or at the gym

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

Thanks for joining us today! 

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