1. Thank you for joining Blooming Fiction today Tasmina. Can you introduce yourself and tell us a random fact about yourself?
Hello. Tasmina Perry here. I’m a writer – of books mostly, but I started my career as a journalist. I got my big break when I met Take That twenty five years ago and asked if I could interview them. They had only just formed and it was probably their first ever interview - in fact Robbie invited me to their first ever gig at Flicks Discotheque in Huddersfield. I should have had a camera with me!
2. What's your latest book called and what is it about?
It’s called the House on Sunset Lake. It’s about a hotel executive called Jim Johnson who has to return to a plantation house in the Deep South House to buy it and turn it luxury resort. Jim knows the house well, having spent the summer there twenty years earlier and fallen in love with the owner’s daughter, Jennifer Wyatt. But returning to the house on Sunset Lake brings him back into Jennifer’s orbit and he discovers the awful truth about their first summer of love.
3. Where did you get your inspiration from for your latest work?
When I thinking about an idea for my new book, I didn’t chose a location first. I knew I wanted to write about a house – a big old house that had fallen into ruin, so I had to decide where that big old house could be. I decided on the Deep South and thought that an old plantation house would be ideal as the star of the book. This book also has a dark mystery at its heart and I thought that part of America, which is so hot and sultry, would suit the mood of the novel.
4. What would you like readers to get out of reading your book?
This is really a book about first love and the power it has over us. It’s also a book about circumstance and timing; two people can be perfect for each other but if other things don’t fall into place – the relationship might never even take off. It’s an escapist novel but if makes people think about how and why we fall in love that’s an added bonus.
5. How about other books or stories you've written, are there any stories you would suggest as an ideal starter for readers new to your work?
This book has a dual narrative. I’ve written a couple of dual narrative books before (The Proposal and The Last Kiss,) and both of them are probably more romantic than my previous novels which focus on strong women and family secrets. All my books have lots of beautiful locations in them and a mystery at their core.
6. Have you taken any of your plots from life experiences?
As a writer you are influenced by the things that go on around you. I wrote The Proposal after I went to see an exhibition at Kensington Palace called The Last Debutantes. It was about the final Debutante season in 1958 and I was so enchanted by all the glamorous dresses and stories of balls and country house parties, that I thought The Season would be a perfect backdrop for a novel.
One of my earlier novels, Private Lives, was set in a media law firm. I’ve been both a lawyer and a journalist – and know how much scandal and news is kept out of the papers. I thought the idea of what goes on behind the headlines was an interesting one and influenced by what I have seen go on in the media.
7. Are all your books from the same genre? Is there a genre you would like to try writing?
I love thrillers so I’d like to have a crack at something really dark. I’d also love to write some really fun YA like Gossip Girl.
8. If you weren't an author what career would you see yourself in?
I’d love to be a photographer – I worked for InStyle – a fashion magazine - for many years and I loved going on shoots and seeing these visual stories come to life. A pastry chef would be pretty cool too. I’m an enthusiastic cook but not a great one, although I love baking. Making cakes is also really creative and the end result satisfies my sweet tooth!
9. Is there any advice you've been given that you would pass on to anyone who dreams of becoming an author?
Just start writing. Don’t wait for the muse, or an idea you think has never been done before – your execution of an idea you are passionate about will make it unique. Write a little but often – once you’ve written about 10, 000 words it will come to life.
10. In your spare time, what genres and authors do you like to read?
I like thrillers and also biographies of interesting people. I’m just looking at my bookshelf now and can see a whole range of biographies from Harold Evans, the famous newspaper journalist to an Everest mountaineer. I find people fascinating. It’s probably why I became a journalist.
11. Is there any author or literary figure, alive or dead, that you would love to meet?
I would’ve loved to have met Nora Ephron. She’s a real idol of mine. She had the dream career – journalist, memoirist, screenwriter and director and was brilliant at everything she did. Her non-fiction was so warm and wry and intelligent that I have no doubt she’d have been exactly the same in person.
12. In your opinion, where is the best place to sit down and write?
Every year I go to the same place in St Ives to write. It has a view of the ocean and I particularly love writing at night when you can just hear the sound of the sea and the tapping of my fingers at the keyboard.
13. Last question, do you have an ultimate goal where your writing will take you? Any awards etc you'd like to win?
Writing critically lauded fiction has never interested me to be honest. I see my books as pure entertainment – something that can whisk you away from the every-day. I’ve had some lovely letters from people who’ve said that reading one of my books has helped them forget about a difficult time in their lives, and that means more to me than any prize ever could.
Read more from Tasmina Perry
The House On Sunset Lake
Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2bZkSYt
The Last Kiss Goodbye
Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2cuc4VD
Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2bZlZr9