The Write Stuff: Local Starts Fourth Self-Published Book
(This interview was written by Zach Spicer, reporter for the Seymour Tribune, Seymour, Indiana) firstname.lastname@example.org
The 40-year-old Crothersville native who now lives in Austin has self-published three books and currently is working on his fourth.
Going the self-publishing route, Perry said he did a lot of research and joined an online writing forum, and that helped him ensure he was putting out a quality product.
“I always want to put out a product that if my book was lying next to somebody’s book that was published from (a well-known publishing company), they wouldn’t know the difference as far as quality goes,” he said. “I just strive to put out a good, entertaining book.”
He may receive a lot of positive feedback, and there may be some critics, but that’s the way it is with any kind of art or medium, he said.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you write, there’s always going to be somebody that doesn’t like your stuff,” he said. “You’ve got to have thick skin in this type of thing because you’re putting your stuff out there for the whole world to view.”
Perry’s first book, “Brothers of the Mountain: Heart of the Frontier,” was released in 2011. The collection of short stories had a good response, including purchases made through amazon.com in the United States, Canada, Mexico and United Kingdom.
The seven short stories follow a couple of brothers from eastern Kentucky who are mountain men.
“They are searching for their pot of gold, so to speak,” Perry said.
Then in 2013, he wrote another collection of short stories, “Under the Willow Tree and Other Stories.” The 10 short stories are different genres and aren’t related.
“It’s just kind of a mishmash, a little bit of this and a little bit of that,” Perry said.
His latest release, “Moonshiner’s Justice,” came out in 2016 and was his first chapter book. Set during the prohibition era in the 1920s, it’s about the trials and tribulations of a moonshining family in eastern Kentucky.
He had released the first two chapters as a standalone short story in 2011, and it received good response. It wasn’t until last year that he expanded on those two chapters.
“The seed was planted, so to speak, with people requesting more of the story,” he said. “I had other projects going on, so I didn’t really get too involved in that one right way, but eventually, I came back around to it and kind of closed out that particular story as far as the characters, the family, that sort of thing.”
His next book will be a collection of short stories, which he said is his favorite medium. He hopes to release it later this year.
“I like to write them, and I like to read them,” Perry said. “I don’t like these big, huge novels. When I read, I like either a collection of short stories where I can stop at one and put it down for a while. It’s not like when you’re reading a book of 300 pages and you get bored of it and put it down.”
Perry said his interest in writing started when he was a student at Crothersville High School.
“I was big into basketball my freshman and sophomore years, and I did a lot of journaling then as far as how practicing went, my performance that particular game,” he said.
“I wrote all of that kind of stuff down.”
That evolved into poetry and general notetaking.
“Back then, I didn’t make any money doing all of that stuff, but I did it,” he said.
“It’s an outlet. It’s just something I enjoy as far as the fiction part of it goes. I’ve always been a huge fan of storytellers and that sort of thing.”
After graduating from high school in 1995, Perry studied at Indiana University Southeast with an emphasis on U.S. history.
Several years later, he decided to become a professional writer and took online courses through Penn Foster Career School. He earned a freelance writing career diploma in 2012.
Once he had his first book written, it was a matter of making it visible.
He shared his writing thoughts through a blog on his website and also let people know about his books.
“I think with the internet, the shelf life is infinite,” he said. “It goes on and on and on. It never gets removed from the shelf like a physical bookstore. No matter how many you sell or you don’t sell, it will always be there.”
He hopes to write at least one book a year, but he stays busy with his family and his new full-time job as a maintenance technician for Village Apartments of Brownstown.
“I try to carve out a little bit of time each day, but my ideal goal is to write a couple of pages a day, 500 to 600 words,” he said.
He plans to continue focusing on his love of writing.
“I don’t stop. I can’t stop,” he said, smiling. “Even if I didn’t make any money, I couldn’t stop. I didn’t find writing. Writing found me. That’s just kind of what I am.”