Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Interview with Perri Birney

What will readers like about your book? 

PURE VISION has a unique storyline weaving myth, history, and political intrigue. It also introduces a strong and powerful female character, Maggie Seline, who is persecuted for of her beliefs. My husband, Lawrence, and I began writing the book ten years ago, and it metamorphosized dramatically along the way. There’s plenty of unexpected twists to the plot, so it’s entertaining, and yet at the same time it really inspires you to think and envision something greater. The book sets you on an adventure — women from all over the world march toward creating an international peace zone — so plenty of actionagainst a backdrop of current and historical events.

Why did you self publish?

Upon finishing the novel, I went the usual route of trying to find a literary agent. I came to find that many agents fear their relationships with publishers, so they usually stick with subjects that have been tried and true for them. Most of them tend to shy away from taking risks on books that look controversial. I decided not to play the waiting game and published PURE VISION myself. If you believe you’ve got something to say, then no one and nothing is going to stop readers from finding your work.

What is your writing process like?

Coffee, chocolate and silence. As you can tell from my answer, I like to stimulate my senses and then get quiet. As for the technical aspects, PURE VISION involved a great deal of research. So there were a few years where I was reading a lot, gathering information and gaining more understanding about subjects that were included in the book. Those were the years where I had to be patient, which was really hard to do. But it was a very important period since all of the material you’re gathering is kind of brewing inside of you. It’s as if you’re cooking with a huge pot, adding all sorts of ingredients to the mix, including the flavoring and the spices. You keep going until you have this incredible meal, and every single aspect that went into it is important to the whole.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

So much of the conflict we’re seeing around the world makes you stop and think about how we can all make a difference. When I hear about and see people hurt by the ravages of war, there’s a part of me that knows I can’t just bury my head in the sand. In my own case, I know I can communicate a story in an entertaining way and be able to reach a wide audience. So that’s how it started. I felt the need to express powerful ideals in a way that gave everyone room to think. When I actually started writing, I was inspired by the stories of great leaders — men and women such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and more currently, Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, who stood against all odds because they had a vision of peace and decency.

What is it that you’re trying to accomplish in the novel and who are you trying to reach?

There’s a real need in the world for strong women characters, in everyday life and in fiction. I believe PURE VISION fulfills that need by providing an intelligent, resourceful, larger-than-life female protagonist who is a force to be reckoned with. On a grander scale, I believe the novel recognizes that feminine energy needs to be embraced — whether we’re male or female — in order to create a more balanced world. The novel also creates a space where we can look at our problems in a new light. Instead of using old, worn-out methods like political divides and military force to attain resolution, we need to include spiritual or higher-minded means in our efforts. Also, art is such a powerful tool and artists are always using it to create change. My hope is that PURE VISION makes its mark and transforms readers, inspiring them to support an ideal beyond division and blame — a vision of peace.

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