This wed, I am honored to interview the very beautiful and kind Sophie Perinot. She welcomed me in to the world of Agent Query Connect (link in body of interview and helped me to feel that I have worth as a writer. Thank you Lit, you are the best!
1) What genre(s) do you write? And why?
I write historical fiction. It was a natural niche for me because I am both an avid reader of the genre (as well as classic literature) and life-long student of history. Since I studied French abroad, and I am a devotee of Alexandre Dumas, peré, French history seemed like a logical starting point, and both my completed projects are set at least partly in France.
2) Tell us about your latest project. This is your chance to crow about being published, agented, or winning a contest.
I am very excited to be awaiting publication of my debut novel, The Sister Queens, (www.thesisterqueens.com) by an imprint of Penguin. Set in 13th century France and England, my novel tells the captivating story of medieval sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence, who both became queens (Marguerite in France and Eleanor in England). While my novel is a work of historical fiction, I had a broader audience in mind when I wrote it. I am half of a pair of extraordinarily close sisters, and wanted to plumb that special relationship in a book that would illuminate all that sisters are to each other (from best friend to rival-in-chief). If you are a sister, if you have a sister, my book is for you
3) Other than writing, how do you like to spend your time?
Oh I am SO glad you included “like to” as a qualifier here – otherwise I would have to talk about laundry, etc, lol. In addition to writing, I have a passion for glass flameworking (also called lampworking) – specifically making glass beads with over a 1,700 degree torch. My office is half writer’s lair and half glass studio. In addition, I have three wonderful and very active children so I can often be found chauffeuring them around and attending their various musical, theatrical and skating performances. When I am in a more solitary and contemplative mood I like to curl up with a view of my woods and read a good book.
4) Do you have any tattoo’s, if so where? If not, do you want any?
I come from a family with very few hard and fast rules but no tats and no piercings is one of them. So not only do I not have a tattoo, I don’t even have my ears pierced.
5) What is the last book you read? Did you like it?
The last book I finished was Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn. I started the novel because met Kate in June at the 4th North American Historical Novel Conference in San Diego. Mistress of Rome is set in 1st century Rome, which is SO not my period, but it sucked me in right from the start. It is masterful. I was particularly impressed that the novel manages to employ half-a-dozen points of view successfully — quite a feat imo – and I heartily recommend it.
6) What is your advice to those who want to be authors? (I know, it’s a crummy one, but needs to be asked)
Get involved in a supportive writing community either on-line (I love Agent Query Connect AgentQueryConnect.com) or locally. This is a tough business and you will need the support of colleagues. Also it’s easy to lose objectivity about your own work when you are writing and editing alone – the extra eyes and advice that your fellow writers can (and will graciously) provide are invaluable. But please, if you become involved in a writers circle, don’t just take, give back. Realize early on that you can make the most professional progress by “playing well with others.”
If you want to be published (and not all writers have that as a priority), don’t write in a vacuum. Educate yourself about the BUSINESS of writing, not just the craft. Keeping up with the business is not easy because publishing is in a period of rapid change, but you must make the effort or you will make the act of breaking-in that much harder.
Finally, if you are going to be writer, don’t just think about it, do it. Treat your writing seriously. Set aside time for it and use that time. If you treat your writing like an after-thought or a hobby than that is all it is ever going to be – no matter how talented you are.
7) Tell us one thing no one knows about you
I have always wanted to play the role of Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, and I pretty much know every line and lyric of the part by heart.
Sophie Perinot writes historical fiction. In Spring 2012 her debut novel—a tale of two sisters who also happen to be 13th Century Queens—will be released by NAL.
Sophie has a BA in history as well as a law degree. She left the practice of law to pursue a variety of artistic interests, including writing. Sophie is a member of the Historical Novel Society and has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences. She is also active among the literary Twitterati, and you can follow her there as @lit_gal, or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sophie.perinot.author) For more on Sophie and her book, The Sister Queens, or to read her blog, please check out her website www.sophieperinot.com
As can see, she is a wonderful, warm person with an open and giving heart. I am so proud of her for getting her work out there and urge you to pre-order her book here.