Interview with Brenda Perlin
Today, we're talking to author, Brenda Perlin, about her novel, HOMEWRECKER.
Brenda: I live in Orange County, California with my boyfriend and his lovable German Shepherd Heinz that he got from an animal rescue.
We spend our days enjoying the California sunshine. Since our love is relatively new, it feels like we are on a constant honeymoon. My life has never been this good.
I am very active and have spent most of my working life in the physical fitness arena. I love the gratification that comes with helping people achieve their fitness goals and I love the fulfillment that comes with having a healthy body.
Tricia: When did you begin writing?
Brenda: I remember writing short stories when I was in elementary school. I used to love putting words together like they were pieces of a puzzle. I loved building a plot and seeing how I could make the characters interact.
Tricia: Can you tell us about your most recent publication?
Brenda: My first book is called Home Wrecker. It is part coming of age story, wedding story, and divorce saga.
I just got out of my contract with a bad publishing company. They were dishonest and made sales very difficult for me. Now I am considering publishing independently. I am anxious to re-release Home Wrecker because I also have a second book in the series that I think people will find very entertaining. It is a first person account from both the female point of view and the male.
Tricia: How did you get the idea for the book?
Brenda: I write from reality. I am calling my stories fiction only because I have changed, names, places and circumstances. Everything I write is real and has happened. I want my books to be open and honest.
Tricia: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your novel?
Brenda: Editing can be very frustrating. I have read my story so many times that when I look for mistakes I miss things. It seems I can only gloss over the words. I lose my focus.
Tricia: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
Brenda: That is easy! Brooklyn, the main character is my favorite. Since my story is based on my life, I can relate to this character the most. After all, I have lived her story.
Tricia: Which character was the most challenging to write?
Brenda: Ruth, my boyfriend’s soon to be ex-wife. Since I don’t know her I can only go on what I have heard about her and what she has done to me personally.
Tricia: Which authors have inspired your writing?
Brenda: I have many favorites like Pat Conroy and Jeffrey Eugenides but lately my biggest influence has been John Emil Augustine who wrote Love Seen From Hell. He also writes from true life.
Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?
Brenda: I am working on my second book Home Wrecker: The Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles. It is so much fun for me because the first part is based on my life and the second part is from my boyfriend’s perspective. It is pretty spicy.
Tricia: If your book was ever made into a movie, which actors and actresses would you cast?
Brenda: I have been told lately that I look like Sandra Bullock so I would be more than thrilled to have her playing Brooklyn. Richard Gere or Jeff Bridges could fight over the role of Bo.
Tricia: How do you handle unfavorable reviews?
Brenda: I wish I could grow a thicker skin but I am very sensitive. It is hard not to personalize very person remarks. I have to work on that.
Tricia: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have five books with you, which books would you choose?
Brenda: 1. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, 2. Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, 3. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, 4. Love Seen From Hell by John Emil Augustine (obviously), 5. Home Wrecker (Just so I never forget)
Tricia: What songs/artists are on the playlist for your book?
Brenda: Well, for my book trailers I have used Walk On my U2, No More Drama by Mary J. Blige, and Joshua Ledet singing Ready for love. They all seem to work so perfectly.
Tricia: Do you have any special skills, education, or hobbies that enhance your writing abilities?
Brenda: I wish I did have some special skills! My writing really is enhanced from life experience. Unfortunately, the struggles are what gives me the most motivation to write.
Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
Brenda: If you get offered a contract, take time to read it top to bottom and listen to your intuition.
For more information about Brenda Perlin, please click on the following links:
Homewrecker on Facebook
Home Wrecker The Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles on Facebook
Excerpt from Homewrecker:
I never planned on being an adulteress, or a cheater, or even a liar. I have told plenty of little white lies in my lifetime but it wasn’t really in my makeup to do something so unethical, as I did. Cheating wasn’t something I ever considered doing. It certainly was not in my nature or had anything to do with my upbringing. I was raised to be a “good girl” whatever went along with that. I was taught to treat people as you wanted to be treated. My parents were respectful individuals and if I were to bet, they never did anything against the law. Well, that is not exactly 100% the truth. They both had their departures from innocence. My mom had a bad habit of eating candy from the bulk bins in the grocery store as if they were free samples. She thought she could eat at her leisure while she strolled around with her grocery cart in one hand and her ill gotten goods in the other. My dad also had a few digressions that I witnessed on numerous occasions. Once I caught him changing a price tag to his advantage at Costco and another time I caught him while we were vacationing in France unscrewing the shower head from the hotels shower. He said he liked the water pressure so much that he actually got out tools that he brought from home, climbed up on a chair from the bedroom and went to work to remove the entire shower head. It was not as easy of a job as he thought and all his efforts were wasted. He realized after he removed the piece that the wiring would not work on his shower at home. The question I have is, who brings large amounts of tools with them on a plane traveling across the ocean? That would be my dad in a nut shell. He appreciated good equipment and he definitely liked a deal.
Of course if my parents were to catch me doing anything the least bit dishonest they would have turned me in right away.
When I left my husband after fifteen some odd years for another man, my good principles went down the sewer in a matter of seconds. All it took was for me to set foot outside the gym with this man that I had only met just a few months earlier. It was then that my morals were tested and I failed that test with flying colors. EVERYTHING else about my character was being questioned. I was no longer such an upstanding citizen. I gained a bad reputation and even gave myself the tittle Home Wrecker.
This title I found funny because one of my ex mother in law’s best friends used to call me that as a joke. She called Home Wrecker because she didn’t like all the attention I was getting from the elderly men at Leisure World. At that time, the thought of me being anything but a good girl seemed absurd. I really was the girl next door.
I was always honest when it came to relationships. I was never a cheater and I never EVER strayed. That was the job of many of my boyfriends and several of my girlfriends. I found out while I was growing up that many of my close girlfriends started to want what I had. I am not sure what that was all about but that was never something I could justify doing. In my opinion, that would have been considered “dirty seconds.” I had no interest in seeking friends guys or other women's’ men for that matter.
“I can find my own, thank you very much,” I would have said.
I knew the sort of girl that went after married men and that was something I would have judged harshly, in the past. Plus, I am nervous enough as it is. I don’t particularly care for that kind of high stakes drama.
Truth be told, I really thought this man’s marriage was over. I knew it had been on the rocks for a long time but by the time we were talking, I thought the only thing that was holding up his divorce was a signed settlement. I never felt like I was stealing someone else’s husband and yet my story became one that could have been seen on an episode of Jerry Springer or Cheaters.
So much for fidelity, even if was just of the emotional kind. I was already cheating on my marriage vows just by getting close to a man that was not my husband. I knew what I was doing was unethical and deceitful but for me, there was no going back. I started looking for apartments and asked my husband for a divorce.
I think the hardest part for me throughout my divorce was me having to leave my sweet little dog Grace. I knew I couldn’t take her with me and I wasn’t about to take her away from my husband. He needed her especially after I worked out my exit plan. He was very attached to her, as I was. Still, I can’t believe that I was able to do it. This dog was my baby and with me throughout all of my struggles. Her loyalty made me love her even more. Leaving her was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. When I left the house for the last time, I remember her watching me drive away. Looking back in my rear view mirror and seeing her watching me leave was a real heartbreaker. I remember tears running down my cheeks that never seemed like they would ever run dry. I am sure she forgot about me right away, but I couldn’t get her out of my thoughts. Never once did I cry for Gerard, just Grace.