JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Perri Forrest, author of A Lioness’ Tale
(Chic Lioness Publishing)
A Lioness’ Tale focuses on the life of Gabriella Alexis Sandoval. The story begins with a young Gabriella going through a very painful breakup with her high school sweetheart. Distressed by the turmoil that her daughter is enduring as a result of this life event, Gabriella’s mother suggests that she travel to Brazil to visit extended family, regroup, and begin her healing process.
When Gabriella arrives in Brazil, her best friend Natalia introduces her to the beautiful resort, Paraiso Belo. Gabriella comes of age and emerges from her experience in Brazil having faced some realizations about herself. Those realizations plant seeds inside Gabriella that push her into overdrive. She delves deeper into who she was, who she is and who she hopes to become.
She finishes college and sets out on an entrepreneurial road and is successful in all areas . . . except love. When she comes face-to-face with a past love, she comes to understand that person is the very reason she has steered clear of love.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “A Lioness’ Tale”?
Perri Forrest: A Lioness’ Tale, was actually born from a short story titled, Rendezvous. When I wrote Rendezvous, I had such a great time and felt like I was in the story doing a walk-through. Hopefully, that doesn’t sound weird, but I did feel like a part of the story. There was that much of a connection.
When I finished writing “Rendezvous”, I felt a sense of unfinished business that I couldn’t walk away from. There was a nagging feeling to tell Gabriella’s whole story. I wanted readers to get a greater sense of how she ended up in that ‘moment’ that was Rendezvous. So I guess, in essence (and without sounding crazy!), my inspiration was the character Gabriella Alexis Sandoval.
JP: What sets “A Lioness’ Tale” apart from other books in the same genre?
PF: The “genre” is so huge, and open-ended, that’s kind of a difficult question, but I’ll try… If I could think of one thing, it would be that although Gabriella is a “boss” and a girl who knows what she wants. I was unafraid of making her relatable – meaning I also show her vulnerability.
Gabriella is not above anything. She knows the value of family, and friends, and success – as well as her self-worth. I like to believe that I showed not just the problem (losing at love, and the devastation that comes with it) but also the solution (embracing who you are, realizing your strengths and reinventing from there).
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to “A Lioness’ Tale” getting out to the public?
PF: I would say that the keys to what I “hope” to be my success is my determination. I look at myself, and my books, as my brand. The same way that I want to be presentable and appealing whenever I leave the comfort of my home, I want the same for my work. I want the presentation to be on-point. When I say “presentation”, I mean the website, the marketing materials, the book trailers, and whatever else I used to represent the brand that is Perri Forrest.
I want to be accessible, and I want to deliver a quality product every time. Ultimately, I would like for readers to know me and know my drive for wanting to reflect desirable material onto the page of the tales they like to read. I think that in the end, ‘caring’ about the readers and what they want, is what greatly attributes to success that can lead an author’s book to getting out to the public.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish “A Lioness’ Tale”?
PF: I’m probably the only author who doesn’t have a writing process. And if I’m not, I would LOVE to meet others because it can be a frustrating process (for lack of a better word).
Would you believe me if I told you that all my stories started with a sentence? Well, it’s the truth. It’s kind of like in school when the teacher gives a guided topic that starts with one sentence and ends with another and they just tell you to fill in the blanks. That’s me. I write as I go.
I start with a sentence that is catchy, and I run with it. It’s literally like having a conversation as I go because a lot of times, I allow the characters to tell me who they want to be. There is also a TON of me sprinkled throughout my characters. Of course, I’d never say where those areas are, but if someone guessed, I wouldn’t deny either.
As for how long it took for A Lioness’ Tale, it was four (4) months. I was obsessive with the story and was afraid to walk away from it. I don’t recommend that for anyone because there were a LOT of tears and self-doubt during that time. It was a first time effort for me pulling off an entire novel. Every time I wrote a sentence and it didn’t resonate, I felt like my book wouldn’t see the time of day. But yeah… Four months.
JP: What’s next for Perri Forrest?
PF: I have a series called, “Pandora’s Box” that I’m finalizing the 3rd installment for. I have another full length novel titled, “Tangled Webs”, that is due out in December that I’m very excited about.
I have two novellas out for editing right now, and one is… wait for it… a paranormal that is part of a sampler that will be released in December. Very excited about that, but intimidated at the same time because although I LOVE paranormal, I’ve never written it. I thought about publishing it under another name in case folks hate it, but then I had a good friend tell me to, “OWN all yo’ ish…,” and that’s what I’m gonna do. So may the force be with me.
“I know that there are thousands of authors out there – old and new – who are hoping to be seen and read. I just want to say, “Thank You”, in advance to anyone who takes the time to read my work and who takes the time to let me know what they think of my work. My goal is, and will always be, to strive for greatness. To be as close to perfect as I can be, and I understand that growth is an essential part of that, so I’m always open for the thoughts of the public.” ~ Perri Forrest