Friday, July 11, 2014

Interview with Kerry Peresta, author of 'The Hunting'

Kerry Peresta's publishing credits include a popular newspaper and e-zine humor column, The Lighter Side, and short stories in the published anthology, That One Left Shoe, and her debut novel, The Hunting, contemporary women's fiction, released by Pen-L Publishing. She spent twenty-five years in advertising as an account manager, creative director, and copywriter before deciding to devote more of her time to writing. She is currently working on her second novel, participating in writing conferences, and serving on the leadership team of the Maryland Writers' Association. Kerry was a single mother for many years to four great kids, all grown and successfully carving out their own unique paths. She and her husband live in the Baltimore metro area.

Her novel, The Hunting, is available in Kindle and paperback on, Barnes & Noble (, and her website.

Visit Kerry at

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About the Book:

Isabelle Lewis, top advertising salesperson at the Chatbrook Springs Sentinel newspaper, has a habit of falling in and out of marriage. After her last divorce, she shoved the emotional pain into a compartment in her brain to deal with later. With three teenagers to raise, bills to pay, and sales quotas to meet, introspection was a luxury she could not afford. Her mind needed a happy place.

When Isabelle (Izzy) discovered online dating, it immediately became her favorite stress reliever and best friend. Often, she'd steal into the night after her kids were asleep to meet someone new. One fateful evening, the hunt for the perfect guy took a sinister turn when the mystery man she met turned out to be her worst nightmare! Reluctantly pulled into a web of lies, Izzy is forced to confront her demons.

Snarky, suspense-filled, and real, The Hunting is an exquisite entwining of the crippling emotional fallout of divorce with the quest for a healthy, fulfilling relationship.This inspirational story rivets!  

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Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Q: Thank you for this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing background?

In 2010, I left advertising behind and pursued writing without a clue about publishing. My writing career began by accident. I was offered a weekly humor column after a letter I wrote to the editor caught the newspaper’s attention. I immersed myself in Maryland’s vast writing community, finished my first novel, learned the tricky art of querying, got picked up by a publisher. My book, THE HUNTING, inspirational women’s fiction, Pen-L Publishing, released December, 2013.

Q: What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

That I’m a throwback. I love 40’s big band, jazz, and black and white movies. Give me Bogie and Bacall; Mitchum and Rita Hayworth. Another fun fact about me is that I was the shorthand champion in my home state when I was in high school. I still take shorthand when I need to take notes – it comes in handy!

Q: What scares you the most? 

As a former single parent, I was constantly stalked by the fear that I would not be able to provide well enough. I would say what scares me the most is not having enough money for basic needs. Fortunately, I am no longer in that situation. :~)

Q: What makes you happiest?

A great family gathering with meaningful conversation, hugs, encouragement, and great wine. Maybe a spirited card game or round of Catch Phrase.

Q: What are you most proud of in your personal life?

The transparent, loving relationships I have with my four grown kids. The fact that in spite of a challenging upbringing that included divorce and ensuing trauma, they have landed on their feet and are succeeding at life.

Q: What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

Oh, by far…getting published by a reputable publisher. There are a lot of iffy publishers out there. It takes a while to figure out the difference. Perseverance is definitely needed.

Q: Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?

It looks like a shimmer in someone’s eyes when they talk about the book. Like a zillion positive reviews on Amazon. It smells like a great cup of coffee on a rainy morning. It feels like the shiver that runs up my spine when someone approaches my book table and says they’ve waited and waited just to get a signed copy. It sounds like the declaration from a reader that they’ve felt exactly the same way my protagonist does, and then proceed to tell me all about their personal experiences. 

Q: Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

My new book, tentatively titled THE DEADENING, chronicles one woman’s journey from complacent, naĆÆve, and emotionally crippled to speechless, clueless, shocked and bedridden. Giving complete responsibility to another for your life choices can have devastating consequences. Not the best idea. Just ask my protagonist.

Q: When you are not writing, how do you relax?

My husband and I love to travel, and just spent a week in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a magical place that will probably show up in one of my books! I enjoy my three cats, two whom I adore; the other I simply tolerate. A classic Grumpy Cat, his single contribution to the household is his beauty. My deck is my favorite relaxation site, where I can watch my bird feeders, ground hogs, squirrels, deer and the occasional fox as I drown in a lovely glass of red wine.

Q: Please tell us why we should read your book? 

THE HUNTING is intriguing on several fronts. It paints a vivid picture of workplace harassment issues, single mom issues, internet dating scenarios. My character, Izzy, tries to keep up with raising the kids, making the living, finding the perfect guy…and fails miserably. Add nasty boss, difficult colleague, and stalker. Sprinkled throughout with romance and suspense, it’s the perfect recipe for a beautiful disaster. 

Q: What kind of advice would you give other authors just getting their feet wet?

Research the publishing industry. Decide on a specific genre. Join a critique group, or a writing association. Talk to other authors. Attend writing classes that fit your goals. Network at author events and writing conferences. Continue to learn the craft of writing. Take criticism well. Rewrite, rewrite and rewrite. Find a good editor and use them. I am exhausted just thinking about all this, but there it is. It is a discipline.

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