Please welcome Andrea Perno (@) to my blog today for an interview!
What name(s) do you write under?
The only name I write under is my own name, Andrea Perno.
Where are you from?
I was born in PA then moved to Florida with my family for a few years. We experienced the horrors of hurricane Andrew first hand and moved back to PA when attending middle school and high school and college. Currently I live and work in Maryland with my husband.
What is the name of your most recent or upcoming release?
My most recent release is, The Last Drop. It is the first book in a planned trilogy. I’m actively working on both the second book of the series and a separate Sci-Fi romantic thriller, Remotely Unplugged.
Can you give us an idea of what the story is about?
The Last Drop is my debut novel. It’s told from the perspective of a 16 year old boy growing up on a military base that is controlling some of the last remaining water resources on Earth. Avery, my main character, his father is the commander of the Army and basically forces his sons to commit to a life in the army. When things on Earth go from bad to worse, the commander decides the take matters into his own hands to engineer a virus that will contaminate enemy waterways to “cull the herd” so to speak and give the planet a chance to recuperate with less population strain on the resources. Unfortunately the virus gets out of control and winds up killing just about everyone. The only way to survive is to travel to the next habitable planet. Avery and his younger brother, Jace, are among the survivors migrating. What they don’t know is the rarity of water extends far beyond Earth and they aren't the only ones fighting for survival.
What genre is it?
Young Adult Science Fiction
Where can we find it?
Exclusively on Amazon
When did you start writing, and when did it turn professional?
I started writing the book two years ago while I was still working as an Art teacher in Baltimore City. I wouldn't call myself f a professional just yet as I still am working both in the city as a teacher and also as a writer.
What or who inspired you to being writing?
I can’t point to just one person or one thing as my inspiration. My parents have no doubt shaped my writing career. One of our favorite family activities growing up was camping and experiencing new and exciting places in the world. We always had campfires on our camping trips and my brother’s and I were always tasked to create stories to share around the campfire. Writing those stories was never a chore for myself or my brothers. My younger brother is working on his own book as well. But I also had amazing teachers and was a part of journalism clubs in high school that really inspired me to write. Inspiration is everywhere and it’s been great to have a strong group of people to help me and tell me my writing is worth being seen by the masses.
Who are your greatest literary influences?
I have many great literary influences. I absolutely love Isaac Asimov, Orson Scott Card, Suzzane Collins, and Wilson Rawls.
Did you hire or use an editor prior to publishing? I did hire my own editor prior to publishing since The Last Drop was my debut novel and I wanted it to have the best chance of being picked up by a publisher. I used First Editing and I used William Green Leaf to critique and edit the first three drafts before sending the manuscript out to publishers.
Did you use a graphic artist to create your cover art? If so, what helped you decide on the cover(s) of your books?
I did not use a graphic artist to create my cover. I chose images from a database provided by my publishing company. The publishing team used the images I chose to create a cover that best represents the content in my book.
What have you learned on your journey from writing to publishing that you think should be passed along to those interested?
Something valuable to understand when you are trying to get your book through the publishing process is not to be discouraged by the amount of rejections your manuscript will no doubt collect on its journey. I received 74 rejection letters prior to my manuscript being accepted. I did however have numerous requests for partials and full manuscripts. I only had 7 publishing houses/agents not respond to my manuscript/query submission. My strategy was to carefully scour the responses I got from my manuscript. If someone asked for a full or partial and sent me a “form” rejection letter, I immediately sent back a polite request for feedback as to why my book was rejected. Numerous writers take the rejection and keep it moving. What they don’t know is that if you have sent a partial or a full manuscript it is perfectly acceptable to politely ask why the book was rejected and that feedback is without a doubt the most valuable feedback you can get to influence the re-writing of your manuscript. One of my other strategies was for every rejection letter I received I sent out five more in its place. I sent mine in batches of 10-20 submissions. In this case more is better since there are hundreds of agents and publishers looking for books.
I know some authors set writing goals, such as so many words per day. Do you set any goals for your stories?
I have a few goals when I do my writing. My original goal was to write one chapter a day and that simply is not an obtainable goal. My long term goal for writing is to write “something” each day. Writing is like any other muscle you develop. Just as I tell my art students, if you want to get better, faster, stronger, more accurate with drawing you have to practice each day no matter if it’s a short or long amount of focused time. FOCUSED TIME is what’s important. If it’s ten minutes you can set aside to write each day then that’s what you do and you make the most of those ten minutes. You have to write something, even if it’s only a handful of sentences that you’ll later ditch or edit out, it’s something. It’s practice. It’s flexing the muscle. It’s progress.
Do you have a favorite character of your own and what makes him/her your favorite?
Every story I have a favorite character. Most of the time my favorite character is my protagonist and that’s probably because you become the most intimately acquainted with that character through the course of the story. Sometimes though, my favorite character is the five minute, not really terribly important to the story character, who interacts with the main character and helps them grow in some way. Usually in my books that growth comes in humor and I like those five minute characters for their humorous qualities.
Do you have any projects your working on now?
I do have two projects I’m working on right now. I have the second book in my Last Drop series and I have Remotely Unplugged.
Do you have any blog tours or upcoming events we should know about?
I had an upcoming “birthday bash” with several authors that will be held on Facebook this past Thursday. You can learn more by following me on Twitter!
You can find out more about my upcoming events and book updates on my website.
You can purchase my book on Amazon.
Follow me on Twitter.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to join me here, I've added The Last Drop to my "TBR" list and can't wait to see what else you write in the future!
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