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Interview with Kerry Peresta: ‘The most important thing is to build that fan base’




Kerry PerestaKerry 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.

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About the Book:

The Hunting 2Isabelle 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: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Kerry! Can you start by telling us whether you are published for the first time or multi-published?

THE HUNTING, women’s contemporary fiction, is my debut novel, but I was published as a weekly humor columnist in 2009 and 2010 in several daily newspapers and e-zines.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

After considering several alternatives, I chose a small, independent publisher for my debut novel, largely because I did not have a huge amount of confidence and was still learning the industry. It has proven to be a good decision. I have learned a lot about the process, and am happy that I chose not to self-publish. Also, small indy publishers pay higher royalties, typically. After this experience, my confidence soared (thanks to some great reviews and fan feedback) and next time around, I’ll be looking for an agent.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

Six months, but that is not typical. Since he was small, and I had a signing already booked, he fast-tracked it for me. Usually, it is approximately one year from signing to print.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It was extremely scary. My book was out there now, for all the world to see…good or bad! I didn’t relax until the first reviews started coming in, and people would FB me or call to tell me how much they loved it. I finally declared myself a ‘novelist’ after I got my first royalty check!

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I immediately bought a series of ads in a newspaper that had published my humor column, and I bought a blog tour in my genre. I also booked several signings and went crazy on FB and Twitter. I need to become more conversant with Goodreads, another great source of reader exposure that is linked to Amazon. I am constantly handing out cards I had made by Vistaprint that have my name, website, title of my book and a squib about it. The most important thing with a first novel is to build that fan base, one at a time!

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I am constantly learning and gaining insights from more established authors. I take writing classes, attend conferences and critique groups, am active in the Maryland Writers’ Association. Writers are a wonderfully supportive group and eager to share their experiences.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The vast learning curve necessary to become involved. I had no idea before I started this process, and looking back, that was probably a good thing. Those who are already in the business of writing – journalists, copywriters, editors – have a huge advantage. I started from ground zero and am still learning.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

To see my book in my hands – an actual hard copy of a story I’ve written that others find inspiring and entertaining. It feels rather miraculous. I am sure that thrill will shiver up my spine with each book.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

In a word, persevere. Keep growing, keep learning; involve yourself in a writing community that will be honest about your work and make you better. Set writing goals, and stick to them. Learn how to write a great query letter. With a ‘never say never’ attitude and online research, it is entirely possible to enjoy great success in your endeavors. Happy writing!

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