By AK Dale
TACOMA, Wash. – She wants the world to be a beautiful and lovely place.
It’s a shame that Gwen Perkins’ goals for the world don’t always meet her expectations.
The author from the great northwest sees herself as a cynical romantic, writing her tales from a place in her heart wanting so much more from the world around her.
“I want the world to be a beautiful, lovely place and it disappoints me which in turn, makes me angry,” Perkins said. “Much of my work is my way of channeling my anger at politics and intolerance or social issues.”
Apathy is the enemy for Perkins, who despises it in all its forms.
“Writing gives me a chance to fight back at the things that otherwise I might feel I could not change” Perkins said. “Even if it’s in a way that’s not easily recognized.”
She now has her forum, The Universal Mirror, published in January by Hydra Publications, a small press out of Indiana. It is a story of two magicians who subvert authority by studying the lost art of healing.
A sequel, The Jealousy Glass, will be published in November according to Perkins.
“This book follows two characters into a foreign empire and looks at the dynamics between colonial power and former colony while examining issues of religious and sexual tolerance,” she said. “I have to be honest and tell you that I love the The Jealousy Glass. It has so many aspects to it—more action, politics, and intrigue than its predecessor did. It can be read either after The Universal Mirror or as an introduction to the Artifacts-verse but I suspect once readers hit its conclusion, they’ll be anxious for the third book.”
For the time being, Perkins balances her love of writing with a job as a curator at a history museum.
“I do everything from talk to 400 kids a day to curate exhibitions on themes ranging from Sasquatch to the Great Depression,” Perkins said. “Time (to write) is my biggest obstacle. I never seem to have enough time and I’m something of an insomniac so that’s saying something. I have plenty of hope and I’m determined as hell so the combination of those two things keeps me going well past points where I might have stopped.”
The blooming author received her Masters of Arts in military history from Norwich University. Perkins uses her background in her studies as a source outlet for her writings, but also finds unique motivational techniques to keep her pushing onward.
“I use any number of things but it depends on the project,” Perkins said. “For the Artifacts of Empire series, I’ve listened to a band called Beats Antique when writing because the Middle Eastern beats remind me of the nation that the characters are presently in. I also have done a lot of watching medieval documentaries and paging through old medical manuscripts as well as staring at plague photographs.”
Despite her background, Perkins is far from shy about branching out to other reaches of literary subject matter.
“The other project that I’m working on involves a different brand of research altogether but I can safely say that I’ve never listened to as much Symphony of Science in my life,” she said.
Perkins was born in Salem, Ore., and now currently resides in Tacoma, Wash, with her partner of ten years, Laura. The couple has raised three children – daughters Amaranth (15) and Nynaeva (13), and son Oisin (8).
“Laura and I met when we were both slinging copies at Kinko’s,” Perkins shared. “My free time is generally spent with my family in some way or another. I also enjoy reading, though I suspect I’d be a poor example of an author if I did not.”
Perkins also does lamp work on occasion.
“That means basically that I blow glass beads using a propane torch and more patience than I have for anything else in life,” Perkins said.
Essentially, Gwen Perkins is an eclectic soul with her priorities and goals for the future. She is also daring enough to try anything twice…well almost anything.
“Except perhaps jumping out of an airplane,” she admitted. “I have absolutely no desire to do that.”
She may not want to jump into vast invisible waves of oxygen, winds, and a speedy descent onto the hard earth below, but Perkins has no doubt her writing is something she will do with the breeze at her back and a keyboard resting gently at her fingertips.
“When I finished The Universal Mirror and was worrying about its chances for publication, my oldest daughter pointed out to me that just finishing the novel was an achievement,” Perkins said. ”I’ve kept those words close to my heart. Writing itself is the success.”
Success and The Universal Mirror along with her other planned works would be nice though.
“I will be honest, not everyone will enjoy my novels,” Perkins said. “The Universal Mirror and other stories in the Artifacts of Empire series are the kind of books for people who are interested in fantasy that’s heavily inspired by history and that has less of a fantastic creature bent and more of an emphasis on social issues. That said, I’ve had several readers pick up the novels who don’t read fantasy as a genre and still enjoy them. I hope that you’ll give them a chance.”
TO FIND MORE INFORMATION about GWEN PERKINS and her WORKS check out,
Artifacts of Empire
WERZOMBIES Press thanks you for taking the time to read about our special guest here today. The Press is an Alan Dale creation and is inspired by his DEAD NATIONS’ ARMY (DNA) book trilogy which launches in July with his first novel, “Code Flesh.” The Press hopes you consider subscribing to the site and look forward to more interviews, news features, columns, and many more in the future. Once again, thank you for joining us here at the Press!