Brian Perry: Writer, Speaker, Explorer
Brian Perry: Writer, Speaker, Explorer
Brian Perry: Writer, Speaker, Explorer
Brian Perry: Writer, Speaker, Explorer

FAQs

Read on for answers to some common questions Brian receives:

What's the best place you've visited?

I thought about this one for a long time, but after much deliberation I'm still not sure I can come up with an answer. Nevertheless here are some superlatives:

 

Favorite City: Kyoto (with Paris a close second)

Favorite Surf Trip: El Salvador

Favorite Food: France

Favorite Book: Can't pick just one, but The Drifters by James Michener is high on the list

Favorite Spot to Snowboard: Heavenly in Lake Tahoe

Favorite People: Impossible to say, as the world has so many kind, amazing people. But the folks in Nepal are right at the top of the list.

How do you get inspired to write?

Getting inspired to write is pretty easy for me. I live my life, I meet interesting people, I go interesting places, I read interesting stuff, and after all that I can’t help but have all kinds of thoughts bouncing around in my head just dying to get out.

 

There’s a decent sized gap in between inspiration and production though, so the next trick for me is actually sitting in my chair and pecking away at my laptop. That part isn’t as easy for me, but what works is simply this: I ask myself whether, on my death bed, I am going to feel good about having acted on my inspiration and put the words inside my head down on paper. Or conversely, am I going to be old and gray and filled with regret for all the dreams I didn’t pursue.

 

To me, the fear of that regret is more powerful than my inherent laziness, and usually that’s enough to get me writing again.

What's your advice for aspiring writers?

Everyone is afraid when they start out, and in fact I'm sure most authors worry that "this time" readers won't like their book. I let that fear hold me back for years, until I finally decided that given a choice between:

 

A) Trying and failing and having everyone hate what I did; or

 

B) Lying on my deathbed and wondering what might have been

 

Well, I'll choose option "A" every time

What are some of your favorite books?

The Drifters, by James Michener

"In this triumphant bestseller, renowned novelist James A. Michener unfolds a powerful and poignant drama of disenchanted youth during the Vietnam era. Against exotic backdrops including Spain, Morocco, and Mozambique, he weaves together the heady dreams, shocking tribulations, and heartwarming bonds of six young runaways cast adrift in the world—as well as the hedonistic pursuit of drugs and pleasure that collapses all around them. With the sure touch of a master, Michener pulls us into the private world of these unforgettable characters, exposing their innermost desires with remarkable candor and infinite compassion."

California Gold, by John Jakes

James Macklin Chase was a poor Pennsylvanian who dreamed of making it rich in California. But at the turn of the century, the money to be made was in oil, citrus, water rights, and the railroads. Mack would have it all, if he had his way. And along the way, the men and women he met, the passion he found, the enemies he made, and the great historical figures like William Randolph Hearts, Leland Stanford, and Theodore Roosevelt, he encountered, helped bring glory to the extraordinary century.

The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follet

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ken Follett comes this spellbinding epic set in twelfth-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of the lives entwined in the building of the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known-and a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.

Kane & Abel, by Jeffrey Archer

William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski, one the son of a Boston millionaire, the other a penniless Polish immigrant. Two men, born on the same day, on opposite sides of the world, their paths destined to cross in their ruthless struggle to build a fortune.

An unputdownable story, spanning sixty years, of two powerful men linked by an all-consuming hatred, brought together by fate to save―and finally destroy―each other.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. 

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.

The Gold Coast, by Nelson DeMille

Welcome to the fabled Gold Coast, that stretch on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America. Here two men are destined for an explosive collision: John Sutter, Wall Street lawyer, holding fast to a fading aristocratic legacy; and Frank Bellarosa, the Mafia don who seizes his piece of the staid and unprepared Gold Coast like a latter-day barbarian chief and draws Sutter and his regally beautiful wife, Susan, into his violent world. Told from Sutter's sardonic and often hilarious point of view, and laced with sexual passion and suspense, The Gold Coast is Nelson DeMille's captivating story of friendship and seduction, love and betrayal.

A Conspiracy of Paper, by David Liss

Benjamin Weaver, a Jew and an ex-boxer, is an outsider in eighteenth-century London, tracking down debtors and felons for aristocratic clients. The son of a wealthy stock trader, he lives estranged from his family—until he is asked to investigate his father’s sudden death. Thus Weaver descends into the deceptive world of the English stock jobbers, gliding between coffee houses and gaming houses, drawing rooms and bordellos. The more Weaver uncovers, the darker the truth becomes, until he realizes that he is following too closely in his father’s footsteps—and they just might lead him to his own grave. An enthralling historical thriller, A Conspiracy of Paper will leave readers wondering just how much has changed in the stock market in the last three hundred years. . . .

The Faithful Spy, by Alex Berenson

Years ago, John Wells was an all-American boy from Montana. Now, he is roaming the mountains of Pakistan as a member of al Qaeda. 


After a decade away from home, he despises the United States for its decadence. He hates America’s shallow, mindless culture of vice and violence. He is a devout Muslim. He is a brave warrior for Allah.

He is a CIA operative. And he is coming home…

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