Interview with Peri Kinder: Keeping life in Utah funny

DSC_2040I heard about this Peri Kinder person and the most recent award she’d won from the Utah Press Association for her humorous column.  “Oh,  yeah?” I thought. “Let’s just see how funny this woman really is.” So I hauled off and bought her book, Life and Laughter, and I have yet to stop laughing. I want to hire her to walk around with me so she can point out the hilarious things I’m missing when my day is tanking. She has that kind of mind. Here is some insight into Peri’s world:

Karla: Do you ever feel self-conscious about the content you are writing?

Peri: The question should be, “How self-conscious are you about your writing?” because I’m super crazy and overthink everything. For example:
Stranger: I just read your latest column. I laughed out loud!
Me: Why did you laugh out loud? Did you find it hilarious that someone would actually publish my writing??
Yeah, I need to stop doing that.

Karla: When did you decide to become a writer?

Peri: I was married very young and had a difficult marriage. Writing was an outlet for me. During my lowest points, I’d write something funny about my day and it seemed to make me feel better. I never showed my writing to anyone and didn’t think much about it. But then I submitted a letter to the editor of a local newspaper and it was selected as the Letter of the Month. The editor told me I should look for an avenue to publish my humor writing, so that’s what I did.

Karla: Do you design your own book covers or have someone else do it?

Peri:  My daughter Kelsee Tia designed my book cover. When I first saw the cover, I asked her why she gave me two sons when I had four daughters. She replied, “I thought boys were more destructive.” She was incorrect.

Karla: Who is your favorite author and which of their books is your favorite?

Peri: I love how Tana French develops her characters. Although her books are usually based on a murder, that plotline becomes a side story as she delves deep into the main character’s psyche. She’s wicked good.
Overall, I can’t choose a favorite author because the books I read depend on my mood. I read everything from YA to science fiction to literary novels to self-help books.

Karla: Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published?

Peri: Not like there used to be. There should be no shame or letdown associated with self-publishing a book. I think most authors don’t care about a six-figure advance or the “fame” associated with a book deal. I believe most authors just want their words and ideas out in the universe. With traditional publishing being much harder to connect with, self-publishing a book is a way to circumvent all that headache and get your book in front of people really quick.

Karla: What do your fans mean to you?

Peri: It’s still surreal to have fans. I’ve written my Life and Laughter column for more than a decade, but I always assumed people just used it to line their bird cages. I’m always very touched when someone tells me what I wrote made them laugh or made their day. I love knowing I connected with just one person. Writing is all about connection. My fan(s?) is/are the greatest!

And that’s a wrap. Thanks, Peri!

What I have really enjoyed about her book is that the stories are short. I can carry it with me and read one while the officer is writing out my driving-while-distracted ticket By the time he’s tearing it from his pad, I’m laughing out loud. (Well, maybe that’s not the best example of why you should buy her book.)

Check out her book, Life and Laughter here:


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