Author Jan Perry of Lewes has always loved to write. In her newest book, published in April, “Phanny, Phantom of the Attic,” Perry describes six months of socializing a stray cat that wandered into her yard.
“It was the best of times and the worst of times,” she says.
Experts told her the stray would never be a house cat, but that didn't stop her from trying. She invited the cat in and attempted to train it, carefully describing the build-up of trust along the way.
Perry wrote the book with one message in mind.
“I really wish that people who have an animal that they can't take care of find shelters instead of opening the door. Just be responsible. If you can't care for them, take them somewhere,” she says.
Though she was successful in socializing the stray cat, Perry chose not to keep her because she already had a cat – one that didn't get along with the stray. She decided to give the stray cat to neighbors in her development but she visits the cat from time-to-time.
The book is not her first. She's written a three-part mystery series with a fourth book on its way about a Washington, D.C., caterer who finds herself in the right spot to solve murders.
Perry knows what it's like to be in D.C., having worked for nearly two decades for the U.S. Department of State and the American Institute of Taiwan.
She moved to South Florida as an operations manager for an investment firm and later owned a catering business in Boca Raton before moving to Lewes in 2006 to be closer to friends and family living in D.C.
Perry is a firm believer of writing and keeping journals and says she's always written, even when working other jobs.
“It's sort of a release for me,” she says. “You can do a lot more with it than just watching TV.”
Perry uses the pen name Perri Nash – her maiden name is Nash – because she didn't want to cause any problems using her real name while working for an investment advisory firm. Her first book exposed parts of the investment business, and she says the investing community was close so her associates would know she was writing. She came up with the name by replacing the “y” in her last name with an “i” and using her maiden name, Nash.
After using the name for her first book, she decided to stick with it.
"Phanny, Phantom of the Attic" can be purchased at Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com and as an e-book for Amazon's Kindle.
She is also selling signed copies for $10 on her website, perrinash.com. Check out her website to learn more about upcoming releases.