Baldwinsville native Peter Berry almost failed English class but fell in love with printing while attending C.W. Baker High School in the ‘70s. At one point, he considered working for the Messenger, but instead took a job running a printing press at a Syracuse-based accounting firm.
Though his interests laid in ink, he followed a different course, developing a long-term career in computers. His first move was to Washington, D.C. where he lived for seven years; also where, Berry said, he learned to hate traffic.
In 1990, Berry picked up and moved again, this time further south to Raleigh, N.C. The former Seneca Knolls resident now resides on a quiet lake, a distance from the state’s capital, and pursues his passion for writing.
Messenger editor Tami Scott caught up with Berry to talk about his novel based in Baldwinsville. Here’s what he had to say:
Is “Change of Hearts” your first published novel?“Change of Hearts” is my first novel. I guess you can say it is set in present day, however, I applied writer’s privilege to suit my memories of my hometown. For example, there is no Dunkin Donuts in Baldwinsville! Instead, the Corner Cakery is alive and well.
The story opens with a local boy, now a man, returning home from a family vacation in the Carolinas. His wife is actively involved in the local political scene and their boys are ready to head off to college. Faced with an impending empty nest, the main character anticipates some quality time with the love of his life.
When was it released?“Change of Hearts” was released in February 2013 after two and a half years of work and contemplation. The first draft was finished rather quickly, a little less than five months. Not bad for someone that nearly failed high school English. Writing the manuscript was easy, the words just flowed. On the other hand, editing a piece of work this size is daunting. But even that turned out to be exciting; every time I worked on “Change of Hearts,” I got to spend time with my favorite characters.