Though she’d told me she’d had several “apprentice novels” prior to writing Wench, this is Perkins-Valdez’s first published novel — and as I received the galley to review and prepared for our discussion, I couldn’t help but be really, really excited for her.  It had taken her twelve years of “chopping away,” as she’d explained to me, since earning her MFA in CW to reach this point.  She said she’s grateful it’s this novel that gets to be her “first novel,” and I can see why.  It’s a stellar achievement.  Finely crafted.  Compelling from page one.  Gut-wrenching all the way through.  Here’s the rest of our discussion about Wench as it appeared in the San Antonio Current: Love in the time of chains