Meredith Allard is visiting my blog today as part of her virtual blog tour with Bewitching Book Tours. She was kind enough to answers a few question for me.
What first got you interested in writing? What has kept you doing it?
When I was in the sixth grade my teacher asked me to write the class graduation play, and in my 12 year-old mind that meant I must be a writer. Throughout my schooling teachers were always complimentary about my writing skills, and they would often use my work as examples for the class. Again, I thought that meant I must be a writer, and all these years later I still think that.
What has kept me going is my need to write. I don’t just like it. I have to write or I’m not happy with myself. I’ve had periods where I’ve stopped writing for a year or two and those were sad times for me. Writing is just what I do. It’s almost as if I don’t have a choice in the matter.
Do you have the support of your family and friends? Has that support always been there, or has it changed since being published?
My closest family has always supported me. Friends can be interesting when it comes to something like publishing a book. Some are happier for you than others. You learn who your true friends are in the good times and the bad times too.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? Strangest habit? Is there anything you have to do before you start writing?
I don’t know if I have any particular quirks or habits. I don’t have a lucky statue that I have to touch three times like Dickens did. The one thing I must do before I start writing is procrastinate. Sounds funny, but it’s too true. I have cleaned the house from top to bottom, gone to the gym to exercise, even gone grocery shopping. Right now, answering these questions is serving as a great excuse not to write tonight. But then when there are really no more excuses left I do finally get down to it and start working.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
There is so much to learn as a writer, so be patient. Give yourself time to grow into the writer you want to be. Learn from other writers who have been there before. Find friends in writing groups. And stay determined. It can be a long road, but it’s worthwhile.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
My sense of persistence has failed me at times. There was one point where I had received a number of rejection letters in a row and I stopped writing for a while—probably a year or more. But then my need to write became stronger than my frustration with rejection letters and I started writing again. Thank goodness I did start writing again because Her Dear & Loving Husband has brought me so much joy.
Has a reader ever complimented you on your writing? What was the best thing you ever heard, and who told it to you?
When I put Her Dear & Loving Husband out into the world, I had no idea how it would be received. I felt that I had written a story that people would like, but there are no guarantees. When the reviews started coming in and I saw that people were enjoying it, people I don’t know even, that was the best feeling. I’ve received e-mails from people all over who love the story, the history, and the eternal romance between James and Sarah. I’m grateful for each and every one of the messages I’ve received.
I saw a review on Amazon from a nice lady from Hawaii who called Her Dear & Loving Husband an amazing work of art. I don’t know who she is, but blessings on you, nice lady from Hawaii. Your comments are genuinely appreciated. I am consistently amazed that readers have taken time out of their busy days to post reviews about my book on Amazon or BN or Smashwords or anywhere else. I’m thankful for every single one of my readers.
What are you working on now? Could you give us a little taste?
Right now I’m finishing up the second book in the James and Sarah saga—Her Loving Husband’s Curse. I’m still fine tuning the language, so no peeking quite yet, though I hope to start unveiling the first few chapters soon. After that’s it’s right onto book three, the last in the series.
Tell us about your latest book.
Her Dear & Loving Husband is a story of secrets. James Wentworth is still mourning the loss of his wife, Elizabeth, though it has been many years since her death. He meets Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for Elizabeth, and as James and Sarah come to know each other they realize that their secrets are keeping them apart as well as pulling them together. The story takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, both now and during the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. The historical story is woven throughout the present day story. There are also paranormal elements, with vampires, witches, ghosts, and even one werewolf. I like to call it a twist between Twilight and The Crucible.
How can people find out more about you?
You can visit my website at www.meredithallard.com. I post writing tips from my many years of teaching writing, and that’s where I share my latest news and information.
Thank you for the opportunity. I enjoyed answering these questions.
How long would you wait for the one you loved?
James Wentworth has a secret. He lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties anywhere. One night his private world is turned upside down when he meets Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for his wife Elizabeth. Though it has been years since Elizabeth’s death, James cannot move on.
Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and every night she is awakened by visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail. Despite the obstacles of their secrets, James and Sarah fall in love. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Soon James and Sarah piece their stories together and discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again?
Her Dear & Loving Husband is part historical fiction, part romance, and part paranormal fantasy. With elements of Twilight and The Crucible, Her Dear & Loving Husband is a story for anyone who believes that true love never dies.
And a little about Meredith
Meredith Allard is the author of Her Dear & Loving Husband and the executive editor of The Copperfield Review, a journal for readers and writers of historical fiction. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, Muse Apprentice Guild, Wild Mind, Moondance, and Writer’s Weekly. She has taught writing to students aged 10 to 60, and she has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction at Learning Tree University and UNLV. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.