What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Hello! My name is Meredith Allard. I was born in Nyack, New York and I currently live in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’m very fortunate because I’ve been able to accomplish my two life goals. I always wanted to be a teacher, and I’ve been teaching about fifteen years. I decided I wanted to be a writer in college, and I’ve been writing ever since. Teaching and writing are all I’ve ever wanted to do.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
In the sixth grade, I was asked to write the sixth grade graduation play and I’ve felt like a writer ever since. In retrospect, I was probably asked because I had the neatest handwriting or some silly reason like that, but in my mind I was a writer and all these years later that hasn’t changed. I felt more like a “real” writer when I had my first short story published in a journal named Moondance.
What genre would you place your books into?
Normally, my books easily fall into the historical fiction category. The Loving Husband Trilogy is different because it is definitely partially historical fiction, but it’s also paranormal, romance, and suspense. When I learned about the genre urban fantasy I thought the Loving Husband books fall into that category too. As I’m writing this, Her Dear and Loving Husband is number one on the Amazon free charts, and it’s number one in historical and literary fiction. That’s a lot of categories for one book, but I think readers like that it’s not any one thing.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I didn’t worry about genre when I was writing this book, which may be why it doesn’t fit into any one genre. I had an idea about a vampire mourning his dead wife who falls in love again, so the paranormal aspect was obvious from the beginning. The romance came from the vampire and the woman he falls in love with, and the history came from my inclusion of the Salem Witch Trials in the story. I don’t worry a lot about genre in general. I write the story the way it needs to be told and figure out the genre later.
Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
I’m going to play good author parent here and say I don’t have a favorite book, or, to say that differently, my favorite book is the one I’m writing at the time. I will say that I appreciate Her Dear and Loving Husband because it pushed me as a writer in the way it combines the past and the present in the plot, and it was a challenge to me to figure out how to combine the two in a way the reader can follow along with and enjoy. I like being challenged, and I think I was a better writer having written the more complicated plot Her Dear and Loving Husband needed.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I love both James and Sarah from Her Dear and Loving Husband, but I have to say I have a particular affection for Geoffrey from the same book. I love his humor, his irreverence, the way he says whatever he wants to say the way he wants to say it. I always have the most fun writing the Geoffrey scenes. Geoffrey is the comic relief for the books, and I love him for it.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
My routine mainly consists of procrastination, procrastination, more procrastination, write a little bit, check my e-mail, procrastination, procrastination, then, when there’s absolutely nothing left I haven’t done to procrastinate, I’ll settle my bottom into the chair and work. I often amaze myself with how much work I actually get done every day considering how much time I waste.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Absolutely. Call me crazy, but I love to give books away. I do giveaways on my website at www.meredithallard.com where I give free books away, and when I have a new book that needs reviews I’ll post that on my website too.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
I’ve been fortunate that most of the reviews have been extremely positive (thank you extremely positive reviewers). I had a lovely 5 star review from Gothic Mom (blessings on you, Gothic Mom) on Amazon and Goodreads where she said Her Dear and Loving Husband stood high above her ratings bar. I had another lovely review from a nice lady who lives in Salem who said she’d give Her Dear and Loving Husband ten stars if she could (blessings on you, nice lady from Salem). I’ve received the loveliest e-mails from readers who let me know how much they love the James and Sarah stories. I’ve really been blessed.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
I wouldn’t. I don’t think it’s ethical. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and it’s not realistic to expect that everyone who reads your book will love everything about it. I think as long as there are more positive reviews than negative reviews it’s all good.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
I have a wonderful cover designer named Dara England. She makes beautiful book covers, and I love what she’s done for the Loving Husband books.
Usually, I know the title fairly early into the writing process and it doesn’t usually change. Her Dear and Loving Husband is an exception to that. The original title was The Vampire’s Wife, but someone suggested that that title gave too much away. I came up with the title Her Dear and Loving Husband when I realized that the colonial poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband” would play an important role in the story.
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
I don’t suffer from writer’s block because I’ve come to accept the fact that my first draft is going to be crap. I think writer’s block happens when writers feel like their words have to come out right the first time. I know my words won’t come out right the first time so I drudge out that first draft, let it come out however it does, which is boring—nothing more than a fleshed out outline—and then I know it will come together in the revision and editing process.
What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?
I love to read, do yoga, cook, and I scrapbook sometimes. I like dance classes at the gym too like Zumba and belly dancing.
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I read all the time as a kid. I loved to read more than anything else. Reading was an escape for me. I liked writing when I was younger, but I didn’t imagine myself as a writer, as in being published, until I was in college.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Write a lot, keep getting better at it, and hang in there. Patience is the hardest thing, but it’s the most necessary ingredient for success.
Where can readers follow you?
Your blog details? http://www.meredithallard.com
Your Twitter details? @copperfield101
Thanks for allowing me to be on your site!
Thankyou for taking the time out of your writing schedule to take part in this Interview!