What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
That’s a great question, and my answer varies from day to day. I’m very proud of That You Are Here because it’s such a different type of story for me. I’m most known for historical fiction, but That You Are Here is completely contemporary. It’s also an LGBT story, which is something new for me. All of my novels are romantic, but I can’t classify them as erotica. The best description is sweet romance. I love writing about love—how two people fall in love. That You Are Here is about falling in love and staying in love in a complicated world.
What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
I haven’t read a lot of erotic novels, but I have read the Fifty Shades Trilogy. I read the Twilight books, so it was interesting to read such sexy fan fiction! I’ve also read a few of Bella Andre’s novels. I have so much respect for Bella Andre and the career she’s been able to craft for herself.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Sometimes I’m inspired by books I read or movies I see. Sometimes I’m inspired by events in the news. I’ve learned that inspiration can come from anywhere so I try to keep my eyes open for ideas.
Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
My ritual is I procrastinate for as long as I can before I sit down to write. Once I sit down and start writing I can keep going for hours.
Where’s your favourite place to write?
I work at my desk, which is pretty boring but I think the quiet allows me to get to work (after I’m finished procrastinating). I think I’d be too distracted in a coffee shop to concentrate.
Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
I have a particular fondness for Mark from That You Are Here. Mark is an inherently kind person with a big heart and in a lot of ways he represents the person I’d like to be.
What was your ideal career when you were a child?
I decided when I was nine that I wanted to be a teacher, and I’ve known since I was a teenager that I wanted to be a writer. I’m very lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to do both.
How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I know the writing has to get done, so I schedule time every day for writing, usually between 3-4 hours a day.
If you get writer’s block, how do you get around it?
In Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, she says to allow yourself the freedom to write the worst junk in the world. That’s a great way around writer’s block because I know it’s okay for me to write something that isn’t all that great at first. I keep writing and I know I’ll figure it out eventually.
If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
I would bring James Wentworth from my Loving Husband Trilogy to life. I wouldn’t mind having a hot vampire around.
What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
I love anything about history, and I know there are some great historical romances out there.
What are you working on at the moment?
My current project is back to historical fiction in a love story inspired by Downton Abbey.
What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
Writing That You Are Here was a big challenge for me because it’s so different from anything else I’ve ever written. The book has received great reviews, so yes, I think I succeeded. Readers love the love story between Mark and Andrew, and that’s so important to me.
What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
I would say That You Are Here. I proved to myself that I was willing to take on subjects that weren’t obvious choices for me. It showed me that there are no limits to what I could write about.
Andrew’s cell phone buzzed in his pocket. He put his lunch bag on the counter, nodding at the message from Lisa Bloom, his secretary. He scanned his e-mails and grimaced at the phone. “I have to go.” He left at a sprint through the kitchen door to his silver Mercedes in the attached one-car garage. He didn’t even like the car, but that’s what the senior partners at his firm drove, so that’s what he drove too. Andrew opened the garage door, got into the driver’s seat, slid the key into the ignition, started the car, and jumped at the knock on his window. He shrugged sheepishly, opened the window, and took his lunch bag.
“Sorry,” he said. “I’m a little distracted today.”
“Today?” A sigh. “That car is such a gas guzzler. You need a hybrid. This is Portland. You’re supposed to be green.”
“Kermit the Frog green?”
“Any kind of green you want to be.”
Andrew looked at the person watching him with such open-hearted love in those soft gold-brown eyes.
“Mark?” Andrew said.
Mark Bryce leaned his head through the open window and kissed Andrew’s cheek. “Anything for you, beautiful boy.”
When Andrew stopped at the red light on Bancroft Street he felt his phone vibrate. He pulled his phone from his pocket, saw the screen and cringed, peering at the nearby drivers as though they were reporting his every move to some great eye in the sky. The text was from Mark.
Stop looking at your phone!
On the outside, handsome, successful attorney Andrew Whittaker has everything in life. On the inside, he has everything too, only he doesn’t know it. He hides the love of his life, Mark Bryce, from his family and everyone else where he lives in Portland, Oregon. Soon the weight of the secret becomes too much for Andrew. After wrestling with himself and his place in the world, he must decide how he’s going to live—with or without Mark.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Meredith Allard is the author of The Loving Husband Trilogy, That You Are Here, Victory Garden, Woman of Stones, and My Brother’s Battle (Copperfield Press). She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from California State University, Northridge. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, The Maxwell Digest, Wild Mind, Muse Apprentice Guild, Writer’s Weekly, Moondance, CarbLite, and ViewsHound. She has taught writing to students aged ten to sixty, and she has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction seminars at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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