Her Dear & Loving HusbandBy Meredith Allard
Describe your book in five words or less.
Is Sarah James’s wife?
How did the idea for your book come to you?
For Her Dear & Loving Husband, the idea originally came after one of my students gave me Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. I had never been one for vampire stories, funnily enough, but my student raved about the book so I read it, and loved it. About a year later, after reading a number of other vampire books, I started wondering about what it would be like for vampires since every human they loved would have died at some point. That was the seed from which the story grew.
What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
I detest writing first drafts. Maybe abhor is a better word. I wrote a number of blogs about how much I hate writing first drafts last summer. Even now I go back to my own blog posts because I have to remind myself how to deal with the frustration. Having said that, there’s a point in the writing process, past the first draft stage, where I can see that the words on the page match the images in my head and I can see that the story I want to tell is coming to life. I don’t know if I would call that part easy because getting there is a lot of work. But it is a great feeling, and that’s why I write.
What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
Right now I’m working on Book Two of The Loving Husband Trilogy, Her Loving Husband’s Curse. I’m expecting it to be done Spring 2012.
Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
In this case it was more like the genre found me. Even after reading Twilight I didn’t have any immediate plans to write about vampires. If anyone had told me at the time that I’d be writing about vampires I would have laughed. But I had this crazy story idea about a vampire and his wife and it wouldn’t leave me alone. I had to see if there was anything there. As for the other genres in the novel, they grew naturally out of the story I wanted to tell. It’s no great surprise that there’s an historical fiction element in the story since I’ve been the executive editor of The Copperfield Review, a journal for readers and writers of historical fiction, for the last ten years. In Her Dear & Loving Husband, there is the history from the Salem Witch Trials. There is certainly a lot of romance in the story between James and Sarah, though I wouldn’t place this book under that genre since it doesn’t follow the rules of a traditional romance. And I’ve been told, even since college, that I have a literary style of writing, so I think the literary element just happens for me. That’s what happens when your writing mentors are Dickens and Morrison. The truth is, when I write I don’t worry a lot about genre. I tell the story I want to tell and worry about labeling it later on.
What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well the novel has been received so far. It’s a new novel from a new author, but when I tell people about the story they seem interested in the subject and they’re excited about reading it. The reviews so far have been very positive. I’m thankful. I knew that I loved James and Sarah, and it’s great seeing that others have come to feel the same way.
What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
When I interview authors for The Copperfield Review, the one question I always ask is: What is your advice for other writers? So here is my own answer to the question.
1. 1. Learn patience. Things happen in their own time, not necessarily when we want or expect them to.
2. 2. Be diligent. Keep writing. No matter what.
3. 3. Don’t take no for an answer. You don’t need someone else’s permission to do what is in your heart to do. If you want to write, then write.
4. 4. Stay strong. Rejection letters always sting. But the sting lasts for just a second and then you’re that much closer to finding the right market for your work.
5. 5. Keep improving. You are a better writer today than you were yesterday. You will be even better tomorrow. Never stop learning how to improve your craft.
What was your road to publication like?
I had the same experience as a lot of writers. It took me a few years and a lot of rejections before my first short story “Keats House” was published. I’ve been lucky enough to have a number of short stories and articles published since then, but, also like a lot of writers, I’ve had far more rejections than I’ve had acceptances. I did go through a period where I had had it with the rejections and I stopped writing anything but grocery lists. That lasted for about two years, and they were a miserable two years. Then I realized that I was missing a huge part of myself and I started writing again.
And then, ten years ago, I started The Copperfield Review, a journal for readers and writers of historical fiction. I love historical fiction, it’s my favorite genre to read and write, but as I was looking for markets to send my historical work I found that there really weren’t any that accepted that genre. I took a class at Learning Tree University about how to start this crazy thing called an e-zine (they weren’t as popular then as they are now), and The Copperfield Review was born. I call it The Little Journal That Could. In ten years I have never spent a dime on advertising, and yet somehow CR has come to have its own little corner of the literary world and we have loyal readers and contributors from across the globe.
Meredith Allard is the author of Her Dear & Loving Husband (Copperfield Press, 2011). She is the executive editor of The Copperfield Review, a journal for readers and writers of historical fiction, named one of the top markets for new writers by Writer's Digest. Her writing has appeared in journals such as Moondance, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Paumanok Review, Wild Mind, Writer's Weekly, and ViewsHound, where her article won the Silver Medal Prize. She has taught writing to students aged 10 to 60, and she has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction seminars at Learning Tree University and UNLV. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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