Thursday, September 12, 2013

Interview & Giveaway: Meredith Allard

          Meredith Allard has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction workshops at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, Wild Mind, Moondance, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Maxwell Digest, CarbLite, Writer's Weekly, and ViewsHound. She is the author of the Loving Husband Trilogy, Victory Garden, Woman of Stones, and My Brother's Battle (Copperfield Press). She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit Meredith online at

Favorite Reads?
          I have very varied tastes as a reader, and I love everything from fiction to nonfiction. I love almost everything by Charles Dickens, especially David Copperfield and A Tale of Two Cities.  I love Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. I love Toni Morrison, especially Beloved and Song of Solomon. For nonfiction, I read a lot of history, especially about whatever historical period it is I’m writing about at the moment. 

Inspirations for the book?
          A student handed me Twilight (this was in 2008) and though I wasn’t into vampires I read it because she raved about it. After I read the Twilight books, I started watching True Blood, and from there I started reading Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, and of course the standard in the genre, Dracula by Bram Stoker. After I had a brain full of vampire, a story about a vampire still mourning his long-dead human wife occurred to me. I kicked the idea around in my head for about six months, and then I decided to see if there was anything to this crazy idea. From the moment I started writing I never looked back because the characters and the story took over. 
          Originally, I didn’t have any intention to write a piece of historical fiction, which is odd since historical fiction is the genre I’m most associated with, but once I decided to set the story in Salem, Massachusetts I knew I had to incorporate the Salem Witch Trials somehow. The story travels back and forth between Salem during the witch hunts and present-day Salem. This isn’t a blood and guts vampire story. It’s a love story, and James is a very human vampire. You could say the vampires act as a metaphor for any group of people deemed to be different by the 
general society.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
          I first thought of myself as a writer when I was 12 and I was asked to write our 6th grade graduation play. In truth, I was probably only asked because I had the neatest handwriting in the class, but I felt like a writer. In subsequent years, I had teachers who used my writing as examples for the class, and that added to my feeling that I was a writer. I knew that writing was in my future, and I tried out journalism and screenwriting but neither felt right. Finally, I found my way to writing novels and I knew I found my home.

Any Pet Peeves?
          People talking on their cell phones while driving. That’s dangerous!

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
          Chocolate definitely. I love peanut butter, but I’m allergic to it.

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
          I think I’m too quiet and introverted to be overtly weird myself. That’s why I love writing fiction—because I can get away with things I would never dare in real life. 

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
          I have varied tastes in music like I do in reading, and I listen to whatever strikes me while I’m writing. Right now I’m listening to Paul McCartney. I listen to the Beatles, Hootie and the Blowfish, and Josh Groban, among many others. They’ve all helped fuel my writing at one time or another.

Do you need anything to write?
          My laptop, my notes, some music playing in the background, and that’s usually about it. 

How long do you write on any average day?
          It depends on the day, but usually between 3-4 hours a day. It might be less if I’m working on
a first draft where I make myself type out my 1500 words and call it a day. But once I’m in the second draft phase and beyond I can work up to 4 hours a day. 

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
          At its heart, Her Dear & Loving Husband is a love story that spans time. It’s about James Wentworth, a 319 year-old vampire who has tried to make the best of his immortal life though he misses his wife, Elizabeth, dreadfully. He meets Sarah Alexander, who looks just like his Lizzie, and though at first he has feelings for Sarah because she reminds him of his wife, he begins to love Sarah for being Sarah. But there’s more to that story than meets the eye, and James and Sarah have to unravel a lot in order to understand what’s happening to them. James needs to navigate between the past and his sad memories of Salem during the witch hunt days and the present when he is faced with a reporter desperate to prove that vampires walk the earth. The underlying question in the novel is: what does it mean to be human? How is it that the vampire shows more human-like qualities in his ability to love when the humans can cast off or condemn others so easily? 
          One of the things that set the Loving Husband Trilogy apart from similar books is that the point of view goes back and forth between James and Sarah. That’s one thing I found missing in some other vampire stories—you only got the human girl’s point of view. I always wanted to know what the vampire was thinking and feeling. In the Loving Husband Trilogy we hear from both James and Sarah—what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, why they make the choices they do. I think it adds another layer of interest to their romantic story.

Author Info:
Connect with Meredith Allard: Blog / Facebook/ Twitter
Her Dear & Loving Husband:  Amazon/Amazon UK/Smashwords
Her Loving Husband’s Curse: Amazon/ Amazon UK/ Smashwords
Her Loving Husband’s Return: Amazon/ Amazon UK/ Smashwords

James Wentworth has a secret. He lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties with anyone. 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. Do vampires and witches live in Salem? Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again? 

Part historical fiction, part romance, part paranormal fantasy, Her Dear and Loving Husband is a story for anyone who believes that true love never dies.


  1. Thank you so much for posting the interview. I had a lot of fun answering the questions!

  2. Thanks for taking part in the tour and hosting Meredith!