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Conclusion of Interview with Meredith Allard
Do you ever become bored with what you are writing? If you do, how do you get past that point?
Iím choosy about the projects I decide to stick with, so if Iím writing a novel Iíve already made the decision that this story is worth my time. Iíve been doing this long enough to know that not every idea that crosses my mind is going to make a great book. Iíve let previous ideas drop by the wayside because I wasnít that interested in the story, and if Iím not interested in it enough to get myself to the computer to write about it, how can I engage readers? The ideas that end up becoming novels are keepers because they engage me emotionally and intellectually. When I have an idea that grasps me to strongly I canít wait to get back to the computer, I know Iím onto something.
What kind of books do you like to read?
I love to read all kinds of books, though I mainly read fiction. I just finished reading Fear of Flying by Erica Jong, and I donít know how I only just read that book for the first time since it was like reading my life story, especially when she talks about writing. Now Iím reading a nonfiction book called Quiet, about being an introvert in an extroverted world (which as an introverted novelist I greatly appreciate). I have a particular taste for the classics, Charles Dickens especially.
How do you manage to balance your time between family, friends, and writing?
My most honest answer isÖnot well. When Iím in writing mode (as I am now as I work on Book Three of the Loving Husband Trilogy) I donít see much in terms of friends, and the only family I see are the ones living inside my house. I become very single minded when Iím writing, Iím afraidóespecially when Iím working my way through a first draft.
Who has been your biggest inspiration? Why?
I have two answers: Oprah Winfrey and Charles Dickens. An odd couple if ever there was one, but Oprah taught me to go after my dreams, and Dickens taught me what my dream was. I was in college when I read Dickensí novel David Copperfield. After I read that book, I knew I wanted to write novels like that. Iím not there yet, but I think itís okay to aim high. I watched the Oprah Winfrey Show every day for 25 years, and now I watch her on OWN, and from her I learned that I could make my dreams come true if I only had the courage to go after them.
Do you prefer self-publishing or going through a 'normal' publishing company? Why?
I like being an independent publisher. Iím very much a ďIf you want something done right, you have to do it yourselfĒ type of person, so being in charge of everything is right up my alley. We do have help at Copperfield Press, and I donít actually do everything myself, though I do have the final say. We have a wonderful cover designer, a great e-book formatter, and the editing skills of the staff at The Copperfield Review. I feel very fortunate to be an author at the time when independent publishing came alive.
Do you have any advice for writers who are striving to be published?
Stay true to your dreams, and be patient. We live in a time when we want things immediately, but it takes time to learn the craft of writing. I agree with the 10,000-hour theoryóthe idea that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master at something. I would say that it took me at least that long before I wrote Her Dear & Loving Husband. Allow yourself time to grow into the writer you want to be. Stop comparing yourself to other writersí time frames (I had to learn this one myself). Youíre on no one elseís time frame but your own. Give yourself time to hone your craft.
Thank you, Meredith Allard, for such a spectacular interview. I have provided links below for the first two books in this series.
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