By Sean Tuohy
The author talked to me before the debut of her latest novel, Hard Love, about the authors she worshiped growing up, her writing process, and what’s in store for her characters Erika and Blake.
Sean Tuohy: When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Meredith Wild: After I published Hardwired, my first book, I knew that I didn’t want to do anything else. At the time I was running a tech company and was ready to start the next chapter of my life doing something more creatively fulfilling. I’ve been really blessed to have my writing career take off in such a big way that has allowed me to write full-time.
ST: Which authors did you worship growing up?
MW: I was an English major in college, so honestly most of my favorite authors are classics, so Shakespeare and Chaucer were some of the first authors that stuck with me. When I was much younger, I enjoyed Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, and Ramona Quimby novels.
ST: What type of pre-writer are you: outline and then start writing or just start writing and see what happens?
MW: I take a lot of scene notes and do a rough outline before I actually start hitting the keys. I try to keep the storyline loose enough that I can change things up as I write. Overdeveloping a novel concept before I’ve started writing is too stressful for me.
ST: Hard Love, the next in the Hacker series, comes out Sept. 15. What do we have to look forward to in the next Blake and Erica tale?
MW: In Hard Love, readers can expect to see more of Blake’s point of view, including some more insight into his past and how that plays into the challenges they face with Daniel and the governor's election. This is the fifth and final book in the series.
ST: How much of you ends up in your characters?
MW: There are bits and pieces of my soul in the heroes, heroines, and even some of the bad guys in my stories. But at the end of the day, my characters are purely fictional, imbued with physical or personality traits that might be inspired by any number of people or experiences that have come into my life.
ST: What is your normal writing process?
MW: Usually the main idea for a book hits me when I’m least expecting it. I jot scene ideas down in a notebook as they come to me, and from this, a general storyline begins to take shape. Once I have this rough idea of who my characters are, what challenges they’ll face, and what their relationship will be like, I start composing the book on my computer. I tend to work and rework and polish the first five chapters until I’m completely positive that the tracks I’ve laid are solid for writing the rest of the story. After that I sprint through the rest, taking breaks to go back and polish up as I go. I don’t consider what I write a first draft, because by the time I finish the last chapter, I’ve tightened a lot of it up already and am ready to send it to my editor. After I collect my editor and beta reader feedback, I do another round of edits and send it off to be proofed.
ST: What does the future hold for Meredith Wild?
MW: Hopefully many more books! I am currently working on a standalone novel that I’ve had kicking around in my head since I started writing the Hacker series, so I’m anxious to dive into a new story with new characters and see where they take me!
ST: Can you tell us one random fact about yourself?
MW: I collect elephants. Figurines, necklaces, book ends, you name it. I think they’re lucky.