There are so many smart women out there writing novels for the romance genre. I love connecting with them on the Internet. This is the sixth interview in my new series of conversations with other authors, who join us to share about their creative process, their habits, their inspiration, and more. Our guest today is MK Meredith, an author of contemporary romance novels.
You mentioned on your website that you have been reading romance novels since you were young. What is the first romance novel you remember reading, and how have your favorite novels impacted your writing?
MK Meredith: The first author I ever read was Virginia Henley and I think I was only 11 or 12 at the time. My dad was a voracious reader of…everything, including romance. And he passed that love down to me. We would go to the public library in Waterford, PA every Thursday and each fill a grocery bag of books from the donated paper back shelves. I think the first book I read of Virginia’s was The Hawk and the Dove. Funny thing, back in 2005 I met Virginia at my first RWA conference in Reno. I told her how she was my first romance author and she was mortified that I had been reading her so young! Heehee!
To this day I credit romance for any prowess I might have in the bedroom. It certainly impacted my writing! For one thing, though I write contemporary romance, I love and adore historicals. I can’t get enough of them. I tend to carry some of the formality of historicals into my writing and have to edit it out in the end. I also think the richness of detail found in historicals finds its way into my writing. That too has to be pared down in my contemporaries, but it gives me such a great feel for the space I’m working in while I’m there!
Tell us about the inspiration for your most recent book projects.
MK Meredith: Hmmmm…right now I’m finishing the first book of my new Tempted Abroad series called Tempted in Ferrara. The heroine is Chase Huntington, a hotel heiress with a strong work ethic who really craves to finally put down roots, and the hero is Drago DeLuca, a corporate carnivore known as the dragon whose goal is a different woman on a different beach in a different country. It’s a story about belonging surrounded by the decadence of Italy. One of my dear friends lived in Ferrara for two years – lucky, lucky woman! – and she’s given me insight to the unique beauty of this renaissance city.
Is there one character from all the books you’ve written that you identify with the most?
MK Meredith: This is a great question. I don’t relate to just one, but I think with my past and my present I’m a combination of Sam’s emotion from Malibu Betrayals and Addi’s playful, shock factor side from Malibu Secrets…but who I want to be is Chase Huntington from Tempted in Ferrara or maybe Seven Michaels from Seducing Seven. Gah! How horrible is it that I can’t decide?!
What is your writing routine, and how has it evolved over time?
MK Meredith: I love writing, but that doesn’t mean it always comes easily. It just means that I always do it. I don’t wait for a muse, or inspiration. It is something I do, at the very least, Monday through Friday and sometimes on the weekends.
I just read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. She talks about loving your art and being loved by your art, and she talks about not waiting to be inspired but continually working on your art so you are ready when you are inspired. This resonates with me. But I can’t work in silence. The roaring in my head is way too loud. I love writing in coffee shops, and since that isn’t always practical, at home I use the Coffitivity website which offers coffee shop white noise paired with Spotify or Pandora. This engages my brain in the way I need it to so I can be productive. I always have a cup of coffee or tea and a water with me, as well as lip balm and blankets. I get cold! And boy do I hate being cold. It’s all about distractions for my brain and mouth, and comfort for my body while I write.
What is the most important lesson you have learned while writing novels?
MK Meredith: Cheryl St. John told me when I joined my first RWA affiliated local chapter when I lived in Omaha NE back around 2007 to never stop learning. Her advice holds true. If you stop learning, if you think you know it all. Your work tends to fall flat. I try to keep reading craft books and attending workshops so I can pick up even one new kernel of wisdom and to stay abreast of the latest trends. Writing has changed so much and is still every changing. And that is the second answer to this question. Don’t be afraid of change…in your book, in your approach, in your writing business. The fact is, change will come, change will be necessary, and if you accept that, it makes it much easier when that chapter has to be deleted or your story structure has to be…well…restructured. It also helps if you find you have to changing publishing houses or editors. You never know, so always be ready.
See also: Five Questions Series
Special thanks to MK Meredith for participating in this series! She loves connecting with readers, so be sure to visit her website at www.mkmeredith.com, or connect on Twitter (@mkmkmeredith) or Facebook. Her latest book, Malibu Secrets, is available on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo.
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Categorised in: Five Questions Series
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen