Mad about Meredith Wild
First, I’d like to ask you some questions about your hit series—The Hacker Series. What was your motivation behind the series?
I got the idea for Hardwired after seeking out a high profile tech CEO for professional advice on one of my startups several years ago. I was a nervous wreck leading up to the call, but once we got talking, I was shocked at how approachable and helpful he was considering all of his success. He also had a really sexy phone voice. A few days later, inspiration struck and I started writing again. Hardwired began after a false start with another story that I’d shelved a couple months prior. I was initially inspired by the prospect of having a strong-willed female character face off with a very confident and cocky hero and seeing what sparks would fly.
The series includes hot alpha males, spunky heroines, as well as a cast of intriguing side characters. How do you initially develop your characters?
Rarely is a character or a situation a representation of a single person or experience. Most of my characters introduce themselves to me through little flashes of their interactions with each other in pivotal scenes that play out in my head. That is usually where a story is born too, and from there, it’s a long journey of figuring out what drives each character to feel and act as they do throughout the course of the book.
There are bits and pieces of my soul in the heroes, the heroines and even the bad guys of my stories. That said, 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.
Do you find your characters begin to take on a life of their own as the story progresses? If so which character talked to you the most?
My characters definitely take over once they’ve been hanging out in my head for a while. Especially in a long series, I feel as if I have very little hand in what they ultimately do because they’ve really become their own people. I’m just following them around and taking notes! I’ve spent the most time in Erica’s head from the Hacker Series, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed writing in the male POV in the Bridge Series. For whatever reason, it feels very natural to me. Perhaps I was an alpha male in a past life.
Computer hacking flows throughout the series. You appear to display an intimate knowledge of this subject. How so?
I had been running a tech company for the better part of a decade when I first started penning Hardwired. I was able to fold a lot of my experiences as a female entrepreneur and my techie knowledge into the story. I also have brilliant programmer friends who were full of clever ideas when the computer hacking got serious.
Often writers use themes to get a message across. Is there a message in your series that you want your readers to grasp?
I understand that women read in this genre in large part for the fantasy aspect, but I enjoy building on that fantasy by portraying heroines who are modern, successful, sexually aware, and not so easily swept away. I’m always tackling other themes too, like gender roles, power play, and healing. I think these keep the relationships a little more interesting and the struggles more real. I hope that my readers walk away feeling empowered and aroused.
What’s next? Are you willing to share anything about your next novel with us at this point? Right now I’m working to complete The Bridge Series, which follows Cameron, Darren, and Olivia Bridge, three siblings living in New York City. Desperate to break away from the crushing expectations of their wealthy and privileged and equally broken family, they carve out a new path together and struggle to find real love along the way.
I recently completed Into the Fire, the second book in the series, which will release June 21st. I’m now working on Over the Edge, the third and final book. Here’s a little more about what to expect from Into the Fire:
Darren Bridge is living a bachelor’s dream. When he’s not running into burning buildings with his crew, he’s training the flavor of the week at his brother’s gym. Few women have ever been off limits...until Vanessa. Smart, beautiful, and legs for days, she’s unlike anyone he’s ever met. Too bad he’s sworn to leave her alone. Overworked with no end in sight, Vanessa Hawkins hasn’t had a vacation in nearly two years. When Cameron and Maya’s destination wedding takes her out of the office for a much-needed break, she finds herself struggling to resist her attraction to the best man. Darren is dangerously good-looking with enough charm to make any hot-blooded woman want to drop her panties and enjoy the ride, no matter how long it lasts. When they return to the city, Darren realizes the single life has lost its glimmer. But with everything else on her plate, Vanessa doesn’t have room in her life for a man, let alone a player. Can Darren find his way into her heart and convince her that he’s worth the risk?
You seem to be incredibly busy as a wife, mother, novelist, blogger, woman of the world, and now the owner of Waterhouse Press. What inspired you to start your own imprint and how do you recruit authors?
I initially created Waterhouse Press as a self-publishing imprint to legitimize my own books and separate from the “indie” stigma which was creating some frustrating barriers that I would eventually overcome. Once I’d reached a certain point of success with the Hacker Series, my goals expanded when I realized that I could help other talented authors find an audience using techniques that worked well for me. We are very selective with the authors we publish, and right now they come to us through many different avenues—website submissions, recommendations, and my own personal reading list.
Every form of publishing has ups and downs. What do you think are the benefits and the downside of Indie publishing? What about traditional publishing?
The benefit of self-publishing is the level of control that an author can maintain. The flip side of course is that every self-published author is essentially running her own publishing company, which is a lot of work, responsibility, and personal investment. Traditional publishing takes a lot of that off an author’s plate and many publishers bring stability, guidance, and the experience of having already created a path to success for other authors. Whether indie or traditionally published, every author carries the responsibility of self-promoting their books and building their careers for the long-term. There is no right or wrong answer, only what feels right for an individual author at any particular point in time in their writing career.
Where do you see the future of publishing going?
When I worked in tech, I used to love that the industry was so fast-paced and you had to stay on your toes to keep up with it. Publishing really has become that way in recent years, and I relish the challenge of staying on top of the trends. I’m too busy keeping up to consult my crystal ball. J
How can readers find you?