Thursday, July 7, 2011
Author Book Tour: "Her Dear and Loving Husband" by Meredith Allard
James Wentworth has a secret. By night, he’s a mild-mannered professor at Salem State College in Massachusetts. He lives quietly, making few ties anywhere. 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 bring himself to move on.
Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares, and every night she is awakened by visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail–scenes from the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must also dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. With the help of their friends, witches Jennifer and Olivia, James and Sarah piece their stories together and discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again?
Meredith Allard received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from California State University, Northridge. She is the author of Her Dear & Loving Husband (Copperfield Press, 2011), a paranormal love story set around the Salem Witch Trials. She is the executive editor of the award-winning literary journal The Copperfield Review, named one of the top markets for new writers by Writer’s Digest. Her work has appeared in journals such as The Northridge Review, Wild Mind, The Maxwell Digest, Moondance, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Paumanok Review, CarbLite, Writers Weekly, and ViewsHound, where her article won the Silver Medal Prize. She has taught writing to students aged 10 to 60, and she has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction at Learning Tree University and UNLV. Meredith has been the featured guest speaker at the Los Angeles Civil War Round Table and the Civil Warriors Round Table. She has also interviewed such notable authors as John Jakes, Jean M. Auel, and Jeff Shaara. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
You can find Meredith Allard on Facebook and Twitter (@copperfield101). She welcomes e-mail at meredithallard(at)aol(dot)com.
Meredith Allard’s website:
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Video Trailer HDLH:http://meredithallard.com/2011/05/05/video-trailer-for-her-dear-loving-husband/
When did you first feel the *call* to writing?
When I was in the sixth grade, I was asked to write the class graduation play, and in my 12-year-old mind that meant I was a writer. As I continued through school, teachers often told me I was a good writer, and then in high school a teacher suggested I choose a career in writing such as journalism. It only took one journalism class for me to realize that that type of writing wasn’t my thing, but I still loved to write. Finally, when I was in college it occurred to me that I should start taking these crazy story ideas I had floating around inside my head and write them down. That was when I started writing seriously because I realized I had stories to tell.
What finally got you started on writing a book?
Originally, my plan was to become a screenwriter in Hollywood. In college I took a number of film classes, including screenwriting classes, and I worked as a script analyst for a few production companies. After I finished college and I had time for my own writing, I began writing screenplays, but I realized it wasn’t satisfying enough. One night I started watching The Civil War documentary by Ken Burns on PBS and that was the germ for my first historical novel. After that, my focus was on writing books.
What do you bring from your life that adds to your writing?
I’ve been a lifelong reader, so I bring a love of words. I was an English major in college, so I was able to study great literature for a few years. Like any other writer, bits and pieces from my own life pop up in my fiction—events, characters, plot ideas often have their beginnings in things that have happened to me. Mainly, I bring my love of writing. Writing is a hard, solitary activity and yet I still do it because I love it.
Do you use external supports in writing? Such as a writing program or an ongoing editor?
I have used professional critiques to help me find the flaws in my stories that I wasn’t able to spot myself. I have both taken and taught classes for writers. I think finding other writers to meet with is essential because writing is such a solitary activity and it helps to have a support system of others who love what you love.
Is there a theme that runs through your writing?
I don’t think there’s a single theme. I tend to write about whatever subject fascinates me at the moment, and the theme tends grow out of the subject. I do have a genre that runs through my writing, and that’s historical fiction. Almost everything I have ever written is historical in nature. Even Her Dear & Loving Husband, which I didn’t intend to be a historical novel, became at least partially so after I decided to set it in Salem, Massachusetts and include elements of the Salem Witch Trials as part of the story.
What writers have influenced you?
Charles Dickens, Toni Morrison, Walt Whitman. I could go on, but those are the most important three.
How has your writing evolved over time?
It has become tighter and more concise. When I’m writing fiction, I have what I call my “no extra word” rule. I like to say what I have to say in as few words as possible, which is very different from when I started and I thought sentences had to be long and flowy to be well written.
How do you promote your books?
I do what I can to get word out there. I use Facebook and Twitter, and I have a webpage. I’m also starting this blog tour, which is a fun process. I’m enjoying doing the interviews and the guest posts. I’ve found some nice bloggers who have posted reviews about the book. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m grateful.
How do you promote your web site?
Pretty much the same way I promote the book. I find I can promote the book and the website at the same time because I can send readers to my website to find information about the book.