Today I welcome historical romance writer Hannah Meredith to the Friday Fast 5!
What author first inspired you to write your own stories?
Walter Farley. Yeah, I can see most of you scratching your heads and saying, “Who?” Walter Farley, the author of the Black Stallion series, is my hero. I was horse-mad as a young girl and immediately fell in love when I read his first book. Fortunately, Farley wrote A LOT of books. But even then, the time came when I’d read them all. Catastrophe! To overcome this disaster, I started writing my own tales. I filled pages and pages of lined notebook paper with what I now admit were very derivative stories.
As a model of how to write, however, I’d made a great choice. Out of curiosity, I recently checked on Amazon to see if any of Farley’s books were still available. They are—in both digital and print. The Black Stallion has a 5 star rating with 243 reviews. No wonder I aspired to write like him.
Today I’m still interested in horses, but now my focus is on the handsome man sitting on the horse’s back. Yes, age does change one’s perspective. But this may be one reason that all my romances are historical.
Who do you credit with being your biggest influence as a writer?
Since I have a couple of degrees in English Literature, I’m sure I should say someone literary and impressive. Alas, that is not the case. After reading shelves and shelves of “the good stuff,” I discovered Rosemary Rogers. Sweet Savage Love was a revelation. My heavens, people were writing about THIS? Where can I get more of these stories?
This was my introduction to historical romance—and I’m very glad we were introduced. 🙂
Coffee or tea?
TEA—all the way and all the time. Hot, strong, unadulterated, black tea. No sugar, no milk, maybe a quick squeeze of lemon. But mostly, just tea. I start drinking it upon awakening. I have my last cup before going to bed. And during the day, I down copious cups of tea. I’m not into the frou-frou stuff. Some concoction made from dead flowers or green tea leaves that haven’t hung around long enough to be nicely fermented are not for me. I don’t care if my tea has a fancy pedigree. I like some types that come in bags. I like some types that come as loose leaves and get popped into tea balls or a tea pot with a strainer.
Coffee? I’ll drink it if that is what is offered and smile. But I would not choose it. For me, tea’s the drink that makes my world work. I suspect it may be an addiction.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
Honesty compels me to admit that I seldom feel truly blocked. I can always write “something,” but I sometimes have trouble keeping my mind on a given story. There are so many plots running through my mind. There are so many characters yammering for attention in my inner ear. And these distractions will pull me off task.
When this happens, I make a book cover for the project I should be working on. Yeah, some books have ended up with a host of different covers, all made from free samples and not put together very well. But the process of deciding what I want a cover to represent makes me take a closer look at what I’m trying to do with a given story, and this reinvigorates me, and the story flows. I have friends who use collages or storyboards to accomplish the same thing. Changing the media seems to bring everything back into focus,
What time of day is your best writing time? Up early with the birds or wake up in the middle of the night with an inspiration and have to go write it down?
Clock Time isn’t as important to me as Quiet Time. And this occurs throughout the day. Sometimes it’s in the very early morning before the house begins to stir. Sometimes it’s very late at night when the rest of the world is asleep. And sometimes, if I get lucky, it’s smack in the middle of the day. I like to write when I’m alone and everything around me is silent. No music, thank you. No distant TV sounds or muffled conversations. I admire those who can write anywhere, sitting at the sidelines of their kid’s soccer match or in a coffee shop. But I can’t. My best writing time is when it’s just me and the aforementioned yammering characters.
Don’t Miss Kaleidoscope
A Story of Changing Patterns
Born in India, Carolyn Rydell moves her shipping business to London. Although she’s exotically beautiful and wealthy, her late husband’s aristocratic family rejects her because of her profession and heritage. Feeling increasingly isolated, Caro uses work as a shield against loneliness. Then she finds an injured man floating in the Thames—and the pattern of her life changes
The injured man is Lord Lucien Harlington. The youngest son of a marquess, Luke has been accused of seducing and abandoning a young lady. Disgraced and estranged from his family, he tries to live down to others’ expectations. But now he’s become disgusted with his dissolute lifestyle and longs to start anew. To do so, however, but must find his missing legacy—a cache of jewels.
Luke’s innate kindness and golden good looks spark Caro’s desire, but she fears he’s attracted to her money and not herself. For his part, Luke finds his rescuer fascinating and wants more than the friendship she offers.
Surrounded by greed, bigotry, and betrayal, Caro and Luke try to discover the passion and love that will complete the patterns of their lives.
Where to Find Kaleidoscope
A Bit More About Hannah Meredith
Hannah Meredith has always been a reader. Since the day she first realized that letters made words, and words expressed ideas, and these ideas could tell stories, she’s had her nose in a book. She loved being immersed in imaginative worlds.
Under another name, Hannah has sold over a dozen short stories to many of the major genre magazines. The urge to expand the plot and to add additional characters led to writing a novel. But as with her first short story efforts, the results weren’t quite what she wanted. Novels are not just long short stories. She attended more classes and workshops, all the while writing, writing, until she finally got a book she would want to read.
The ideas kept coming, however, and more novels followed. Soon Hannah had quite a collection of thumb drives where all these stories lived. She needed to do something with all these tales. For short stories, the process was straightforward. You simply sent the story to an editor. Not so with novels. The dance here was different, and included queries and pitches and long waits – and she didn’t want to learn the steps to this dance. Independent e-publishing seemed the answer.
And so, her tales are slowly making their way online. She hopes other readers will think these stories are good ones.
Hannah Meredith lives with her husband in a small town with a big library in North Carolina.
Visit Hannah Meredith on the web .