Boy do I have a treat for you…
The awesome and talented A. Meredith Walters agreed to be my spotlight author this week and I am beyond thrilled. Her books and novellas, Find You in the Dark,Bad Rep,Cloud Walking,Light in the Shadows,Perfect Regret andWarmth in Ice have boosted her to be a NYT & USA Today, Best Selling Author, deservedly so!
I have been a huge fan of hers, ever since I read Bad Rep and have determined I will read ANYTHING this woman writes after reading that one. Maysie, Jordan, Generation Rejects, Olivia….UGH, OLIVIA, that book had my stomach in knots and I loved it! But, no one wants to hear me gush and rave over this wonderful woman (or maybe you do, LOL), because this post is to spotlight my friend and writer, A. Meredith Walters and her latest novella.
Synopsis of Warmth in Ice:
The final chapter in Clay and Maggie’s epic love story that began with Find You in the Dark.
This novella takes place before the epilogue in Light in the Shadows.
It’s Clay and Maggie’s first Christmas together but will it be a season of joy or will it only bring heartache?
Clay and Maggie have gone through the dark and come out on the other side. For the first time, they are on this journey together. Fighting for something they both need and can’t live without…each other.
But a long distance relationship is hard. Particularly for two people who are still trying to build something solid on a shaky and troubled foundation. Clay is finally out of treatment and is living in an out patient halfway house. He struggles with what he wants to do and where he wants to go. Questions he worries he will never have the answers to. Maggie is trying to transition into college life and learning how to create a future with someone who is over a thousand miles away.
As the months pass and they struggle with being a part, old insecurities and fears take root and threaten a love that has come so far.
When Maggie decides to fly to Florida as a surprise for Clay on Christmas, she is unsure whether it will be the first step toward what they both desperately want or whether it could possibly be the end of it all.
But with the holidays approaching, Maggie and Clay are reminded that even when the days are coldest, you can still find the warmth and that hope and love are the greatest gifts of all.
Get to know…
- A little over a year ago, you published your first book. (Congratulations!) Since that time, you have written 4 novels and 2 novellas, which is amazing. Was writing something that you always wanted to do? ~ I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I can’t remember a time I wasn’t writing. I wrote my first “full length” novel when I was 13. I remember I was obsessed with L.J. Smith, so it was about vampires. Writing has always been such an escape for me. I can’t imagine ever not writing. J
- Self-publishing v. Traditional publishing always seems to come up for debate as to which is better. When you finished your first book, did you self-publish? Do you feel one way is better than the other? ~ Well I am self-pubbed all the way. My very first book was actually a paranormal romance. I shopped around for an agent, was given a million rejections and felt extremely defeated. But then I caught wind of the self-publishing movement and I thought “hey, I can do that.” There is something so wonderful about having absolute, 100% control over your book. From the cover, to the content, to the marketing. The downside to that is that it’s A LOT for one person, so I totally understand the appeal of going the traditional publishing route. Having the publicity machine of a publishing house behind you. However, my heart and soul will always be with the indie community!
- I know that you have a background in counseling, and the problems your characters face, particularly in the Find You in the Dark Series, are very real. Why do you feel it’s important to address things like bi-polar disorder, borderline multiple personality disorder or even bullying? ~ I wrote the Find You in the Dark series because it was something that affected me both professionally and personally. I’ve been the loved one of someone who suffered from severe mental illness. When I started writing Find You in the Dark, it was after I moved to England and had stopped working as a counselor. I wanted to tell the story of a couple, falling in love, but with more than your typical teenage angst. I wanted to portray the scary and seemingly overwhelming obstacles of mental illness but it was so important to show the hope there as well. That everyone is deserving of love. Mental illness continues to be such a taboo subject. Sure, we’ve come a long way, but we still have miles to go. Clay’s journey was my attempt to shed light on a difficult topic and hopefully depict it realistically but with sensitivity.
- The Find You in the Dark series was amazing! The way you wrote these characters, I felt for both of them, but also struggled with the draw these two had at such a young age, although I know that happens. When I read Light in the Shadows, O.M.G. I about died! I was crying and cheering them on, hoping that things would work out. You just published the novella, Warmth in Ice, part of The 12 NA’s of Christmas. This is the final chapter for Maggie & Clay. Was it hard to say goodbye to these two amazing characters? ~ I hated saying goodbye to them!!! I had planned for Light in the Shadows to be it. I was done. But then when I was approached to write a novella for The 12 NA’s of Christmas, I just knew I wanted to write a little bit more of there story. So many readers asked about those missing years between the last chapter in LITS and the epilogue. What happened to Clay and Maggie to get them to that point in the epilogue? So Warmth in Ice was my gift to all my readers who championed Clay and Maggie’s unconventional love story and it was my way of giving them that perfect ending. The one I needed them to have.
- I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m a huge fan of all of your books. Your characters are real and flawed and I love that. Bap Rep was so damn awesome! Was it always your intention to make this a series? Perfect Regret features bits of Jordan and Maysie, but this is Riley’s story, which was awesome. Will there be more coming from any characters in these books? ~ Honestly, Bad Rep was meant to be a stand alone when I wrote it. It’s based on so many of my own life experiences. But the character Riley was so strong and loud in my head that I needed to write her story. And then the idea for a series came to me. There will be two more books in the Bad Rep series. The next will focus on Vivian and Cole and the last will be about Mitch and Gracie. My idea was to show each couple at varying points in the life of their band, Generation Rejects, as they grow more and more popular. This series was about depicting people with real life issues, experiencing real life stuff. You may not always like them. You may not always agree with their choices. But that’s life. Not everything is perfect and laid out how you want it to.
- Are there any characters, from your books, that you can relate to? If so, who? ~ It’s so funny, because out of all of my characters, Riley from Perfect Regret, has gotten the worst response. People think she’s a bitch. But Riley is me! Some of the stuff I wrote in her dialogue would come out of my mouth. I’m snarky and seriously sarcastic! Though I hope people don’t think I’m that much of a bitch, LOL!
- What is the hardest part of writing for you? What is the best part? ~ The hardest part is when I hit publish. It’s easy to write the story. But it’s when you put it out there for everyone to read that the hard part begins. When the reviews come in and some tear down what you spent so much time building can be extremely difficult.
- What do you feel is the biggest misconception about being an author? ~ That we’re made of money, LOL! Or that you just sit around all day doing nothing. Or that it’s not a real job and is just a hobby. Should I go on? 😉
- If someone came to you and asked your advice about writing a book, what would you tell them? ~ Just write it. Don’t stop.
- What is the best compliment you have received from a fan? ~ I’ve received so many amazing messages from readers, but I think the one that sticks with me the most is from a man who works in the mental health field but also suffers from bi-polar disorder. He wrote to me after reading my Find You in the Dark series because he felt like it could have been his story. He was Clay. He told me he felt my books would help someone in a similar situation and that my books were realistic but full of hope and that the message was wonderful. I’ve kept those emails and read them occasionally when I feel despondent about writing. Knowing I touched someone like that is such an amazing feeling.
- I know you have some very loyal fans that would love to see you in the states. I’m sure it isn’t easy to leave London and your family behind, but do you have any plans for signings in the US? ~ I’d love to get to the US for signings…but yes it’s hard leaving my 7 year old daughter. But I hope to get over for some signings soon. I really miss the states!
- Has your husband read your books? Does your daughter ever ask to read your books? If so, what do you tell her? ~ I won’t let my husband read them! I hate it when my family reads my stuff. It’s horrible knowing my grandmother has read Bad Rep (particularly when she asks me about the sex scenes!) My daughter just likes to see where I’ve thanked her in the acknowledgments, LOL!
- Who do you consider an inspiration personally? Professionally? ~ My mother was my inspiration in every sense of the word. She always encouraged me to reach for the moon. Losing her eight years ago was the hardest time of my life but the lessons she taught me get me through every single day.
- What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment both personally and professionally? ~ My biggest accomplishment was being a mother. Having my daughter has fulfilled me in ways I never thought possible. Professionally, being able to write for a living has ticked every single one of those boxes I had for myself. Living my dream and trying to be successful at it is beyond awesome!
- Are you working on something right now? What, if anything, can you tell us about it? ~ I’m working on two projects simultaneously. One I can’t really discuss right now 😉 …but the other is Reclaiming the Sand…a New Adult story about a bully and her victim with Asperger’s and how they learn to heal each other.
- If you had to pick, who would be your three favorite authors? ~ Phillipa Gregory, Anne Rice and Kelley Armstrong
- Are you reading anything right now? ~ I’m reading the Devil’s Metal books by Karina Halle…LOVE THEM!
- If you could say anything to your fans, what would you say? ~ Just thank you so much for all your love and support. At the end of the day I would be NOTHING without you! You rock!!!