Author Interview – Meredith Allard – Painting The Past
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’m a writer and an editor with a bestselling paranormal/historical Loving Husband book Series. As well as writing historical fiction, I am an editor for a literary journal for readers and writers of historical fiction; The Copperfield Review. My book about writing historical fiction is called Painting the Past: A Guide for Writing Historical Fiction.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I concluded in secondary school that I needed to write a book. I’ve always wanted to read and I adored losing all sense of direction in the worlds that different writers had made. I generally had these crazy thoughts drifting around in my mind and I understood in secondary school that I could share those stories with people. After I completed school with a degree in English, I found the delight of writing historical fiction and I haven’t looked back.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I was getting my degree in English when I took a number of creative writing classes to learn more about how to write a story. After college, I sat down to write for myself instead of the endless papers I had to write for school. I read books about how to write a story, and after that I took two years to finally take the plunge.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
It took about two years for Her Dear & Loving Husband from idea to release since there were a lot of rewrites to make sure the story I saw in my head was the story readers saw on the page. Then there was lots of editing.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
Painting the Past: A Guide for Writing Historical Fiction took me about a year to write. I knew a lot about writing historical fiction since I’ve been reading and writing historical fiction for more than 20 years. Also, many of the chapters are based on blog posts that I had already written.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write this book?
I had learned a lot about writing historical fiction over the past 20 years as the executive editor of a literary journal of historical fiction. I’ve read loads of historical short stories and picked lots of tips about what works an what doesn’t so I wanted to those tips and tricks with other writers.
What were your biggest challenges with writing it?
I wanted to say something new about writing historical fiction and I was able to use my unique situation as a writer and editor to do it. I didn’t want to say the same thing as all the other writing guids.
What was your research process for this book?
I didn’t need to do any research because I already knew a lot about reading and writing historical fiction. Plus, the chapters are all based on blog posts I had already previously written
How did you plan the structure of your book?
A lot of the book was already written as blog posts, so my plan was working out the best order so that the organization made sense to the reader. I wanted to add new information and flesh out my ideas from the original posts as blog posts tend to be on the shorter side, and I wanted Painting the Past to be full of information.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did your book need?
I know other editors from my own editing work, and we often help each other out. My books need someone to proofread for typos because evethough I’m pretty good at revising my own writing, but I do sometimes miss those pesky typos!
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
Learn how to write a book by reading what you can, learning what you can, and just going for it and writing the book. Also, be patient because writing isn’t easy, and it can take time to grow into the writer you want to be.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I’m working on the latest edition of the Loving Husband Series, The Duchess of Idaho.
And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Yes, I am proud of my accomplishments, it’s hard work but it’s worth the time. I’m proud that my books have found fans all over the world, some of whom have read all my work. To me, those fans are priceless.
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