Well, my family and I just moved from the states to England. I spent the last ten years as a counselor for children and teens but now am taking the time to do the stay at home thing and focus on my writing. It's a hard transition to make, but one I'm really enjoying. My latest book, Find You in the Dark was born out the stories I experienced first hand through my clients and through my loved ones. Bi-Polar disorder hits home for me and I've seen the havoc and destruction it can can unleash. But I've also seen the resilience and hope people have and that's what made me want to write this book. I wanted to show that every one deserves their normal. Though not at the expense of those they love.
When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer? What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
I have been writing, literally my entire life. I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing. My first book was one I submitted for a contest in the second grade. It was about two lazy lions. But I wrote my first full length novel when I was fourteen. I was a serious vampire junkie. The Vampire Diaries had just been released and I devoured the series. I was addicted to L.J. Smith and R.L Stein. Anything supernatural had my interest. So the book was invariably about a group of vampires living in a small town. I wrote the whole thing in three spiral bound notebooks. I think one of my best friends from high school still has it somewhere...
Who is your literary hero?
Toni Morrison, without a doubt. I love her writing style. I remember reading Beloved and Song of Solomon in college and I was immediately pulled in by her amazing characters. Her plots are ugly. They're raw and dark. They make you think. But at the end of it, you come away learning a little something about yourself and about the world. You can't help but admire and respect an author who can make you think like that.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Structured, talkative, open-minded.
What was your inspiration for the book?
I had lots of inspirations. Some personal, some professional. I have loved ones that suffer from the illnesses described in this book. I've seen first hand how difficult their struggle is. As a counselor I worked with children/teens and their families as they tried to create their own normal. Witnessing the difficulties they faced was humbling. It was hard going into such a dark place to write Maggie and Clay's story. There were times when I almost didn't finish it. It depressed me. I found myself thinking that there was no way they could have a happy ending. Their reality was almost too much at times. But the more I delved into their heads, the more hopeful I became. I worked with a child for five years who suffered from severe emotional and behavioral issues. Many other professionals said the likelihood of this child living a normal and healthy life was slim to none. That the child would most likely end up institutionalized. But the child's parents never gave up. I worked with this child every day for five years and saw that hope is never lost. That love and support do matter. That change can happen, even if its small. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that these struggles, the every day battles for people with mental health issues is hard to see but they deserve love as much as anyone else. And that they CAN have their happy ending.
What do you normally like to read when not writing?
I'm a sucker for paranormal romances. I love Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison. I was really into the Anita Blake series for a while, but it got a little out there, even for me. And I grew up LOVING L.J. Smith.
Describe your main character in six words.
Maggie is Loving, strong, naive, stubborn, blind, loyal.
What are you working on now?
I've just completed a new contemporary romance called Bad Rep, which is out at the end of the month. It is very different from Find You in the Dark. I needed a little levity before plunging back into things with Maggie and Clay. I've also completed a novella about Rachel and Daniel that will be released early 2013. And then the sequel to Find You in the Dark, Light in the Shadows, is scheduled for a February or March release.
What scene was your favorite to write?
I loved writing the moments when Clay and Maggie were getting to know each other. Their day out swimming. Their coffee date. They had so few “happy” moments, that I enjoyed writing the ones they did have. I also enjoyed writing the Fall Formal scene. Even though there was angst and drama going on. I loved that it was the point when Clay and Maggie came clean with each other. That they finally allowed themselves to follow their hearts, wherever that may take them.
What scene was the hardest for you to write?
God, there are so many. The scene after the party when Clay loses it. Maggie's reaction and finding out about the depth of Clay's illness was difficult. I literally had to walk away while writing the cutting scene. It was an ugly, raw point in the book that was extremely hard to write. Clay was not a pretty character. His break downs were violent, horrible things. The way he took Maggie with him into the pit of his hell was difficult to write on so many levels.
Cat or Dog? Cat
Ice cream or Sorbet? Ice Cream
Heels or flats? Flats
Knives or sword? Sword
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Iced tea or hot tea? Hot tea
Snow or rain? Snow
Movies at home or Movie Theater? Movies at home
Soda or Juice? Soda
Twitter or Facebook? Facebook
Actual book or eReader? Actual book
Actual book or Audiobook? Actual book
Spring or Summer? Spring
Fall or winter? Fall
Long Sleeves or Short Sleeves? Short sleeves
Young Adult or New Adult? New Adult
Vampires or Werewolves? Werewolves all the way!
Ghost or Zombies? Ghost
Action movies or Chick flicks? Chick flick
Horror movies or Mystery movies? Horror movies
Mountain views or Ocean views? Mountain views
About A. Meredith Walters...
I've been writing since I was a little kid. I've always gotten lost in the stories going on in my head. I've just finally started doing something more than thinking about them.
I'm the author of Irresistible Fear, the first in a paranormal romance trilogy about a girl and her demon boyfriend. I have also recently published my first contemporary romance book Find You in the Dark. A dark story about the love between a girl and boy with bi-polar disorder. I have an upcoming contemporary romance called Bad Rep, to be released before the end of the year.
I spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. My former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of my writing.
I recently moved to England and am trying to get used to driving on the other side of the road, eating fish and chips and all things British :-)
About FIND YOU IN THE DARK...
Clayton Reed was running from his past and an army of personal demons that threatened to take him down. He never thought he had a chance at happiness.
Maggie thought their love could overcome anything. Clay thought she was all he needed to fix his messy life.
That together, they could face the world.
But the darkness is always waiting.
Sometimes the greatest obstacle to true love is within yourself.
We have a copy of FIND YOU IN THE DARK to giveaway! This is an ebook copy so it's open international, as long as you have a way to read the book.
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