Writing in the Dark

A NOTE FROM SHERRY: In honor of WICKED BECOMES YOU’s release next Tuesday, Plotters and Manipulators United is running a contest. Leave a comment to this post on how much you love Meredith’s books and/or how eagerly you are looking forward to WICKED BECOMES YOU, and you will be entered into a drawing. Five winners will each get a crazy-becomes-Sherry tin of organic shea butter, with the grand prize winner also getting a $25 Godiva Chocolate Gift Certificate, which Sherry just rediscovered in her goody drawer. Best of luck.  Contest ends at 11:59PM (Standard Blog Time) on Friday, April 30th!

(Please note that while Sherry will ship anywhere, the gift certificate is only good for purchases in the U.S.)


Sherry and I both have new releases coming up – mine next Tuesday, hers on May 25th. You may have heard certain shocking rumors about these books. For instance:

His at Night has no flashbacks. (Not a one!)

Wicked Becomes You has no drug addictions. (No laudanum, no habitual heavy drinking, and not even a hint of opium!)

Disbelieving, you may have asked, What’s going on here? Has the sky fallen? Are pigs flying?

Okay, so I can’t comment with any certainty on the last question. I’m in India right now, and I often spot bands of roving street pigs doing very odd things.

However, I can definitively reassure you that the sky has not fallen, and what’s going on here is simple: both of these books represent a real departure from our work to date.

For all that it lacks flashbacks, His at Night is my favorite of Sherry’s books (and that’s saying a lot, because I love all of them). And Wicked Becomes You – well, I thought about pretending that Sherry and Janine were being mean girls by talking on Twitter about how it made them laugh out loud, but the truth is, it’s supposed to be funny—a good deal of it, at least. So it’s actually good news that the book made them laugh.

But what’s most interesting about writing a book that veers out of your comfort zone is the new clarity it brings to the relationship between you, the writer, and the novels you produce.

During a recent email exchange with Janine, my crit partner, I realized that when I write, I “get into character.” That is, much as an actor might, I try to put myself completely into the head of the person whose POV I’m using to tell the story. It makes sense, then, that when I think back on other books I’ve written, I don’t recall the events that unfolded in the narrative. What comes to me is the…pardon my vagueness, here…the general feel of the character who sucked me in most completely.

With The Duke of Shadows, that’s Emma. For a good part of the book, her outlook is very bleak. I remember how that bleakness gripped me while writing most of the second half of the book, and how liberated I felt when she finally let go of her own guilt.

With Bound by Your Touch, it’s the feel of Sanburne’s manic charm that colors my memories of the book.

Written on Your Skin is a bit different: both characters gripped me equally. I recall the sharp, quick-witted feel of Mina’s strategizing and the dark undertow of Phin’s demons.

With Wicked Becomes You? The book sings in my head; it feels light and free. This amazes me in several regards.

First, writing the book was anything but “light and free.” I finished it up after my arrival in Delhi, doing dissertation research by day and writing by night, in an apartment without a backup energy supply, in a season with endless power cuts. Many evenings, I sat in the black-out, sweating (no power back-up means no fan or AC!), the keyboard illuminated only by the glow coming from my laptop screen, typing the words in my head while my eyes strayed nervously to the little battery icon, draining far too quickly for my comfort…

And I was sick. A lot. Apparently, once I hit thirty, I lost that glorious good luck that had protected me, heretofore, from Delhi Belly. Last September, Delhi Belly paid me several visits.

And during this time, I realized that my saving grace was – my characters.

Had I been writing about Emma during this time, or about Phin, the power cuts and illness would have felt so ominous to me. Instead I was in the heads of Gwen and Alex, two of the most resilient characters I’ve ever written about. Don’t get me wrong: they’ve certainly got issues, and the longer and harder they try to ignore these issues, the less funny and more serious Wicked becomes. But these two simply aren’t the brooding types. And learning what their POVs felt like, and immersing myself in those POVs, I, too, stopped being the brooding type…

…temporarily, at least. I mean, let’s face it – I’m a total sucker for high drama, and brooding heroes are fun. My next book, in 2011, will probably be Angsty in the extreme. But that book lies in the future. Right now, I’m grateful to have spent those nights in the autumn of 2009 with two people so determined to laugh through every hardship they encounter.

92 thoughts on “Writing in the Dark

  1. OH MY GOSH IT’S A MEREDITH DURAN BOOK.
    /spazz

    I’m done with my about-to-die-of-excitement joy. Really. But it’s so extremely exciting to hear more about your upcoming release–my google search history shows up all possible variations of “meredith duran wicked becomes you review OR interview”. I visit your site (and this blog) daily in the hopes of getting a little taste of heaven–aka a special excerpt or something. I’ve stalked the reviews relentlessly, and even the knowledge that the wait is almost over does not do anything for my blood pressure.

    And now you know how creepy I am.

    I can’t wait to meet Alex and Gwen and follow them on their adventures around the Riviera. I can’t wait for the book to finally pop out and hit me in the face off the bookstore shelves. In a way, you can blame this on Bound By Your Touch, which had me swooning over Sanburne and his interactions with Lydia (who I also adored). I also loved DoS and enjoyed WoYS and can definitively blame you for giving me a new blog addiction, google search addiction, and book addiction.

    You see? Alex might not be addicted to anything, but I sure am. 🙂

    • Okay, 1) I am tremendously flattered; 2) I actually have a formal google alert set up for Judith Ivory, in case any rumors arise with regard to future books. So, I think I’ve out-creeped you, there. 🙂

  2. I can’t wait to read WICKED BECOMES YOU. I have it pre-ordered and plan to read it next weekend. My 30th birthday is next Sunday and my husband promised me a weekend of reading and no kids!!

  3. Meredith, I absolutely CANNOT wait to get my hands on a copy of Wicked Becomes You next week.

    Since Sherry has been so forthcoming about her brand of “crazy” as she calls it, I will share a little bit of my “crazy” when one of Meredith’s or Sherry’s books come out.

    One of the perks of living in downtown Chicago is that I happen to live only 2 blocks from the nearest Borders. Well when I went there to pick up a copy of Written on Your Skin shortly after it was released, I couldn’t find it on the shelf. After running around confusedly for a few minutes, I finally found a whole bunch of copies in the back of the store. After securing my own copy, I proceeded to make sure that at least some were shelved correctly. I just couldn’t leave knowing that some poor reader may not find Meredith’s book because it wasn’t in the right place. Yup, there goes my brand of crazy!

    I just hope Borders doesn’t have in-store cameras. I shudders to think what their security people would think about customers taking it upon themselves to reshelf books!!!

      • No, actually the one on Michigan Avenue. I don’t know if you would like Chicago today. It’s gusting 40 miles winds near the lake and frigrid temperatures for spring. I think India sounds really nice right aboout now!

  4. I’m over the moon about both of these releases. It seems like much too long since I’ve read a book by either of you! I love it when good authors (and you are two of the best) try something a little different.

  5. OMGosh – you have no idea how excited I am about both these books! I’ve already pre-ordered Wicked Becomes You and will be doing the same once we’re a little closer to His at Night‘s release date.

    So sorry to hear you were suffering so much during WBY‘s creation! I hope the Dehli Belly has calmed down by now.

  6. Shame on me, I haven’t read any of Meredith’s novels but definitely planning a Meredith Duran catch up/ marathon starting with Wicked Becomes You!

  7. hey girls! a huge fan of both of you, and i can’t honestly say which book i’m more excited to read. it’s like sophie’s choice all over again! 🙂

    best of luck with your release dates!!!!!

  8. I have both your books’ release dates noted in my “wishlist” spreadsheet (yes, I maintain a spreadsheet to remember all my favorite authors’ upcoming releases!)

    I am very much looking forward to Wicked Becomes You, especially knowing it’s a lighter book. Not that I don’t have a ton of favorite books that feature dark, broody characters…but a book with fun characters is always a treat!

    Also very much looking forward to His at Night. No flashbacks!?!? Really? I actually kind of like the going back and forth in time (which is possibly why Lost is my favorite TV show, but I digress)! Will there be a trailer for this soon, Sherry? I love your book trailers!

    • This spreadsheet sounds like such a good idea. I currently have six or seven different word .docs, each a variation on “Books to buy in the future.” Particularly since I’m out of the country, I’m getting a bit anxious about all the awesome releases I’m missing out on, and possibly forgetting to scoop them all up when I’m back in the States for a couple of weeks in June…

  9. What a lovely contest. I loved reading about the making of the tins and thought it was such a wonderful idea for promotion. I can’t wait for both the books but WBY is slightly out front because the cover dress is my absolute favorite color!

    I also admire anyone that can get out of there comfort zone and stretch their creativity muscles.

    • I could rhapsodize about that cover. In fact, when I first saw it, I did rhapsodize, endlessly, to anyone who came close enough to my laptop to catch a glimpse.

      I have to say, it’s much more fun to rhapsodize to fellow romance readers than to those who don’t follow the genre. Example: one of my friends stared at it for a long moment, and then said, frowning, “But why is the dress falling off? Does that actually happen in the book?”

      …Definition of anticlimax.
      😀

  10. Ooo, Contest! and from two of my “must buy” authors. Meredith–I have “forced” so many copies of DoS on unsuspecting friends since I discovered it (it seems so long ago now!). Wicked Becomes You has been on my must buy list for months and months. And the wait is almost over (fan girl squee). And, Sherry, don’t feel left out. His At Night is definitely on the list too. And the tins are just too cute and clever! You may start a trend!! (Hint to other authors)

    • The tins are fantastically creative, no? I seriously think that Sherry could start a second career as a publiclist!

      I have “forced” so many copies of DoS on unsuspecting friends since I discovered it (it seems so long ago now!)

      It does seem so long ago! And yet I realized when doing an interview recently that only three years have passed since I won that contest that led to DoS’s publication. It boggles my mind.

  11. If my throat weren’t swollen the size of my fist I would squee out loud right now! (SOL?) I am beyond excited for both of these releases, but I have been literally counting the days until Wicked Becomes You!! Maybe I’m a bit of a masochist, but I’m also really intrigued to read about your research process, Meredith.

    • Ah, a fellow research masochist! 🙂 I really could go on forever about research. My inner dork finds the hunt for perfect reference material to be extremely exciting. And now that Google Books and the Internet Archive have made so many out-of-print books from the 18th and 19th centuries available on-line, the wealth of information available is truly staggering.

      Maybe my next post should discuss that!

      • Please do! I had the recent discovery of Internet Archive myself. It went something like this…

        “What is this I see? EVERY Dion Boucicoult play available to download?! *downloads ferociously*”

        It’s sad how much good research fodder gets lost to the ages.

  12. Okay, I see what Sherry did there. She worded the requirements of the contest in such a way that your answers are making me blush. 🙂

    But seriously — thanks so much for the kind words! And thanks to Sherry for her ingenious use of shea butter!

  13. My first fan email was to Meredith about DOS. Since she so kindly replied, I’ve become a regular lurker/sometime commenter on several romance blogs. I have no hesitation in gushing in an emaily kind of way to any author who knocks my socks off.

    I’ve blocked out time next week for Wicked Becomes You, and His at Night will be my Big Read in late May. Ladies, prepare to be gushed at.

    • 🙂 Hi, Karen!

      I remember my first fan email, too. It was to Laura Kinsale, and the fact that she replied sent my jaw to the floor. I was so incredibly thrilled.

      But now I’m on the other side of it, I realize that the thrill of *receiving* fan email is even greater. I’m still amazed and so gratified when people take time out of their days to drop a note to me about my books.

  14. Thanks to Sherry’s blog, I discovered Meredith Duran a few weeks ago. I just finished Written on Your Skin and am currently reading Bound By Your Touch. Phin is a great hero – a spy with a conscience.

    The review at All About Romanceis out and it says that Wicked Becomes You is the book to beat this year. I’ll have to pick it up.

    • Ah, you liked Phin, did you? I know some people found him a wee bit too dark, but I was completely enamored of him when I was writing that book. Good to know he’s appreciated. 🙂

  15. I just ordered Duke of Shadows so I cannot wait to read the book that started it all! I love that your books do have a traditional setting.

      • If you’re a fan of non-traditional settings, have you read the Silk trilogy by Mary Jo Putney? I just revisited the two that are set in India and the Middle East, and they survive the test of time. Really worth tracking down!

  16. P.S. Is this a good format to ask how you both became such good friends? I love your shared blog. The layout is so gorgeous and beautifully designed down to the last detail of the stitching around the journal.

    • Sherry and I first met in a small town in Arizona, at high noon, on a blazing hot day, not a speck of shade to be found. The townspeople had been hammering their windows shut all day. They knew we were coming. Sherry was armed with a six shooter. I played dirty and brought an Uzi. Both of us were determined to walk away with the girl 00 that is, with Janine, the critique partner whom we both lay claim to, and whom neither of us could bear to share.

      😉

      Okay, so we DO share the brilliant Janine, and we met through her at the RWA conference in San Francisco, where we promptly scandalized J. with our tendency to egg each other on to greater and greater heights of inappropriate humor. History was made… a blog partnership was born!

      • LOL! I would love to say that I was at RWA in San Francisco, but alas, I wasn’t! But my three amazing critique partners — Sherry, Meredith, and Bettie Sharpe, were all there, and I still remember Sherry’s email to me afterward about how impressive she found Meredith. The full story is here.

          • Nah, it’s just the 110 degree heat getting to you. Your memory is sharper than you think. The scandalizing did take place in SF, but it must have been Bettie who was scandalized. I remember something about a raunchy story set in outer space that made me wish I had been there to hear it. You guys will just have to work on scandalizing me next year!

          • Meredith and Janine for me, are like the devil and the angel on the shoulders, respectively. Janine makes me want to be a better person. Meredith brings out the misbehavin’ in me. And I’m not sure why, girlfriend is a lovely, lovely person. I think it is just the wickedness in our souls recognizing each other. Or maybe it’s because I realized that Janine is absolutely incorruptible, and am therefore trying my Mephistophelian tricks on Meredith. 😉

    • As for the layout, I take total credit for combing through hundreds of wordpress templates. It wasn’t that easy to find a good, three-column design.

      Sometimes I wonder if the design is too twee for Meredith, who probably has a lot more badass taste than I do. But she hasn’t complained yet. 🙂

  17. Yay, Wicked Becomes You comes out next week! I’m super excited for the release because I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. I already read your previous books and LOVED them! Bound by Your Touch is my favorite!

    Usually when it is near a book’s release date, I go lurking in the internet to see if any reviews on the book is up so I can suck in the summary like a treat before the book releases. And tadaah! Found a DIK review on Wicked Becomes You, which is no surprise because your books rock. The review makes me want more. =)

  18. I’m living proof of the effectiveness of blogging / social networking / hype of various sorts (crazy or otherwise).

    I first heard Sherry’s name during the RITAs last year, and definitely took notice that Private Arrangements was a double finalist.

    Then I heard some mentions on various sites linking Sherry’s name with Joanna Bourne’s (I love Joanna’s books), so that sealed the deal. Ordered PA, read it, LOVED it (what a lively, linguistically vivid voice!!! HURRAY!!!), and then ran out and got Sherry’s other books, devoured them, and have busily been recommending them to friends, several of whom are also hooked (and mentioning them on *their* blogs).

    Came to check out this blog (have loved things Sherry’s said about writing on various sites), and then started paying attention to the sidebar info on Meredith. The little review snippets make Meredith’s books sound wonderful, and I love the titles…also the little quote from the anthro prof! Written on Your Skin is currently right next to me on my TBR pile, and I’m waiting for Duke of Shadows to arrive in the mail.

    Very eager to read them, and will snap up both new books as soon as they’re out! (Gorgeous cover for His At Night, BTW.)

    Also, I totally covet the shea butter.

    Seriously, if you want to sell me soap, the Brooklyn Bridge, or incite me to revolution, you may as well go for it right now. Everything else you’ve done has worked like a charm.

    • I love Joanna Bourne’s books, too. I’m waiting impatiently for The Forbidden Rose. I had this nice daydream recently where, upon arriving in the States, I stop by a bookstore on the way back from the airport and grab this one, along with a few others on my “I cannot believe I cannot get my hands on this book RIGHT NOW why oh WHY are they not available in India?” list.

  19. I love your books!!! I was so happy when I stumbled upon your books after reading Sherry’s Not Quite A Husband. I was obsessively browsing Sherry’s website trying to find out how long I’d have to wait before her next book (and perhaps a hint of what it would be) and then, voila! “A shared blog?! What’s this? Meredith Duran? Perhaps I’ll try her books while I’m impatiently waiting for Sherry’s next release” And then the rest was history.

    Now I want to take a sec to explain why I am such a shameless stalker of both your websites for info about upcoming books. Whenever I read a romance, any book really, I love to get completely and utterly involved. I forget to breathe when there’s suspense, my heart races, my heart HURTS. Yup, I love the level of angst where your heart feels for the character (my friends tease and say I just need to get my heart checked out) and yours and Sherry’s books give me that. The breathless feeling and the angst that totally draws you in. I mean, I don’t think of myself as particularly angsty and I don’t enjoy it usually, but I know a book is good when I get shivers and chills and my heart hurts and everything just feels so…poignant. I wish I could point out parts, but I can’t because it was a constant feeling.

    And so, I cannot, cannot, cannot wait for Wicked Becomes You and His At Night. I’m so happy every time I read a romance that both you and Sherry exist and decided to write. And after this blog post I think I know why there’s that level of intensity! Because you “get into character” and I have to say, it’s very effective! Thanks so much! I can’t wait to get utterly sucked in, again!

    • Michelle, thank you for this lovely comment. That breathless, visceral immersion in the story is absolutely what I look for in a book, so it means a lot to know that we’ve both written books that provide that to you!

    • Hi! What a cool surprise to run across your name, here! I’m actually a silent lurker on your blog, and I’m really intrigued by the sound of your upcoming debut. 🙂

      • Aww! I’d have worked a lot harder on my blog, if I’d known that.

        So sorry to hear you won’t be at Nationals. I’ve been perfecting my Annie Wilkes impression (“Miss Duran, I’m you number one fan. But oh well; more time to use it on Sherry. “Did I tell you how much I loved Not Quite a Husband? I mean, I know I wrote you that long letter about it, but can I tell you again?”

  20. This new book looks awesome! I haven’t had a chance to read something of Meredith’s yet but I will be sure to be on the lookout for this one! Love the plot!

  21. Meredith, I love your books! I have no idea how I first stumbled upon The Duke of Shadows, but I’m so glad I did. Your prose is gorgeous, and all of your protagonists are incredibly engaging, unexpectedly real. Can’t wait to pick up Wicked Becomes You tomorrow!

  22. Meredith, No, I definitely didn’t think that Phin was too dark. He was a wonderful hero. It was fascinating to see what an emotional toll that spying can take on a person. With all his emotional baggage, Phin never seemed jaded in his dealings with Mina.

    • Awesome — I’m so glad it worked for you. I love this: With all his emotional baggage, Phin never seemed jaded in his dealings with Mina. I couldn’t have put it so eloquently myself, but that was exactly what I was going for with him. Thank you for giving me the words to describe it!

  23. Meredith, I love your books, and they’re all keepers for me! Fell in love with The Duke of Shadow and never turned back (love Julian). I’m so excited that Wicked Becomes You comes out tomorrow, because I’ve been waiting a long time for it. After work tomorrow, I’m going to run out to Borders and grab my copy. Btw, I LOVE the cover of WBY.

    Sherry, loved Not Quite a Husband, and can’t wait for Yours at Night. Lord Vere sounds very intriguing and I can’t wait to read about him.

    Thank you both for writing such great stories!

    • MS, thanks so much for stopping by — and for putting my books on your keeper shelf! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed them.

      Lord Vere IS intriguing. The definition thereof. While reading His at Night, I really found myself quite, er, enamored of him…

      • Lord Vere IS intriguing. The definition thereof. While reading His at Night, I really found myself quite, er, enamored of him…

        You and me both. But you can’t have him! Sherry said he’s mine!

  24. I love reading historicals and can’t get enough of them. Your books help me with my historical cravings and keep me satisfied till the next one releases. I love the plot and concept of Wicked Becomes You and can’t wait to get my hands on it! I love the cover too! I also love Sherry’s books! Books from the both of you just make my day!

    • I like this — “historical cravings.” I know exactly what you mean. I went to the closest bookstore today and stood there for about an hour, scouring the shelves for *something* historical to tide me over. The romance pickings were slim to none, but I came away with a book called The Siege of Krishnapur. Set in 1857 in India? I’m in. Here’s hoping it satisfies the craving…

  25. I’ll be bying Wicked Becomes You today and His At Night in a month. If you and Sherry could arrange to put out new books on alternate months year round I would be in heaven!

    • If you and Sherry could arrange to put out new books on alternate months year round I would be in heaven!

      Ha! Man, if only… Alas, the very thought makes my poor wrists ache. I have no idea how La Nora does it. She must have carpal tunnels made of steel.

  26. Okay, it’s just awesome that your two make the effort to put out such wonderful engrossing interesting>/i> stories, but to be able to see y’all quip at each other here is just too much fun.

    I have been avoiding looking up Meredith’s next release because I just couldn’t stand to find out how long I would have to wait, and VOILA, I looked today! Really, the sun is shining, I got a Border’s coupon in my email today and it’s a Duran release date. It just doesn’t get much better. Now Ms. Thomas, could you please start writing six or seven books a year so my life would be just that much more complete!

    • to be able to see y’all quip at each other here is just too much fun

      Coming to your RWA conference in 2011, Sherry and Meredith do stand-up… 😉

      Actually, I think Sherry can manage a solo show. Have you ever seen her give a talk? She had the folks in D.C. in stitches during her workshop last year…

  27. So looking forward to your upcoming releases. I pre-ordered them from Borders and alas, today has come and gone (mail-wise) and still no WBY. I await tomorrow’s post delivery most anxiously. I’m looking forward to your ‘lighter’ characters, even though I loved all the angst in the previous books. I’m a huge Laura Kinsale fan, too, and I loved her ‘lighter’ “Lessons in French” as much as I adored all her dark, brooding characters! I guess it all boils down to that emotional involvement you, like Kinsale, bring to the reader. Oh, I hope, I hope, I hope WBY comes tomorrow.

    • I loved Lessons in French too. The way she puts sentences together is always such a delight to me — I would probably be first in line for an instructional book on Ikea furniture assemblage, so long as she wrote it.

      (And I use that example because I am truly wretched at assembling furniture from Ikea.)

  28. Just checked on my Borders order and it informs me WBY is BACKORDERED! On the second day of release? I hope this means they have sold out and must order more and are in the process of making you into a bestseller! For myself, I’m just gonna drive on over to the B&N to see if they’ve got it, because I just don’t want to wait another minute to find out what happens to Gwen. I don’t mind having several copies – I have friends who deserve their own copies!

    • Liz, I understand your impatience: Amazon says my copy will arrive next Monday, so I bought the ebook from B&N and started reading last night, despite allergy-besieged eyes. And then I found out that I won a copy from Single Titles, which tickled me pink, as my mother used to say.

      That extra copy will come in handy – I’m trying to win a friend over to the dark side, and the first sentence of the prologue should do it.

    • Backordered?!? Really? I’ll ask about that. Fingers crossed your B&N has it! I’m dying to see a copy myself, just to see how the colors came out on the cover, but I’ll have to wait until I’m back from India.

      …The upside of this is, I won’t be cast into a depression over the inevitable typo I missed during page proofs for at least another month and a half… 🙂

    • Liz, I did follow up with the folks at Pocket! They told me the book should still be in stock at Borders, so I’m not sure what’s up with the particular store you visited! I apologize for the mix-up!

  29. Why or why can I not find this in ePub format ANYwhere???

    And here I thought it would be so much easier and quicker to own a Sony ebook reader than it is to physically go out to bookstores and BUY REAL BOOKS!!!

    I live in Belgium, but still, at this point I would’ve received this book faster had I pre-ordered it from Amazon than I am fruitlessly searching the ebook retailers for a copy.

    IRKSOME I tell you.

    • Arrgh. I’m so sorry. As I mentioned in the blog post, I’m in India right now, so I’ve had some first-hand experiences of wanting to buy a new release in electronic form and running into international restrictions. It is really frustrating. I know the industry is still trying to figure it out, but that’s really no consolation when you can’t get your hands on a book!

      • In my case, I usually don’t have any problem with international restrictions. We have an Armed Forces Europe address…which usually gets me around the problem.

        I just can’t find the ebook for sale anywhere. Is no one else having this problem? It’s not sold at the Sony Reader Store, nor Books on Board, All Romance Ebooks, Fictionwise…

        Of course Amazon has it, but I don’t have a Kindle.

        However, please excuse my relentless complaining while I do a bit of fangirl “squee” for I am in love with your writing Ms. Duran. And YOU too Ms. Thomas!! You two (along with Judith Ivory and Laura Kinsale) write with the emotive style that just makes me sigh with contentment as I read. And wait and wait impatiently for your next books (as apparently Kinsale and J. Ivory aren’t gonna).

        AND–Why are all the best romance writers, HISTORICAL romance writers? I’m not even sure I like historicals all the much. (I just can’t help thinking of the subjugated lower classes starving whilst the aristocracy prances around in ridiculously expensive clothing)

        I always assume the reason for this is because certain periods in history lend themselves to believable high drama much better than a current setting would.

        Have either of you ever considered writing contemporaries?

        • I am hugely flattered by being grouped in the company of Ivory and Kinsale!

          I have considered writing contemporaries, but my imagination runs toward contemp paranormals. I think it has something to do with creating a universe that is definitively Other than the one we inhabit. I look for books that swallow me whole and thereby render me (albeit very briefly) a stranger to my immediate surroundings — which is probably why I can create a grouping of much-loved books that includes novels as diverse as Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel), Bliss (Judith Ivory), and Desire Unchained (Larissa Ione)…

  30. I had heard endless praise about Duke of Shadows from many, many quarters, which had made me curious enough it buy it. It languished on my TBR pile, just waiting for some attention. What made me finally pick it up was discovering this shared blog. I’d been waiting for Not Quite A Husband to come out and your blog entries send me running to start the book.

    To be completely honest, Duke of Shadows stunned me. At a time when every other historical I picked up seemed to be rehashed version of the previous, this book was a godsend! It’s premise and characters, the plot, everything seemed to leap off the pages. And… that was it. Bound By Your Touch and Written On Your Skin later I am… a fangirl. =D

    Good luck with Wicked Becomes You–can’t WAIT to get my hands on it!

    • Joie, thanks so much for your comment; I’m so pleased that you found my books! I hope you like Wicked as well.

      (And rest assured, His at Night is WELL worth the wait until the end of May. I sort of wish I hadn’t read it yet, so I could read it for the first time all over again.)

  31. Okay, I worked in Hollywood for awhile on the Sony lot, and I never went fan-girl on any of the stars I saw or met. But I think if I met either of you, I’d trip all over myself.

    I love all your books (and I’ve read them all except Delicious, which I’m saving for a lull in my reading life). I’m so excited to read these two upcoming books, and I’m especially excited to see something new.

    Meredith, I read The Duke of Shadows a few weeks before my first trip to Delhi and Rajasthan, and it made me appreciate the trip so much more. I did lots of googling to find out more about the uprising, and it gave me an appreciation for a part of history I knew nothing about. Thank you for that.

    Sherry, I haven’t been able to get Not Quite a Husband out of my mind since I read it last year. It was the first of your books that I read, so I think I’ll always love it best.

    All the best for your release days.

    • That’s awesome that you read the book before visiting Delhi and Rajasthan! I wonder, did you make it to Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra (in Uttar Pradesh)? I had that palace in mind when writing DoS.

  32. Just finished Wicked Becomes You – i loved it! Alex is the best hero i’ve read in a long time. Characters are so well drawn. Thanks Meredith! (Got my pre-ordered WBY on 4/27 delivered to my Kindle as expected)

    Also, i’m eagerly awaiting my pre-ordered His At Night…

    • Phew! Thrilled and relieved to hear you liked it. 🙂 Also madly jealous of your Kindle! I’m saving up for one of those — the idea of having so many books at my fingertips is irresistible. The prospect of getting caught somewhere without a new book to read always makes me uneasy.

      • I know, i was giddy when i got it for my birthday last year. I spend even more on books now because it’s so easy LOL.

  33. Hi 🙂
    I just got my hands on a copy of Wicked Becomes You and I can’t wait to start it!!

    I actually mentioned you (Meredith) and the book in this week’s VLOG on my blog. If you have a moment to check it out, it’d be greatly appreciated!

    http://booksoulmates.blogspot.com/2010/04/vlog-time.html

    I also reviewed Bound By Your Touch a while back and absolutely loved it 🙂

    http://booksoulmates.blogspot.com/2010/01/review-bound-by-your-touch-by-meredith.html

    Keep up the great work Meredith!
    Your fan,
    Isalys

    • Hi Isalys!

      I hope you enjoy Wicked. I’m trying to load your vlog but my internet connection here in Delhi doesn’t do so well with videos. Think 1998 dial-up speed. I’m bookmarking it for when I go to a coffee shop with good Wi-Fi!

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