26 Aug 2013

Author Interview - Peter Meredith

Twelve-year-old Audrey Wyatt bears the unfortunate nickname "Odd." A name, even her bar hopping, alcoholic mother uses—when she's sober enough even to recognize the girl. Odd
doesn't protest. This is her life and it can be no other way, not when she's deformed as she is.
Born with a combination of rare birth defects, Odd's eyes are a startling and dreadful red. Demon eyes is the first thought that springs to mind and the little girl takes
care to hide them behind dark sunglasses. This is something her mother insists on, except when she's trading freak show peeks for dollars or drinks, a practice
that is a nightly torture for the girl.  Yet when her mom abandons her, Odd discovers that loneliness and fear of the unknown are
far worse than being a freak. Desperate for the least love, the girl with red eyes begins a quest through the American underclass
that takes her halfway across the country. She thinks her adventure is a search for her mother, but in truth she's after so much more.

If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why? If the option included deceased authors as well I'd choose I'd Harper Lee who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. Not only was that masterpiece her debut novel, it was her only novel. She was clearly gifted with genius level raw talent, while I am gifted with the ability to shamelessly attach my name to hers! It would be a perfect pairing.

When and where do you write? I write first thing in the morning. I get up early while my wife sleeps in. Later I head off to a favorite Italian restaurant here in Denver and write through two whiskey sours and a plate of carbonara

What is the hardest part of the writing for you? Promotional work. I'm not one of those who claim to write for the sake of writing, but book signings, readings, and schlepping your work all over the place gets old very quickly.

When and why did you first start writing? Unlike almost every other author I've run across, I wasn't reading at the age of two and writing my first poem by my third birthday. Quite the opposite, I hated to write. I never learned to type and my penmanship hasn't progressed beyond a second grade level. Since I would fret over every little error, an e-mail used to take me close on an hour to write, if the client was important enough.

But that all changed in 2010. With the economy in the dumps, my company decided to rework our website and in order to attract attention to it, I was told I should write articles and submit them online. So I painstakingly wrote five articles. They were terrible.

Not terribly written, just dull. Writing about the technical aspects of LED lights is super boring and not just to me but for everyone. So with Halloween coming up, I decided to write about the two super-natural occurrences that I had been involved with instead. The boss wasn't exactly happy, but seeing as she's my wife, what could she do?

So I wrote two little short stories. Just like that, something kicked in. Suddenly I became a writer. It was altogether inexplicable to go from writing as little as possible to writing all the time. Without any classes or real training, I wrote a book, and then a trilogy, and in October I will begin work on my twelfth novel. Life is strange, but great.

How did you come up with the idea for the book? The original idea for Sprite came about because I wanted to add to my collection of horror short stories. The only problems was that main character, Audrey(Odd) wouldn't contain herself. She grew so out of control that the short story stretched to a novella and then to a novel. As well she completely jettisoned the idea of horror. Her story is that of a girl in search of the least love and at times it felt as if I wasn't the one writing, Odd was.

Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? Gerald's Game by Stephen King. So far, I wouldn't recommend it. The main character's voice is jarringly unfeminine. It's not that she's butch or a tom-boy, it's just that if a few words were substituted, the reader would easily believe the character is a man. Also it's over-written. As an example, the main character is chained to a bed and she spends 11 pages trying to get a glass of water from a shelf. After awhile I didn't really care if she got the water or not. (note: I'm only 92 pages in and it might get better. Fingers crossed.)

Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers? Stay in school. Don't give up on your dreams. Reach for the stars. And definitely memorize as many platitudes as you can before giving interviews. Truthfully, I'm full of advice specific to indie publishing or writing and don't mind answering questions. I can be messaged at Goodreads or will reply to blog comments.

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