Best-Selling Novelist Meredith Wild’s Journey to Global Recognition - 30A

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Best-Selling Novelist Meredith Wild’s Journey to Global Recognition

By: Helen Mitsios | Posted Feb 19, 2023

Long barefoot walks on the beach holding hands with a gorgeous partner, a gold-flecked pareo slipping down a tanned shoulder, reflecting the last rays of the sun. And by day, a sun umbrella poked in the sand, an iced tea in the cooler, and a good book before taking a plunge in gentle blue waters from which she emerges refreshed, like a modern goddess-mermaid. The stuff of romance novels? Ask Meredith Wild, one of the most successful erotic romance novelists of our time. Meredith, who started collecting lucky elephants and Indian Ganesha figurines as a girl (her parents owned an auction house in the Midwest), has certainly had those elephants come through for her. Lucky she is indeed—though luck is always just a small part of huge writerly success. She made publishing headlines when she signed a seven-million-dollar book deal for Hacker, her best-selling series, and we’re talking a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Now living in her dream house along Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, her days are much like the romance novels she pens. She’s a flip-flop wearer in a place she says feels like summer all year long.

Her downtime, sounding not unlike the aforementioned romance novel, is indeed spent with her partner walking on the beach, watching sunsets, and taking care of six cats (two are strays). Lest it sound like all leisure, she’s also the mother of three and runs a very successful publishing company. Not to mention she’s always at work—idea-catching for forthcoming novels to satisfy her legion of fans.

We met on video chat and had a long talk about books, travel, and life. Meredith, a former English major, looks much like a romantic heroine herself, with slightly tanned glowing skin, long blond hair, and sapphire blue eyes. Wearing a silver nose ring from college days that she recently found in her jewelry box, and a sleeveless blue top that matched her eyes, she was forthright and modest, intellectual and earthy, powering on as always though getting ready to plan a short winter vacation in the Bahamas before returning to rule her book empire.



I asked if she owns a corset, and indeed, she has one at the ready because you might find her (hint, hint) at an upcoming masquerade ball in Orlando. She’ll be garbed in a Marie Antoinette-type pannier dress and wearing a mask, as mysterious romantic characters have been known to do throughout the ages.

What’s always in your beach bag?

A book, a book sleeve (to protect it from the elements!), and a notebook in case I get any ideas during my downtime.

Are your books, such as the Hacker series, described as erotic fiction, romance fiction, or erotic romance fiction? 

Certain series of mine I categorize as erotic romance. The Red Ledger series is considered romantic suspense. Right now, I’d say I write in those two subgenres.

When writing, do you have an audience in mind—or do you write for yourself? If an audience, who are they?

I definitely write for myself—the story has to be intriguing for me personally. And I write for my loyal readers who have shared their thoughts about my work over the years, so I feel it’s important to give them a story they will enjoy.

Your favorite beach or beaches?

My favorite beaches are Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, Florida, and Seven-Mile Beach, Grand Cayman.

Describe a perfect day at the beach.

I love a day at the beach when the water is calm and flat, and all you need to do is stick a big umbrella in the sand and pull out a good read. I could spend hours that way.

How do you keep erotic passages fresh, and where do you go/what do you do when you need writing inspiration?

I haven’t written much erotic lately, and The Red Ledger was very much “fade to black” through much of the romance of the main characters. In general, I just try to stay true to the characters and the context of the book.

Your favorite book of all time? Why?

I often go back to The Passion by Jeanette Winterson. I’ve been really drawn to her writing over the years, and that one has always bewitched me.



Your favorite erotic fiction book and why?

Torn by Carian Cole. It’s a really emotional slow-burn story with a ton of intensity between the main characters.

Why does erotic fiction use the adjective “steamy” to describe erotic scenes instead of using “sexy”?

Maybe the word sex gets caught in spam/content filters? Not sure.

Do you have male fans who read your books and come to your literary events?

Yes, I have some male readers, and several who have read The Red Ledger, as that has more suspense elements.

In your novels, are men turned on by women who are in positions of authority and/or formerly considered male roles, for example, a pilot or CEO, or do romance novels tend to have submissive women succumbing to strong men—the stereotype? 

As a businesswoman, I enjoy exploring shifts in power dynamics and power play in most of the romance novels I write. I started writing my first novel with the goal of portraying an empowered and successful heroine. 

What attracts you to a man?

Intelligence, creativity, sensitivity.

Describe the perfect romantic dinner/evening.

I love getting dressed up and having a romantic dinner out, ideally, in a big city I’ve never been to.

How do you dress for a romantic fiction evening of your own?

You’ll usually find me in some combination of black, which takes up most of my closet (not exactly beachy but a remnant from my many years living in New England). And I never leave home without a little Derek Lam 10 Crosby perfume—a gift from my partner.

Does using a pseudonym free you to write under a different character?

I write under a pseudonym mainly to protect my privacy.

If you didn’t live in Florida, where would you live or consider a second home?

A flat in Paris or Prague, or a cozy beach town in Costa Rica.

What is something we wouldn’t know about you? 

I’ve only ever written contemporary romance, but historical is definitely my favorite subgenre, maybe because those were the first romances I read as a teenager or because of my enduring love for Jane Austen.

To learn more about Meredith Wild, visit her website or follow her on Facebook and Instagram. For more cool beach personalities, check out 30A’s Beach Happy Magazine.

 

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Helen Mitsios is a poet and writer who lives in New York. Her most recent poetry collection is The Grand Tour.

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