Loren Kleinman (LK): How did you get the idea for the Hacker series? Did you know the title before you started writing?
Meredith Wild (MW): I got the idea for Hardwired after seeking out a high profile tech CEO for professional advice on one of my recent startups. I was a nervous wreck leading up to the call, but once we got talking, I was shocked at how approachable and helpful he was considering all of his success. He also had a really sexy phone voice. A few days later, inspiration struck and I started writing again. Hardwired began after a false start with another story that I’d shelved a couple months prior. I named the book a few chapters in but didn’t realize the story would become a series until I was nearly finished with it.
LK: How do you balance your responsibilities as a mom and a writer? Do you have a day job?
MW: Balancing my work/life responsibilities is a daily goal and challenge. I own a software development company but have been transitioning closer to writing full-time over the past several months. Making time for everyone, everything, and myself is a struggle, but I’ve learned to be efficient with my time. It all gets done, somehow. My life is very hectic, but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
LK: If you could date any one of your characters, who would it be and why?
MW: Blake Landon’s character is the stuff of fantasies, no doubt, but I’m not sure how compatible we would be in real life. I’m a bit of a control freak myself. If I could date a character, he would probably be Cameron Bridge from On My Knees. He’s a hero I modeled closely after my husband, and I kind of dig my husband.
LK: What’s the message you are trying to send woman? Or is reading romance all about a release from the norms?
MW: I understand that women read in this genre in large part for the fantasy aspect, but I enjoy building on that fantasy by portraying heroines who are modern, successful, sexually aware, and not so easily swept away. I’m always tackling other themes too, like gender roles, power play, and healing. I think these keep the relationships a little more interesting and the struggles more real. I hope that my readers walk away feeling empowered and aroused.
LK: Is love always about letting go?
MW: I wouldn’t say so. Love is also about fighting for what you believe in, going after what you want, and rediscovering yourself in the context of a relationship. That said, relationships that last are about give and take. Each person has to make concessions (hopefully ones that make them a better person and partner), and sometimes part of that process is letting go of one’s fears, inhibitions, or preconceptions. Love is a complicated animal.
LK: What would the world look like without romance? Without love?
MW: Probably a lot scarier than it currently looks. The one thing this world can never have too much of is love, and if writing and spreading tales of romance can bring a few people closer to each other and snuff out negativity and upset, then I feel like I’ve done my job.
LK: How has your own life experience affected your writing process?
MW: My own life experiences have definitely shaped my content. I often find parallels with the themes of my books with whatever I might be going through in my personal life, whether I’m looking for those connections or not. My process is probably most affected in terms of the time I have to compose stories. This is limited and usually gets pushed out in intense sleep-deprived jags.
LK: Have you ever wondered about your characters even after the book was over?
MW: On My Knees is the only standalone book I’ve finished, and not long after I did, I was penning a novella follow-up for Cameron and Maya in my head, so the answer to that is yes. I’ve never had to really say goodbye to a set of characters yet, and I’m a little anxious about doing that. I have so many stories I want to write though. I will have no choice but to find closure with some of them, including the Hacker Series. Sorry, ladies!
MW: Absolutely. No relationship or romance is ever perfect, and if it were, we’d become easily bored with it. Humans are easily bored. As much as we preach being happy in the moment, nothing is ever quite perfect for long. We always crave more. Whether that’s more money, success, attention, pleasure, movement, or progress, people thrive on seeking what they don’t have in their clutches at that very moment. I believe romance follows the same law. Chasing perfection and that promise of absolute fulfillment is what makes romance exciting and worth the journey. Just a theory.
LK: How does this matter of uncertainty heighten the tension in romance novels?
MW: The ongoing uncertainty of a good romance is everything to a novel when it comes to facing problems and overcoming them, only to be faced with another. That roller coaster of emotion and growing from one’s struggles is both entertaining and fulfilling for a reader. Unlike real life, however, most novels leave us with a happy ending. We can only hope our own stories tie up so neatly!