Thursday, April 29, 2010

Guest Blogger, Meredith Duran

Please join me in welcoming the talented author Meredith Duran as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.

Meredith’s latest delectable Regency Era tale, WICKED BECOMES YOU, went on sale Tuesday. 

Meredith dropped by today to answer some questions for me about her new book, as well as her writing. In addition, Meredith and Ayelet at Simon and Schuster are offering two copies of WICKED BECOMES YOU to visitors (sorry, U.S. residents only) who comment on Meredith’s post between today and 8 p.m. Thursday, May 6. If your profile doesn’t include an e-mail address, but sure to leave one with your comments. Now for Meredith.

Did you draw on people you know to create the characters of Gwen and Alexander?

Nope, I’m not a fan of “writing from life,” as it were. I love figuring out brand new characters: what makes them tick, what scares them enough to wake them in the middle of the night, what gives them the courage to keep going in spite of endless obstacles. Developing the main characters is one of the chief pleasures of writing. To base the hero and heroine on people I already know would mean ruining the fun of discovery!

You said you had 16 false beginnings for WICKED BECOMES YOU. Why so many and how did you finally decide on the one that ended up in the book?

I got hung up on wanting to see Alex through Gwen’s eyes before the main inciting event of the book (her jilting). I was having far too much fun writing about their history back when she was determined to be good: Alex rescues Gwen from the train station when she runs away from boarding school at age 15; Alex taunts Gwen at some ball where she’s doing her best to smile through a slew of insults being tossed at her by a snob; and so on and so forth. Finally I realized that while all these scenes were fun, I wasn’t out to write a book about the good girl and the bad boy who was tempting her to try corruption for a change. I’ve written one of those books, and I’ll certainly write more of them in the future (because I LOVE that dynamic!), but this book was about a good girl who has already decided to be wicked. At that point, I knew I needed to cut to the chase and start where the adventure begins for Gwen: in the church, on the way to the altar.

What inspires you to write Regency Era tales rather than steamy stories of modern men and women?

I enjoy immersing myself in fictional universes that feel definitively foreign to my everyday life. And so, while I’ve got several half-finished contemporary paranormals on my hard drive, I’ve only very rarely tried writing a straight contemporary romance. I did pen a contemporary romance about a jewel thief and her debonair jet-setting victim back when I was in college… but I recommend that we let that one languish in the closet.

What's next for your readers? Have you considered a second book with Gwen and Alex or do you already have new characters in mind?

Of all people, my father wants a sequel to this book – he thinks the host of the house party outside Monte Carlo just begs for a bit more screen time. But at least in terms of my next historical, Gwen and Alex won’t be a part of it. In the future, though… who knows?

Anything you'd like the readers to know about you or your writing that hasn't been covered?

I did not make up the Pretty Housemaid corset; it really did exist.  Moreover, the words used in its advertising are exactly as Gwen reads them. I found this completely hilarious.

Meredith, thank you so much for stopping by today and talking with us. It's always interesting to find out some background on a book. BTW, I love the book cover. The beautiful purple gown really catches your eye. For more on Meredith and her writing, be sure to drop by her website at

Here’s a brief synopsis of her new book: “When a beloved society girl is left at the altar, the entire town wants revenge—but the abandoned bride has other ideas. She is pretty, popular, and rich. But what high society loves most about Gwen Maudsley is how nice she is. So when a cad jilts her on her wedding day, the people of London are out for blood. Gwen reacts differently, deciding that since being nice doesn’t work anymore, it is time to learn to be naughty. Gwen has just the person in mind to teach her—Alexander de Grey, best friend to her late brother and a notorious rogue. Though his aloof demeanor suggests otherwise, Alex likes Gwen the way she is and wants their relationship to be more than teacher and student. But fearing the secrets from his past will make a future with Gwen impossible, Alex tries to keep his distance. An educational tour through the glittering casinos of the Riviera turns Alex and Gwen’s friendship into something hotter, darker, and more dangerous. Gwen must convince Alex that his wickedest intentions are exactly what she needs.“



  1. I am not really a big fan of Reagency novels, but this one definitely sounds like something I would pick up if it ever reaches the shelves of Indian bookstores. Good girl turns wicked is such a neat premise.

  2. This sounds like fun! And I agree...reading is all about the escape.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  3. Judging from the synopsis, Wicked Becomes You sounds like great fun. And, I'm like you Mason, I love the cover.

    Straight From Hel

  4. This looks just plain wicked! I, too, love the cover...And I'm not supposed to love books like this! I am a tried and true, die-hard mystery writer/reader. What am I doing here? But this author really sells it. Her lilting writing style in your post alone sells it for me. You may have added a bit of romance back to my bookshelf!

    Thanks, Mason. :)


  5. Rayna, I'm with you. The good girl turned back plot sounds intriguing.

    Elizabeth, so true. Reading is a great way to escape even for a few minutes. Helps recharge us, I think.

    Helen, isn't the cover wonderful. I love that shade of purple. I could never wear a dress like that, but you can't help but love it.

    Michele, that's the whole point - to expand your reading from your normal genre. Besides, this sounds like it's got some suspense in it for the mystery lover in all of us. :)

    Meredith, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us today. Can't wait to read WICKED BECOMES YOU.

  6. Reading is and always has been, my number one escape. This sounds delightful, although not usually the kind of book I'd pick up. I just might have to change that.

  7. I do love to read and this books sounds like a really good one. I am putting it on my list of books to get. Thanks so much for this great review. It is so nice to hear about books before buying them. Have a great day.

  8. This book sounds really great and I'd love to read it. Historicals are my favorite.

    thesilverdevil at gmail dot com

  9. Hi Meredith! I looked for WBY yesterday at the Borders here in Honolulu but it's out of stock in all Borders on Oahu!


  10. I can't believe I'd never heard of this author before now. Wicked Becomes You sounds so great, and I've read a number of glowing reviews about it. I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the post.

  11. Reading is my favorite "escape" - thanks for this feature, both of you.

    The Old Silly

  12. Great cover. I love that your father wants a sequel Meredith. Great interview ladies :)

  13. Oooh, sounds good, sexy and exciting--and interesting and informative!

    I like the idea of inventing characters out of whole cloth--I do it both ways, some one way and some another, but even if a character starts by being like someone I know, they always develop their own personality.

    taittems at g mail dot com

  14. Karen, reading is a great escape. This does have suspense mixed with romance so give it a try for something different.

    Marg, glad you stopped by. It does help to know about a book before buying it and background on the book is like icing on the cake.

    thesilverdevil, thanks for stopping by. Historical books entertain in so many ways.

    etirv, thanks for stopping by. Hope they restore WBY soon.

    LSU, glad to introduce you to a new author. Meredith is a new author to me as well and I'm looking forward to checking out all her books.

    Marvin, by reading we can escape to so many places without the hassle of air travel. :)

    Jemi, didn't you just love that cover. Great colors.

    Mary, characters do seem to create their own personality as you write. That's one of the great things about it.

  15. Thanks for stopping by, everyone! I appreciate all the comments. :)

    Etirv, someone else told me that Wicked was backordered at her local Borders, too. (She's on the mainland, I believe.) I spoke with the folks at Pocket and they said that the chain still has stock, so it must be a store-specific problem.

    I'm so sorry -- I know how frustrating it is not to be able to get your hands on a book! (After eight months in India, I actually know this feeling far, far too well. :) But the good news is, more copies should be on their way to your store very soon. If you continue to have problems, please email me!

  16. I'm a sucker for a great book cover, even if the book is in a genre I only read once in a while. Nice interview, Mason...and interesting "wicked" story line, Meredith. Please put my name in the drawing -- I'm at patriciastoltey (at) yahoo (dot) com.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.