Hello dear readers! Today I’m hosting Meredith Allard who will give us the inside scoop on what inspired her novel Her Dear and Loving Husband. This definitely sounds like a must read!
The inspiration behind Her Dear & Loving Husband happened by accident, quite frankly. One of my students had given me Twilight to read, though I had no intention of reading it since I wasn’t into vampires at the time. Silly me. I did read it, and I enjoyed it enough to begin seeking out other vampire novels. I was opened up to the world of paranormal romance and urban fantasy, and for the first time, I saw vampires as romantic, even sexy. As I filled myself up on vampire stories, I started seeing these visions of a vampire so in love with his long-dead wife that he couldn’t move on. At first, I put the idea aside as silly. I don’t write vampire books, I told myself, and I went about my life. But the vision of this vampire and his wife wouldn’t go away. Finally, I decided to see what was going on with this preternatural hottie I named James.
What drew me to write about James is his devotion. He’s been alive for 349 years, and his wife died 319 years ago. Even after all this time, she’s always on his mind. No other woman will do for him. Then I began to wonder…could he ever fall in love again? If so, who would she be? Daydreaming is a common past time for fiction writers, and I began daydreaming about James finding love again. As he takes his first look at her he realizes she looks just like the wife he’s been mourning for over three centuries. Of course, he feels connected to her right away—it’s like having his Elizabeth home again. Then I began to wonder what it would be like to be a vampire living in our world today. With social media and smart phones, I think it would be hard to hide, but hide a vampire must unless he wants to unleash hysteria. James knows all too well what happens in a society when people are confronted with things they don’t understand. I decided that James must stay hidden in order to live among humans.
What else served as inspiration for this story? The setting. At first I thought this was going to be a straightforward novel set in the present day. When I decided to set the story in Salem, Massachusetts the history lover in me took over and I knew I’d have to incorporate the Salem Witch Trials somehow. As I wondered how to fit in the history, I realized that James was in Salem during the witch hunts and he suffered terribly because of them. I enjoyed doing the historical research. The Salem Witch Trials are a frightening look into human nature. To this day, we don’t know why those girls accused innocent people of witchcraft. We only know that those accusations resulted in hysteria and madness.
What kept me fascinated with James and Sarah is the budding romance between them. Focusing on the softer side of this vampire, the loving, tender, devoted side, makes James a different kind of romantic hero. Before I read Twilight, I never would have expected to write a vampire romance. I’m glad I opened myself up to this new genre, though, because sharing James and Sarah’s story is one of my great joys.
Thanks for stopping by Meredith! Good luck on the remainder of your tour!
By Meredith Allard
Published by Copperfield Press
Release Date: April 11, 2011
Genre: Vampire Romance
How long would you wait for the one you loved?
James Wentworth has a secret. He lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties anywhere. One night his private world is turned upside down when he meets Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for his wife Elizabeth. Though it has been years since Elizabeth’s death, James cannot move on.
Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and every night she is awakened by visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail. Despite the obstacles of their secrets, James and Sarah fall in love. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Soon James and Sarah piece their stories together and discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again?
Her Dear & Loving Husband is part historical fiction, part romance, and part paranormal fantasy. With elements of Twilight and The Crucible, Her Dear & Loving Husband is a story for anyone who believes that true love never dies.
Meredith Allard is the author of Her Dear & Loving Husband and the executive editor of The Copperfield Review, a journal for readers and writers of historical fiction. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, Muse Apprentice Guild, Wild Mind, Moondance, and Writer’s Weekly. She has taught writing to students aged 10 to 60, and she has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction at Learning Tree University and UNLV. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.