Meredith Wild Takes on Suspense

Adrian Liang on May 18, 2018
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Meredith Wild took the romance world and bestseller lists by surprise in 2013 with Hardwired, the first in what would become her five-book Hackers series. Starting as an independent author, Wild quickly scored a lucrative book deal with New York publisher Hachette. She also began her own publishing imprint, Waterhouse Press, through which she now acquires and distributes a number of other successful authors.

But writing remains a core passion. With her next book, The Red Ledger: 1 (May 21),  Wild leaps from romance to suspense.

Here she talks about what motivated that change, and which books inspired her new storytelling focus.


I love my romance dark and my heroes tortured, but the premise behind The Red Ledger inspired me to push the envelope just a little more. Regardless of what I’d written before, this particular story demanded a different style and pace—one that would challenge me and keep my characters perpetually on their toes. In The Red Ledger 1, a life or death situation sets the tone for Tristan and Isabel’s journey into a world of thrilling danger. Friends are few and enemies are never far behind. Survival becomes a way of life, death a teachable moment. With thirteen romances under my belt, stepping into suspense gave me permission to create a world that was more intense than anything I’d written before—more dangerous, more disturbing, and rich with opportunities for my characters to be challenged and grow.

Here are a few thriller/suspense reads that have inspired me along the way.

The Cartel by Don Winslow - Inspired by America’s decades-old war on drugs, this taut sequel weaves fact, fiction, and a touch of faith into one sweeping, epic tale. Blurring the lines between real-life events and fictionalized characters and situations was an intriguing concept for me, which I took into my own writing process as I was researching the places, industries, and corporations linked to my story. Bonus: The Cartel serves as a gripping window into a super-violent criminal organization.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll - This was one of those books that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. What starts as fashion-forward and sexy, spirals into something much darker as a shocking and violent truth is revealed piece by piece. What I loved even more than the darkly funny Ani FaNelli was Knoll’s sharp prose. The writing was spot on, and falling for such a fascinating, damaged character was an excellent ride. I could read this one again and again (and probably will).

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - This series holds a permanent spot on my bookshelf for bringing me into the genre. Lisbeth Salander is one of my favorite heroes—offbeat, fierce, and vulnerable. I have a soft spot for hackers, too. Still, I love rooting for her no matter what trouble she’s getting into. This thriller is full of danger and betrayal, and even a bit of romance—all of my favorites.



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