Meredith Wild Takes on Suspense

Adrian Liang on May 18, 2018

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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