Monday’s Friend: Noelle Meade
Today I’m pleased to have fellow Muse author Noelle Meade on the blog. Welcome, Noelle!
SJT: When did you first know you were destined to be a writer?
NM: I first talked about writing a book probably in 4th grade. I didn’t think of it in terms of being destined to be anything. It’s just where I ended up.
SJT: Who would you cite as your influences?
NM: That’s a tough question. As a writer, I’m influenced by my experiences, good and bad. I won’t name names for the people involved. My daughter has been a huge influence. Having a child with autism exposes you to an entire world you never knew existed. All of the groups I’ve done table top gaming with have influenced the stories I want to tell. The stories my husband, Bryan Fields, and I built together while gaming since 1990 still have elements that show up in my current writing.
SJT: What advice would you pass on to beginner writers that you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?
NM: Write what pleases you. If you enjoy your story, there’s every chance someone else in the wide world just might be interested too.
SJT: Tell us about your new release, FORGING DAY.
NM: The story is something of a thought exercise. What if a mysterious event were to occur in the modern world and roughly one third of the world’s population became something other than human? What is magic becomes real? I explore how people react to these changes.
Olivia from FORGING DAY was a character I first created better than 17 years ago. The Olivia in my story isn’t quite as ruthless as her predecessor. This Olivia begins in a very bad place. She has a horrible boyfriend and no self-esteem. Through the challenges of changing relationships and fighting monsters both human and other, Olivia discovers her inner strength, and for the first time, a sense of self-worth.
I have received feedback that there’s too much sex, or not enough sex, or too much violence, I wrote from Olivia’s point of view. This is her life and her experiences. I don’t fade to black.
SJT: This is the first book in Olivia’s story. You say you’ve written the next three and are now working on the fifth. Did you know, when you started writing the first book, that this would be such an epic series, or did Olivia’s story grow as you started writing about her?
NM: At this point I’ve written five books of Olivia’s story and have an outline started for the sixth. I’m also writing a companion series from the point of view of her brother, Leo’s, military unit. When I started out I knew it had the potential for other stories. I can’t say that I knew what direction they’d go as I was writing Forging Day, but I left it open for her further adventures. Olivia, like all good adventurers, is a trouble magnet. She kind of has her happily ever after, but that doesn’t have to mean her journey ends.
SJT: You are married to a fellow writer (Bryan Fields). Do you ever work on things together, or does it work out better when you give each other separate writing space?
NM: We work in the same building so driving to and from work every day is our own little writer’s group. We have a shared world but we each write our own stories. We do use a shared calendar to help with continuity. FORGING DAY begins at roughly the same time as Dragon’s Luck, the third book in his series. It’s nice to be able to bounce ideas off of each other and so far we’ve been respectful of not stepping on each other’s toes or taking liberties with each other’s characters, at least not without asking first.
SJT: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
NM: Along with writing, I work full time. I manage my daughter’s needs. Trust me. A teenage girl with autism is a challenge. I have two online shops on Etsy: Designs by Alladania and Alla’s Attic. I sell hand crafted and vintage jewelry in my first shop and knitted, crocheted and sewn items in my second shop. I read. I enjoy gaming – mainly World of Warcraft, Wizard 101 and Minecraft at this point. I play a few Facebook games. I watch a few shows on television: The Big Bang Theory, Survivor, Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Archer and Game of Thrones. I try to squeeze in a few hours sleep here and three – about four hours and change a night. I’ve also been teaching myself to draw. I’m reasonably pleased with my progress. I thought about taking a class, but I’m not sure when I’d squeeze it in.