Meredith Moore graduated from Harvard University with a degree in history, focusing on early modern England and France. She lives in Houston, Texas, where she loves lattes, nineteenth-century British literature, and road trips. I AM HER REVENGE is her debut novel.
Vivian was raised with one purpose in life: to exact revenge on behalf of her mother. Manipulative and cruel, Mother has deprived Vivian not only of a childhood, but of an original identity. With an endless arsenal of enticing personalities at her disposal, Vivian is a veritable weapon of deception. When it’s time to strike, Vivian enrolls in a boarding school on the English moors, where she will zero in on her target: sweet and innocent Ben, the son of the man who broke Mother’s heart twenty years ago. With every secret she uncovers, Vivian comes one step closer to learning who she really is. But the more she learns about herself, the more dangerous this cat and mouse game becomes. Because Mother will stop at nothing to make sure the truth dies with her.
Melissa: Where did you get the idea for your book? (I loved it, btw!)
Meredith: I actually got the idea from a dream, which has never happened before. I had the flu, and I had this crazy vivid dream of a girl explaining to her mother why it was taking her so long to get a boy they were targeting to like her. So when I woke up, I wrote it down and started playing off of it.
Melissa: When and how did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
Meredith: I told my mom at age 8 that I wanted to be an author (this was after “princess” and “detective” had been carefully considered). But I didn’t really commit myself to it until I was twenty-three. I was working in publishing and had these characters in my head who wouldn’t shut up, so I had to start writing.
Melissa: Can you summarize your author journey from finding an agent, going on sub, and working with your editor?
Meredith: I sent I AM HER REVENGE out to a few agents, and Alexandra Machinist, now of ICM, emailed me a few days later saying that she loved it. We scheduled a phone call, and I did the thing you’re not supposed to do and accepted representation on the spot—she was just so enthusiastic about it! She pitched it out to editors the next day, and by the end of the week, I had two offers and chose Razorbill, where my fabulous editor, Liz Tingue, really understands my writing style and the stories I want to tell. It all happened so quickly! But to put it in context, this was after years of writing seriously and querying two novels that never found a home.
Melissa: What was your revision process like for this book?
Meredith: I wrote the first draft in a month, which was the fastest I’ve ever written anything. And then I revised it about eight times over the next year and a half before I found my agent. Revisions are the biggest part of the process for me, and the most fun—they’re where I really figure out how to make the book work.
Lightning Round Questions:
Favorite writing snack?
Cinnamon Fire Jolly Ranchers. I always have a bag of them handy.
Oddest job you ever had?
When I was fourteen, I was a summer camp counselor at a country club. I was put in charge of a group of five-year-old boys, and while the other counselors spent the days gossiping and flirting, I spent the days yelling at the boys to get out of the trees and trying to teach them tennis (which I have no idea how to play). It was all just a disaster.
Music to write by?
The Jake Bugg station on my Pandora.
Favorite Netflix binge?
Currently, Doctor Who and Parks and Rec.
Don’t really know if I can classify this as guilty, because I tell everyone about it, but I’m obsessed with any and all shows on the CW. Because I’m basically still a teenager.
What’s a day in the life of Meredith Moore like?
I wake up around seven (if I’m being good) and check emails and social media over breakfast. Go for a brainstorming jog and walk (I do my best thinking outside), then come back, have lunch, and get started on writing. I usually aim to write three thousand words a day. Sometimes it takes me three hours (if I go to a coffee shop and focus), and sometimes it takes me until midnight.
About the Interviewer:
Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a young adult author who lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and two teenage children. She believes love is everything and writes love stories like ARROWS, her debut novel about a girl shot by Cupid’s arrow who falls in tragically love with a boy who doesn’t love her back (Random House/Delacorte Press, January 2016). She is represented by agent Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson