Meredith Allard talks THAT YOU ARE HERE and Ten Authors I Admire ~ Guest Blog, Excerpt, Giveaway

Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Meredith Allard for taking the time to talk with us today. . There is also a Giveaway, so don’t miss that.


Author: Meredith Allard
Publisher: Copperfield Press

Ten Authors I Admire:

It’s not that easy for me to narrow down the list of authors I admire since I’ve been influenced and inspired by so many authors over my lifetime. Here are ten of the most important:

1. Charles Dickens. I do what I do (write novels) because of the influence Dickens has had on me. I get my sense of the absurd and my social consciousness from him. I try to create stories that are worlds unto themselves because of him.

2. Walt Whitman. The title for That You Are Here is from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. I’ve written three or four books where I’ve paid tribute to Whitman in one form or another. I love his message about being honest about who you are and being true to yourself. I think I learned more about how to put words together from Whitman than anyone else.

3. Toni Morrison. I love her writing because of the poetry in her language. I try (and fail) to replicate that in some of my own writing. I think of myself as a frustrated poet who writes fiction.

4. Anne Lamott. She’s brutally honest in her writing and I admire that so much. I love her book about writing, Bird by Bird. I especially love her for introducing me to the phrase “shitty first drafts.”

5. David Sedaris. No writer can make me laugh out loud like Sedaris. I’ve read all of his books. He’s going to be here in Vegas and I already have my tickets.

6. e.e. cummings. He taught me that it’s okay to break the rules, even the grammar rules, as long as you maintain control of the language.

7. Natalie Goldberg. Her book Writing Down the Bones was life changing for me. I discovered that it’s okay to write for the love of writing, and that becoming a writer is a process that occurs over many years.

8. Jane Austen. She’s a great example that the ladies are just as observant and funny as the men. Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite novels.

9. Hilary Mantel. I love writing historical fiction, and she’s a master. She does a great job of weaving the research into the story so that fact and fiction flow together. I love her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, and I can’t wait for the third book to come out.

10. Annie Proulx. I read Brokeback Mountain before I started writing That You Are Here, and I’m so glad I did. I loved the literary quality to the story, and I loved how it focused on the love between the two men over the years. That’s what I wanted to do in That You Are Here—I wanted to write a love story.


When Andrew truly looked at Mark for the first time he realized the boy was beautiful. Mark stood as tall as Andrew at six feet, and he was slender-built though he had strong arms and a strong back. He had golden-chestnut hair that fell in a wave over his forehead and eyes nearly the same color, more gold than chestnut, though they were translucent and sometimes looked dark and other times light depending on where he stood under the fluorescent beams. Then there were those eyelashes that never ended. Andrew had heard the term doe-eyed too many times, yet it applied to Mark, certainly.

“Thanks, Mark,” C.C. said. “From the bakery?”

Mark nodded. “I made them this afternoon. The cake is in the back. Let me know when you want to bring it out.”

“Everything is perfect. How much do I owe you?”

“It’s my contribution to the party.”

C.C. gave Mark a friendly hug. “That’s very generous of you.”

A young man at the end of the bar flagged C.C. down. With C.C. out of the way, Andrew had a better view of Mark. Mark looked to be three years younger than Andrew at 24, and when Mark smiled at something someone close to him said, Andrew saw an open, kind smile, and he had to know who this Mark was.

Andrew slid from his stool and walked the four steps to where Mark had his back turned while he plated a few more pastries. Suddenly, Andrew realized he didn’t know what to say. He didn’t have a pick-up line. He always thought pick-up lines were cheesy. And it’s not like he had dated many people in his life. All these thoughts, and a hundred more, flashed through his mind leaving him tongue-tied. When Mark turned around, he stopped cold, the pastries still sliding on their plate, the only movement between them. Mark’s gold eyes were wide, as though Andrew was the last person in the world he expected to see standing there.


On the outside, handsome, successful attorney Andrew Whittaker has everything in life. On the inside, he has everything too, only he doesn’t know it. He hides the love of his life, Mark Bryce, from his family and everyone else where he lives in Portland, Oregon. Soon the weight of the secret becomes too much for Andrew. After wrestling with himself and his place in the world, he must decide how he’s going to live—with or without Mark.

About the Author:

Author_PhotoMeredith Allard is the author of The Loving Husband Trilogy, That You Are Here, Victory Garden, Woman of Stones, and My Brother’s Battle (Copperfield Press). She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from California State University, Northridge. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, The Maxwell Digest, Wild Mind, Muse Apprentice Guild, Writer’s Weekly, Moondance, CarbLite, and ViewsHound. She has taught writing to students aged ten to sixty, and she has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction seminars at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Author Links:

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Buy Links:

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Meredith Allard has kindly offered a Rafflecopter

Contest will end 7 days from original posting date (or as stated on the Rafflecopter) at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.

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Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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36 thoughts on “Meredith Allard talks THAT YOU ARE HERE and Ten Authors I Admire ~ Guest Blog, Excerpt, Giveaway

  1. Hi Meredith, I enjoyed your post and reading about authors you admire. Congratulations on your book and thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Toni Morrison is deep reading, not something you can read in one sitting. Also, her books resonate with you as they are such complex issues whether it’s race, gender or cultural issues.
    I am currently reading That you are here, and I am on chapter 3. I want to say that I love Mark and the way he is currently taking care of that workaholic lawyer Andrew! So far, so good on the book.

    • Ezinwanyi, I totally agree about Morrison. She is deep reading, but worth the time because her writing and her stories are profound. I’m glad you like the book so far. Of the two romantic leads, I most relate to Andrew, but Mark is who I want to be. I hope you like the rest!

  3. I enjoyed your list of authors. I’ve read many of them and agreed with your comments. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

  4. You have a great lost of authors there. I have read several of them, but I am one of the few people that I know that isn’t all that thrilled by Jane Austin. While I can admire her work, it’s not something I want to read too often. Thanks for the list and giveaway!

  5. Enjoyed reading the book list about authors that have inspired you, love Dickens and Austen, but I am bit worried about Annie Proulx, as her cowboys did not have a happy ending but hopefully your characters do? Thanks again

    • Hi Sula. You’re right–Proulx’s cowboys did not have a happy ending. I won’t say exactly what happens (spoilers!) but I will say that the ending of That You Are Here is nothing like the ending of “Brokeback Mountain.”

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