March 22, 2023

Steaming up Stars Hallow with Meredith Schorr

Steaming up Stars Hallow with Meredith Schorr
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Meredith Schorr is on the steam seat this week and all cheer for the single pov writers! We talk about writing Big City settings, getting inspo from our fave TV series, and how to write naughty bits using less naughty words. And I read a steamy excerpt from her debut novel As Seen on TV.

Grab a copy of As Seen on TV.

Connect with Meredith online:



Elle 0:00
I'm a born and bred New Yorker and lifelong daydreamer. Meredith Meredith short fueled her passion for writing everything from restaurant reviews, original birthday cards, and even work related emails into a career penning romantic comedies. When she's not writing books filled with grand gestures and harder and happily ever afters are working as a trademark paralegal. She's most often reading, running or watching TV for research. Of course, her trade paperback debut as seen on TV, huh, released on June seventh 2022, from Grand Central publishing forever, and was chosen by USA Today. And Book Riot as one of the top romances of June, which is very well done. Very well earned. Congratulations. Welcome to steam scenes. Thank you so much. I'm very excited to be here. I'm super excited to have you. I'm kind of obsessed with your book.

Meredith 0:57
Thank you.

Elle 0:59
So I'm obsessed with your book. I love the premise. I absolutely love the premise.

Particularly because you've called it Gilmore Girls, Hallmark Channel meets Gilmore Girls, like Gilmore Girls was like one of my favorite shows ever. And I was actually rewatching episode last night. And I'm kind of curious, like what what made you decide to sort of blend of the two of them?

Meredith 1:23
I actually did not do that on purpose. The premise was really just subverted Hallmark tropes, like you take the small town tropes that readers and people who watch Hallmark movies have come to expect. And like turn them on their heads like the friendly towns people and the people that you know that the evil real estate developer, the cozy festivals, though, so basically, I just wanted a small town that was the opposite of that. And I never didn't go into it even thinking about Gilmore Girls, it was authors who blurbed my book and my publisher who thought who thought it had like Gilmore Girls vibes. And you know, it wasn't until later with the with the quirky towns people and the mother daughter relationship that is very, very close. I can see it.

Elle 2:08
Okay. So is this is a Dina is your main character? Do I spell it? Did I say her name? Right. Okay, so is she going home? It to Pleasant hollow from New York City? Is that her hometown? Or is she just kind of

Meredith 2:24
bear? No, she is a lifelong Manhattanite who is fed up with city life. And she is like obsessed with Hallmark movies and Gilmore Girls in small towns in general. And she thinks that her life would be so much more simple, somewhat simpler. If she lived in a small town. She thinks you know, the she thinks that she'd be more far, far along in her career as a journalist instead of juggling two other jobs. She thinks she'd be in a committed relationship probably with her highschool sweetheart, instead of being ghosted and frustrated with dating apps. So she has this opportunity to go to a small town to write the story that she thinks is going to like make her career

Elle 3:05
this is going to change her world right? Oh my god, this is so great. I'm like, even like the like I'm like okay, your blurb is great, but it doesn't do this book justice because they only even more obsessed

Meredith 3:14
to send you a QA

Elle 3:19
oh my god thank you like now I'm like I totally get why this was chosen as like top romance of June by like book right there so hard over there. Book Riot. I always like look at their emails. I'm like, they ate everything.

Meredith 3:34
It was thrilled. Just be noticed. That's amazing. But yeah, she pitches a story about this town that she hears is under development development by like this huge real estate conglomerate. And her mind automatically goes to Hallmark movies where there's always a real estate developer coming in to like to change the whole town. And the townspeople are like up in arms and how dare this evil guy come and change our wonderful town. And so she pitches the story is a real life Small Town Living out a Hallmark movie, sub like plotline. Only when she arrives in this small town she discovers it's like nothing like what she's used to from Gilmore Girls from small, you know, from Hallmark movies. The people aren't friendly. There's no festivals every week. There's no cozy cafe. People don't care about the real estate developer suite while she's here and she has all the stakes that you know that she needs to write the story and there really isn't the story that she pitched is just not there.

Elle 4:33
That is where did you come up with this? Are you here? Okay. backtrack. Are you a big Hallmark movie person?

Meredith 4:41
I am I mean I I watched them. I love them. I also kind of make fun of them a lot. But I do but I love them. And I know them so well. That it was really easy for me to write this book. You know that like just gets it backwards. And it was so that was my initial premise. I was with some friends in California. We just started talking about, like, the tropes and the predictable formula. And funny it would be if this person who liked was kind of obsessed with them, goes to a small town at every turn, where she thinks it's going to play out, like a Hallmark movie. It doesn't like, you know, instead of sitting on the train next to like, the cute, but kind of grumpy, age appropriate person who she fights with, but then eventually, you know, meets up with later and realize that she's in love with, it's kind of like a 90 year old man who's like snoring on her, or some horrible child, you know, like, it's just what she, you know, she goes to the inn, or she expects it to be like, beautiful with like, a really kind, outgoing, friendly lady. And it ends up like cobwebs in gated windows and everything. And so and we were just being really exaggerated, we kind of turned it into a thriller at the time. And I just kind of put it in the back of my mind, we just thought it'd be really funny. And then, like, years later, I was talking to my agent and trying to come up with the next book to write. And I gave her this pitch. And she was like, That's brilliant. We have to do that.

Elle 6:05
So that's brilliant. Thank you. Thank you is, this premise is absolutely like blowing my mind how brilliant it is. Thank you. Somebody's gonna make this movie.

Meredith 6:15
I hope so. Nothing's happening yet, but

Elle 6:18
I was gonna say it's being pitched you should you should absolutely be pitching.

Meredith 6:22
It was actually immediate. The book was pitched to film agents, when it was first announced, and nobody bought in the nobody bought like it was maybe

Elle 6:31
there. Maybe you're afraid of touching that Hallmark formula. Right? Because I mean, obviously, the hallmarks got it right. And subverting the formula maybe people are afraid to

Meredith 6:40
Yeah, I don't know. But I mean, it could still happen. It could happen. 10 years from now.

Elle 6:45
I know. It's movie, film and TV is so slow. Yeah. So I haven't

Meredith 6:48
given up hope. But right now, sadly, I don't have any news on that front. Okay, well, we'll be the first to report

Elle 6:56
it as soon as you know. No, I don't do BREAKING NEWS on this. I wish I did. I wish I did. That would be great. You could lose my day job.

Meredith 7:07
Okay, don't we all wish we could do that. Right. I know you're

Elle 7:11
in your day job. You still have your day job. Yes. I still have my day job or my multiples. I'm a bit like Addy. Yeah. Because I'm, I'm a journalist. And I'm a journalist in a small town right now. And actually, I'm working like three survival jobs.

Meredith 7:30
That's her. She's a spin instructor. She's a barista, and a coffee shop. And she pitches like freelance,

Elle 7:36
oh, she's freelance, I'm part time staff, I need to and then I'm freelance. And then I'm freelance for play. It's It's just crazy, trying to cobble together the writing career, you know, it's like,

Meredith 7:47
I know. And it's easy. It's very inexperienced, and I have gotten some reviews where they're like, she's a horrible journalist. I never really, it really hurts my feelings. Like she never really had anything besides kind of like writing articles and things like that. And she did plenty of research before she went, you know, but she, there's, it's not like, you can look up a town. And there's going to be a sign that says not like a hallmark town. So she she was like, This town is only has like 2000 people. And there's a real estate developer and there's this coffee shop and a trainer and a brewery that's been around for like that's, you know, run by two brothers. And it sounded like picturesque to her. And then she gets there. And how was she to know that nobody would care about the real estate developer coming in. So I got a little like, hurt on her behalf when people are like, how did she not know that?

Elle 8:38
I don't know. I kind of find that really amazing that people are like, she's a terrible journal, like, like, Are you a journalist? Do you know? Do you know what it looks like? You don't like? Honestly, if somebody saw me doing the reporting, they would be like, Oh, she's a journalist. Because it's like, you know, when you go into a story you really don't know. And that's the reporting. That's the point of reporting it is that that's when you learn. Yeah, you know, yeah. So she was not a terrible journalist. She's. And this is from somebody who's doing the job.

Meredith 9:16
Good. I'm glad to hear that.

Elle 9:19
Oh, my God. So you are not, however, a journalist. And so I'm curious. When did you get the writing bug? When did you decide that this was what you wanted to do?

Meredith 9:27
I was about like, 30. I mean, I did not really think of myself as like a writer at all. In fact, when I was younger, my sister, I'm the youngest of three, and I was very spoiled. And my sisters would kind of like write my speeches for me or do things for me that I didn't feel like doing myself. So my sister wrote like my button mitzvah speech and everything. So

Elle 9:49
you're outsourcing at a very

Meredith 9:52
high C offered, you know, I love it. So I was about 30 And I was starting to get To get complimented at work at my day job about how well I crafted just emails to clients taking like legal speak and making it, you know, easy to understand. And my boss would kind of give me reports that the attorneys wrote and have me edit them. And I don't when I'm when somebody tells me I'm good at something, it just makes me want to do that more often. So suddenly, I want you to write like everything. I joined like Yelp and I was like a Yelp elite reviewer, restaurants and bars. Oh my god, I was reviewing on books on Amazon. I was like writing like birthday poems for people. And then I took a workshop at the Gotham Writers Workshop. Oh, yeah. No Gotham writers. Of course, yeah, taken to and the first one was like just a fiction, like short stories. And I wrote like a middle grade kind of story. And it was okay, but it really wasn't my calling. And I put that aside, and I joined this, like anonymous blogging site. This is like, more than 10 years ago, probably. And I started blogging about my dating experiences anonymously. And a lot of people like really enjoyed it, like single girl in New York City, dating disasters, you know, and I added some depth to them with my family and things like that. And I noticed that I was getting a lot of followers. And then one day, I was on my way to my day job at the time. And I started daydreaming about this relationship that had just ended. And I was really torn up about it. I still, you know, liked the guy. And in my mind, I just kind of told myself an alternate story. I daydream a lot. I have like this. Very strong like fantasy life. Like if I'm in a long car ride, I just kind of like, in my head. Yeah. So

Elle 11:38
same, same same. I used to get in trouble when I was a kid at school, because I would always be off someplace else. Yeah,

Meredith 11:43
I mean, that's the sign of a writer, I guess. And that that day on my way to work. It just kind of hit me. Okay, I love to write. I have good technical skills clearly. And I have this crazy imagination. Why not take combine them and like write a romance. And I started writing one that day, and I never looked back. And it's a really great outlet for my daydreaming life. Because now these imaginary like imaginary people, I kind of just, I create and write books about them.

Elle 12:11
And was it always gonna be romance? Like, I know, like you mentioned when you were talking with your friends about twisting the Hallmark trope, you're like it was a thriller? Like, that's lifetime. Lifetime. I mean, so was it always romance for you? It was

Meredith 12:29
I don't know if you remember the term Chiclet it was, oh, yeah, it was more Chiclet it so it was more just her POV. just dealing with like life and love and career and everything. It started off that way. And there was there was always a romance at the heart of it. But it just kind of morphed into being more heavily on the romance and less she's not a klutz anymore. That was always very popular. She was always making a mess and spilling things and falling and very into clothes. So that like that it kind of like deepened from there. But yeah, it started off as triplet because I would actually I try to write like a real contemporary romance. And somebody like would fart or just do something really silly. And I was like, no, like, I think that I need to write like romcom yes, they're always going to there's always going to be some bizarre circumstance or situation that my characters are getting into and, and so that's how it morphed from Vegas from Chiclet. To then I tried to contemporary romance to romcom.

Elle 13:30
That is wild. No. Do you were you a romance reader? Or are you kind of all over the map with what you were reading?

Meredith 13:38
I read. I read a lot of Chiclet actually, that was nice. Yeah, yeah.

Elle 13:44
But what's your favorite lawn?

Meredith 13:46
My I love to marry and keys. Back in the day like Rachel's holiday and sushi for beginners and last chance saloon. I can't even and then was Emily Giffen something borrowed? was one of my favorites. Oh,

Elle 14:00
God. I remember when that Yeah, I mean, I

Meredith 14:01
read all Bridget Jones's Diary. The Devil Wears Prada

Elle 14:04
love Bridget. Love Bridget.

Meredith 14:06
I mean, I read all of them. But I read everything. And I do read thrillers I'm very light and dark. i My best friend is a thriller author. And so I've met a lot of her author friends and colleagues and everything and I I really liked them and I'm like that with television too. Like I either want like really fun like hearted Dixie Gilmore Girls, you know, escape, or I want like, Ozark and Breaking Bad, you know, shooting and everything like I just I like I like the the extremes.

Elle 14:38
Oh my God, that's a Better Call Saul. That's like my obsession right now. I love that. So

Meredith 14:42
I actually I started it and I gave up and then I started again and I gave up and I'm starting I'm starting it again because I'm in the fourth season on Netflix. And everybody keeps saying like it's ending soon and it's so good. And I do like it. I just find it very slow. I have to fast forward some scenes because cuz I think I think it's the direction. You know, some of the scenes like, I love the stuff between Sol and Kimberly.

Elle 15:07
Yeah, that's great. That stuff is great.

Meredith 15:09
I don't love all the other stuff because I don't always get it. And I know that it's all going to be connected somehow. And some of it is like, from Breaking Bad characters and it's like a prequel. So I try to focus on it, but um, again, it's like, I like the love stuff, too. Like, I just I'm like dying to know whether Kim and him are gonna like break up. But Jimmy, James, Jimmy, right, Jimmy? Yeah, yeah, it was it. Last right now there is the fourth season and they're not doing that. Well.

Elle 15:38
They're not doing well on season four. I get like, No, I completely understand. Like, I love their dynamic. Their dynamic is fantastic. And is definitely like a big reason to watch. But now I've loved that. It's like I love that show. And I'm also a huge like, I've read a lot of like police stuff like Bosch is like one of my favorite. And Lincoln Lawyer. I absolutely love Michael Connelly's writing. So it's, I don't know, I just think it's really funny how, like, you know, sort of like we both gravitate towards like, dark things are like, killing workers.

Meredith 16:17
You need once, especially when I was writing a scene on TV, it was so much like Hallmark and small towns. I'm like, get me the hell out of a small town. Just throw me in a really crowded, smelly city, please, because I was in one. But it was also the pandemic, so I wasn't really going anywhere. And it wasn't crowded because nobody was here. Yeah,

Elle 16:37
obviously, you've heard most of the pandemic.

Meredith 16:39
Yes, I wrote. I had written like, half of the first draft by March. Wow. And then I wrote like the rest. And I mean, it's sold in August of 2022. or July of 2022. It's just I mean, 2020 it was just

Elle 16:55
Oh, okay. I was like that never I've ever released that so fast. But wasn't that never happened. It never

Meredith 17:00
done so I was I that was my mistake. Yeah. So it's the it was two years, which is actually a very long time.

Elle 17:06
That's usually what happens with Yeah, with with, with the pub houses, it just takes forever. It really, it really takes a long time. But I'm kind of I mean, from writing to, you know, to deal. It sounds like it was very quick.

Meredith 17:21
You know, what I had gone on sub with the first book that got me my agent, and it didn't sell. And so I was extremely motivated. And I was also bored out of my mind, I was working from home. You know, I had no friends around, they were like, there was nothing to do. And so I would wake up and I would write, I would write at lunch, I would write after work, I would write on the weekends. And it was also an escape because it was scary, I missed I was afraid I was never there was a time I was like, I'm never going to see my parents again, because I can't go there. And, you know, put their lives in danger. You know, when people wouldn't see that elderly people in their lives for so long. And, and I was just really sad. And I have friends like all over the country. And we would do like virtual happy hours and things like that for a while. Right. And this book was just it was a delight to write it. Because it was just happy for the most part. Yeah, so yeah. So because of that, it ended up being really, really quick. Plus, I really, once I found out that the book was going through all the editors, and it wasn't selling, I wanted to get the next one right out on sub as quickly as possible, because it's that waiting time that period just makes me really sad. But I have no idea what's going on.

Elle 18:34
So how come you decided to go the TRad route instead of the indie route?

Meredith 18:38
I don't. First of all, I'm not a good marketer. I love engaging with readers, but I don't like having to pay attention to algorithms and key words, and and all those things constantly being on top of them. And they change all the time. And I'm friends with a lot of people who are brilliant at it, who I'm sure sell more than I do. But I just I have no desire. And I don't want to I didn't want to do another small publisher. Because at this point, I don't think I will ever write a book unless I am paid for it.

Elle 19:07
Okay, I mean, I'm sending that No, I mean, yeah, I mean, that makes me just fine.

Meredith 19:10
When when you're paid for like I published a bunch with a small press, and they didn't get I have to pay them or anything but they had no investment. They paid editors, God knows how little they probably paid them. There were some cover art, but they really had so little invested in it, that whatever I took in, they took I took that, like it was like doesn't do well. You know, but when a publisher, you know, puts down a nice chunk of money on you. They they're more likely, I think, to actually put some weight behind it.

Elle 19:41
Yeah, they're invested in Yeah, like that was my experience with a small publisher. You know, I got a tiny advance. But it was really the editing was terrible. I was so unhappy with the editing. And I just, you know, it just wasn't for me. And I was like, and you know, for me, I went the opposite and I was like, I just want to control what I'm doing? Yeah, I want complete control. I'm not leaving this in somebody else's hands. I mean, it was a great experience, but it just was like, oh, no,

Meredith 20:10
yeah, I mean, it's hard to give up control. I mean, I with my small publisher, my editor was actually amazing, like, I loved her, it was just everything else, you know, there was just everything else was you didn't put any put anything into it, and you work so hard. And then you know, and then it goes out in the world. And it's like, there's only so much I can do and, and in fact, when those books were out, that's when more people were self publishing and doing it so well. So there was a lot of books out that way. And then New York was suddenly publishing a lot of rom com. So you take the people with a big publishers behind them. And then you take the people who can price the books, however they want, and they're just really good. There's just no way for the small press books that have no control of themselves to kind of stand out. And that's what my experience was. And it was like, I just spent so much time and put so much heart and sweat into these books that I just, and my initial, when I first started publishing, I really did want a traditional deal. It was just at the time, they were like chick lit his dead, and like, agents wouldn't even ask for pages. And then I had some success at first, with, with a small press, I did really well for a couple of books. And then it just got less and less and less. And that's because I believe, you know, indie publishing became bigger. New York started publishing and it just it was way too hard.

Elle 21:32
No did is or through the indie process that how you got your agent? Or did your agent come first?

Meredith 21:38
No, I, when I couldn't get an agent, I went through the indie press. Okay, and then. And then I was like, You know what, my next book, I don't care how long it takes, I'm getting an agent. And it didn't, you know, I wasn't in the query trenches for very long. Thankfully, I didn't have that like awful, you know, three years, 400 queries. So I got lucky that way. And I love my agent. But I did go through the horrible the book doesn't sell. And she you know, she said, Do you want to go to smaller presses? And she threw out a couple? And I said, No, she didn't. And she said, I'm like, I didn't go to you to do exactly what I was doing before. And she said, I absolutely agree with you. I don't think it's going so that I think it's a good start for for authors, there's nothing wrong with it. But when you've already done that for a handful of times, and you're trying to move the needle, it's not going to serve your career to do it again, it's just going to keep it the same exact way it was before. And I said, so we both agreed to shelve that book. And, you know, the rejections that I got for editors was nothing about how the book wasn't good or wasn't fun. It was mostly that the premise was just didn't stand out. It wasn't a big enough hook. And we both we both agree that as seen on TV was much was a much bigger hook.

Elle 22:52
Yeah, it was it took care. So I mean, I think like for people who are listening who might want to go the TRad route, and like, let me tell you that there's nothing wrong with it. You know, it's just like, you know, people are always like, Oh, well, if I if you go if you if you? You know, if you publish indie right? You have to quote unquote, right to market, but it's kind of the same when you're going to try and like you said, like, you need the elk. And like, that's a you're still writing to market. It's just a very different market that you're writing to. Yes. Yeah, I think I think there's an assumption that you're going to have more freedom to write what you want, because of marketability, whereas I feel like indie like you actually do have a little bit more freedom,

Meredith 23:33
I would imagine. So.

Elle 23:36
You know, because you can you can write what you want, but doesn't mean it's gonna sound. But you can. But that's really fascinating. And I love that you sort of brought up the, you know, the fact that you they said it wasn't hooky enough. And then you were like, Okay, well, let's focus on this. Yes.

Meredith 23:53
And I'm glad I did. Because that and now. And now when I'm coming up with new premises, it's like, it's just I was so tortured by not selling. Now, in hindsight, I'm glad that book wasn't the one that came out. But I'm so like, tortured by that not big enough. Not that when I come up with a new premise, it's like, Is it big enough? And I picture it as an announcement and publishers mark the pace place, and I'm like what I would that is what this book is about be a good Publishers Marketplace announcement that people would get excited about. And I actually like, think about that.

Elle 24:23
I love it. I actually think that that's actually like a really great tip for everybody, myself included, because I've been trying to be like, okay, like my books sell well, they don't sell as well as I'd like them to. So what do I what do I need to do? And I think that my hook is not good enough. My hooks just aren't strong enough. And I think that that's such a good idea. Like if I was if it was going to Publishers Marketplace, what would what would it say? And I'm like, I'm like, oh, that's that's actually a really great way to because a

Meredith 24:57
lot of people like oh, it's grumpy sunshine or it's you know, enemies, two lovers. And I'm like, Yes, but there are 8 million of those. What makes this one? What is the twist? You know that that makes this one stand out? And I feel like especially for debuts you really need that?

Elle 25:13
Yeah, I would absolutely agree with that completely. So now, how were you always writing explicit sex in your book? Or I should say, I don't know that your stuff is? Well, the scene that you sent me is not terribly. Okay. How do we explain what you're writing?

Meredith 25:31
I have on my website, like charming romantic comedy, comedies with a splash of heat, because it's always on the page. But I don't It's not graphic. Yeah, like I'm trying, as I keep writing, I'm finding my own style.

Elle 25:47
Right. And right, so yeah. What do you grab, when you read? What are you gravitating towards? When you're when I'm reading enrollments,

Meredith 25:55
I don't care if it's, I don't care if it's fade to black, I don't care if it's super, super steamy. When I'm reading it. As long as the book is good. I don't really care. The like, I'm not I don't read books for the sex. I enjoy them. For the set. You know, that's another part of them that I enjoy, but I don't read them. That's not my first thing that I look for when I'm reading.

Elle 26:21
Okay. So when it came to determining for you if whether you are going to close the door or write really steamy or like, where did you find? Where did you decide your? How did you come to where your sweet spot is? How did you decide what your sweet

Meredith 26:36
spot I think it just kind of came to me naturally. And as I was writing, I feel like I wanted it to go with the tone of my voice and the character. And I just didn't see me suddenly going like Clint and COC and this and that, like, I could say those words, right? I mean, this is, oh, my God, you go, we're

Elle 26:55
so salty. Yes. Oh, no, no, you can say whatever you want, really feel

Meredith 26:59
natural to me. And so what I do is, instead of really focusing on what body part goes, were very, very, you know, deeply, I pretty much get in my character's head, what are they thinking right now. And I also have like dialogue, and it really depends on where in the relationship they are, you know, like at the beginning of a relationship, if they've never been together before, and they don't, you know, then there might be some awkwardness. Or if they're going in and they really, really like each other, then there might be like, does he like me? Does he like this. Or if you don't have any feelings, yet, you're just kind of doing it for your own pleasure, as it was, as was the scene that I sent you. She doesn't have any feelings for this guy yet. She thinks he's hot. But she's had a really bad day, she just wants to release some tension. So she's really in it for her own pleasure she wants to give she wants to receive. But she's not thinking, Oh, my God, I hope I'm not bad. So this guy wants to see me again, or I hope he's not like checking out my body and thinking it looks horrible. Like she's really like, make me feel good. And I'll make you feel good. So I really tried to get into my character's head where they are at the moment in terms of themselves and what they want out of the out of the situation out of the sex, and how they feel about their partner.

Elle 28:17
I actually love this because I think you are the first person I've had on the podcast who has said, this scene is strictly about her pleasure. It's not about falling in love. It's not about bringing them together. It's not about their relationship. It is about her needing a release, and having that sexual attraction to him. And being like, Yes, I need this. And I love that.

Meredith 28:44
Thank you. I mean, I actually just realized that last night when I was reading, you know, when I was trying to prep this I've never talked about, specifically about my sex scenes before. And I was trying to think about, like, Where was Deena at this moment when she knocked on Finn's door because she's the one who goes to him. And that's exactly where she was. She had a really crappy day and she just wants to feel good.

Elle 29:08
I think that not enough. I don't think we talk about women's pleasure enough in terms of separating it from love and just being like, it is okay to want to have an orgasm. It is okay to want to have sex because it's fun and it feels good. And it's you know, and it's you don't need to fall in love.

Meredith 29:32
Absolutely not.

Elle 29:34
I think that's such a powerful message. And I think that we're terrible at getting that message out there.

Meredith 29:40
I do think it's gotten better. I think I've read a lot of books recently where like I just read the hookup plan by Farah Rashaan. And it just came out like Tuesday, I think and it's like a it's a enemies to lovers but only enemies in her mind. This is like our high school rival. But only in her mind. But she's really stressed out her doctor, she has like some health issues and her doctors, like you need some self care. She's like, I know how I can get some self care. She's like, I hate this guy he like made my high school like miserable, although we really didn't have to read the book. So she's like, we're not having keys like interests, like, we're not having a relationship, but you're gorgeous. You have a great dick, you know, and this is what, this is why we're doing this. And it's like, and she's not faking it. I mean, she's, she's not just saying that to sound cool. She truly feels that way, at the beginning of the book. And then of course, the more time they spend together, the more she's like, Oh, no, I actually really liked this guy. But it starts off all about she just she was self care. Section six of self care through six. And oh, my God, no apologies.

Elle 30:50
I am totally working with up Do you know, this offer personally raised,

Meredith 30:54
she is the same editor as me, which is how I got like an early copy of that book. And she actually blurbed a scene on TV, which delighted me to no end because she's, uh, I love her books.

Elle 31:06
Because I am like, now I'm officially obsessed with having her on this podcast. So

Meredith 31:13
yeah, I don't really know her personally. I just

Elle 31:15
okay. All right. All right. I'm gonna give it a shot, guys. I'm gonna try it. I'm gonna try it. Usually when I reach out to people, they're like, I'm gonna talk to you.

Meredith 31:25
I'm here to tell you. It's a pleasure to talk to you. Well,

Elle 31:30
I don't know, whenever I approach people that like, I'm like, Oh, would you like to get there? Like, they either don't get back to her. They're like, yeah, no, thanks. Oh, I

Meredith 31:37
wish people would approach me and say, Would you want to do this? Would you want to come on this? Because you know what, like, right before the book comes out, and like, right after you're like, my experience was like, I have so many things going on. I'm like, oh my god, I have no time to take time off from work. And I'm so stressed to leave me alone. And then before you know it, you're like, somebody call me please. Because it's like, it's like, dried up. And every time I get tagged in something, I'm doing a happy dance, you know, aren't we? So? Yeah, like, it's just it becomes a lot harder to book things. So I, my publisher was great and getting me on things. But you know, then another book comes out that they have to deal with, and they're still you know, they slowly do things for me still, but it's really, you know, the weeks before the weeks after when, when it's really them doing it. And now and then it's like me until I I found you.

Elle 32:31
And I'm so glad you did because like I said, I'm completely obsessed with your book like

Meredith 32:34
a lot of pressure.

Elle 32:38
No, and I don't mean that in a pressure way. I love your scene. I love the premise. I love that it set in New York. You know, I think that hilariously, you know, I want to do too. I do want to talk about this a little bit went right to that location, right location can be such a character, when you're especially when you're talking about small town, and New York City. Like I saw a lot of your books. Obviously, this is set in a small town, your other books are set in New York City. And I think that we don't think about that enough as like how location factors in. I write about. My books are set in Los Angeles of all places. And when I did write in New York, my editor was like, Oh, this is so cliche. This is terrible.

Meredith 33:21
I'm sure it wasn't.

Elle 33:24
And I was like, and she's like, you just write la so beautifully. I'm like, I have no idea like I've never lived in I've spent a lot of time out there. I've never lived there. So I'm like, Oh, yeah. So I had to like cut all of that stuff out. But it was was hilarious. But I just loved the idea. And clearly Hallmark has kind of you know, that small town romance like the town is a character. Yes. But I also think the city can absolutely

Meredith 33:50
and it isn't a lot of shows you know shows I always go to TV but in a lot of books as well. Yeah.

Elle 34:01
Yeah, but I think people always talk about small town that way but they never talk about the bigger cities they

Meredith 34:06
should I mean, I mean sets in the cities the city was the character right there's another there's another show now called uncoupled with, I always want to call him Doogie Howser. That's how that's how Barney, you know, Patrick Carey from How I Met Your Mother. And it's it's also in the city and the city plays like a huge role in it. It's great in the scene on TV, it does because there's the whole city versus small town trope in there like which is better right or can they both be good this one being great automatically make the other one not great because I feel like a lot of the hallmark movies do that all the cities for workaholics you know you go to the small town when you actually want to life. I mean, I do find that they that they're they do that they're very kind of mean about the big city. And so my character has that also like all the C The that's why I can't. That's why I was just ghosted on my date. You know, that's why I can't get a pitch accepted because there's too many people competing for the same stories. You know, and this is why guys don't like me because there's a prettier girl who you know, on the bar, the corner. And then she says she thinks that you know you go to the small town with 20 people and you're automatically going to find the one single guy who just happens to be available and hot and looking for love, are not looking. You're not looking for love until he meets you.

Elle 35:30
Because this is what happens when you go to a small town. Which would not be hilarious. And that's what happened. I don't know. I wonder if it's like a pendulum swing because they do not like the Sex in the City may did make New York seem so appealing. Like there was something so magical about the New York that they lived in.

Meredith 35:55
Yes, but it was because I was here the whole time. And I'm like, Oh, come on. Most people don't get invited to all these like restaurant openings and premieres. And they don't wear cocktail dresses out to dinner every night. Like, come on.

Elle 36:09
Yeah. And it was also you know, oh, she writes for The New York Observer. How does she afford all these?

Meredith 36:15
She did keep her sweaters in her oven. If she had no closet space, so

Elle 36:21
Well, I think she just had too many clothes because I remember being like, Oh, her closet massively. If you just look at these things, and you're like, and they were always out to eat, they're always taking cabs, they never took the subway. I was like, What's going on here? This does not reflect

Meredith 36:35
my legs carry was on the back of a bus. But she never actually took the bus. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Elle 36:46
I just think I just you know, and then and then once that show was hot, then you had like the influx of people from Ohio. I just remember being like, what's going on? And I blame that show for for that I really.

Meredith 37:00
I'm my books tend to tell them more realistic portrayal of New York. And I, for the most part, I have picked New York because I live here and it's easy, but it's not. But I I'm not glamorous, I don't always go to the trendiest hippest places. And so a lot of the places that I pick, and I use real places in my books, especially when it's New York, because like, there's so much to choose from, why would I use a fake place unless it's a place that I'm making fun of, or disparaging, be fake, but otherwise, like, I think people like to hear about real places, and they want to, I have a friend who has a blog called literary dates, and she reads books set in New York, and she takes herself on, you know, on like day trips, based on a book that set in New York, and she goes to all the places that that book mentions, and he wouldn't be able to do that if the books use like fictitious places.

Elle 37:52
That's such a fun idea. I love that.

Meredith 37:56
Yeah, it's, that's really, I've read some of them. And I'm like, that is so fun. So

Elle 38:01
what a great idea. Oh, God, I had a question. And it just slipped in.

Meredith 38:07
It happens all the time. That New York.

Elle 38:09
I know. So yeah, it was about New York. And I just like completely spaced what I was gonna ask you so okay, maybe, maybe I'll come back into my hat. I swear to God when I get older. Yeah. So he's, you know, just kind of lose up. But that's super cool. So okay, so you write places that are real? Oh, that now I remember what it was. Um, so I think that the reason why my editor did not like my book, it was like it was actually because I was writing New York, as I saw it as kind of like, well, it was New York in August, and it smells bad. And I don't think that she like she also lived in New York. But I think that she had a more romantic notion of it than I did. Which I thought was a little bit into like, because like, it was about how like New York smells. And it was also through my character's point of view, who was an LA girl that lived in New York or had moved to New York. And it was miserable. Because it was, it sounds like it's perfect.

Meredith 39:07
She hated I just wrote a scene in my second book, or I just edit it, because I'm in line, and it's now and it's and she's walking to the city. And she talks about the smell of the city in July. And she says, like, waste and garbage and, and like and cigarettes, and then a combination of fried foods from the restaurant. I mean, because that's what it is. It's not. And that's I think that's when you know, somebody's actually from New York, I used to get annoyed when I read a book where it was all beautiful, and everybody's falling in love and everybody, because that's not New York either like you want. You want some of that because you do want the magic of New York, but unless that's what the book is really about. It's just like, come on. Like that's not that's not real.

Elle 39:48
There was a thing that I had in the book that actually had happened to me when I was walking home from work. It was like, I think it was like January or February right and we've gotten a lot of snow. And so you had the snow piled up on the sidewalks and so you had to like maneuver you know when you're crossing the streets to if nobody like you know whatever so and things were melting and so the potholes had like lots of icy water collected and at one point I was standing kind of on the curb edge waiting to cross and a van came by going kind of fast hit the pothole water shot. Shot shot. Shot literally and she literally shot all over me I was soaked to the bone in that dirty water that is I did she hit it up. I did I wrote that I wrote that and and she's like she your

Meredith 40:42
edits. I don't want to say anything bad. But

Elle 40:47
I tried my next book because I was so miserable with like the feedback because she was like, Yeah, cuz I couldn't but it's so cliche

Meredith 40:56
that's not that's that's actually the opposite. The cliche is like, oh, and the windows had like light light blue light has everybody strolled arm and arm because falling in love in New York. And, you know, yeah,

Elle 41:10
cliche is Nora fronds.

Meredith 41:11
Yeah. Yeah. I'm sorry.

Elle 41:17
On how I felt, okay, good. So I'm gonna use that another book. You should because I was so mad. I was like, I was like, Don't you see? She's LA girl. She hates it. Like, nope, hate it up anyway. It's so cliche. I feel better. You should. No. Thank you. Um, so why don't you just like, get into your pain. And because I like I said I was. So I was I was so intrigued. Because usually what I'm reading is if it's not, quote unquote, sweet, which I know nobody likes that word, but for lack of a better term, you know, a romance with no steamy moments, or close the door. I'm always reading hyper steamy moments. And so there's a lot of talks about Cox and pussies. And you know, that there's a lot of slipping and sliding. There's a lot of wetness happening there. So, so with yours, it was a it was a lot. It was really interesting to read and sort of like, have have the steam level high, but not have it be out. Yes.

Meredith 42:22
And that's what that's kind of like my style. That's what I'm trying to keep, because that's what I'm comfortable writing and I feel like it fits seamlessly into the rest of my books. My next book is a little bit steamy, but it's still on that same kind of like level, I would guess to a plateau maybe

Elle 42:45
last book, I got like three chili peppers. I was like, Is that good or bad? I don't know. Um, so for your next book, you said you're in line edits. Did you sell

Meredith 42:55
a two book deal?

Elle 42:57
Oh, god,

Meredith 42:58
what's the it's called someone just like you. And it's an enemy since childhood to lovers. Opposites attract force proximity romcom send over like all my favorite. Yeah, I really want to set in Manhattan. And it's about Molly and Jude who lives across the street from each other growing up and like hated each other. They would pull pranks on each other in a very not good naturedly way. And now in their 20s they are forced together to plan a surprise co anniversary party for their parents who are best friends. And they revert to their old tricks. And but they form a like a grudging friendship after a while, but it's like rife with sexual tension. And then when they discover that they've both been dating a version of each other's doppelganger for like the past decade. And so they have to question why are they seeking in romantic partners what they claim to hate about each other? So Oh, my God, thank you. I was inspired. There's an episode of Friends called the one with Russ. And I don't know if you ever watched friends, but Rachel and Ross had broken up. And Rachel Ross that Rachel goes into the cafe one day with this guy named Ross, who looks exactly like Ross. his mannerisms are exactly like Ross. He talks like Ross and the rest of the gang are like, What the hell is happening here? And of course, Ross and Ross see each other, they don't see it. They don't notice it. And like, and it's like, everybody realizes that he's like a doppelganger for Ross, who she thinks to she's saying she hates and she's totally over. But here she is with his doppelganger. And so by also, it was something when I thought about it, I was trying to up the wow factor in the first book, the book that didn't sell. We're like, we go for a second round. You know, let's maybe try to make it a bigger hook. And my agent was like, that's a really funny concept. She's like, I think that can probably stand on its own instead of trying to put that into this book. And, and I agreed with her and so I used it for my second book and it was so much fun to write.

Elle 45:13
Oh my god, so when the puppet puppet, do you have that?

Meredith 45:16
I'm pretty sure it's summer of 2023. But I don't have I don't have a class or anything yet.

Elle 45:21
Okay, but that's really awesome. And congratulations on the super bill. Oh my god. That's super exciting. All right, and we'll have a little bit more. Yeah. But let me Okay, let's let me start with this. So this is from bubba. Sorry, I'm just as seen on TV. And where are we? We are about

Meredith 45:48
35% in

Elle 45:51
Okay, have they acknowledged acknowledge their attraction

Meredith 45:57
for this, there was a scene a couple scenes earlier where they're like flirting with each other and they're about to kiss. And he gets a phone call because I had to put the interrupted kiss that you always get in Hallmark movies. And common jokes about it. She's like, of course finally something matches a Hallmark movie and has to be an interrupted kiss when I'm about to kiss like a hot guy. You know?

Elle 46:22
Oh, you know what I'm gonna ask you to before we move I'm like I keep saying we're going to do this. And then I'm like, Oh, one more thing. This is in first person do you do dual point of view? Or is this this is strictly from her POV Are you like, I only Oh, good point of view too. And I know it drives people crazy. But I am writing my books for women and about women. And I think dual point of view is

Meredith 46:45
really I tried it with my third book that will be going out on option with and I sent it to my agent. She's like, I love all of it. Except his POV like his voice. It wasn't great enough in that case. And the only reason I had it from his POV because I was going to make it that he loved her from the beginning. You know, people love that, Oh, we love her. She doesn't know. And we see him being such a cinnamon roll and everything, but it just wasn't working. So I'm like, well, if I'm not going to do that, and his voice isn't really working as his own POV I'm just going to get rid of it. Because I personally love I love writing single POV because I don't always want my readers to know exactly what he's thinking. And I want there to be some surprises. I love reading books. I like writing reading single POV. I love reading dual POV because for me, like as the as with the level of steam, it's about the book. It's about the writing style, the voice the characters, everything else. I don't care if it's first person present first person past third person, you know, like, it's, I read the book, you know?

Elle 47:44
Yeah. Yeah, I'm the same way I can read first person, like I don't mind like what, you know what point of view I'm reading unnecessarily. But I I do think I lean a bit more towards you know, single point of view rather than duel. And I think that's part of the reason why I just started writing single because so many of the books I read were and loved were single. And and sometimes I would find when I'd be reading books with dual point of view, I would I would lose point of view I was on

Meredith 48:13
and also Yeah, awesome. Like if you write single POV you always have the option of doing like an epilogue or like a free thing for your newsletter from the other one. You know?

Elle 48:23
Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah, I did a my animals book, fourth book, fourth book, I have an epilogue for the readers, you know, the bonus epilogue that comes through and the male characters point of view, which they I'd never done that before at all. So it was kind of fun to do. But I was like, I don't think I can put this in the book. Like, I can't I can't do a full book of his point of view, her point of view,

Meredith 48:48
I'd rather just say that my editor didn't say anything. She She edits both, but it's not like she ever said, you know, maybe you should do you know, both, like nothing. So, I think that if you like it better your readers like it. Do it? You know, don't you know?

Elle 49:06
Yeah. Yeah, so does that mean now you're the next book is also a single point of view and the one that you're working on beyond that as also single or use or

Meredith 49:17
AI right now. It's I only wrote like a, like 100 pages of it and an outline, and it's all single. If my editor came back and said, We only want this if it's doable, I would do it, but it's just that right. Maybe that's my thing. Single plenty of plenty of people write them. You know,

Elle 49:35
plenty of people do. Yeah, I'm one so that's nice. I like that. At least there are two of us out there. Yeah. Because sometimes I feel like the pendulum is now on that dual point of view, right like that seems to be where the pendulum is, but I can't quite move myself there. Just can't do it. Alright, so I just had a bad day. She Sure so where is she? She's, she's

Meredith 50:01
at the BNP she. Yeah,

Elle 50:03
the BMS. Okay. And is it his b&b? Like how are their both is he because

Meredith 50:10
he works for the real estate developer that she had hoped to bring down and he's staying at the bean b&b While while he's there on business,

Elle 50:18
got it. And then there meet cute is

Meredith 50:21
that she assumes he's like the token single guy. And so when she discovers that, who that who he is, and he's not a local, he's like, why would I be in the b&b? If I was a local? You know, and she's like, I don't know what she meant if Hallmark movies.

Elle 50:38
My God, this is fantastic. I love this so much. Okay. I knocked twice and waited. Please be here. I had my hand poised to knock again when the door opened in grinned. Hi, there was face dropped. What's wrong? Things didn't go well, at your last stop. I pushed my way into his room. I don't want to talk about it. I didn't want to talk at all. How can I help? When I turned around, he was right there in front of me close enough to kiss to close not to kiss. So I did. If he was surprised he recovered quickly confirming he wanted this to my hands clutched the front of his sweater. And my feet lifted off the ground. When he wrapped both his arms around my waist. His beard scratched against my cheeks. His mouth was warm and wet. And I sighed into it. He slipped his hand under my sweater and rubbed my back. It felt so good. And exactly what I needed. I didn't want to think about my disaster of a day disaster of a trip. And then he pulled away why I placed small pecs on his lips, are you not? I tugged on the zipper of his jeans, kissing me. I didn't know him well enough to be so bold. But the unfamiliarity made me braver. Besides, it was obvious he was into it, at least from a biological standpoint, then I realized consent went both ways and dropped my hands. I'm sorry, did you not want to? I thought, I avoided eye contact as if my not looking at him meant he couldn't see how embarrassed I was for completely misreading the situation. I loved how you included the consent in us. And it was on his part, like her being like, oh grew up but not like, like, I might be doing something he really doesn't want to do. And we never like we don't see that when we see consent. It's always her, you know, him saying, Are you down with us and her being like, yes. And, you know, so I kind of liked it again, like just doing the flip. And I and I liked how she was not awkward, right? Because like this is their kind of first time. And there is no awkwardness here. Really. I mean, except in the moment where she was like, Oh, crap, I didn't know. This was okay. Yeah, she just went for it.

Meredith 52:58
He really owned her sexuality, which a bunch of people have said, you know, in in reviews that they like that, so I was happy.

Elle 53:07
Yeah, I do, too. I do, too. There was absolutely no tentative. No tentativeness and her when she's like, just like, I've had a bad day. And I need us. And I was like, Yeah, that's great. Yeah. And then,

Meredith 53:25
and they had us learning a lot. And he did tell her he liked her, you know, an earlier scene. So it wasn't like she just knocked on some random dudes door and was like, fuck me, you know, at all.

Elle 53:37
But even then. Even then, that's okay. Might not be the safest thing in the world. But I mean, like, if that's what you want to do, like, all right, have a good time. Yeah, I was just like, basically, like, when I read this, I was sharing, I actually just wrote an essay for an anthology that's going to be donating money for it's basically in response to Roe v. Wade. And I wrote about that, because one of the most frustrating things for me was sort of saying, Well, what about, you know, the What about sort of, well, what about rape victims? What about incest victims? And not to say that we should not be thinking about them? Because obviously, yes, oh my god, yes, we should be. But there was a real erasure of women's pleasure in the conversation that was really bugging me. It was like, Well, women can't have sex, for pleasure. And if they are impregnated well, then they kind of maybe deserved to, like have that pregnancy, right. Like that was sort of like what I was sort of like that. There was like that little bit of achiness there when people started that sort of like, well, what about the situation that should

Meredith 54:49
be all situation?

Elle 54:52
It should be all situations and I don't think and, and so I was so it's really funny that I was like reading this now. When I like literally just wrote about that for this compilation, because it was something that was really been heavy on my mind about how women are just not allowed to have pleasure,

Meredith 55:09
or there are there are consequences there

Elle 55:13
are there are consequences like Yes. Like the pregnancy is a consequence for your pleasure, like, you know what I mean? And it's just like, and that doesn't sit well with me. And I think that we need more. And I'm guilty of not writing this myself in my own books, I think that we need more of that almost sex for sex sake, because it feels good. Rather than I'm doing this because

Meredith 55:36
I'm, I'll become I agree with you. And I'll be completely honest, you giving me a little bit more credit, because I actually did not put all that much thought into it. Like I was just writing it. And it was after I wrote it that I kind of, you know, realized all these things.

Elle 55:52
I'm still giving you all the credit because it was sitting there somewhere in your head. You just maybe weren't conscious? Because I am convinced that it was sitting there somewhere in your head. Absolutely. Because you know, and I because

we we do we that we have sex like that. We have sex like that. I haven't,

you know, I mean? I've had

Meredith 56:15
Yeah, I'm why to our like characters have to pretend to like why should it matter? Men are hooking up all the time in these books. Oh, he's such a player until he met you. Like, why can't you and it and why do you have to be called a player for it? If both parties right? Game, and it's safe, and there's consent, and it shouldn't matter what either their motivations are?

Elle 56:39
Yeah, yeah. Like my most hated board is like, especially, you know, I've used it once my books, there was a point to it. But the you know, the the calling of the of a woman who is having sex for pleasure, and that sort of call out a sloth, like, just, you know, it's under No, I

Meredith 57:00
said some of the some of the reasons like my older books, I don't know if I was as aware. They're they're much older. And I don't know, if I, I don't know, like, I won't go back and read them. Because I think I was a different person. And I don't know if I realize some of the things that I might have been saying, just for because back when I was reading, like Chiclet like, that's what we were calling people like, slots, I guess, in those books, and that's what I guess I was raised on. And it wasn't until I kind of sat back and kind of thought about like, what are you doing? And like, why? You know,

Elle 57:29
yeah, yeah, that definitely was raised on that word. I mean, that word was like, you know, anytime you wanted to say something derogatory about a woman or a girl, you'd use the word slot. You know, I mean, that was sort of like that. And, and yeah, I mean, like, that's, to sort of, like, get that out of your book. You know, your lexicon is, uh, you know, like, that's, that's a thing. Like, that's a real thing. You know, so anyway, I But anyway, that's, I'm, we're, we're on such a tangent, but it's great. But yeah, I was totally cheering this scene because I was like, yes, yes. Yeah.

Meredith 58:06
Okay, keep reading. You're very good.

Elle 58:09
I'm gonna keep going. Okay, you

Meredith 58:10
are a podcast. It's not surprising that you have a great voice for this stuff.

Elle 58:16
Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. I try. I tried. Okay. Jumping down a little bit. This is long, everyone's a buckle in. How do you do that? I asked before lifting my before lifting my shirt over my head. Another bold move, but I was on a roll. Do what he asked, pulling my top all the way off and placing it gently on the rocking chair like it was an original Oscar de la Ron de la Renta, and not $20 from forever 21 I hope you had a chuckle on that. Look at me like you've known me forever. It's just the way I look at you. You're in his thumb along my wrist bone making me shiver. Do you want me to stop? Please don't stop I place I placed his hand on the lace trim of my bra, any of it. His eyes crinkled at the corners. I'd like you Adina. The feeling was mutual. Pleasant how hollow had disenchanted me at every turn with one exception, and he was standing before me. Eventually, I would need to face the reality of my situation and come up with a plan. But right now I wanted to lose myself in thin or rather let him lose himself in me. I shimmied out of my jeans. No more talking. I kissed him again and our mouths and tongues explored while I frantically helped him remove his shirt. When my hands grabbed on to bare skin instead of cotton. I pulled away to take in the site and gulped Wow, just wow. I could practically feel my eyes dilating. He had a swimmer's lean muscle tone and a smooth chest with just a line of black hair leading from his navel downward. I stroked it with my finger like I've been dying to do since this shirt rose up at brothers. Just so you know you said that out loud too. He cooked one of my breasts with one hand and unclip my bra with the other until we were skin to skin. My nipples hardened upon contact With his broad chest, I pushed him on the bed and straddled him. No more talking. Except he was still wearing pants. I unbuckled his jeans and peel them off his legs until he wore nothing but black Calvin Klein boxer briefs. It was my favorite male underwear as long as the guy had the goods to pull it off. Ben had the goods. I climbed off him flip over your sexy when you're bossy he slapped my ass and did his told you take direction. Well, I said to his back, I slowly pulled the fabric away from his skin gasped and let it snap back. But who? Yes, he had the goods. Just as I thought your ass is perfect. I climbed off of him. You can turn around now. He swung around and regarded regarded me with hooded eyes. I like a woman who takes charge. That moment, I loved her. She was so direct. And she was like, look at the ask please turn around. I know. I mean, I kind of liked it, though, that she was like she stopped because she was like, look at the book. Like she could have just like kept going right? And just be like, okay, and then it was a bit No, she was like, yes. Go go look at that. So it was great. It was really great. Okay, jumping down a little bit more. He kissed me before I before I could complete the sentence we kissed until my lips were swollen and the rest of my body begged for attention. Then finally, Fin scooted down the bat and spread my legs apart. My imagination with respect to how his beard would feel between my thighs couldn't compete with the real thing. His tongue Oh my god. I bucked against him pleading for more. Then he applied more pressure. Somehow he instinctively knew what I wanted before I even asked. Yes. Just like that. Oh, God, I was so close. I fisted the sheets and lifted my pelvis off the mattress condom please. My body screamed for release. You sure is breath tickled my most sensitive spot because I can finish you can i can't i panted mouth play could get me right to the edge but I needed more bigger harder thrusting to cross to the other side. I'm sorry. He jumped out of bed and over to his dresser sorry for what telling me what you want. Returning with a condom. He said never be sorry for that. Who are you? I put my hand up. I know I said it out loud. I know I said it out loud again. He grinned before climbing into the bed with me. My name is Finn Adams and I'd like to fuck you now. Is that okay? Yes, please. He slid inside me agonizingly slow entering only part of the way and back again over and over tortuously until I was begging for more. I tighten my legs around his hips and pushed him deeper the mattress squeaked with our movements. Soon I was panting and we were both slick with sweat. We came together loudly and I hoped and was right about being the only guests at the b&b. Then while the ice cream i i bought I bought him melted into liquid sugar. We did it again. We've probably fought for the duration of at least one Hallmark movie including commercials. And it was way better than Okay. Call back to Hallmark there. There was such there you kick like I thought that there was such a sensual thing going on here. And then you moved in to the condoms, but it didn't take me out of that sensuality. You know, and I was like, yeah, we can write these things into the scene. We can write consent, we can write condoms into the scenes, and it won't detract from it. And I was like, well done. I was like, That's really great. I'm

Meredith 1:03:53
like that, to me is like harder for me because again, I'm not somebody who like loves writing like sex scenes and who's you know, writes really, really steamy ones. So it's, you know, I was wondering how I knew it was kind of like in the middle. It's not fade to black. It's not really graphic and I didn't know how it would go over well like I didn't know if there was room for like this kind of middle. And

Elle 1:04:17
I think that there is you know, it's so funny because on Tik Tok I've been seeing more writers talk about I write medium steam, and you know, and I'm like, okay, that's really because I don't quite know what medium steam is. And I think some of them are calling it closed.

Meredith 1:04:29
How was that medium?

Elle 1:04:33
Yeah, I know. I think that steam light, you know what I mean? Like I think that because it's not sweet, but it's certainly not, you know, hyper steamy, but I feel like you I feel like this is medium steam. Like I feel like you've kind of hit this this really great middle ground of like, you've given me just enough of the graph of the moment that I do enjoy reading, but it's not so graphic or you're a little like, oh god, oh god, I'm gonna close my I was for a minute. You know, because even while I'm writing something and I write pretty heavy steam moments, and even then for myself, I'm like, Oh, do they just really write, I don't know.

Meredith 1:05:13
My book before this I the one that didn't sell i It ended up that I kept writing the sex scenes in the cafeteria at lunch in my office. It just I didn't do it on purpose. But I would write during lunch. And it always seemed to be that I wasn't going to love a sexy and it's just an I would like look around like, oh my god, what am I this is so uncomfortable, like writing this now in the cafeteria where there's partners and, you know, looking over my shoulder?

Elle 1:05:39
That's hilarious. Well, you know, I'm always lying to your own business. Serves you what Serves you right for looking. I also really appreciated that you wrote like, they're having oral sex and that you wrote that she couldn't climax that way. And I was like, yeah. Cool. Because I think that like, what the thing, whatever revs our motors, like, looks so different for everyone. And so it's always and again, like, I feel like I don't know if I'm, I don't know, if I'm doing this well, but I'm seeing it like you. And I've had other writers on to where I'm just like, I like I think that's brilliant, like you're showing a side of sex that is real and actually does happen. And not everybody is going to come with penetration. Not everybody is going to, you know, finish not everybody like and I think that these are. And I

Meredith 1:06:37
also think that like, I think sometimes it's also a trust thing, you know, and that in my in this case, it's kind of a spoiler, but later on in the book, when they know each other, and they trust each other, he like, tries, and he succeeds. And maybe some people would think that's cliche, you know, but I, you know, and that, and that was how I made my sex scenes different in the book, but there aren't that many of them, but they all happen at different stages of their relationship. And because of based on where they are and their relationship and their feelings for each other. I changed how things like went down, and what's going on in their heads and things like,

Elle 1:07:14
right. Right. So I mean, yeah, it's the sex is in the book is really in service to the story. You know, I sort of, you know, I know, I get I read high heat levels, but I get really frustrated when it's like,

Meredith 1:07:28
like, when you feel like you could take that sex scene and plug it into any book.

Elle 1:07:32
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Like, it's just like, it doesn't need to be there. And sometimes I'm like, you know, maybe I have two, maybe three, really lucky, all right, for, you know, into my books, but like, I don't and I always go, Well, I don't know if that's enough. I don't know, you know, because I do want to be in service to the reader as well. But like, those moments are not there for a reason, because the characters aren't ready. Or, you know, or I just need to close the door. Because, yeah, we've already had that intimate moment between them before. And I don't really want to repeat exactly nothing new. That's

Meredith 1:08:07
yeah, there are other scenes where like, they'll wake up in the morning, and they'll like, look at each other, and they'll do it. But like, I don't have to go through. If it doesn't really, if it's not needed for the story. You don't always have to go through the entire scene. I think sometimes it can just be implied. You know that? That then we did it again. Right? You don't have to go through all the details. I really think it says it depends on where you're in the story and whether you really need that extra scene or not.

Elle 1:08:33
Right. I mean, do you think you would ever write

Meredith 1:08:36
I am thinking about it a little bit more for my third book? I really think it depends on my third book. It's just it's a friends to lovers. And I don't know if this will ever see the light of day. I hope so. And I do think and the characters are very different. And I do think that I might have their sex scene a little bit more graphic. I think it might fit the story better. release for the first 16 But I don't know it really. It'll happen when I get there. But it's like a muscle. And the more I write them, the more comfortable I am with them. And like I feel that from the first book to the second. So

Elle 1:09:15
what do you think the resistance is? In terms of your comfort level with it? I'm just always going to kind of curate because it's hard for

Meredith 1:09:22
me to write I don't know, I just I kind of get all cringy on myself when I when I start like doing like details. I don't know. I think that's what it is.

Elle 1:09:34
That's so funny. Sometimes I'm like, I think like my mom is like what are you what? What are you writing?

Meredith 1:09:47
I think that's more uncomfortable. He doesn't care. He's not you know, but it's just like my dad. It's just weird, you know?

Elle 1:09:55
That is weird. I'm like, Oh, my family's like should I read your butt? I'm like, No, you don't I have to I appreciate your

Meredith 1:10:01
sidewalk. But I'm like, but you can skip chapter you know the pages, but also because mine are not really, really steamy. It doesn't get like it doesn't bother me too much. And they know I'm a grown woman, you know, so

Elle 1:10:17
I know. I know about it too hard. It's still kind of weird. So, Meredith, where do you like to hang out on the internet wears?

Meredith 1:10:36
I would say Instagram is one. And it's my name, just Meredith shore. And yes, and same thing with Twitter. I would say Instagram is

Elle 1:10:47
cool. And I will have I will have links to Twitter, Instagram, and also your website in the shownotes. I think everybody needs to check out this book. Because like I said, I am completely obsessed with it. I think it's awesome. As Seen on TV. And yeah, Mariana Thank

Meredith 1:11:11
you. So it's been really, really fun. Thank you so much for having me.

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