Meredith Allady had a lot more free time (which she spent reading) before she became involved in The Merriweather Chronicles. She hopes you enjoy them!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
For me that's pretty much an impossible question--I have so many books that I love to read and re-read! So I'll modify it, limiting it to fiction, and going with the old "if you were stranded on a desert island" set-up: If I were told that I could only ever have access to five novels, I'd have to go with Jane Austen's (I'd probably leave behind Northhanger Abbey, just because it's shortest). Not only because they are wonderful, but because, unlike most novels, every page is entertaining irrespective of the plot--and every time I take them up I find something new to appreciate about her writing. Would I miss not having any 'fluffier' reading on occasion? You bet!
What do you read for pleasure?
Everything. Seriously: If I'm not enjoying a book--even if it's only for the new information it's giving me--I drop it. I consider my eyes and my time too valuable not to. If you mean "for relaxation", the answer is more complicated. First, I re-read things a lot, because most of my favorite authors are dead (Austen, Heyer, D. E. Stevenson etc), and of the authors I like that are still writing--unfortunately, they don't write fast enough to keep me occupied! As for the type of books I read, well, oddly enough, I don't read much current historical fiction: "regencies" now all seem to be of the kind where the hero has no shirt on the cover, and the insides are even worse--little attention to accuracy, and modern attitudes and mores dripping off every page. I can respect an author who wants to make her 18th century heroine a feminist and her hero an free-thinker--but at least make an effort to fit them into the times: it's not as if Wollstonecraft and Godwin et al don't provide plenty of primary sources for the task.
This next book in The Merriweather Chronicles follows hard on the heels of the events in Friendship and Folly. What happens when the Parrys' beloved Julia marries and goes to live in Ireland? Well, for one thing, the Royal Mail enjoys a significant increase in revenue as letters fly thick and (relatively) fast across the Irish Sea...