Meredith Wild had spent 10 years in the tech industry working as the CEO of a software company before she decided to apply her expertise in marketing and innovation to the realm of self-publishing. Wild soon created the driven, successful character Erica Hathaway for 2013’s Hardwired,launching her Hacker romance series, which would go on to top the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. While balancing motherhood with writing erotic novels at night and figuring out how to push the limits of a fledgling industry, Wild also found time to create her own imprint, Waterhouse Press, hoping to bolster the success of other up-and-coming writers while moving into new genres herself with her latest Red Ledger series of thrillers.
After working in tech for so many years, what drew you to writing?
I kind of fell into the tech industry by way of a graphic design hobby, which grew into a business that would become much larger than I had ever anticipated. I learned a lot, but after 10 years of overseeing software projects, I was ready to change things up. I started reading romance in my spare time and eventually felt inspired enough to try my hand at writing a novel.
What makes the Hackerseries stand out as erotic romance?
I think the tech theme is definitely unique from a lot of contemporary billionaire romance that most readers come across. Erica’s having such a strong professional role creates some really fun power play between her and Blake as well. It was really important to me to create a solid character who could hold her own and still be vulnerable on the romantic journey.
Why did you decide to make the jump into suspense with The Red Ledger?
I had the idea for The Red Ledger before I’d finished the Hacker series, so I was excited and a little nervous to finally get started on Tristan and Isabel’s story this year. While romance writing is in my wheelhouse, I soon realized that this series would be better served with a faster pace and action focus, qualities that readers are more used to seeing in their suspense reads.
How did you feel that you could push the boundaries of self-publishing when you first started?
From the very beginning, I worked hard to ensure that the quality of my work and my brand could rival any others on the bookstore shelves. I also knew that I had to take responsibility for my own marketing and innovate in ways that others weren’t if I was going to get my books noticed. Once I was in a position to try to get my books stocked and to create critical relationships with vendors, I used this foundational work and pushed to be heard and considered the same way a traditionally published author would.
What made you decide to start your own imprint?
Initially I founded Waterhouse Press to support my titles, but once I’d built a team and an infrastructure, I realized that I could utilize the groundwork laid to build my brand to build others’.
What are some different approaches that Waterhouse takes compared to other imprints?
Waterhouse focuses on publishing a select few authors, creating a strong brand for each, and drawing attention to an author’s entire body of work, not only their frontlist. We are invested in the longevity of a series’ success and satisfying readers who are looking for new authors with several series they can binge!
What are you working on next?
I’m working on continuing The Red Ledger series with Revenge (Vol. 3), which will release in 2019. I'm also in the early stages of planning a Hacker series spinoff!
Rhett Morgan is a writer and translator based in Paris.