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Meredith Rose photoIf you are a blogger, book reviewer, or other member of the media, thank you for your interest in me and my books. Below, you’ll find some useful information: my bio, headshots, book info and excerpt, and FAQ/Interview topics. If there’s anything else I can help you with, feel free to use the contact form below. The contact form goes to a special PR account, so if you are a reader and wanting to contact me, you’ll have much better success using my main contact page, or visiting my Facebook page or Twitter account

Official Bio:

Author Meredith Rose has been a literary rebel since the age of nine when she began rewriting novel endings she didn’t like. Childhood peers mocked her for using words longer than two syllables, and adults told her that she would never be able to make it as a writer–because it’s, like, not a real career. Thoroughly undaunted, over the next two decades she secretly pursued writing novels and finally sold her first book at age twenty-nine (under a different name). She went on to publish another three novels, wherein the experience of rewriting endings actually came in useful. Chains of Silver is her first young adult novel, and she wrote it for her two teenage daughters who are also talented rebels in their own ways. When she’s not writing, Meredith studies Welsh, dabbles in graphic design and altered art, and reads Tumblr way too much. Bucket list items include becoming a yarn bomber, Argentine tango dancer, and an opera singer.

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Photos:

If you need high-resolution versions of any of the below photos, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page to request them. All photos are © Hooton Images and should be credited as such, preferably with a link to their site. To view photos as a lightbox, click on the image. To close out of the lightbox, click on the darkened background or hit “Escape.” To download an image, right click on the image and choose the correct option for your operating system to save or download.

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About Chains of Silver:

If all the world’s a stage, then I am utterly screwn…

In the high-stakes world of the theater, stage fright can seriously crank your career, so apprentice Minx Mellor hides her phobia, studying as a technomancer to create fantastic, steam-powered devices.

But when the mysterious serial killer known as The Peacock targets one of their own, Minx can hide no longer. To save the life of the woman she loves like a mother, she teams up with her sworn enemy and a dashing young director whose powerful magic wakes the nightmares she’s kept secret for years.

When disaster strikes, Minx must face the horrors of her past and find the courage to do what she vowed she’d never do again.

Even if it means risking her life as bait to trap a murderer.

From the shadows of cobblestoned alleys and the glittering steampunk world of an aristocracy gone mad for theater comes the first book in a brand new young adult fantasy series about love, the power of creativity, and the resiliency of the human spirit.

Click to read a brief excerpt. 

To read the entire chapter 1, please visit the Books page.

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FAQs and Suggested Interview Topics:

Click on a question to show the answer.

What Inspired the Alchemy Empire Series?

I’m writing the Alchemy Empire series for my daughters. I asked them for a list of everything they ever wanted in a young adult novel, and I promised them I’d include every item from their lists in my story. They requested everything from proms and popular girls to magic and romance. It was quite a diverse list!

I’d been wanting to write a steampunk novel, mainly because I love the steampunk aesthetic–especially the clothes. I also have always loved theater nearly as much as I love writing, and my youngest daughter is an aspiring actress. Setting a young adult novel in a steampunk theater was too enticing an idea to resist.

I have also been long fascinated by how the arts, especially literature and performing arts, have been used as tools of political protest and even revolution. A lot of steampunk literature focuses on wars and political conflicts, and even steampunk-themed cosplay centers around guns and other weapons. As someone deeply committed to non-violence, I thought it would be fun to twist that around and tell a story about how a bunch of steampunk drama nerds use their talents to fan the flames of a non-violent revolution.

The so-called Arab Spring a few years ago was celebrated as a model of mostly non-violent uprising–until it turned tragically bloody. The debate is ongoing–how far can non-violent resistance and protest go? Can it really change a nation? Or can a more just and open society only be forged through war? These are some of the questions I am exploring with the Alchemy Empire series. Considering that most revolutions start with a nation’s young people, it made sense to have this discussion in the pages of a young adult novel.

What Is Steampunk and Why Do You Like It?

Steampunk is basically Victorian-flavored science fiction. It’s based on the question “what if advanced technology had happened through clockwork mechanics and steam instead of electricity? Steampunk gives you airships and goggles, beautiful brass devices, lots of gears, and corsets, cravats, waistcoats, top hats and all sorts of other Victorian wear. It also gives you the ability to create a story world full of the British comedy-of-manners type culture that people love about Jane Austen or North and South. I enjoy combining that polite historical flavor with modern snark and independence.

I admit it–I enjoy steampunk mostly because of the clothes! There’s something so whimsical and fun about combining corsets and goggles and top hats with today’s clothing. It’s like a happier version of goth. I also like the gadgets. I would love, love, love to have a steampunked computer like Steampunk Workshop makes.

On Fashion and Body Image

In the past several years, I’ve become rather interested in fashion and clothing–part of what brought me to steampunk, I’m sure. But growing up, I had picked up on some really negative messages about clothing, my body, and my self image. I got the idea that clothing was primarily meant to cover up and hide a flawed, unworthy body, and that fashion was only for rich, superficial, skinny people.

I was taking my cues from people in my life who didn’t really feel good about their own bodies and who seemed to think they didn’t deserve to look nice. I don’t think looking nice solves problems or makes a person more valuable. My interest in fashion is an outward way of saying that my body is good, beautiful, and acceptable and that it’s worthy of caring about. It’s only been in the last ten years or so that I’ve been able to say that and mean it, so for me, this has been really important.

That said, I think there’s a lot about the fashion world that is unjust and extremely unhealthy. Everyone should have the ability to look nice and feel good about their appearance without having to spend a fortune, and yet so much of affordable fashion relies on exploiting workers who are worse off than even the poorest of the “developed” world. So I think being interested in fashion gives people who care about justice and fair trade and health the opportunity to speak to those things as well as change negative attitudes about our bodies and what our physical appearance does or does not add to our worth as human beings.

On Artists as Revolutionaries

Stories are powerful. I was still a kid when I first learned that Black Beauty was more than just a fanciful story about the life of a horse–that it actually helped end some of the cruelest abuses against horses in the Victorian period. Then, in high school, I heard about playwrights who used the power of their pens and the stage to bring awareness of social and political injustice–and who were persecuted and arrested as a result.

In college, our theater director was a political refugee from Latvia. Rumor had it he was persona non grata throughout most of eastern Europe for speaking out against the government. He never spoke of it much, but I always wondered if he used theater as a way of expressing his revolutionary ideas.

In 1989, theaters were the birthplace of the “Velvet Revolution” that led to the peaceful end of communism in what was then Czechoslovakia.

In the Alchemy Empire series, I focus mainly on the role of theater artists in bringing about social and political change, but we see examples today throughout the world of musicians, writers, visual artists, dancers, and actors using their art to challenge injustices and to connect with the public on an emotional as well as intellectual level. Artists challenge us all to reflect, to see from a new perspective, to question, to take action. It’s no wonder that our seats of power–governments, schools, churches, corporations–often seek to suppress or control artists. They are real revolutionaries because they expose and explore and reveal the deepest–and often most uncomfortable–truths of the human experience.

Thoughts on Teenagers

I’m so tired of people saying “I’m sorry” when I tell them I have two teen daughters. I always fire back with “I’m not! Teens are amazing, and my daughters bring me so much joy and energy and life.”

When my oldest daughter was twelve, she overheard some dance moms at the studio talking about how horrible teens were. Being on the cusp of teenagerhood, my daughter came to me, worried that once she was thirteen, that I would think she was horrible as well.

I told her, “No. Those moms were wrong. Teens are wonderful people, and you are going to be an awesome teen. You and I will have a great relationship, and when we have conflicts, we’ll work through them because I love you and I believe in you.”

And that’s so far proven to be true–for both my girls.

Teens don’t need us to tell them how much they suck. They need us to believe in them and inspire the best in them. They need us to see their potential and help them figure out how to reach it.

If we tell teens they’re awful and we dread having to deal with them, then when they live up to those expectations, should we really blame them–or ourselves?

Thoughts on Girls

One of my other hot buttons is when I say I have two daughters, and people (usually moms of boys) respond “Ugh. I’m so glad I don’t have girls. Girls are moody. Girls are mean. Boys are so much easier.”

It makes me want to reply, “Yeah, with that attitude, I’m glad you don’t have girls, too.” Because girls don’t deserve to be sent even a silent or subconscious message that they suck, that they’re inferior, or that their own mothers would have preferred to have a son instead.

My heart aches for our girls. They’re told they have to be perfect. They have to look perfect. They have to be twice as kickass as any boy but still have Hollywood hair. Our culture bemoans the fact that our girls are graduating college in greater numbers than the boys (“our boys are in CRISIS! We must save them!) and then that same culture blames a girl when she is raped because she “shouldn’t have dressed/acted/spoken like a slut.”

I’m a feminist. I believe in gender equality. I believe it’s the job of all of us, no matter what gender we identify as, to fight against abuse and injustice. If we care about violence against women, and want to stop it, we need to start with empowering our girls, because every woman was once a girl first.

With my daughters, I spend a lot of time talking them through the cultural issues they are bombarded with–whether it’s messages about their body or messages about how they are expected to act.

Just recently, my oldest daughter told me about a senior in one of her classes who was pressuring her to give him a hug after school–“because you’re nice.” She was confident enough to respond back that her niceness doesn’t mean she owes him a hug. I congratulated her for being assertive and reminded her that she doesn’t owe anyone access to her body just to be “nice.” I also pointed out that she should avoid going out with boys who say things like that because it’s the exact same reasoning used to pressure a girl into giving sexual favors. If he does it with a hug, he’ll do it with sex.

A lot of our girls won’t realize these things unless we take the time to talk to them, mentor them, and help them find their own confidence and strength. Empowering women starts with empowering girls. And to empower them, we have to love them and believe in them.

Peace, Dude!

I believe we should pursue non-violence wherever and whenever possible. I’m not a fan of cowboy-style bluster or saber rattling (though I do think sword fighting and fencing are amazing as art and sport). I admire Dr. King and Gandhi. In my own life, I would like to become a person who is non-violent and peaceful in the small things, too–like controlling my temper, and not using my words to hurt people.

At the same time, it seems that sometimes we have to fight–to protect ourselves or the people we love, or to stop injustice and cruelty. Can we defend and fight peacefully? I struggle with that. My ideals and my desire to care for people sometimes are in conflict with each other.

This inner conflict fuels a lot of what happens in the Alchemy Empire books–but at the end of the day, I believe we have to try to find ways to treat all people, even our enemies, with as much love and compassion as we can. That by itself would bring more peace and less violence into the world.

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