Merritt Tierce's debut novel is Love Me Back.
From her Q & A with Emma Chastain for The Barnes & Noble Book Blog:
EC: I loved your book. I loved it so much. I just want to gush about it for the whole interview. It was one of those books that makes me feel like everything else is so fake and phony and this is one of the only things I’ve read that’s about real life and being a woman. It’s so real that I wonder if you had to put pressure on yourself as you were writing to be honest and not to worry about what readers would think.Visit Merritt Tierce's website.
MT: Yes. I don’t think I should get any credit for it; that’s just how I write. I don’t think about who’s going to read it. I write to make really, really perfect sentences. That’s what I’m going for. I don’t care about the story that much, so it’s hard to think about. I say that because I think that people who have an imaginary reader or an imaginary critic must think about what that reader would make of a character’s decisions, or the plot turns or something. But those aren’t the things that I care about most, and it’s hard to think, “What would a reader think of this sentence?” The closest I’ve come to that was in grad school, where one of my professors, who’s a famous writer, just kind of loathed my writing and had some pretty negative things to say about it—and even said flat-out that it wasn’t fiction, which I don’t even know what that means. And that was kind of crushing because she was—and still is—an idol of mine as a writer. But it forced me to realize that I wasn’t writing to please anyone else or for anyone else’s approval. And it wasn’t like before that I had been writing for her approval or anyone’s approval and then I changed courses. It was just that I realized, “Well, people will think that. And I don’t really care.”
What did she mean when she said it’s not fiction—did she suspect it was memoir?
No, that’s not what she meant at all. I think she meant...[read on]