Melissa Tereze - Always Allie

For our March 2022 meeting of the Lesfic Book Club, we discussed Always Allie by Melissa Tereze. If you weren't able to make it, check out the transcript below.

A couple of notes on the transcript:

If you want to join us live, we discuss lesfic novels every month at (sign up or follow me on Twitter to find out what we're reading next). Some chat participants requested that their names be obscured, so below you'll see that everyone has been anonymized as Reader 1, Reader 2, etc.

Reader 1 4:03 PM

So, let’s get this show started :smile: Basically just a big Q&A, and you can either respond in threads or in the main chat. Goes for an hour.

Reader 2 4:03 PM

Can I just jump right in? My favorite part? When Cassidy tapped Danielle on the shoulder and said "it was always Allie"

Reader 3 4:04 PM

That was good! I really wanted Allie to kick her ass though!

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

Danielle was one of those women who think the world owes them something. Allie is far better than that and would never lower herself. Instead, she got her woman and that's punishment enough.

Reader 4 4:04 PM

What was your favorite scene to write for this book and why?

Melissa Tereze 4:05 PM

@Reader 2 Danielle's scenes were my favourite scenes to write. I love a villain. And boy, was she one!

Reader 4 4:05 PM

Well, that answers my question I guess.

Melissa Tereze 4:06 PM

@Reader 4 Favourite scene overall to write was the funeral scene when Allie stands by Cassidy's side. I cried writing it, and I really felt as though I was there with them.

Reader 5 4:07 PM

I knew from the beginning it was gonna make me cry and it did, but it was so so good. I feel so much for Allie and Cassidy when she came back to town

Reader 6 4:07 PM

I cried reading it !

Reader 7 4:07 PM

How did you come up with Danielle's character... You write such good characters she seemed so real as I was reading made me wanna jump in the book n give her a quick swift kick

Reader 3 4:07 PM

I'm not huge on second chance romance but this book did a number on me! It was SO good!

Reader 2 4:08 PM

I'm with @Reader 7 was Danielle based on someone you've had to deal with?

Reader 1 4:09 PM

I love second chances :smile: The tension in this one was so good too because you knew they were going to work it all out, but their problems seemed insurmountable, it was hard to see how

Reader 4 4:09 PM

What was the inspiration for Steve?

Melissa Tereze 4:09 PM

@Reader 5 Allie and Cassidy are one of my favourite couples to write. I think it was because of what the book meant to me, so it was important I got them right. The angst comes from the outside rather than between them because Allie is such an understanding non confrontational person

@Reader 7 @Reader 2 Danielle was loosely based on my old boss.

Reader 1 4:10 PM

Ouch, glad to hear it’s an old boss - sounds like a nightmare

Melissa Tereze 4:10 PM

@Reader 4 Steve (like Frog in another book of mine) is based on my own dog. She's so human that it's easy to use her in books and simply change the name/breed.

My old boss was…yeah. The less said about her the better.

Reader 5 4:12 PM

What gave you the inspiration for Always Allie?

Reader 1 4:13 PM

You mentioned a break-up movie that Allie watched after Cassidy left but unless I missed it, didn’t say the title - did you have a particular movie in mind there? So many to choose from…

Melissa Tereze 4:14 PM

@Reader 5 Always Allie was my way of dealing with my aunties death back in January of last year. It was very sudden. 8 days from diagnosis. I didn't know how to deal with it. So I chose to use Auntie Donna as my auntie and remember all the good she brought to the world. Once I got into it, I couldn't step away from the screen. It was my outlet.

@Reader 1 I think it's more a case of pick whichever sad movie you'd like to believe she was watching

Reader 6 4:15 PM

Sounds like it was good therapy.

Melissa Tereze 4:16 PM

@Reader 6 it was. I'm not sure I'd have managed any other writing last year if I hadn't taken on Always Allie

Reader 4 4:16 PM

Got to get this one out before I forget it. A common trope in isekai (different/other world) web novels, light novels, manga and anime is having a character sucked into the world of a visual novel or manga that they have read and living out the life of one of the characters in the story, often as the villain or an unimportant side character or mob character as they are often called. In their new life they use their knowledge of the story to create a better life than the one experienced by the character in the story that they've now become. In the case of the villain this usually involves steering clear of the multiple bad endings for that character. What story, whether it be from a game, book or other, would you find it interesting to be sucked into and as what characters? How would you rewrite their story?

Melissa Tereze 4:19 PM

@Reader 4 Wow. That's a question.

I'd have to say I'd like to be sucked into Jourdyn Kelly’s Becoming. If I can become a good character, I'd like to be Cass. Because then obviously Rebecca is marrying me and not her :joy: but if I had to be the villain, I'd like to be Samantha so I could stop her from ruining Rebecca’s life long before she became Mistress.

Reader 1 4:20 PM

Yeah, Reader 4 is good with the thinkers! You came up with an answer impressively fast!

Melissa Tereze 4:21 PM

@Reader 1 Because I'd like to be Rebecca Cuinn’s wife and that will be my answer until my dying day

Reader 1 4:21 PM

So, fan cast - if Always Allie were being made into a movie, who would play Cassidy, Allie and Danielle?

Melissa Tereze 4:23 PM

Hmm. I'm going to say that Allie would be played by me. Because she's based on me. And even when my fiancée was reading she kept yelling “oh my god, it's you. You're Allie.” Cassidy would be played by Jessica Capshaw and I feel like Danielle would be someone with a similar style to Katie McGrath. Even though I adore Katie.

Reader 1 4:24 PM

Oooh, Reader 3, how do you feel about this?

Katie is her girl

Reader 2 4:24 PM

I totally thought of Jessica Capshaw when reading Cassidy!!!

Melissa Tereze 4:25 PM

@Reader 2 NO WAY!

Reader 3 4:25 PM

Um.... Katie is the best at playing the bad girl! But you can't have her in that sense for she's not evil :see_no_evil: and Danielle has to be played by someone evil

I don't ever see Katie playing someone who cheats it's just not in her at all

Reader 6 4:26 PM

i must be to old to think of who I would like to play the characters i read about but I do pick people I know and put them in the roles if possible

Reader 3 4:27 PM

You can have Jaime Murray though

Melissa Tereze 4:27 PM

@Reader 3 I think when I say Katie for Danielle, I think more of her posture and her sense of style in her Supergirl days. You know?

@Reader 2 Gurl, you and I need to talk. Every blonde haired blue eyed character I write is JCap

Reader 3 4:28 PM

That I can see yes! Maybe... Just a little. Her posture is amazing! Specially early on for she had that uprightness about her. In the last 2 seasons she was more laid back specially after her falling out with Kara

Melissa Tereze 4:29 PM

@Reader 3 okay, yeah…I can work with Jaime Murray. For sure, the earlier days of Supergirl.

Yeah. Jaime is Danielle. You make a fair and very good point.

Reader 4 4:33 PM

Was there anything in the story that required you to do a fair bit of research before you could write it?

Melissa Tereze 4:34 PM

@Reader 4 well, it wasn't funerals that I had to research. I've been to so many of them I could probably do mass at any in the future. But, no. I can't say there was anything I really had to research. Maybe that's why I found it so easy and enjoyable to write. Because mostly, I was writing about my own experiences and emotions and struggles.

When I say it was my experiences, the cheating side wasn't anything I've experienced. Thankfully. But the emotion from Allie and Cassidy surrounding Jill’s death, most definitely.

Reader 1 4:35 PM

Plotter, pantser, or combination?

Melissa Tereze 4:36 PM

@Reader 1 pantser :100:

I don't think I've ever plotted anything in my life

Reader 1 4:37 PM

Ooh, interesting. Were you at all nervous about figuring out how Cassidy was going to atone for leaving, when the time came?

Reader 4 4:39 PM

In the end did they actually end up with 3 girls? If so, how bad was the fighting over clothes?

Melissa Tereze 4:40 PM

I wasn't. And again, I think it's because Allie is so caring towards her and just wants her to be happy. The whole point of this book wasn't to have Cassidy cause some huge mess in terms of her reason for leaving. I didn't want her to leave because she wasn't out, or she'd met someone else, etc. I purposely wrote her to have just made a simple mistake. And I think part of what makes them perfect for one another is how forgiving they could be. Cassidy didn't hate Allie for not going with her, and Allie didn't hate Cassidy for not staying.

@Reader 4 I cannot say. That will be in the short story/novella

Reader 8 4:40 PM

I hated Cassidy for not staying. For a bit anyway

Reader 1 4:41 PM

Yeah, I definitely would not have been as understanding as Allie was, but her reaction was a beautiful expression of love

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

I probably wouldn't have been as understanding either, but Allie's love for Cassidy never wavered and she was waiting for the day when Cassidy realised what they had was something special

Reader 1 4:43 PM

I do love a “we had no choice but to go our opposite ways and then the universe led us back to each other” second chance - probably what we’re all hoping for at the beginning of a sad breakup

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

I've never had a breakup (I know, I'm very lucky) but yes, I'd imagine it is what people hope for.

Reader 3 4:44 PM

I was understanding for Allie was the one that told her to go... As much as it hurt it was the path Cassidy had to take to truly understand what she wanted in life. It was her dream and Allie knew that so pushing her to go was selfless on her part. It's the cutting each other off entirely is where they went wrong. But also understandable

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

Cassidy wanted to keep in contact, but there was only so much Allie could bear. In terms of letting Cassidy go for her dreams, she also had to let her go from her heart. Because seeing her online etc was too much. Poor little thing.

Reader 3 7 days ago

I totally get it and understand! I would have pushed a bit more though on Cassidy's part but again I also get it

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

I think Cassidy wanted Allie to always be around, even though they weren't together. Who wouldn't want Allie in their lives

Reader 1 4:48 PM

So I’ll be honest, I’m surprised that the group didn’t vote to read Mrs. Middleton, given how popular that book was on release. Your more recent books seem to be more in that high tension vein, while Almost Allie was very sweet and low-angst. Do you have a preference for one over the other?

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

I was surprised they didn't vote Mrs Middleton too :joy:. I prefer angst over soft and sweet. I thrive off writing it and I think that's because (until recently) I have very little drama in my life. So, I create it for my characters instead.

Reader 4 7 days ago

I'm quite the opposite. I just want to chill.

Reader 8 7 days ago

you also do it very well. You seem to thrive on ripping my heart out, stamping on it then putting it back in. Metaphorically speaking, obviously

Reader 1 7 days ago

There’s a quote for your author page

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

Behind Her Eyes is far from soft and sweet, but I don't think it's as angsty as others

Reader 1 4:54 PM

Are there any books in your catalog that you feel didn’t get the love they deserve, that you’d want to point people to pick up next?

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

Actually, Always Allie didn't get as much love as I hoped it would. But the other would be Holding her Heart. Book 2 in the Ashforth series. I don't know if it was because it's part of a series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. And it's toaster oven

Reader 2 4:58 PM

If you've had negative reviews, how do you deal with them?

Melissa Tereze 4:59 PM

@Reader 2 I've had plenty of negative reviews. So long as they're constructive, I'm okay with them. But I tend to avoid reviews on certain platforms because well…mental health.

Reader 9 5:03 PM

This is something I've wondered For a while. When you are writing 2 different characters with 2 different motivations, how do you manage to change one's motivation over the course of the book?

For instance, Allie running to the big city, but being okay to come back?

Writing the balance of loving the "big city" vs loving, "small town life" without insulting the reader?

Youre one of the few I've read recently that didn't insult someone who made a difference choice (or insinuate the reader is wrong for liking a big city...)

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

I don't think insulting the reader ever came to mind. I live in a big city (not as big as London but it's still a major city) but I live on the outskirts. So I think I drew upon the pros and cons of both really. I love visiting small towns in the middle of nowhere, but then I'm ready to go home to my nearer the city house.

In terms of changing one MC’s mind, I think Allie had gotten to the point where she would move heaven and earth to be with Cassidy, while Cassidy knew the big city didn't hold her hopes and dreams for the future. I guess I could have ended it either way, but Cassidy makes it no secret that she misses home.

Reader 4 5:05 PM

Danielle on the other hand was quite okay with insulting Allie's hometown.

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

Danielle isn't happy unless she's insulting someone.

Reader 9 7 days ago

Danielle was a fantasticly written character, but a horrible human being.

Reader 4 7 days ago

I wonder how Danielle would handle being trapped in a room of nothing but mirrors, or in a world with nothing but herself (as in everyone else is just a copy of her)?

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

I do love writing a horrible character. And when it's a woman, it feels realistic. A lot of villains are men and I think we forget that women can be truly dreadful at times.

Reader 9 5:15 PM

Can we send you questions if we have some still? Sorry.

Melissa Tereze 7 days ago

Absolutely! I'm always around to answer questions. I may not get to them right away, but I WILL get to them

Reader 1 5:17 PM

Thanks so much for coming and chatting with us, Melissa - Always Allie was a beautiful story

Reader 9 5:18 PM

Definitely top 8 from book club these past 3 years. Definitely.

Melissa Tereze 5:20 PM

Right, it's time for me to log off. The nurse in the house has arrived home from a 13hr shift so it's time to put the kettle on for her! Thanks for your questions and for being here. You're all fabulous!