Character Interview: Merritt & Avery, Worth The Wait

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In the third book in the “Out in Portland” series, Karelia Stetz-Waters is offering Avery and Merritt a second chance at first love, fifteen years later in Worth The Wait.

Worth The Wait CoverFor fifteen years, Avery Crown tried to forget her best friend Merritt Lessing. The late nights studying, the whispered confidences, and the little touches that never turned into something more. Unfortunately, her efforts have not been as successful as her TV career as the queen of home renovation. So when she runs into Merritt at their high school reunion, Avery asks for one night with the woman she’s always wanted. . .
Merritt spent high school pining after Avery, but never made a move-their friendship meant too much. The one time it seemed things might change, Avery chose her budding career. So Merritt did the same, throwing herself into her remodeling business. Now Avery’s back, and while Merritt still hasn’t forgiven her for walking away the first time, they can’t keep their hands off each other. But when their professional paths cross, and it seems like Avery is choosing her career once again, Merritt will have to decide if she’s willing to let go of the past and give herself a second chance with her first love in Worth The Wait.

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How long have you two known each other?

Fifteen years. Sort of. Let’s put it this way: we’ve been missing each other for fifteen years. Who knows what would have happened if we’d shared our true feelings in high school. Now that we’ve reconnected, it’s like first love for the second time.

 

What are some of your favorite memories together from high school?

Avery: Merritt never had anywhere to spend holidays. I remember the first time I invited her home for Thanksgiving. I had never had the courage to talk to her before, but all the other girls–the cool girls–were gone for the holiday. I saw her sitting alone outside the school. I just said, “You’re coming home with me.” That night we talked until the sun came up, and I knew I’d met my best friend…and I knew I wanted more.

Merritt: I remember swimming with Avery. We’d broken into the country club pool. Shame on us! I swam to the bottom and looked up at her floating on the surface. She looked like an angel, and I thought I would I die because I was so in love with her.

 

If you had a free day with nothing to do in a town where no one would recognize you, what would you do?

Avery: I love my fans and my career on King & Crown. (Don’t forget to tune in for our latest home makeover!) But if no one would recognize me I’d go to a lesbian bar and pretend I had the kind of job that let me be whoever I wanted.

 

What unusual hobbies or interests do you have?

Merritt: I like the estate sales no one goes to, the ones way out in the countryside that mostly sell scrap metal. Even if I didn’t run a restoration hardware business, I’d want to touch those old things. Fuses. Light switch covers. Lamps. Barn wood. When I hold an antique in my hands, I feel the past speaking to me.

 

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Merritt: Spray paint! I have seen so many antiques ruined by a coat of gold spray paint. Why do people think they can make the past better by spraying over it. Our past makes us who we are, and nothing is perfect, and that’s okay. It’s beautiful.

Avery: I love my friend DX to death, but she’s always giving me advice. Her advice always goes something like “do this wild, crazy, totally dangerous thing and everything will be better.” I’m not going to rappel down the Empire State Building. I’m just not!

 

What part of your life are you willing to spend more money on for quality?

Merritt: I’d spend every cent I had to buy the Elysium Building. That’s where my uncle lived and where I spent some of my happiest days growing up.

Avery: Oh, gosh, I don’t know. Everything I own is comped to the show. They get us make-up, jewelry, clothes, shoes, electronics. You name it. As long as we use it in public, it’s ours. If I were to buy something, it’d be for Merritt. Maybe a bottle of that expensive Sadfire Whisky she likes so much.

 

How do you measure success?

Merritt: Until I saw Avery again, I thought it was buying property and running my store. Now I’m not so sure.

Avery: Until I saw Merritt at our high school reunion, it was the Sentinel Survey. Then I saw Merritt, and I thought, I don’t care if 39% of women between eighteen and thirty-two say they find my show moderately to very appealing.

 

What would be the perfect gift for you? Why?

Merritt: It’s silly, but I’d like someone to take me to see the oldest brick house in America.

Avery: Well, there was that gold-plated dildo…but we’re not going to talk about that. I’ll just say roses ; )

 

If you could spend a day with someone you admire (alive, dead or fictional) who would it be?

Merritt: When Avery and I were in high school, I gave her an antique dress. I’d love to meet the woman who first wore it. What was her life like? What did she hope for? Was she happy?

Avery: I’d like to meet Cate Blanchett or Ingrid Bergman or some other amazing actress. No one knows this, but I’ve always dreamed of acting in serious movies, not just being a television hostess.

 

If you could teach everyone in the world one thing, what would it be?

Merritt: Honor the past, but don’t let it define you.

Avery: Love means more than fame and money and ratings. Love is everything.

 

 

To read more character interviews, check out this one with Melly from Drum Roll Please, or with Leila & Sarika from Girl and the Grove!

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