Merritt Tierce (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

Have you watched the latest round of Orange Is The New Black on Netflix? Everything good about season-six has to do with a Dallas-area author, Merritt Tierce; she’s credited as the show’s staff writer. She has her very own title in the credits, and wrote a book set in East Dallas before OITNB.

Season 6 is well worth watching. Not without problems, it’s still one of the most binge-able streaming narratives. Vox has a solid review that taps all the new season’s highs and lows.

Note: Also, the show’s been renewed for a Season 7.

Rachel Stone, interviewed Merritt following Merritt’s publication of her extensively extolled first novel “Love Me Back.” Set in Dallas — East Dallas to be precise — it is a work of fiction, albeit local readers are sure to recognize certain people, places and things.

The main character Marie, for example, lives on Lower Greenville and works at Valentino’s, a thinly camouflaged Terilli’s.

Merritt Tierce (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

The real-life Merritt was waiting tables in 2006 when she commenced penning aforementioned book.

She initially published part of it as a short story, and before long she earned a spot at the esteemed Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

“I expected to have to send my stuff out to a lot of people and get a lot of rejections, and that wasn’t the experience I had,” she told Stone. “I had agents contacting me and asking if they could take me to lunch, and that was really great and weird. My route to getting a book published was much different from what most writers expect. My agent sold my manuscript within two weeks. The whole publishing process has been really, really great.”

Lest you think I do not appreciate the busting of butt required to make such success happen, I’ll point out that before praise from every outlet — New York Timesto British GQ (where bloody St. Vincent/Annie Clark gave the woman a shout out) — rained down upon the author, and before she went off to comparatively slow-paced grad school, she “… worked two full-time jobs. It was really, really stressful,” she said, “and I don’t think I realized until I got to Iowa that I hadn’t been getting enough sleep for about three years. For the first six months, I slept a lot. But then I actually worked at a steakhouse in Iowa City, and I also flew home often, at least once a month, and worked a long weekend at the restaurant here.”

Her first novel is set in Dallas. (

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