Friday, February 3, 2012

Returning Guest Author Marilyn Meredith

Today, I'm pleased to welcome back Marilyn Meredith, a mutli-published author who has visited with me before.  Having had the pleasure of reading a couple of Marilyn's books, I am thrilled she's decided to join me.  She's talking about her latest release, Bears With Us, from the Tempe Crabtree mystery series.

Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?      As Marilyn Meredith, I write the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. Since I love to read mysteries, it seemed logical to write them. I love the fact that in the world I create, whatever bad has happened will be resolved.

Tell me about your current book which you are promoting. Bears With Us is the latest in this series. Native American Deputy Tempe Crabtree finds herself having to deal with a bear epidemic. Yes, bears invade the town of Bear Creek and its outlying areas. Of course that’s not all that’s going on, a woman with Alzheimer’s wanders from home, a young teen commits suicide and his parents are acting strangely, a prominent woman isn’t at all happy with her daughter’s choice of a beau, and a lot more.

How long have you been writing?  Ever since a youngster, I’ve been creating stories, plays and articles. My first full-length book was published in 1982, an historical family saga based on my family’s genealogy.
Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process? I don’t outline the whole book, but I certainly write many notes as I plan what the story will be about. Because I’m writing a series, I know who the main characters will be, but creating the other characters is a major priority. With my Tempe books, the story will probably be something unique to a small town in the mountains of the Southern Sierra and may be influenced by something about being a Native American, an Indian legend or mythology.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?  What I always find the most difficult when writing any book, is getting it all down in the first place and making sure that all that goes on happens in a believable sequence and time frame. Sometimes, when I’m editing I’ll find that I really need to do a considerable amount of rewriting to make the story believable.
Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?Most of the research for this particular book came from my grandson who is a police officer in Aspen Colorado. He’d described how much trouble bears had become one fall and what law enforcement had to do to get them out of people’s homes. I asked him a lot of questions and much of what he told me appears in Bears With Us. The information about Alzheimer’s came from a nurse who works with folks afflicted with the particular form of dementia affliction the character in the book. It takes me about six months to write a book and a couple more for the editing and rewriting.
Describe your writing space.  I’m fortunate in that I have an office for all my work, writing and other things that I do. I write on a computer and always have notes and books piled around. I can look out my window at the mountains that I write about—though sometimes I must close the curtains to make sure I concentrate on what I’m working on.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?  Of course I read when I’m not writing. I usually read about three books at the same time, I always have one on my Kindle I’m reading, a book in the living room, and one in my bedroom. Hubby and I love to go to the movies and also watch movies on DVD. At the end of the day when my brain has turned to mush, watching a movie is a wonderful way to unwind.
What do you see for the future of publishing and e-books? Publishing is really changing fast and I think for the good. I’ve been e-published since before most people knew what that meant. Though I don’t think paper books will disappear (I still read more of those than e-books), I know that e-books will continue to become more and more popular.

What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for
 release? Probably the best way to find out what books I have out is to go to my website,  where you can read the first chapters of most of my books. Besides Bears With Us, the latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Angel Lost, written under the name F.M. Meredith is available in paper and as an e-book. The next one in that series, No Bells, should be published in March.

What is your marketing plan? I concentrate on the Internet, doing visits on blogs like this one, thank you, Penny, promoting on Facebook and Twitter. I also attend mystery cons and writers conferences, give talks at libraries and social groups (anywhere I’m invited), and I appear at several book and craft fairs during the year.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?  First, read the kind of books you’d like to write. Write, write, write—don’t just talk about it. Once you’ve finished a manuscript, rewrite it. Have someone who knows something about the kind of book you’ve written read it and give you feedback. Join a critique group. Follow the guidelines exactly of where you plan to submit it. Once you’ve sent it off, start writing the next book. Never give up.

Where can people learn more about you and your work? Besides my website, your and also follow my blog at

Deputy Tempe Crabtree has her hands full when bears turn up in and around Bear Creek, a young teen commits suicide and his parents’ actions are suspicious, a prominent woman files a complaint against Tempe and her preacher husband Hutch, a love affair from long ago comes to light, and a woman suffering from dementia disappears.

Bio: Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Bears With Us from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Angel Lost, the third from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at and her blog at


  1. Thanks for having me today, Penny. I thought you asked some great questions.


  2. Great interview! Of course I always enjoy hearing more about Marilyn. Your advice "Write, write, write—don’t just talk about it." is right on the mark, Marilyn.


  3. Marilyn, it's always a pleasure to have you as guest. Thank you for joining me today.

  4. Wonderful interview, Marilyn. I know it's not, but you make writing sound so easy. I particularly enjoyed Bears With Us.

  5. Thank you, Marja. Right now I'm trying to think what I want to put in the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

  6. Thanks, Marja. Writing is not easy, but it is addictive in that it's something I have to do.