Another week of rain, but I don't mind since I'm off to Rocky Bluff, California, with this week's author F.M. Meredith. She's taken me to a wonderful restaurant overlooking the ocean where we enjoy, what else? A fabulous seafood dinner. While we're talking, we get entranced by the phosphorescence dancing on the waves rolling onto the beach. What a grand place. Well, onto the questions...
1. Who is Marilyn Meredith and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
For this interview I’m F. M. Meredith though most people do know me by Marilyn. I don’t live in a city, not even a town. I’m about a mile outside of an unincorporated village in the foothills of the Southern Sierra. I am the only person in the area who is an author with books that haven’t been self-published.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
At my age, I don’t really have any deep dark secrets. Most people are surprised to hear that I’ve been married for nearly 60 years to the same man and we raised five kids and now have eighteen grandkids and eleven great grands.
3. What interested you to be become a writer rather than something else such as becoming a nuclear scientist?
I’ve always written, but my goal in life was to be an artist living in an attic and never have any kids. Ruined that one when I got married at 18. Though I’ve always written one thing or another, I’ve also been a PTA President four times, a Camp Fire Girls leader for 10 years, taught developmentally disabled pre-schoolers, was a day care center teacher and a pre-school teacher, owned and operated my own licensed facility for 6 developmentally disabled women for 23 years—and I wrote and had nearly 30 books published.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner?
I love good food and great conversation, so I’d enjoy sharing dinner with any of my favorite authors of whom I have way too many to list.
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island (or suffering a four hour layover at the airport), why would your book(s) be great company?
My books are written to entertain. In my latest, Angel Lost, you’ll meet many interesting people, most good, and the kind you’d enjoy having for a friend or neighbor.
6. Share the Meredith process of writing in regards to: idea and character development, story outline, research (do you Google, visit places/people or make it up on the spot?), writing schedule, editing, and number of rewrites.
Because I write two series, I already know the main characters. In my Rock Bluff P.D. series there is an entourage of ongoing characters. I first have to decide which ones are going to have the spotlight in the story and how the others will support them in whatever dilemma or crime they find themselves involved in solving. I get plot ideas from the newspaper, people I talk to and others I eavesdrop on, and from things my cop friends tell me. I write a lot of notes about new characters who will appear either as villains or victims. I begin when I have somewhat of an idea where I’m going. I write in the morning, do editing at night sometimes. I read each chapter to my critique group, then I rewrite. I have a reader I like to pass the story by before I send it off to the publishers. We went over the galley proof, found mistakes, then my publisher put together an ARC and we found more mistakes in it. Gremlins like to get into pages that are supposed to be perfect.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
Every writer needs to figure out what works for him or her.
8. I saw an amusing t-shirt the other day which read ‘Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
Never give up. My first book was rejected nearly 30 times before I did a lot of rewrites and it was finally accepted.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
I have another Rocky Bluff P.D. book that I’m reading to my critique group that is essentially done, and I’m working on a new one for the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
All my books and the first chapter of each one are listed on my website. http://fictionforyou. I also have a blog on which I write about what I’m doing and also host a lot of guest authors. http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com
F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of nearly thirty published novels. Her latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, from Oak Tree Press, is Angel Lost. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Internet chapter , Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com
Angel Lost Blurb:
As plans for her perfect wedding fill her mind, Officer Stacey Wilbur is sent out to trap a flasher, the new hire realizes Rocky Bluff P.D. is not the answer to his problems, Abel Navarro’s can’t concentrate on the job because of worry about his mother, Officer Gordon Butler has his usual upsets, the sudden appearance of an angel in the window of a furniture store captures everyone’s imagination and causes problems for RBPD, and then the worst possible happens—will Stacey and Doug’s wedding take place?
And here’s one from a fellow author that I love:
"A pervert threatens women joggers on the beach, a robber threatens wealthy homes on the bluff, and an angel watches over the townspeople from a downtown window. F. M. Merediths' latest Rocky Bluff P. D. novel is a gentle human drama about loneliness and change, through which the reader is pulled, page after page, by an assortment of compelling criminal curiosities."
C. N. Nevets is an author of psychological suspense.