I’m honored to have Marilyn Meredith with us today. Marilyn Meredith, also known as F.M. Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels. Her latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, from Oak Tree Press, is No Bells.
|Marilyn and her daughter, Dana, in Sedona|
Marilyn, you’ve had quite a career! Where did you grow up? Did your childhood contribute to your desire to be a writer?
I was born in Glendale, CA and grew up in Los Angeles. My childhood revolved around books and movies. My dad worked for Paramount Studios and came home with all sorts of tales about the stars—not always flattering. Didn’t discourage me though, I read all the movie magazines and collected movie star autographs. Back when I was kid, the actresses and actors appeared on radio shows which I went to with my mom. Afterwards, I hung out in the parking lot to get autographs. I had a big imagination and always wrote stories and plays.
Where do you live now? Do you use that locale for settings in your novels?
We live in the foothills of the Sierra and in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, the setting is in the mountains in a town similar to the one I live in. My Rocky Bluff P.D. series is set in a fictional small beach community between Santa Barbara and Ventura. For over twenty years, we lived in a small beach community—so the answer is I like to write about places I know intimately even though I change them around a bit.
What inspired you to write your most recent novel?
No Bells, the latest in the series, focuses on Officer Gordon Butler. Things never seem to go well for him and this book is no exception. He has a new love and she is the prime suspect in a murder case. I write about people in law enforcement for several reasons, over the years many of my family members and friends have been in law enforcement. I love to hear their stories. In most cases, none of them are anything like what you see in the movies and on TV. My intention has always been to show how the job affects the families and what’s going on in the family affects the job.
Did you plan to write a series before or after you wrote the first book?
With the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, I had no intention of writing any more than Final Respects, but when I was done I wanted to know what happened to all those people in the Rocky Bluff P.D. and their families. Because different characters have what I call starring parts in each book, I just kept on going.
Name three of your favorite authors in the mystery genre.
I love so many authors, big names and small. I look forward to any new book by Jan Burke, William Kent Krueger and James Lee Burke, but there are so many lesser-knowns that are excellent writers and I could go on for pages, but to name a few, W.S. Gager, M. M. Gornell, Michael Orenduff and Patricia Gligor.
I certainly won’t argue with that! What are your favorite things to do when you’re not reading or writing?
I still love movies. At least a couple of times a month, hubby and I take in one of the new movies, and we watch movies on DVDs in the evenings. I go to a lot of writing related activities like mystery cons, writing conferences, book festivals and the like. Many of these require traveling, often to my favorite places in California like the Central Coast.
It sounds like you enjoy traveling. What are some of your other favorite places?
Yes, I like to travel, and as an author, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to go many places I might not have otherwise. I’ve been twice to Alaska where I visited a remote village and talked to school kids, became friends with a young Native Alaskan and visited her home and met her family. I was invited to be an instructor at the Maui Writers Retreat. I’ve gone to many mystery cons all over the U.S. from New Orleans to Wisconsin, Chicago and El Paso and San Antonio, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Sacramento and many other places. Some of my most fun vacations with family have been tent camping across the country and traveling with my daughter and her husband in their motor home.
How would you describe yourself personality wise?
I am extremely loyal to my friends. I don’t like gossip or people who do it. I am a Christian and I try to live up to biblical standards. Don’t get me wrong, I’m nowhere near perfect. Though I only have one sister, between the two of us we have a huge family. Hubby and I raised five kids, we now have eighteen grandkids and twelve great-grands. Family is important to me and I love being around them.
What’s your favorite color? Why?
Blue, all shades. I think perhaps it’s linked to the ocean. When I was growing up, going to the beach was a regular summer activity. I loved swimming in the ocean, something I continued to do after I was grown and had a family. I don’t remember the water being cold at all. I swam any chance I got, going out beyond the waves in the daytime or night. (I can’t even imagine doing that now though I still enjoy heading to the beach, smelling the salt air, and enjoying the view.)
What’s your answer to this question? If I won a million dollars, I would ------
help people in my family and my church. (We have lots of poor people in both—in fact our church has a wonderful food pantry and the gal who is charge says she gives out food every day.)
Thanks for being with us today, Marilyn. It’s been a pleasure!
To learn more about Marilyn and to be eligible to win three of her books, see the information below.
CONTEST: The person who comments on the most blogs on her tour will win three books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series: No Sanctuary, An Axe to Grind, and Angel Lost. Be sure to leave your email too, so Marilyn can contact you.