Yes, I really do see mystery everywhere. The question, “What if” is always forefront in my mind. I think “what if” when I’m reading any intriguing article in the newspaper. When driving down the road, a gathering of vehicles, someone getting a ticket, lots of tents at the campground, an interesting conversation at a nearby table in a restaurant, something someone tells me, and I could go on and on.
For my Rocky Bluff P.D. series, I’ve gotten ideas from law enforcement professionals who’ve spoken at my Sisters in Crime chapter. I’ve also been piqued by things I’ve seen or heard when visiting the coast. (RBPD mysteries take place in a fictional small beach town.)
For my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, other things will trigger a story idea. When I first began thinking about the plot for Raging Water, which didn’t have a title at that time, it was raining a lot where I live. Tempe lives in Bear Creek which is much like the place where I live, though 1000 feet higher in the mountains. Locals were discussing how much the river was rising and remembering past flooding.
As the rain kept coming down, mud slid down and blocked parts of the road that leads to town. H’mmm, what if after lots and lots of rain, not only would the river flood and send folks who lived along the river finding shelter elsewhere, but a mud slide could make it impossible to leave Bear Creek.
All that could certainly make a mystery interesting, but I needed a murder.
Not too long ago two women who went to our church died under what I and a few other considered suspicious circumstances but our local law enforcement did not. Our deputies are also deputy coroners and can pronounce someone dead. In the case of these two women, both with serious chronic illnesses, no autopsies were performed. Both women were poor and didn’t have any family to demand an autopsy. I decided to include their deaths in the book.
One more ingredient came along. A good friend of mine and a fan of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries asked if I’d put her in one of my books. I agreed. Though the character has a new name, I used her physical description and some of her personality attributes—though I’d rather say that it is her essence in the character. I did use her two dogs though, including their breed and names, and they become quite important to the plot.
Raging Water Blurb: Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s investigation of the murder of two close friends is complicated when relentless rain turns Bear Creek into a raging river. Homes are inundated and a mud slide blocks the only road out of Bear Creek stranding many—including the murderer.
Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Raging Water from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel us No Bells, the forth from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. This is the first stop on her blog tour for Raging Water.
Contest: The person who leaves comments on the most blogs on Marilyn’s tour will have his/her name used for a character in her next book — he or she may choose a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery or a Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel.
Visit Marilyn at http://fictionforyou.com and follow her blog at http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/