Friday, September 9, 2016

"How Writing Impacts my Life" by Marilyn Meredith

Author, Marilyn Meredith

Patricia posed this question, and it has certainly made me think. Writing impacts my life in many ways.

Besides the fact I’ve always felt like I “have to” write, it certainly fills up time. For me, the creation process works best in the early morning hours, so I always rise early, and if I don’t have any other pressing projects, writing is what I will do.

She also asked if writing is an escape and the answer is yes and no. Because there is so much craziness going on in the world today, it is comforting to retreat into the imaginary place that I’ve created and know that I do have partial control. I say partial, because sometimes my characters take off in ways I hadn’t planned.  However, the one constant is whatever the bad guy has done, he’ll get his comeuppance by the time the story is over.

Frankly, I do enjoy inhabiting the world I have created, even if it’s only for short periods every day. I don’t sit at the computer working on my manuscript for more than a couple of hours or so because I have so much else going on in my life. Not anything terribly exciting, mind you, but I have a husband and a big family and I enjoy spending time with them.

I must admit I do enjoy the fact that at least in this small area of the country I occupy, people know I’m a writer.

Another big plus with being a writer is I have many friends who are writers too, and when we get together it is great fun discussing writing and all the things that go along with it.

I’d like to hear from some of my other writer friends about how writing impacts their lives.


Seldom Traveled Blurb:
The tranquility of the mountain community of Bear Creek is disrupted by a runaway fugitive, a vicious murderer, and a raging forest fire. Deputy Tempe Crabtree is threatened by all three.
Marilyn Meredith’s Bio:
Marilyn has had so many books published, she’s lost track of the count, but it’s getting near 40. She lives in a community similar to the fictional mountain town of Bear Creek, the big difference being that Bear Creek is a thousand feet higher in the mountains. She is a member of Mystery Writers of American, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, and is a board member of Public Safety Writers of America.

Buy links:
Directly from the publisher in all different formats:

New Contest:
Winners will be randomly picked from those leaving the most comments on the blog posts. Each winner may choose one of the earlier books in the series as either a print book or e-book.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Mixed Emotions

A few weeks ago, I made an announcement on Facebook: “I’m doing the dance of joy today because I finished my fifth Malone mystery, Marnie Malone.” Several readers and other authors left comments congratulating me, which I very much appreciated. But, a comment by author Evelyn Cullet got me thinking about what it feels like to finish a book. And I decided that depends on a lot of things.

Evelyn mentioned that she always feels “lost” when she’s finished writing one book and hasn’t yet started another. I completely understand what she meant because I’ve felt that way in the past and, to a lesser degree, I’m feeling that way now. After all, almost every day for many, many months, I’ve sat at my computer blocking out my “real” world and entering a world of my own creation. I’ve gotten to know and love my characters. After five books, they’ve become almost “real” to me. Like family. So I think it’s only natural that I would miss them when I finish a book.

However, my reply to Evelyn’s comment went something like this: “Actually, I feel as if a weight has been lifted. Like I can breathe again.” I wrote that because that’s exactly how I felt that day. Relief that I’d finally finished a book I started plotting well before the fourth Malone mystery, Mistaken Identity, was published in June of last year. Marnie Malone is a book I’ve been excited about and had been looking forward to writing for a long time. But several things got in the way.

I had written the first few chapters when my mother sold her house and, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus on the book with everything going on, I lost three months of writing time moving my mother and myself from her house into our own apartments. Packing, unpacking, rearranging. You know the drill. Finally, I was able to get back to my book and I had a few good months of writing before Mom fell and broke her right wrist. For about two months, I had to do almost everything for her. I still managed to write but my writing time was very limited.

I want to mention that I’m not complaining. Really. I’m very grateful to have my mother and I’d do just about anything in the world for her. But, like all writers, life sometimes gets in the way of writing. It took me such a long time to finish plotting, writing and editing Marnie Malone, which is why I was filled with relief as I typed “The End.”

A few days ago, after a final read through and more editing, I finally sent the manuscript to my publisher and, once again, I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief. Although there's a long way to go before I actually hold Marnie Malone in my hands, I'm enjoying a brief break before I start on my next writing adventure.

If you're a writer, how do you feel when you finish a book?