Marilyn Meredith is the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, and the award winning mystery Guilt by Association. She has several books that are available in both e-format and trade paperback,
She is a popular speaker and instructor for writing conferences, mystery conventions and festivals, book fairs, and other similar venues. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Public Safety Writers Association, California Writers Club and Mystery Writers of America.
Wow Marilyn, you really do keep busy. Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me here today in the Potpourri Parlor.
Do you work on more than one novel at a time?
Usually, I do. At the moment, I have a new Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Spirit Shapes, being edited for the second time. Pub date sometime in September. I am still reading the next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel to my critique group which means more editing. Pub date won’t be until early 2014. And—I am planning the next Crabtree mystery. And I’m always promoting the latest books.
Do you have a vision board or other `trick’ to help motivate you?
I keep notes of character names and descriptions in a notebook. I also write a time-line as I’m going, jotting down important things that happen each day. As new ideas occur to me, that’s where I write them too.
Do you schedule time to write or is writing all-consuming to the exclusion of everything else and you schedule time to do other things? Like eat.
I try to write in the morning—but I have many other things that I have to do too. I have a big family, so a times there are things I do with them, I cook, do the laundry, but I pay one of my daughters to do my housework. I also love to read and go to the movies—so try to squeeze both things in.
Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.
Oh my, do we have pets. We have two inside cats, brothers, Butch, who is black and white and domineering, and Sundance, who has some Siamese in his background, and is more subdued except when he wants to be petted. We have a mixed breed shepherd, Bo. And then there are the outside cats. We live in the country and people drop-off their unwanted cats and my husband feeds them. We try to catch them and get them neutered, but not an easy task.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
I’ve had many jobs and professions—and wrote at the same time and while raising five children. (All grown-up with children and all but one have grandkids.) I’ve been a telephone operator, teacher at a pre-school for children with developmental disabilities, a pre-school teacher for migrant workers’ kids, a teacher at day care centers for disadvantaged children, for over 20 years I owned, operated and lived in a facility for 6 women with developmental disabilities. During that time I was in charge of and taught state-mandated classes for administrators of licensed care facilities like mine. I did then and still do write program designs for people wanting to go into that business.
What are your future goals for your writing?
I’d love for more people to read my books. I do have a fan base for each series, but I’m a long way from being well-known. I’d love to see that change.
Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
None are really typical. Unfortunately, email and Facebook lure me and I do a bit of that before getting down to really writing. Sometimes I will write from 2 to 4 hours. On a really good day, I might write in the morning and continue on in the afternoon.
In your novels, is there a favorite character? Why that one?
In my Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Gordon Butler is my favorite character—and he has a fan base of his own. He’s a hard-luck character, a policeman who ends up in the most bizarre situations—and his love-life is seldom what he hopes for.
In the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, it’s Tempe herself. She’s such a champion for justice and brave enough to take on most anyone or anything.
What writer most inspires you? Why?
Several have through the years. Mary Higgins Clark because she rose above many tough times in her life to become and stay a best-selling author. I’ve met her twice and she is so charming and friendly. I love the way both William Kent Krueger and James Lee Burke describe settings.
How do you define your writing? Has that definition changed? Why?
My Rocky Bluff P.D. series defies fitting into a category. It is a police procedural, but not as gritty as most—though each one has at least one murder and other crimes, the story is always more about the characters.
I suppose I could say the same about the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series too—though in this series there is always an element of Native American legend or a touch of the supernatural.
What can new readers expect when they read your book(s)?
An entertaining read and characters you’ll care about.
Why do you keep writing?
Certainly not for the money because there isn’t much. I write because I love my characters and I want to find out what is going to happen in their lives next. The only way for me to do that is write the next book.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I thank everyone who has been following either one of my series and I hope that they’ve had some pleasurable hours reading my books.
Can you tell us where to find more information on you?
Is there a place where readers can reach you?
Email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dangerous Impulses http://amzn.to/19ITJgn
Raging Water http://amzn.to/17iiMov
Both are available in trade paperback and on Kindle.