Marilyn Meredith has a few taboos for her novels. Peek behind the bedroom door in this interview for the secrets of an intrepid author of over thirty books.
1. Which of your books makes you the proudest? Why?
Wow, that’s a new question I’ve never been asked before. Usually I’m asked what is my favorite book and my stock answer is the latest one. Lingering Spirit, a romance with a touch of the supernatural is probably the one that makes me the proudest. It is based on a family tragedy and though it is greatly fictionalized it, writing certainly helped me and I’ve had many readers tell me how much the book touched them.
2. What is the best AND/OR worst piece of advice you’ve been given about writing or promotion?
Never give up is the best writing advice and over the years I’ve had lots of not so great writing advice. As far as promotion, the ways of promotion have changed so much that the advice I was given long ago is no longer relevant.
3. Is there a book that you’ve written which may never see publication? Yes, actually two. I wrote a horror novel that I actually thought was pretty good, but nothing I couldn’t interest a publisher. Probably could do better today, but I’ve changed computers so many times it’s long gone.
4. What will never be found in your books? What is off the menu and why?
I don’t use curse words in my books—at least not any heavy duty ones. My characters do curse at times, but I don’t quote them. These days I also shut the bedroom door. That wasn’t so in my first two historical family sagas where I was heavily influenced by all the romances I’d read.
5. If you’ve ever done signings, what’s your best advice to authors?
Don’t just sit at the signing table. Get on your feet and engage with passersby. Do the same if you’re at a book festival. Have bookmarks to cards to give them.
6. If you’ve had another career, how do you think it affected your work?
I’ve had many jobs over the years and they all affected me one way or another. I worked in day care centers and have used that job and some of the people I met in a couple of books. I owned and lived in a residential care home for developmentally disabled women. I often put people with developmental disabilities into my books. In fact there is a young man with Down Syndrome in my latest, No Bells. I’ve drawn from my life and the people I’ve met in all my books.
7. Name one or two authors whose books you keep and re-read and explain why.
I seldom reread a book on purpose. I have authors I really like and will try to get their latest. I’ve been influenced by both James Lee Burke and William Kent Krueger when it comes to how they write settings. But I love all the new authors who are emerging and especially everyone on this tour.
8. If you could sped a day, dinner included, with one of your characters, who would you choose and what would you do or talk about together?
I would like to spend a day with Officer Gordon Butler. I’d let him tell me all his adventures as a police officer and I’d try to build up his self-esteem. My husband and I would take him to dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant because I know he likes to try all different kinds of food. I’d assure him that one day he’d find the girl of his dreams.
9. I use real people in my books all the time but they’ll never recognize themselves. And sure I’ve used plenty of real events as starting points for my plots, but they never remain exactly like what actually happened.
10. Name three necessary personal qualities a writer needs to succeed.
Perseverance, imagination, and a thick skin to be able to handle rejections and poor reviews.
F. M. Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith
No Bells Blurb:
Officer Gordon Butler has finally found the love he’s been seeking for a long time, but there’s one big problem, she’s the major suspect in a murder case.
F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels—and a few that will never see print. Her latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, from Oak Tree Press, is No Bells. Rocky Bluff P.D. is a fictional beach community between Ventura and Santa Barbara and F. M. once lived in a similar beach area.
Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves as the program chair for the Public Safety Writers of America’s writing conference. She’s been an instructor at many writing conferences.
And if you’d like to get in touch with her email: email@example.com
CONTEST: The person who comments on the most of my blogs on this MMW Spring Blog Tour will win a copy of No Bells so be sure to leave your email too, so I can contact you if you win. *****
PLEASE EMAIL ME DIRECTLY TO ENTER AT firstname.lastname@example.org
Excerpt from No Bells:
Saturday morning, Officer Gordon Butler approached the scene of his first call of the day, a body found by teens in the nearly dry stream bed running along the rocky bluff that gave the beach town its name
Parking his blue-and-white police car, Gordon climbed out. He surveyed the area, trying to find the young people who’d called in their gruesome find. A forest of native oaks, junipers as well as tall eucalyptus and clusters of evergreen shrubs blocked the view of the place where the body reportedly had been discovered. The strong scent of the eucalyptus overpowered the saltiness of the ocean drifting in on a slight breeze. He inhaled deeply and detected the sweet, sickening odor of decaying flesh.