Monday, May 4, 2009

It's All A Mystery To Marilyn Meredith

*** Kindred Spirits: A troubled marriage, a "perfect" murder, a victim whose spirit won't rest, the genocide of the Tolowa people, and two dangerous trips for Deputy Tempe Crabtree as she searches for answers.

"... and now Kindred Spirits are books not to be missed. The mystery as well as the way Hutch and Tempe work out their differences makes for interesting reading." Patricia Reid, Best Sellers World

***No Sanctuary: Two churches, two ministers, two wives, one murder. Officer Stacey Wilbur must make three major decisions--one may cost her life.

"What grabbed me most about this book and makes me want to go back and read the other Rocky Bluff tales is the fabulous cast of characters that Meredith has developed for the reader to get to know. As a writer she has a way of putting the reader in the character's shoes so that they feel like they are part of the very intriguing storyline that plays out."-- The Library at the End of the Universe


Rocky Bluff Blog

Buy KINDRED SPIRITS from Publisher


  1. Welcome to Bookland Heights, Marilyn!

    We'd like to congratulate you on your award-winning success --

    Is there one thing you want to be sure readers know about your books and your writing?


  2. The one thing I suppose is that I write because I have a story in my head that I must get out. What I'm always hoping for is the reader will enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

    Marilyn a.k.a. F.M. Meredith

  3. I love a good mystery and these sound like they are right up my alley. Someday, when I get some money, I'll look into buying some.

  4. Hi Marilyn,

    When did you first get hooked on mystery?


  5. Hi Marilyn!

    Great seeing you here!!

    How do you shape your characters?


  6. Hi Marilyn, always nice to follow and see all the exciting new places you visit; I've signed BWL up as a follower of this one, which seems like a nice place to know. Jude

  7. You're a contributor on the Stiletto Gang Blog. Has it helped to have "kindred spirits" when it comes to writing your mysteries?

    Thanks for visiting Bookland Heights, Marilyn! Looking forward to the great questions from your fans.


  8. Hi,
    I am a fan from when I first met you at the WIN/WIN conferences at the Piccadilly Inn (Airport) in Fresno.

    My question isn't exactly about writing, but it is related to it. Where do you get the energy for all your travels and appearances? I am a writer, but the thought of all that kinda scares me!

  9. I'll start with the first questions.

    I was first "hooked" on mysteries as a kid--Nancy Drew to begin with like so many others.

    My characters begin with an idea about personality and what this person is going to do in the story, from there I pick a name and decide how they look. Some of my characters I know better than my family because I know how the characters think--not the least bit sure about family members. I also base some of my characters on people I know or have eavesdropped on.

    The Stiletto Gang invited me to join them. I know two of the women personally. I was flattered they asked me since I have never worn stilettos and gave up high heels years ago. And it's fun being on that blog.

    And, "hi" Cat! As for energy, I love going around to various places, meeting people, talking about writing and my books. It's a bit harder to scare up that energy than it used to be since I'm a great-grandma--but I think all this has helped keep me young at heart.

    Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith

  10. Two series going--where DO you get all the storylines? And, how about the titles?

  11. I've been reading books from both of these series, and one of the best things is that they are fast-paced and filled with twists and turns, but I can finish them off in a couple of days. For someone whose TBR pile is taking over her office, I like having a quick easy read like that.

    I've also gotten a chance to coordinate Marilyn's last three virtual book tours, which has given me a chance to get to know Marilyn and her work better.

    Now my question, when are the next books in the both series coming out? You know I'm waiting for more and I am very impatient. :)

    Keep up the great work, Marilyn!


  12. Hi, Sunny, the tiles usually come to me easily. With the Rocky Bluff P.D. titles, Final Respects, Bad Tidings, Fringe Benefits, Smell of Death, No Sanctuary--each one pertains to what the book is about. It's been really easy for me to come up with titles, except for the next one in the series. Oak Tree has it, but it won't come out until next winter--hopefully we can come up with a good title by then.

    In the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, sometimes the title comes from something mentioned in the book, sometimes it has to do with an Indian legend in the book, or just because the title seems to work.

    Marilyn a.k.a. F.M. Meredith

  13. For the first question from Sunny about titles, they just seem to come to me--each one has something to do with the book especially in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Earlier titles were Final Respects, Bad Tidings, Fringe Benefits, and Smell of Death.

    Kindred Spirits had several reasons for the title. The Tolowa woman I met who gave me the inspiration for this book was a truly kindred spirit with me. The two Tolowa women in the story became kindred spirits to Tempe. And, there is a real spirit in the book who won't rest until her murderer is discovered.

  14. Okay, I answered that question twice because the first time I tried to post it disappeared. Oh well, the answers are a bit different.

    Oh, I forgot Sunny asked about story lines. I rip out stories in the newspaper, collect tidbits I hear from people, take notes at Sisters in Crime when law enforcement people are the speakers, and of course there are all those cops at PSWA.

    For Cheryl, thank you for your kind words first. The next Tempe should be out this fall, it's called Dispel the Mist. The next Rocky Bluff next winter--don't have a good title yet.


  15. Even though I have the great pleasure of getting to hear these books as they are "in process" I am still in awe at your prolific writing, Marilyn.

    Being your neighbor, and often your chauffeur to our Writers Group, It is an honor to call you my friend.

    How hard is it to force yourself to sit down daily and pound on the keyboard? You produce a prodigious amount, and I find I have to really WORK at trying to get mine done and ready.

  16. Howdy Marilyn,
    I was wondering if you could comment on changes in the publishing industry and the book selling and buying world. Has any of these changes (if you've seen any, maybe they are all more talk than reality?) changed the way you reach your audience, esp. prospective new audience members? Any thoughts about the future of publishing fiction?

  17. Hey, Foothill writer, writing is what I do. So I sit myself in front of my computer every single day (Monday through Saturday) and write. Somedays I write more than others, but I sit down and write.

    And anonymous--the publishing industry is changing a lot. The big name publishers are slower to accept this change than anyone else. Small independent publishers are coming to the forefront offering authors a chance to step outside the rigid confines of what used to be the publishers' requirements. I'm not talking about the quality of writing, but things like mixing genres, not a set length for a book, diffent types of stories.

    And of course the Internet has changed so many things: the way an author reaches potential readers, the ability to interact with readers, how queries and manuscripts are submitted.

    For me, being able to interact with readers via the web is a marvelous thing. Nothing pleases and author more than hearing/reading that someone enjoyed her book.

    Of course electronic publishing is the wave of the future. It's a wave I got on many years ago when the concept was first thought of. Now with the advent of the Kindle and other e-readers, more and more people are using them as a means to read. All of my older books are available as e-books.

  18. Hi Marilyn, thanks for inviting me over from BWL. As a fan for several years I've read all the Tempe Crabtree books. Waiting on the new one. Think while I wait I should catch up on the other series! What made you decide to write the series about Tempe and her pastor husband? They make a great couple, unique in many ways. Dee

  19. Marilyn, you're a wonder! Your energy, imagination and ability to write two series and travel to promote your books is amazing.


  20. Dee, Tempe came first. I'd met two female law enforcement officers and a beautiful Indian woman who grew up on the reservation but no longer lived there. I combined traits of the three women and that's how Tempe was created.

    I just thought it would be fun to write about a married couple who truly loved each other but had very different belief systems. It has given me lots of opportunities for tension in what could be a rather boring relationship to write about, since they do love each other.

    Hi, Jean, sometimes I run out of energy, really I do.

    I love writing two series because they are so very different and the focus is different. In the Tempe series, I most write from close single third person POV. In the Rocky Bluff series I write multiple points of view, showing how each thing that's happening at the police department affects the officer and his or her family and what is happening with the family affects the officer at the job.

    Our traveling is cut down a bit this year. We are only flying to one con, and that's Mayhem in the Midlans. Hubby and I are both looking forward to it. We've gone so often and made so many friends, it's like attending a family reunion.

    Everyplace else we're going this year, we can drive to.

    Marilyn a.k.a. F.M. Meredith

  21. Do you have a writing routine? Hemingway and Robert B. Parker said they did (in Parker's case, does) five pages a day, strictly. I think Steinbeck said he'd quit in the middle of a sentence at the bottom of the fifth page. (I also try for five on the button, and keep a record to see if I make 25 a week.)


  22. Hi Win, I do have a routine, try to write everyday. I don't have a specific page number but I do quite in the middle of a scene so I know exactly where I'm starting the next day. I have friends who count words--but I write until I'm through.

    Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith

  23. I wanted to tell you I had a great time during my time here. I was trying to get more comments than Sunny but didn't make it.

    However, people asked some great questions. I hope they'll come back and visit this wonderful site again.

    Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith