F.M. Meredith, AKA Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published mysteries and police procedural novels. A frequent visitor to this blog she sits down today for an interview. Learn more about her at her website and blog.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
Since I was in grammar school.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
After several false starts, my first book was published in 1982. However, it received nearly 30 rejections before I received an acceptance. (In between, I did much rewriting.)
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I’ve been published many ways, but right now I have two mid-list publishers.
Where do you write?
In my home office usually, though if I’m on a trip, I may do some writing wherever I can.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
For me, silence is golden—or as silent as it ever is in my house.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Some of my plot ideas come from news stories I’ve read—though they mainly spark the idea and I go from there. As for characters, many of them are composites of people I’ve met during my life. No one ever recognizes themselves, thank goodness.
Describe your process for naming your character?
I collect names from graduation programs and anywhere else. I match up one first name with a different last name. Of course the name has to fit a character. I also look up ethnic names on the Internet.
Real settings or fictional towns?
Rocky Bluff is a fictional beach town in Southern California with many of the characteristics of a beach town I lived in for over 20 years. Surrounding it are real towns.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
One of the favorite characters in the RBPD series is a police officer who always goes by the book, but still has things go awry, so much so, that he is often the object of his fellow-workers’ jokes. However, in Violent Departures, things have begun to change for him.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Do we really recognize our own quirks? I don’t know how quirky it is, but I like to accomplish things. I don’t like to just fool around and do nothing.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
Perhaps, a book similar to Wm. Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace. This book really impressed me, especially how well he got inside the young main character.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
Many of the big mistakes I made as a young woman. As for writing, I wish I’d had the time and money to learn more about the craft of writing earlier in my life.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People who don’t do what they say they will.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
A good study Bible, matches, something to write on.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
Working in an auto parts store—I was totally out of my comfort zone.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
I’ve read so many and loved many. The one I read over and over was Gone With the Wind and it’s been years since the last time.
Ocean or mountains?
I loved living by the ocean and visit there often. Now I live in the mountains and love being here.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
I grew up in Los Angeles, but now live in a dinky little town, definitely in the country. (I do miss big city living at times. Having to drive 1/2-hour to shop or go to the movies is a pain—but then again, the traffic isn’t bad like it is in the city.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Who really knows what the future holds for sure? But right now, my plan is to keep writing and promoting.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
Because it has been popular on my other blog tours, once again I’m offering the chance for the person who comments on the most blog posts during this tour to have a character named for him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery.
Or if that doesn’t appeal, the person may choose one of the earlier books in the series—either a print book or Kindle copy.
Tomorrow, I’m headed over to http://pat-writersforum.blogspot.com/
The question I’m answering is: How do you keep up with your characters and what’s happened?
College student, Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway. Everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.