Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, many award winning, including the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. Bears With Us is the latest release. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Angel Lost, the third from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She’s also a been an instructor at many writing conferences including the Maui Writers Retreat, Central Coast Writing Conference and many others.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m most proud of the fact that I’m a wife, mom, grandma, and great-grandma. I’m also proud to say that I’ve had over 30 books published, but it wasn’t easy. I’ve had many rejections over the years but just kept learning more and more about the writing process — and mainly to keep on writing. Being a writer has given me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people, readers and writers. I love sharing what I know with fledgling writers, especially at places like writers conferences.
What made you first decide to become a writer?
Since I was a little girl I’ve been writing. I’m not sure when I decided that I’d like to make writing a career. In the beginning it was just creating the story — what to do with it after it was done came later. Satisfaction comes from the writing process itself — and, of course, seeing the final produce in print. Even better is the feeling when someone tells me they really enjoyed one of my books.
Can you tell us about your latest book?
In Bears With Us Deputy Tempe Crabtree has her hands full when bears turn up in and around Bear Creek; a young teen commits suicide and his parents’ actions are suspicious; a prominent woman files a complaint against Tempe and her preacher husband Hutch; a love affair from long ago comes to light; and a woman suffering from dementia disappears.
What inspired you to write it?
Bears With Us is the tenth book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. Because the characters in this series have become such a part of me, I’m also anxious to see what’s going to happen to them next. When my grandson, a police officer in Aspen, CO, started posting photos and comments about chasing bears out of people’s homes, my curiosity was piqued. I emailed him with lots of questions. The more I learned the more I knew that Tempe would be called upon to chase bears out of unusual places, and that the bear invasion would be an integral part of the plot. I always like to show that a resident deputy like Tempe has many, many challenges while on or off duty.
What is one thing you hope readers will take away from this book?
I’m basically a story teller. What I hope is that I’ve entertained the reader and that he or she will not only enjoy following Tempe through the adventures on the page, but will also be anxious to find out what happens next.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
All my books are available in the usual places both as trade paperback and e-books and also directly from the publisher http://mundania.com/book.php?title=Bears+With+Us/
If you could meet any writer (living or dead) who would it be?
I’ve had the good fortune to meet many of my favorite mystery writers like William Kent Krueger and Jan Burke and others, but if I could meet a writer who is no longer with us, I think I’d like to meet Erle Stanley Gardner who wrote Perry Mason mysteries and many others.
What is one fact about yourself you wish to share with our readers?
I love being a writer. In the world I live in I have no control over the chaos that happens — in the worlds I create I can make sure things work out in the end.
What is up next for you?
I’m always busy writing and promoting. Promoting Bears With Us is something I working on a lot. I’m also polishing the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, the one I’m reading to my critique group. I’m in the midst of writing a new Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel. Sometime after the first of the year, the latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel, No Bells, will make its debut.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I write each book in the series as though it were a stand-alone, so if you begin reading the series with Bears With Us you won’t feel like you’d missed out. Of course the characters are ongoing, but the story is complete.