I’m the author of over 25 books, most of them mysteries. I write two series, the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series and the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series. I also do some ghost writing. I live in the foothills of the Central Coast in a town much like Bear Creek where my heroine, Tempe, lives. I belong to three chapters of Sisters in Crime and I’m on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and I also belong to Epic and MWA.
1. Tell us about your latest book.
In Dispel the Mist, Tempe investigates the murder of a popular county supervisor and has an encounter with the Hairy Man. The Hairy Man is similar to Big Foot, but he resides in the mountains above the Bear Creek Indian Reservation. The Hairy Man is really a Tule River Indian legend—but I borrowed him for this mystery.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
I’ve written since I was a kid. However, I didn’t get published until 1981. My first book was a historical family saga based on my own family’s genealogy.
After writing a second one based on the other side of the family, I began writing mysteries since that’s what I like most to read.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
Usually I check my emails first—I shouldn’t, but I always want to see if there’s something important that I need to take care of. If I have a work-in-progress, that’s the next thing on my list. Right now I’m involved with promoting Dispel the Mist, so I’m doing things like making posters for my in-town personal appearances and promoting them and other physical appearances on the Internet. Because I’m doing a virtual book tour as well, I’m spending some time doing interviews like this. Actually, I enjoy them.
4. Describe your workspace.
I have a nice office with my desktop computer, two printers, two bookcases filled with books and supplies, a long table for piling things up that I’m planning to take this place or that. There is one window where I can look out at the foothills and the high mountains beyond.
5. Favorite books (especially for writers)
Before I was published it was always the Writers Market. I have a lot of writing books, but my favorite book is my thesaurus to help me find descriptive action verbs. I also have several books about Native Americans and Indian legends. I refer to them sometimes to find good quotes for book titles.
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you
My crazy days are long past. I’ve got a big family; we raised five children, now have eighteen grandchildren and eleven great grandkids. I’ve been married to the same man for nearly 58 years and he’s still my best friend. We love to travel and have fun going to mystery conferences and conventions in new places we’ve never visited before.
7. Favorite quote
“I’m too blessed to be stressed.” And I live by that.
8. Best and worst part of being a writer
Best part about being a writer is letting my imagination go wild and seeing the people who live inside my mind live out their lives in the pages of the books I write. I love it when a reader tells me they loved a book of mine. The worst part of being a writer is not having enough time to do all the things I’d like to do.
9. Advice for other writers
Never give up. My first book was rejected nearly 30 times before it was finally accepted. Don’t pay anyone in order to be published. If your book is good enough, you’ll find a publisher one day. To be a writer you need to sit in front of your computer and write every day, or at least nearly every day.
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
It’s a wonder I didn’t give up somewhere along the line. I’ve had two publishers die on me. I had two publishers who were crooks. One was actually put in jail and the other one took off never to be found, as far as I know. I had one publisher who never bothered to pay me my royalties even though I knew books were being bought. I’ve had two publishers who decided to quit the business. That’s why I say “never give up.” At the moment I have two very good—and honest—publishers.
Where can people buy your books?
Dispel the Mist can be purchased from the publisher http://www.mundaniapress.com as an e-book or trade paperback. It is also available from other bookstores.
You can read the first chapter of Dispel the Mist on my website: http://fictionforyou.com
My blog is http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com