Tell us a little bit about your journey as a writer.
My journey began when I was a child—I drew picture books before I could read or write (I was 4) based on a soap opera my mother listened to called “My Gal Sunday.” When I could read and started on the Little House on the Prairie series, I wrote my own version. I continued writing stories and added plays for my neighborhood friends to perform. When I married and was raising a family, my writing was confined to the PTA newsletter and plays for my Camp Fire Girls. I attempted three full length books, sent them off, and they were rejected. Didn’t write anymore for a long while. Wrote a historical family saga based on my own family genealogy, it was rejected and rewritten many times, but finally accepted and published, and I haven’t stopped since. Though I’ve written in several different genres, I’ve settled in writing mysteries. The first one was published as an e-book before anyone had a clue what that was. I championed e-books for a long time before people accepted them. I have two series: the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series and the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.
Tell us a bit about your latest book.
In my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Not as it Seems, Tempe and her preacher husband Hutch, travel to Morro Bay to attend their son Blair’s wedding. The maid-of-honor has disappeared, and Tempe is enlisted to look for her. The search is complicated by too many suspects, ghosts, and native spirits.
How do you develop your characters?
Because I’m writing a series, my main characters are already developed. When beginning a new book, along with a fresh plot, I have to create a victim and several folks who might be the murderer. Once I begin to get an idea of who each one is, I choose a name that I think fits, and the rest seems to come naturally.
What inspires you and keeps you motivated?
My main series characters are the ones who inspire me and keep me writing about them. I’ve come to think of them as family and I want to know what’s going to happen to them next and the only way to find out is to write the next book.
What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
I’m writing the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery while reading the chapters of my other series to my writing group. And like most authors, I’m working on promotion of some sort nearly every day. I suspect that will all continue.
Tell us about your pets, or other animals that inspire you.
Right now we have two inside cats, Butch and Sundance. Though both like to hang out in my office with me, neither get on my desk or computer. That’s a good thing, because they are both really big cats. I’ve never included either one in a book and I’m not sure why. We live in the country, and outside we always have feral cats (people drop their unwanted cats off) that we keep water available for and feed.
To buy Not as It Seems
Marilyn Meredith lives in the foothills of the Southern Sierra, about 1000 feet lower than Tempe’s Bear Creek, but much resembles the fictional town of Bear Creek and surroundings. She has nearly 40 books published, mostly mysteries. Besides writing, she loves to give presentations to writers’ groups. She’s on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and a member of Mystery Writers of America and three chapters of Sisters in Crime.