I had the pleasure of discovering the writing of Marilyn Meredith about 6 months after I started blogging and now think of her not only as one of my favorite authors, but as a friend. It’s my pleasure to welcome her back here as she makes a stop on her virtual blog tour.
Marilyn’s latest release is BEARS WITH US, a Temple Crabtree Mystery Series. She is hosting a unique contest in connection with the book’s release. The contest details are as follows: Would you like to be immortalized in print? Marilyn Meredith is running a contest during her BEARS WITH US virtual book tour. Whoever leaves a comment on the most blog sites during the tour, will have his or her name used for a character in Marilyn’s next book. Please visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2011/08/11/bears-with-us-virtual-book-tour-october-2011/ for her entire schedule. Good luck!
Now a brief synopsis of her book: A burglar turns out to be a bear and Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her pastor husband, Hutch, chase the bear out of the house. This is their first encounter with a bear and the occupants of the home, an elderly couple and their daughter—and it isn’t the last.
A bear turns up at the school, at a restaurant, an apple orchard and two more homes. That is only part of what Tempe is called to handle. A teenager’s suicide, a mother who doesn’t like her daughter’s boyfriend, a wandering senior with a strange form of Alzheimer’s, and a long ago love affair keep Tempe hopping.
Mason asked me a few questions I’m going to answer for her here.
She wanted to know what inspired me to write about bears in this Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery and how I did my research on bears.
One fall on Facebook, my grandson, a police officer in Aspen, Colorado, talked about the bears he and his fellow officers were chasing out of people’s homes. He posted some interesting photos of bears up in trees and other interesting places. Almost immediately I knew that Tempe was going to have some of the same experiences.
I emailed my grandson and asked him some specific questions about how the bears managed to get inside the houses, what they did when they got there, what they smelled like, and how the officers managed to get the bears out. I also went on the Internet and looked up Aspen and bears and got more information. The Internet was also my source for more information about black bears, how to keep them out of your house and so on. Once I had all that gathered, it was a matter of weaving it all into a mystery which eventually became BEARS WITH US.
Her next question was about my daily writing schedule.
I write every single day for a good part of the day—though it’s not always on a manuscript. When I’m promoting a book, I spend a lot of time writing posts for blogs like this one. My best writing time is early in the day, though I’ve been known to keep right on going through the afternoon.
A most interesting question was what was the worst piece of advice I ever received concerning my writing and how did I overcome it. This happened when I was writing one of my first books, an historical family saga. I was told by several that historical sagas were no longer popular and I should try writing something else. I ignored the advice, finished the book, and it was my first book accepted for publication. From that comes this advice: write the book you want to write. Make it the best possible book you can and find a publisher who publishes the same kind of book and send it off.
And her last question was, if I could go back and change one thing at the beginning of your writing career, what would it be?
It would have been great if computers had been invented sooner—when I began it was typewriters, carbon paper, retyping whole manuscripts when you found mistakes, sending manuscripts off in boxes with boxes inside with the right amount of postage for them for the manuscript could be returned.
But what I really wish I could go back and do over is to learn more about writing through conferences, writing groups, and books about writing. Because I was a voracious reader I thought I knew all about writing. Instead I stumbled and bumbled along and picked up information along the way as I finally did attend writers conferences, read writing books, and finally joined a wonderful critique group where I learned the most of all. I still belong to that group.
Thanks for those interesting questions, Mason, I enjoyed answering them.
Marilyn, it’s always a pleasure having you stop by. I enjoy how you take elements from everyday life and incorporate them into your books.
BEARS WITH US can be ordered direction from the publisher, Mundania Press, in many formats including trade paperback and also from Amazon and the other usual places.
Marilyn Meredith is the author of over 30 published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest BEARS WITH US from Mundania Press. 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. For more on Marilyn and her writing, visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/
If you’re a writer, do you include current events in your writing? As a reader, do you enjoy it when an author includes unusual mishaps like the wandering bears? Be sure to check out Marilyn’s contest. Thanks for stopping by.