Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name.
Marilyn Meredith though I also write under the name of F.M. Meredith—and I’m a great-great grandmother to 4 little ones.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Springville, California which is a foothill town of the Southern Sierra (the mountain range that runs along the eastern part of California.)
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Because I married young and had a big family (5 kids), I didn’t go to college until my youngest child was in kindergarten and earned a degree in Early Childhood Education. Before that, I was a telephone operator off and on while raising kids. I taught developmentally disabled pre-schoolers in a school for child development for 10 years, also taught in day cares and pre-schools in low income areas. For over twenty years, I owned, operated and lived-in a home for developmentally disabled women. Loved every minute of it. I taught Administrator and Continuing Education classes to other service providers. I was writing and publishing during that time period. And by the way, I’m still married to the handsome sailor I met on a blind date when I was in high school.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
The long time publisher of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series went out of business but gave me back my rights. So now the books are being self-published (a long process), but the latest is out now, Spirit Wind.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid, stories, articles, newsletters—but didn’t write a full-length book until I was a grandmother.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In my heart, I’ve always know I was a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My sister did our family’s genealogy and there were so many unanswered questions, I started doing research, mainly to find out why my ancestors moved so much. The first one was about my father’s side of the family I called it Two Ways West, and I wrote a second one about my mother’s side—Trail to Glory. Then I switched to writing mysteries.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I’m guessing you mean my latest, Spirit Wind. That was easy, the story is set Tehachapi, a mountain town with the largest wind farm in California. And like many of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, there is a ghost or spirit.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write shorter novels than many mystery writers—when the story is done, it’s done. It’s always a challenge to come up with a new plot.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The setting is realistic, but the rest is fictional. I’ve always loved to read about haunted places and ghosts, and I enjoy writing about them.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
For this particular book, I did make a couple of trips to Tehachapi to make sure I got the real places right, and the made-up ones possible.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Niki Browning did most of them. Larry Collins prepared them for the recent publications
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Mainly the fact that Deputy Tempe Crabtree is a strong woman, who is able to over come her fears.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I have many, many favourite authors, but I can’t say I’ve read any new authors.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
For this last venture of self-publishing, Lorna and Larry Collins have been the biggest support to me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, in some ways. I do other sort so writing too.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m pleased with Spirit Wind, and those who’ve read it have told me they enjoyed it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned a lot about the huge wind machines, about the amazing Loop (where the engines of long, long freight trains pass the end as they go around a mountain.) I also learned about the Indians who first inhabited the area along with their legends.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Because Tempe is a Native American, though she prefers to be called an Indian, I’d like anyone who played her to also have the same heritage.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
For new writers, be sure to get your work edited before you send it off to a publisher, or self-publish.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Only that I hope they enjoy Tempe’s latest adventure.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Sojourner’s Journey by Sue McGinty. It’s not a mystery, but more of a coming-of-age story set mainly in Detroit.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not really, but I do know that I read all of he Little House on the Prairie books, plus many Nancy Drew mysteries.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My great-grands who live with me—they say so many funny things, and they are so loving.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’ve been around for a long, long time and I’ve had the chance to meet so many of my favourite authors, and become friends with some. Sue Grafton is one, and I’d love to see her again and have a nice chat.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading and watching movies.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Loved the new Bosch series, Bull, NCIS, and some of the British series and movies. Love anything with a strong plot and good acting.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love Thai and Mexican food, any shade of blue, and the old favorites—and I mean old.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Hard to imagine because writing is such a big part of my life. I would hang out with family.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my husband and kids.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I have no idea. Maybe: Mom, Grandma, Great and Great Great Grandma.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My blog is https://marilynmeredith.blogpsot.com where I write about what’s going on in my life, my writing, and host other authors.
My website is: https://fictionforyou.com/
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Wind-Tempe-Crabtree-Mysteries/dp/1092112081/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?crid=2SGK52T2ZRVFB&keywords=spirit+wind+marilyn+meredith&qid=1555683876&s=gateway&sprefix=spirit+wind+%2Caps%2C264&sr=8-1-fkmrnull