Monday, March 3, 2008

Mystery Author Marilyn Meredith and Her World of Crime

I had the pleasure of meeting Marilyn Meredith, author of eighteen novels, last year through our mutual association in Sisters in Crime.

Marilyn Meredith is the author of award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series as well as other novels. The latest is, Judgment Fire, from Mundania Press. Under the name of F. M. Meredith she writes the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, the latest, Smell of Death, from Tigress Press. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, EPIC and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She was an instructor for Writer’s Digest School for ten years, served as an instructor at the Maui Writer’s Retreat and many other writer’s conferences.

Please join MURDERY BY 4 in welcoming Marilyn Meredith.

Though I’ve always loved reading mysteries, my first published writing was an historical family saga based on my own family’s genealogy. When I was done, I decided to tackle a mystery. My interest in law enforcement had been piqued when my police officer son-in-law decided I had a good listening ear and coffee to drink. My daughter didn’t want to hear what he had to say, and I was fascinated. It wasn’t long before I talked him into going on a ride-along as long as I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone I was his mother-in-law.

Year earlier, when we first moved into our home in an inexpensive housing tract in Oxnard CA, we were neighbors with everyone whose pay scale left much to be desired: police officers, firemen and Navy personnel (my husband was career Navy). We partied with these folks and I had coffee with the wives where I learned plenty about the families and how the job affected them.

Later we moved from the beach community to the foothills of the Sierra and I went on more ride-alongs. The most enlightening one was with a female officer who was a single mom. I followed her as she did bar checks and waited in the car while she calmed a family dispute. From 2 a.m. until 6 in the morning, she didn’t have a single call. During this time she poured her heart out to me. Much of what I learned from her, my son-in-law, living among cops and their families have been the material that fueled my imagination to write the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

My goal with this series has been to show how the job affects the families and what’s going on with the families affect the job. I also remembered my son-in-law criticizing police shows and books because as he said, "We’re never working on just one case at a time." The Rocky Bluff P.D. never works on one case at a time either.

The latest in the series, Smell of Death, features a female police officer, Stacey Wilbur, a single mom, two murders that are connected, a missing toddler, a stalker, and the beginning of a romance when Stacey breaks her own rule about dating anyone on the Rocky Bluff P.D. Any of the old-timers on either the Oxnard P.D. or the Porterville P.D. might recognize cases that gave me the seeds that germinated into this novel.

Most people know me by Marilyn, but I decided to use my initials for this series because it’s a bit darker than my usual writing. Smell of Death can be purchased directly from my website: http://fiction/ or

Marilyn has just completed her virtual book tour of Smell of Death. To learn more about Marilyn and her other writings please visit: the
Stiletto Gang:


Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Marta , thank you for this wonderful glimpse into Marilyn's world. I'm astounded by her credentials (fantastic) and the books sound intriguing!

Marilyn, thanks very much for joining us on MB4 today. I'm going to check out your books now. ;o)

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, folks.

I've been around a long time and it's fun to look back and remember.


Marta Stephens said...

Marilyn, a friend of mine is a police detective who has helped me on several key scenes in both books in my Harper series. Getting first-hand information is absolutely priceless.

I have a tremendous respect for law enforcement officers which is why I'm so drawn to writing crime fiction. We often forget the personal side of job and how it must affect the officers’ families. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. Best of luck with SMELL OF DEATH!

J D Webb said...

Hello, Marilyn. We keep crossing paths. First at Love Is Murder and then at Author Island.
Very nice article. Goes along with the nice lady who just happens to be a great author.
Wishing you continued luck.
J. D. (Dave) Webb

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks, Dave. I had such a great time at Love is Murder--enjoyed everything, especially the snow!

Anonymous said...

Great interview,Marilyn. Good luck with the new book. That's a glam photo, too. Miss you!
Pat Browning

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Loved seeing you featured, Marilyn. You deserve it. Your new title is very evocative, by the way. (-:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Carolyn! How nice to see you here! Glad you stopped by. What a small world, eh? ;o)

Marta Stephens said...

Marilyn, thanks so much for sharing your story with us! You're always welcome to post on MB4 again and hope you'll stop by often to see what we're up. :()