Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Julie Egert Reveals Some Secrets About Her Writing

Julie Egert's book, "The Left Side Of The Stairs" is now available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and BooksAMillion.com. It was published by Aberdeen Bay. Anyone interested can read the first two chapters of "The Left Side Of The Stairs" on her author's site, julieegertwrites.com

Here is what Julie is sharing with us today:

Hi everybody, and thanks, Marilyn, for having me. I started out my writing career as a journalist, looking to parlay my love of writing into a way to support myself. I quickly found out that it was more fun to choose my own topics, and eventually decided that I loved writing my own (fictional) stories even more. (Yes, I know that there are those who would argue that journalists write plenty of fiction). But the ability to research, which I learned in J-school, can serve a novelist well, too.

I think the trick, like so many things in life, is to find that balance, and to know how much is too much. When I started writing "The Left Side Of The Stairs," my first foray into the world of publishing, I started to research in earnest: I filed away as many interesting tidbits about my setting, Atlanta, as I could find. I read about the marvelous, historical Fox Theater on Peachtree Street, where Kenny Rogers performed and insisted that his socks be ironed before the show. What a fun tidbit!

But did it belong in my story? Did it add to what my character was going through at the time? I had to delete a half a page when I went back to edit this part of the manuscript, where I'd gotten just a tad bit overzealous with fun facts I'd learned. (Overusing my research had made that part bo-ring). Being diabetic, I had no problem with making my main character Shelby's struggle with the disease believable. But I realized my readers didn't exactly need to know how many units of insulin Shelby took at bedtime, or read a list of all of the symptoms of low blood sugar.

I also agonized over getting details about my character Miranda's addiction right. Getting it right can add authenticity to your story, give the reader a sense of place, and make your words resonate with somebody who has been through the same thing in real life. But something struck me when I was watching The First 48, one of my guilty pleasures on TV, last night! (LOVE that show). The homicide detective was lamenting the fact that he'd been investigating for months to crack a case; in the meantime, the forensic evidence had been sitting right there, in a lab, containing the crucial answer...but he'd had to wait on the results of the DNA testing...for months. Well, any responsible crime novelist knows DNA testing can take forever. If they've done even the first bit of homework they're privy to this. However, in some cases, the novelist may not want their story spread out over the space of months, and they have to (gasp) fudge things or speed things along to bring their story to fruition. Here comes the "rush" on the testing or the strings a detective is able to pull that doesn't often happen in real life!

Start to over-think or work within the strict confines of the research you've done, and you'll find your story coming to a screeching halt...quickly. I also took medical research I had done and used it as inspiration for what could be possible for a character who was facing a medical crisis. I journeyed into a somewhat spiritual realm. I certainly didn't find out about the spiritual aspect of what one of my main characters was going through in the research I did, but it certainly did offer up plenty of inspiration. In a nutshell: Make the research your own and stretch it or change it up a wee bit if it suits your story to do so. Just make sure readers know that's what you're doing!

I'm all for being responsible with research, but sometimes the little "creative license" disclaimer you see at the beginning of books is a powerful tool. Author's disclaimer: Imagination at work!

Julie Egert

And a bit about her book:

The Left Side Of The Stairs


by Julie Egert

A reporter in over her head…
Meet Shelby Norris, a small-town reporter without a beat. Shelby wants to write CNN-caliber news, not stories about new park benches in town. But she’s unprepared for the devastating crash course in “real” journalism she gets with her husband’s sudden death. A snap decision to start over at a popular Atlanta paper brings her one step closer to the big stories she’s been craving, and a life-altering friendship…

A girl in crisis…
19-year-old heroin addict Miranda Linn is a girl who wears a Lord’s Prayer cross around her neck and a chip on her shoulder. When Miranda’s chance at a future starts to slip away, her family will look for help in the unlikeliest of places…

A recipe for healing…or disaster?
With one controversial article Shelby finds herself dragged into Miranda’s world, and a vicious public backlash. After getting caught up in an emotional tug-of-war between Miranda’s devastated parents and angry boyfriend, Shelby’s on a personal mission to help them heal. But first she’ll have to survive her daily crash course in being a “real” journalist, sort out some complicated feelings for a doctor with a connection to Miranda, and save herself from her own small-town baggage. Shelby’s about to learn what it means to no longer walk on the left side of the stairs.

Thank you so much, Julie, for your interesting revelations about yourself and you book.

Marilyn

Monday, November 29, 2010

Silence or Surround-Sound





--Guest Post by Carolyn Rose

How do you do your best work? While tapping your toes to the Motown beat? Howling along with Howlin’ Wolf? Listening to the slosh of the washer and the whisk of the dryer? Monitoring the kids’ conversations? Talking back to Talk Radio or keeping an ear cocked for that recipe for cheese and cantaloupe soufflé “coming up next” on a TV interview show?

Or do you require silence to concentrate?

I used to think I did.

In fact, I insisted on my own office space, a floor above my husband’s and at the opposite end of the house. Mike, who is the co-author of our cozy mystery series set in the fictional Oregon coast town of Devil’s Harbor, likes music, lots of it. His office shelves hold at least 300 CDs and he’s got a TV, a piano, and a pool table in his space.

After a long career on the air at radio stations in three states, he’s lost a lot of his high-end hearing, so he tends to crank the dials up. The Spinal Tap musicians who had amps that went up to 11 have nothing on him. When noise leaked up the stairs—as it did almost daily—I’d snatch up the intercom and carp at him to keep it down.

The more I became obsessed with my need for silence in order to write, the more I blamed everything and everyone else for my lack of progress.

And then one day, frustrated because my latest novel was not only going nowhere but not even making good time in the process, I sat and listened, really listened.
And I found out that silence—at least in my office—is anything but silent.

First, I heard the breathy hum of the computer and the clicking of the keys beneath my fingers. I heard myself swallow. I heard my stomach rumble and a crackling sound in my sinuses as I drew in air.

A jet flew over, the roof creaked as the sun warmed it, and outside the window a bird skittered along the patio roof. A neighbor cranked up his lawnmower and another revved the engine of his truck. Someone trundled a garbage bucket down to the street. A dog barked and a woman called for it to come. A squirrel jumped from branch to branch in the pear tree. A jay complained that I hadn’t filled the feeder.
After a few minutes, I tuned out those noises and listened more intently to the words spoken inside my head by my characters and, beyond that, the sounds created inside my mind by my imagination—the cheese puffs calling out from the fresh bag “hidden” in the closet above the refrigerator, the chocolate pudding easing past its expiration date, the last cranberry muffin shivering in a plastic bag at the back of
the freezer.

Suddenly, I was awash in a sea of sound. Waves of sound rose higher. An undertow of noise pulled me down.

I clamped my hands over my ears, but the surf sucked me under. I heard skin rub on skin, my tongue rasping against my teeth. I heard the thud-thud-thud of my heart pumping, the suck of air in my lungs.

These tiny sounds grew louder, reverberated, resonated, resounded.

I leaped up, turned on the TV, then dug an ancient boom box from the closet, slapped a Rolling Stones CD into the slot, and began singing along with Mick and the guys.
In a few minutes, I’d drowned out the sound of what I’d thought was silence.
In a few more minutes my fingers were tapping out the rhythm of “Start Me Up.” Words stutter-stepped onto my computer screen. I filled a page. I filled another.

A figure loomed in the doorway and my husband raised an eyebrow.

“Silence,” I shouted over the music, “is vastly overrated.”


Carolyn's Bio:

Carolyn J. Rose grew up in New York’s Catskill Mountains, graduated from the University of Arizona, logged two years in Arkansas with Volunteers in Service to America, and spent 25 years as a television news researcher, writer, producer, and assignment editor in Arkansas, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. She teaches novel-writing in Vancouver, Washington, and founded the Vancouver Writers’ Mixers. Her hobbies are reading, gardening, and not cooking.

She is the author of Hemlock Lake, Consulted to Death, Driven to Death, and Dated to Death, and the co-author of Sometimes a Great Commotion, The Big Grabowski, The Hard Karma Shuffle, The Crushed Velvet Miasma, and The Hermit of Humbug Mountain.

Visit her virtual home at www.deadlyduomysteries.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Amazon Ratings and Blog Tours

I love doing blog tours. They are a lot of work. First you have to write something interesting for the places you are going to be blogging on, then the day each blog comes out you need to promote the blog at least on Facebook and Twitter and any other social networks you might be on and also any of your listserves. This takes a lot of time.

It is also important that you check the blog during the day so you can answer the questions commenters asks, plus acknowledge each one who asked a question.

One way to see if the blog tour is working is to check your stats on Amazon. One day while on my blog tour for Invisible Path I checked during the last blog tour the stats for the trade paperback were 728,581. The lower the numbers the better. I know that doesn't sound low but it's a lot better than the million plus that the books began with. The Kindle version was even better at 201,739. How this will play out in sales I have no idea. What I do know is when I do nothing, the numbers remain in the millions.

Of course the book is sold other places besides Amazon. A good place to purchase Invisible Path and any of the other books in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series in either trade paperback or e-book is directly from the publisher at http://www.mundania.com

Any bookstore can also order the book too.

In my opinion, doing a blog tour helps sell books so I'll probably keep right on doing them.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Saturday, November 27, 2010

For the First Time I Have ARCs of a coming book

Angel Lost is the next book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. For the first time I actually have ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) of the book. There is a plain cover with just the title and my name on the front and information about the book on the back.

My publisher, Oak Tree Press, will be sending them out to places like Publishers Weekly and Library Review, but it's up to me to find other appropriate places for them to go--places that will review them.

I've never done this before but not quite sure who to approach with them.

Anyone have suggestions?

Marilyn

Friday, November 26, 2010

Latest Harry Potter Movie

Hubby and one of my friends, who also happens to be a fan of both my series, went to see the new Harry Potter movie.

Here are some of my thoughts. This one is definitely not for younger kids because it's much darker than the previous ones. It also isn't a place to begin watching the series because you need to know who all the characters are or you won't be able to make sense of what is going on.

It's been fun watching the actors grow up just as the characters they play do in the movies.

We were all entertained and the only reason I knew it was really long was because my bottom began to ache. It definitely kept my interest.

Of course it stops at a most scary spot that looks like everything is going wrong and how on earth will it be righted. I will definitely go to see the next one.

We did not wait in line, we went to a Monday showing at 10:30 a.m. and the theater didn't have many people in it. Great time to see a movie.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What I'm Thankful For

First of all I'm thankful for my parents who loved me and took me to church every Sunday and brought me up to love God. I'm thankful that I grew up in a different time and less stressful time than the one we live in now--even though our country was at war.

I'm thankful for my husband who I fell for way back when I was seventeen and has put up with me for 59 years of married life. I'm thankful that he's willing to do all the things that I like to do and is such a strong supporter of my writing.

I'm thankful for my five children and thankful that we had Mark for as long as we did. I'm thankful that I know he's in heaven and I'll see him again one day.

I'm thankful that I live in America.

I'm thankful for all that I've been able to do and see over the years.

I'm thankful for all the talents that God has given me.

I'm thankful that we have enough to share with those who are less fortunate.

I'm thankful for our little church and our church family.

I'm thankful for all my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

And on this particular Thanksgiving Day, I'm thankful that I'm not the cook and thankful to my youngest daughter who is doing the cooking.

I'm thankful for the part of the family that hubby and I are sharing the day with.

And I'm thankful for all the blessings God has bestowed upon me during my life.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Marilyn

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Have to Brag Just a Bit

Invisible Path has received some great reviews but I'd like to share a bit of one of the latest.

"It's this sense of social drama that most strongly characterizes Marilyn Meredith's book. The dramatic tension in the story is that between reservation Indians and outsiders, whether they're white or Indian; and between militia fanatics and people from outside their area, and outside their white culture. Nestled inside that tense tapestry, is the murder mystery of a young Indiana man out to make a name and a fortune -- a murder that everyone seems to want pinned on Jesus Running Bear, even without any clear evidence against him.

"What makes the writing special the way in which Marilyn Meredith handles the characters. This is no literary novel; her touch is light and gentle. And, yet, there is a simple honesty in the way characters are portrayed without judgment of framing preconceptions that is almost shockingly matter-of-fact. In one breath, we have characters spouting racist remarks, and that's just the way they are. In the next, we have Indians following their traditional beliefs, and that's just they way they are. In the next, we have Deputy Crabtree's husband, a Christian pastor, praying for her, and that's just the way he is. The characters in Invisible Path may not have their psychological scars revealed and explored, but they are allowed to be themselves with no pretense and no restraint. That's what I found remarkable about this entertaining novel." --C.N. Nevets

Can you see why I so happy?

Marilyn

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another Wedding


In January we're having another wedding in the family. Granddaughter Jessi is marrying her boyfriend, Jerry.

This one will be done in the Mexican tradition--at least mostly. His family is handling a lot of the arrangements and his female relatives cooking the food. (Yum!)

Year ago when my granddaughter Melissa was married, her Mexican grandmother prepared all the food for her reception and it was amazing and delicious.

Back in the day when my children were getting married, I was the one to cook all the food. The first one to marry, Dana, was married in the chapel at the Port Hueneme Naval Base. The reception was held at our house and all the food except the cake came from my kitchen.

Next one to marry was Lisa, her nuptials were held at the Presbyterian Church in Hueneme, and again the reception at our house and I made all the food.

Mark came next. He and his bride went to Vegas, but again the reception was at our house and I was the cook. (This was the first wedding. The second one years later, was more or less the same, wedding in Vegas, reception at our house, I cooked.)

Lori planned and paid for her own wedding. The reception was in her eldest sister's backyard and yes, I cooked all the food.

Matthew also married two times. First one a church wedding, reception at our house and I cooked. Second one, Last Vegas, reception at our house, I cooked.

I've done other big events at our home where I did all of the cooking, including my mom's 80th birthday party and 100 people came some bringing extra dishes to share.

I don't do that anymore. In fact this year, I'm not even cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, hubby and I are heading down to Camarillo to have dinner with youngest daughter and her family. I'm looking forward to seeing her middle son who has traveled from Aspen to spend Thanksgiving with his mom.

However, since I love to have left-overs, I plan to cook a turkey the next week.

I still love to cook just not for so many people.

In any case, I'll just be a happy grandma at the coming wedding.

Marilyn

Monday, November 22, 2010

Speaking of Rejection and Other Dire Things

If I'd let rejection get to me I wouldn't be published today.

My first book was rejected nearly 30 times before finding a home. Of course in between rejections I rewrote the book several times. I did have an agent during that time and though he taught me a lot, he didn't send the book out at all.

Did the rejections end after that first published book? Heck no, the editor who bought that book left the house and her replacement wasn't interested in my next one. So I had to start all over again.

When I began writing mysteries I first sought an agent and had several. One agent I met at a writing conference had my Tempe series for about four years with no results, of course it didn't help that she only sent each book to one publisher. (Didn't find that out until I asked to see the rejections.)

Oh and before her I had another agent who wanted me to change Tempe Crabtree's name because it was too unusual. I didn't, of course.

For my Rocky Bluff P.D. series I had an agent for awhile who couldn't sell the first book. Finally I struck out on my own. I found a publisher in Writers Market who wanted police procedurals. He accepted the book but when I got the contract I learned he would be publishing electronically. This was eons ago before there were any e-readers of any kind. The book was wonderfully edited but only sold one copy and that was to me so I could see what it looked like.

I had a Christian horror I shopped around and found a publisher who wanted it camera ready. I struggled to make it that way and when it was done learned he had passed away.

My first mystery was published by an outfit that turned out to be crooked. They printed 50 of that book, I sold them all at a book signing and never heard from them again. I found a small publisher who reprinted that book and took on the first four of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. Sadly, she passed away. Later I met the publisher for Mundania Press who is now publishing all of that series.

Later I found another e-publisher who also did print books (by this time the Rocket e-Reader had come into existence) and he published the first two of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. The problem with him was he never sent me any royalties.

Another publisher did print and e-books for the next two in that series and then decided that the publishing business was not for her.

I met the publisher of Oak Tree Press at a conference and asked her if she'd be interested in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series and she's published the latest two and put the others on Kindle.

Pat Browning reminded me of something another friend said about me, "When a publisher dies, Marilyn just steps over the body and finds another one."

Really, though the lesson here, is no matter what, if you really want to be a writer, don't give up.

Marilyn

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanks for Visiting Me on Blog Jog Day


Thank you for stopping by my Blog! Please explore all this Blog has to offer, then jog on over to http://www.quildonwrites.blogspot.com/. If you would like to visit a different Blog in the jog, go to http://blogjogday.blogspot.com.”

I'm the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series and this month have been busily promoting the latest in the series,Invisible Path.

Besides talking about my book(s) and what I'm doing, I also give writing tips. You can scroll back through this blog and find them.

I've been writing ever since I was a kid, but didn't get a full-length novel published until 1981 after many, many rejections. The two books that were published were historical family sagas.

Then I switched to writing mysteries and ran into more rejections. My publishing path was littered with obstacles from two of my publishers dying, a couple of crooks along the way, and agents who couldn't find homes for any of my works.

I've published with several small independent publishers and was one of the first e-pubbed authors.

I now have two great publishers, Mundania Press who publishes my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series and Invisible Path is the latest. Oak Tree Press publishes my Rocky Bluff P.D. series and An Axe to Grind is the latest and it is a finalist in the mystery/suspense category of Epic's e-book awards.

Most of my books are e-books and trade paperbacks and can be purchase in all the usual places. You can check out my website to see what all I've written http://fictionforyou.com and you can read the first chapters of most of my books there too.

I'd really love it if you left a comment on my post so I'll know you stopped by--and you might consider becoming a follower.

Be sure to go to the next blog http://www.quildonwrites.blogspot.com/. This is fun, isn't it?

Marilyn

Saturday, November 20, 2010

PSWA Conference and Writing Contest

For any mystery writer out there, the PSWA Conference is terrific. Because it's a small conference, you aren't lost in the shuffle. You'll get to meet people who can really help you with your research into all areas of law enforcement, forensics, and other interesting avenues.

Because there is only one track you won't have to choose which presentation to attend.

You'll make new friends and I guarantee you'll have a wonderful time.

And don't forget, there is also a writing contest going on for non-fiction and fiction, published and unpublished work, short and long.

All the information you'll need is located on the Public Safety Writers Association's website http://www.policewriter.com

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where Will it All End?





When most of us decide to start writing – writing with the intention of being published, that is – we know where it begins. In our hearts. We’re called to write. It’s engrained in our DNA, somehow. It’s the one thing we desperately, beyond all reason, must do. Never mind how difficult, how time consuming, how emotionally and physically draining it is. Forget the horror stories we’ve heard about bad agents, tyrannical editors, and the fierce competition. We’re ready to take them on, endure anything to become a published author.

Yes, this is where it starts. But where will it end?

That depends on the writer.

Before your first book is released, before your manuscript is accepted, even before it’s completed and submitted, it’s important for you to decide what, exactly, you expect to get out of your writing.

Do you want to write the book of your heart, put it out there and let it find an audience on its own?

Do you want to be rich and famous?

Or is something in between these two extremes more of what you had in mind?

Think about it. And remember, there’s no wrong answer.

Knowing what you want to get out of writing can be comforting when things get tough, when deadlines are looming, your print run is not what you think it should be, and your overworked editor and publicists don’t seem to be as excited as you are about your book’s success.

For myself, my goal has always been to build a readership that will allow me to keep writing. I’ve been fortunate to do that. And believe me, there were times when hanging onto that thought got me through some disappointments.

I’ve been rejected – yes, even after publishing 26 novels I still get rejected – I’ve had covers I didn’t especially like and titles I wasn’t crazy about. I’ve lost editors I loved and endured editors I didn’t click with. The list goes on.

But in the end, I always drew strength from my original writing goal and reminded myself that yes, this particular situation might not suit me, but I’m still writing, publishers are still publishing me, and readers are still reading my books.

It’s also important to decide early on what you want to get out of your writing because that will dictate what you’ll have to put into it.

Are you inclined to write your book, send it out into the world and hope for a readership? If you don’t like – or can’t do – lots of publicity, this may be your best option. It’s a great book, after all, and great books often find their way into the hands of readers simply by word of mouth.

Want to be rich and famous? Getting there will mean personal appearances, signings, speeches to civic groups, blog tours, Facebook, Twitter. Along with this may come harsh reviews, unappreciative readers, people who’ll say absolutely anything to you. Are you up for that?

Decide what you want and how you want to attain it. In the end you’ll know that despite everything, you got what you wanted: to be published in a manner you can live with.

And that’s pretty darn good.

HAPPY READING!
Dorothy Howell
www.DorothyHowellNovels.com
Fan Dorothy Howell Novels at www.Facebook.com

P.S. This is great advice from Dorothy Howell.

And just a little note from me:

http://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/ is my blog stop for the day. Called Thoughts in Progress, I'm always glad to visit here.

Mason Canyon has become a cyber friend. She's hosted me several times while I've been on blog tours and she's reviewed my books.

Often she stops by this blog and leaves a comment.

Be sure to visit her today and if you're participating in the contest, be sure to leave a comment.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Next Stop on Tour: Down Under Views

http://downunderviews.com/blog/ is where I'm visiting today. Be sure and stop by and leave a comment.

While you're there you'll be able to see a short video about Invisible Path.

I've had quite a time with the title for my book because it is close to the title of the prequel to this series, Deadly Trail, in fact the covers have a similarity too.

Often I mistakenly write Invisible Trail instead of the correct name, Invisible Path. The tile comes from a something a grandmother says to her son in the beginning of the book.

Yes, I'm still on the cruise.

Marilyn

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Making the Most of Any Writing Conference

Once again, for those of you following my blog tour, I'll be at Literarily Speaking.
Be sure and leave a comment.

While I'm at the mystery writing conference on the high seas, I thought I'd give my views on how best to make the most of a writing conference. Of course this is different than a fan convention.

At a writing conference you'll hear people presenting about different aspects of writing. It's interesting to note that each author approaches writing in a different way. You may not agree with everything you hear, but keep an open mind. Listen and take notes.

If a writing conference does nothing else but give you the urge to sit down and write, it's worth whatever you paid to go. I've never been to a writing conference where I haven't learned something.

You'll meet lots of people, exchange cards with them. As your writing career grows, they may be able to help you or you them.

Now, I off to participate in this writer's conference.

Happy Writing and Buenos Dias.

Marilyn

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Review of Invisible Path and Thoughts on Reviews

On An All Purpose Monkey,http://www.elizabethawhite.com/ you'll find another review of Invisible Path. This is another stop on my blog tour, so be sure to take a peek and leave a comment.

You can also visit yesterday's blog again for another chance to leave a comment for a chance in the contest to have your name be in my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

Though every author wants their book to be reviewed, there is always that fear that the reviewer will not like the book. There's nothing harder for an author then to read a bad review of a book she has taken so long to write--and rewrite.

On the other hand, there is a wonderful feeling about reading a good review and knowing that what you've written has given pleasure to a reader.

Because I've written this blog way ahead of time and will be on a cruise when this blog and review comes out, I won't know until then whether I've received a good review or not.

Marilyn

Monday, November 15, 2010

Book Clubs

Today you'll find me here and I'll also be there tomorrow. http://literarilyspeaking.net/

Be sure to stop by and see what's going on and leave a comment if you're entering the contest.

Book Clubs are wonderful. I'm talking about the ones who meet to read and talk about books.

I've only been asked to participate in three of them. The first one was years ago with my first book. The group had not read it beforehand. I took books and many purchased one and I talked about how the book came to be.

Another time a bookstore read the first in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, Deadly Omen, and asked me to come to their meeting while they discussed it and asked me questions. Great fun. Nothing an author loves better than talking about her book.

In 2011, I've been invited to speak to another book club. This has been on my calendar for two years. I have no idea how that will go, but I'm looking forward to it.

Marilyn

Sunday, November 14, 2010

One of the Panels on the Canceled Mystery Cruise

We had a great panel all planned for the mystery cruise on setting. Madeline Gornell was the moderator and did an exceptional job letting us know what questions she planned to ask.

One thing I wanted to point out is how important setting is to any mystery--or any other kind of novel.

The reader needs to know where the action, dialogue, adventure, romance, whatever, is taking place.

Setting can be an important part of the plot.

Setting can add to the mystique or mood of the story.

Years ago when I was a Writer's Digest School instructor, too often I saw manuscripts with dialogue and I had no clue where the conversation was taking place.

Setting should be an integral part of whatever is going on in the story.

In my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries the setting is often similar to the places where I live. Tempe often has to travel into the mountains or on the Indian Reservation and I love to use those places as backgrounds for her adventures.

So instead of talking about this on our cruise, I shared a bit with you.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boo Hoo, No Mystery Cruise

I had a blog all written about heading to Long Beach to the hotel and from the hotel to the cruise ship. If you've been watching the news on TV you've seen the cruise ship that's in distress and having to be tugged back to San Diego. That's the ship we were supposed to go on. Needless to say, our cruise has been canceled. I'm just thankful that the ship didn't hang in there until we were the ones on it.

The upside is that we all get our money back and the organizers of the mystery part of the cruise plan to do it again next November.

Yes, I'm disappointed, mostly because of the people I'm not going to see. Two of my publishers were coming and many friends I only see once a year or less. And my sis and her hubby were coming too and I looked forward to spending a week with them.

We came up with a remedy for that one--sis and hubby live in Las Vegas, so as you read this we will be driving toward their home to spend a few days with them. We're going to make it as festive as possible. No we aren't going to gamble or go to shows--at least not that kind of show.

We will go out to eat and take in a movie or two, but mostly we plan to just have a great time enjoying each other's company.

And if you haven't seen it yet, take a peek at the book trailer for Invisible Path. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vidw-hG_ck

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Daughter's Birthday and a Review of Invsible Path



Today is my youngest daughter's birthday. The photo is of her and two of her three boys. I can always remember her birthday because it's the day after Veteran's Day.

I've had a lot of fun with Lori over the years. We even worked together in two different day care centers before she got married. It's hard to believe she's now the mother of four of her own and two step-daughters.

Happy Birthday, Lori.

And if you're following my blog tour, you can read a review of Invisible Path and my next stop http://www.thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/ and be sure to leave a comment if you're in the contest.

Marilyn

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Writers Jumble and Veteran's Day

http://jacquelinevickauthor.blogspot.com/ is where I am today on my blog tour.

Jacqueline Vick is one of those people I've never actually met face-to-face but I feel like I know her. Do pop over and read the blog and leave a comment, especially if you are participating in my contest to leave comments on the most blogs in my blog tour.

Today is Veteran's Day. I live with a veteran who spent 20 years in the Sea Bees. He traveled all over while the kids and I stayed home, and he served three tours in Vietnam during the war.

He's not like a lot of vets, he's not interested in belonging to any of the veteran's groups he says its because he doesn't like hearing those war stories being told over and over. He also doesn't want to go to the Veteran's Day parade we have every year near where we live.

He does like to watch war movies--and usually criticizes all the mistakes he sees. He's happy to see people greet service men warmly in airports--it wasn't like that in the Vietnam War.

I'll celebrate Veteran's Day by being happy my vet is home with me today.

Marilyn

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stopping at Authors and Appetizers Today

http://authorsandappetizers.com/

On this particular blog, the blog owner is interested in recipes.

For my blog today, I gave a recipe that Deputy Tempe Crabtree's husband often cooks. It's one of my favorites too. Tempe can cook, but Hutch cooks more often than she does.

Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows that I like to cook too. What I don't like is doing it every single day. I cooked for my family, hubby and five kids, for all their growing up years on a limited budget. I know how to make the most mundane meals taste good. When nearly all my children had left the nest, hubby and I purchased a licensed residential care home for six women and I was back to cooking for a lot of people every single night. We've retired from that, but we've had various grandsons living with us, other relatives living next door, and I'm still the chief cook. I have no idea how to cook for two and probably will never learn.

I enjoy cooking things I've ordered in restaurants.

While I'm eating, I try to figure out what all the ingredients are. I do fairly well. Sometimes the dish doesn't taste exactly like what it did in the restaurant--especially if it's Thai food, but it will still be good.

Don't forget to leave a comment at Authors and Appetizers today whether you're entering the contest or not.

Marilyn

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Next Blog Stop is with GK Parker

http://gkparkerhistorynoir.blogspot.com/ is where you'll find me today and in particular if you're leaving comments along the trail in hopes of being a character name in my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

Noir is not what I write. Noir is far more gritty and things don't always turn out the way your might have hoped.

I'm not sure where I fall in the genre category. I'd first thought I was writing traditional mystery with a plot that a reader could follow along with my heroine, Deputy Tempe Crabtree.

The fact that Tempe is a Tulare county deputy seems to through her into the category of police procedurals--however, since it's Tulare County and Tempe is a resident deputy in a small town but large area, she's pretty much on her own most of the time. Her ties with the Bear Creek Indian Reservation make her the perfect person for the homicide detectives to seek out clues from any other Native Americans. The procedure is not like that police procedure in any big town.

Because I don't use bad words (maybe a mild one here and there) and though there is definitely some romance between Tempe and her husband, my books have often been called cozies.

And because there is a smattering of Native American myths,legends and culture woven into my tales, you could call my book Native American mysteries.

So a suppose you could call Invisible Path a traditional, procedural, cozy, Native American mystery. Whew! What a mouthful.

If you read it, why don't you let me know what genre category you think it belongs in.

Marilyn

Monday, November 8, 2010

Some Scary Stuff I Learned from Dr. Eric Hickey



Dr. Hickey is a world-renowned criminalogist and profiler as well as a college professor of all sorts of criminalogy.

I heard him speak at a Sisters in Crime meeting this past Satruday. Here are just a few of the facts I learned.

Many "peepers" begin when they are young and escalate.

Those with a panty feish are what is called trophy collectors. They used to steal undies off clotheslines, now have to break into houses to get the panties.

Hot Burglaries are burglars who sneak into your house to steal, but like to watch you sleep.

In California there are 120,000 registered sex offenders and there are at least twice as many. Most are interested in kids.

Rapists and child molesters have no acceptance of their responsiblity. (He showed us photos of convicted child molesters and many of them were church youth leaders, ministers, and in other trusted positions.)

Someone who has a lack of nurturing, a part of their brain dies.

Sociapaths don't learn from their mistakes.

That's probably enough to let you know it's a scary world out there.

Marilyn

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An Axe to Grind, Epic e-award finalist




I am thrilled to announce that An Axe to Grind is a finalist in the mystery/suspense category of the Epic e-awards.

An Axe to Grind is available on Kindle as are most of the rest of the series.

I hadn't planned to enter this year but at the last minute my publisher entered An Axe to Grind for me. Needles to say, I'm thrilled that she did and equally thrilled that I'm a finalist.

Woo hoo! Can you hear me cheering all over the Internet?

And a big P.S., have you heard about Blog Jog Day? Get in on the action.


It's happening November 21st, for information go to:
http://blogjogday.blogspot.com and to http://www.blogjogday.webs.com to sign up.

Marilyn

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Books on Kindle




Many of my books are available on Kindle but I haven't really figured out how to let people know.

My latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree is there, Invisible Path, and many of the earlier mysteries in the series such as Deadly Omen, Intervention, Calling the Dead, Judgment Fire and Kindred Spirits.

Two of my Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novels that are no longer available in print are also on Kindle: Final Respects and Fringe Benefits.

The two latest can also be found on the Kindle: No Sanctuary and An Axe to Grind. These books are written under the name F.M. Meredith.

The very first mystery I ever wrote, Astral Gift is also available on Kindle. It has a touch of the supernatural as does the romance, Lingering Spirit.

So, any of you Kindle owners out there, if you'd like to try one of my books, please do so.

You can also go on my website, http://fictionforyou.com and read the first chapters of most of my books.

Marilyn

Friday, November 5, 2010

One of My Favorite Roommates

My stop today on my blog tour is at Lorie Ham's Mystery Rats Closet
http://mysteryratscloset.blogspot.com/

I've known Lorie Ham for a long time, first because she was a fellow Sister in Crime, San Joaquin chapter.

Before we knew each other very well, we roomed together in Anchorage Alaska for Left Coast Crime, many years ago. What a sweetie. I got in late (or early in the a.m.) and she'd left the light on for him in the room.

We had a great time at that LCC.

After that, she arranged some great speaking engagements that I was a part of for various Fresno libraries.

On a more personal note, Lorie and her children performed at our church one Sunday. Lorie is a gospel singer and does a great presentation. Her daughter and son were little.

Since then the children have become teenagers. Time passes quickly.

Do stop by the blog and leave a comment.

Thank you,

Marilyn

Thursday, November 4, 2010

RED, the movie and today's blog stop

This is where I am today http://pabrown.livejournal.com/ Be sure and leave a comment.

Hubby and I like to take a day every now and then to do a few errands, maybe shop, see a movie and eat out.

Hubby chose to see Red, the movie starring a lot of older stars. It was definitely an action movie--with a not too plausible plot, but it didn't matter.

It didn't matter that the stars were middle-aged and older, and despite that they seemed to have super powers. Oh yes, some got shot, and a couple died, but it didn't matter, the movie was fast paced from beginning to end.

You can always tell when a movie is the least bit boring because hubby falls asleep. He didn't nod off once during this movie. It was fun and entertaining.

There is a bit of language in the movie, definitely lots of violence, but no nudity.

Marilyn

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Visiting with Kurt Kamm

And I'll be here today at http://kurtkamm.com/blog/

Kurt Kamm writes about fire-fighting. I've interviewed him on my blog and now the tables have turned and I'm visiting him on his.

I have not met Kurt in person as yet, but hope too at the Public Safety Writers Association's conference in July.

He asked me to write something about fire fighting for his blog. In my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, her son Blair has always been interested in fire-fighting and is now in college taking fire science. In Invisible Path, Blair comes home for the Christmas holidays and helps Tempe with the investigation of the murder of a popular young Indian.

Looking back on the other books in the series, often fire is a part of the plot.

There's a wild fire in Kindred Spirits and two house fires in Judgment Fire.

Be sure and take a look at Kurt's blog and see what I had to say about fires. Please leave a comment while you're there.

Marilyn

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My 2011 Promotion Plans for Invisible Path and Next Stop on Tour

And the second stop on my book tour is at Book Tours and More:

http://booktoursandmore.blogspot.com/


Though I expect more events to become available, so far I'm making stops on some stops on blogs in 2011 and excpect I'll be on another tour for my next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel.

I'll have a booth at the Jackass Mail Run on April 9th. Though I have something else that someone has mentioned. I'll have to decide.

The Reading Club in Turlock has invited me to come speak with them on April 12th.

Mayhem in the Midlands is May 26th -29th. This is one of my favorite mystery cons.

And of course there is the Public Safety Writers Association in July from the 14th through the 16th.

That's it so far, but there are tentative things that I haven't finalized as yet.

Marilyn

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Beginnng of my Blog Tour and Big Contest

This is the beginning of my blog tour for Invisible Path. My first stop is Lori's Reading Corner:

http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com/

How would you like your name to be in one of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree books? It's easy. The person who leaves a comment on the most blogs on my tour will win the privilege of having their name used for one of the characters in the book that will come out next fall.

Follow the tour and post a comment on each of the blogs. If I have more than one winner, I'll draw a name.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com