Showing posts from August, 2010

My Appearance at Willow Bridge Bookstore in Oakhurst

We always leave at 9 a.m. so we can arrive in Oakhurst around 11:30 or so in order to eat lunch with Sunny/Donna Baker and her hubby. Sunny and I go way, way back when we used to attend a chapter of RWA in Fresno.

I don't really like to eat much before I speak, but the place we met, called The Grinder, let's us hang around and visit until it's time to go to the book store. I always arrive 1/2 hour ahead of time so the owner, Monica McClanahan won't be nervous about me showing up. This time, when I walked in, people were already sitting in the chairs arranged at the back of the room.

I brought 20 handouts, because usually the crowd has been fairly small when I've come to talk. This time I ran out and there weren't enough seats, even though tables were cleared to become make-shift benches. One lady sat on the floor, and 3 for just stood in the back.

What a great bunch of folks--so attentive, listened to everything I had to say about the big changes in publishing and…

Meet, Daniel B. Silver, author of COP

Daniel B. Silver has played many roles in his thirty-something-year-old life: child actor, punk rocker, musician, high school dropout, miscreant skateboarder, Food Not Bombs activist, comic book nerd,retail clerk, emergency room volunteer, transport ambulance attendant,homeowner, 911 paramedic, comedy website writer, amateur poet, apartment renter,wannabe novelist, police officer and first man to set foot on Mars. Dan is lying about one of those things. He lives and works in San Francisco. Cop is his first novel.

Web Sites:

Artistic site:
Comedy site:

My interview of Daniel:

Marilyn: Tell me a bit about yourself.

Daniel: I'm a comic book nerd, sci-fi enthusiast and like my father, a writer of humor and sarcasm. I also have a serious side and when the mood strikes, I've been known to write a poem or two.

Like my protagonist, Dougie Cohen, I'm covered in tattoos and this creates unique sit…

Photos from my Birthday Celebration

On my birthday, daughter Dana and I went to Ventura where we first stopped at a cousin's home--hadn't seen him in years. His wife invited me to speak to her women's group and we followed her to the location. They fed us a wonderful lunch and afterwards I spoke about my experiences as a writer and about some of my books.

In the late afternoon, we headed to youngest daughter's home in Camarillo. Lori and her hubby fixed us a wonderful dinner. Afterwards, of course, we had cake and ice cream. What a great birthday celebration.

Photo is of me, granddaughter, Lori and Dana.


Woo Hoo! Cover for Invisible Path

Here's the cover for the new Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Invisible Path.

The book itself is due out in September.

I'll certainly be telling you a lot more about it was time goes on.


Another Wonderful Review of LIngering Spirit

After her husband Steve has a dark foreboding of his own death, Nicole Ainsworth moves with him to a new community where Steve believes his police job will be safer. But he is wrong.

Soon after the move, he is killed while on duty. Despite the help and concern of Steve’s co-workers, Nicole is left to cope with her grief, a young daughter’s guilt, and the odd happenings that indicate to her that Steve’s spirit is still around.

To help her and her daughters adjust to the terrible loss, Nicole moves her family back to their hometown. But, even after she moves into a house there, events continue to happen to indicate Steve’s spirit still lingers. In addition, Nicole is annoyed by the efforts of David Callison, Steve’s former undercover partner, who is following her and hanging out on the street outside her home.

Will Nicole find love again? Will Steve’s spirit continue to remain in her new home?

Author Marilyn Meredith does an outstanding job as she tells a poignant story of love lost and lo…

Nipomo Library Book and Craft Fair

As I do so often, I forgot to take any pictures at the book fair. However, I did take these photos at the Santa Maria Inn where we stayed for two nights.

What a great hotel, so full of history and ambiance. Of course this is where I managed to louse up my little computer and was no longer able to get on the Internet with it.

We had a delicious dinner and breakfast in the dining room and thought about all the old movie stars who once visited and stayed in the hotel.

Our day at the book fair was great. We saw so many people we knew and met others.

On Sunday, we headed down the coast, looked for places that could be where Rocky Bluff is (though none are exactly geographically as I've described), enjoyed the scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and finally arrived at our daughter's home.

That evening we attended Mass with them at Santa Clara church. It's beautiful and very old church.

The days since have been very full.


My Birthday Celebration

Eldest daughter, Dana, and I drove to Ventura to the home of a cousin I haven't seen for years. His wife had invited me to speak to her women's group at a luncheon. Once we got there, I learned I was the speaker for their monthly "cultural event." That made me chuckle a bit.

After a delicious lunch, I spoke about my writing from the days of childhood when my imagination led to some pretty big stories (lies), to the writing I did back then and when I was raising my family, the books I've written, and what the adventures and experiences I've had because I'm a writer.

That evening, hubby and I, Dana and her hubby all drove to Camarillo to youngest daughter's home. She and her hubby made a delicious dinner of salmon and steak, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, veggie platter, and of course, chocolate cake and ice cream. My youngest granddaughter, Alyssa, who is 17 and very much on the go, actually stayed home to help her grandma celebrate. It was the perfec…

Today is My Birthday

Yesterday we went to the movies with our two daughters, Dana and Lori. Great day.

Today I'm giving a talk about my life as a writer to a retired woman's group. In the evening we're doing something special with the girls and their families. Not sure what, but it involves eating.

When we get home on Wednesday, I'll blog about my day. See you then.


Been Offline for Awhile

I bought an tiny Acer computer so I could keep up-to-date on my blogs--something happened to it Saturday night and I can't get oline. I'm using my daughter's laptop now.

We went to Santa Maria and stayed in the historic Santa Maria Inn, beautiful place. First night we met Barbara Hodges and her husband Jeff for dinner. Had a great time visiting.

Saturday a.m., we were in Nipomo at the library by 8 a.m. We set up on the porch alongside Barbara and another author. It was a good day, sold 11 books which was really good for such a small event.

Back to the hotel where we had a lovely dinner. First thing in the a.m. we headed down the coast, what a beautiful drive, to Oxnard. Spent a relaxing evening with daughter and husband.


E-Book Revolution?

It's amazing to me that people want to call what is going on an e-book revolution.

E-books have been around for a long, long time. When I was first published as an e-author the only way to read my books was on a computer.

Next came the Rocket E-Reader--a wonderful device. It was back-lit, you could download books from e-publishers (there were and are lots of them), and it shut off if you didn't turn a page for a long while. Perfect for reading in bed. Unfortunately, the sold out to Sony, who didn't come out with a new e-reader for a long time, and in my opinion, wasn't nearly as good as the old Rocket.

Other readers came along in-between and after, but the first to really take off--as everyone knows--was Amazon's Kindle.

New York publishers took awhile, but they finally saw the hand-writing on the wall and included e-rights in their contracts and hung onto a much greater percentage for themselves then any of the e-publishers do with their authors.

Dorchester/Leisure Boo…

Resa Nelson Interview

I want to welcome fellow Mundania author Resa Nelson to my blog. She's agreed to answer some questions and we can all learn more about her and her new book, Our Lady of the Absolute.

Marilyn: Hi, Resa, will you tell me about your background?

Resa: I've been writing all my life and have worked a wide variety of jobs to support my writing habit, including library clerk, copywriter, meeting planner, receptionist, journalist, and technical writer.

I've been selling short fiction professionally for 22 years, and I broke out with my first novel a couple of years ago. My second novel has just been published and I have a bunch more in the works.

Even though I'd categorize myself as a fantasy writer, I've been a huge fan of mysteries all my life, and that influences my work in a very big way. I'd describe my novels as fantasy/mystery/action/adventure.

When I was in grade school, I read all the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. As a teenager I read pretty much everything b…

Nipomo Library Book and Craft Fair

Not sure that's the exact name, but I do know that at least two authors will be there with their books for sale, Barbara Hodges and me. We'll be up on the porch of the library, August 21 from 9 to 2 on Saturday, August 21.

We're headed down there the day before and staying at the historic Santa Maria Inn, a first for us. On Friday night we'll be meeting Barbara and her husband Jeff for dinner. We seem to do this once a year and have the best time catching up.

We'll stay one more night at the Inn, then we're heading down the coast to Oxnard where we'll be staying with #1 daughter. I have a speaking engagement with a women's group on the 24th in Ventura. That's also my birthday so I'm hoping we can go someplace delish for dinner. Our pickings are slim in Porterville for places to eat and Ventura county has loads of choices.

Looking forward to see daughter #1 and daughter #3 (birth order not perference) and their husbands too.


Kim Baccellia Interview, Author of Crossed Out

Marilyn: Kim, will you please tell me something about your background?

Kim: I grew up in South Sacramento. One of my ancestor’s is buried in the Sacramento Historical Cemetery where some of the founding fathers of the city are buried.

I’m the oldest of seven. That doesn’t count my half brother and sister. With my mother’s remarriage, there’s now twelve kids!

I’m a former first grade school teacher. After teaching for fifteen years I decided to stay home to take care of my son and also to concentrate on my writing.

I took writing classes at UCI extension with the fab Lou Nelson, who teaches Writing the Novel.

Currently I’m homeschooling my son and finishing revisions on my third YA fantasy/romance, No Goddesses Allowed. I’m working on the sequel to Crossed Out. Plus an edgier, more intense novel is in the works too.

Marilyn: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Kim: In the sixth grade we were assigned to do a paper on the Nixon visit to China. I decided to act like a rep…

Paula Deen, Savanah Style

About Paula Deen’s Savannah Style

Paula Deen's Savannah Style With its lush gardens, stately town houses, and sprawling plantations, Savannah is the epitome of old Southern style, and who better to give you the grand tour than Paula Deen, the city’s most famous resident and anointed Queen of Southern Cuisine?

In this gorgeous, richly illustrated book, Paula Deen shares a full year of Southern living. Whether it’s time to put out your best china and make a real fuss, or you’re just gathering for some sweet tea on the porch at dusk, Savannah style is about making folks feel welcome in your home. With the help of decorator and stylist Brandon Branch, you’ll learn how to bring a bit of Southern charm into homes from Minnesota to Mississippi. For each season, there are tips on decorating and entertaining. In the spring, you’ll learn how to make the most of your outdoor spaces, spruce up your porch, and make your garden inviting. In the summer, things get more casual with a dock party. Sl…

Runaway Point of View

I've written about POV before, but decided it wouldn't hurt to do it again.

I recently read a published book that would have been quite good if it weren't for the problem of head hopping within scenes.

I'm not at all opposed to using different POVs in a book. My Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novels are always told from multiple POVs--BUT I only use one POV per scene. The POV character is always the one with the most at stake in that particular scene. He or she is telling the story as he or see experiences it. So everything will be coming through that person. The narration is essentially what that person is thinking--so there's no need to say he thought, smelled, heard. Just put it what it is that he thinks, smells or head. For example:

He knew he'd forgotten something.

Oh, oh, the toast was burning.

Someone pounded on the door.

Remember, your POV character can never know what someone else is thinking. He or she can guess what the other person might be thinking or considerin…

Coming Next, a New Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mystery

Yep, won't be long now. Invisible Path is the name of the Tempe book that will be out maybe in September. I say maybe because we never know about the exact time of a book's arrival. Kind of like a baby.

This one takes place near Christmas. Her college son and a friend come home to visit. A psuedo military group surfaces in Bear Creek and piques Tempe's interest. A popular young Indian man is murdered on the reservation and the only suspect is another Indian, an outsider named Jesus. Tempe is asked to help with the investigation and must protect Jesus from those who want to see him banished from the reservation--or worse.

I've seen the cover which definitely displays the mystic of the book.

I'll keep you posted.


New Review For An Axe to Grind

This new review is from an author I admire and respect. I love his Pot Thief series.

AN AXE TO GRIND is the sixth of F. M. Meredith’s Rocky Bluff PD series. The previous five, in order, are FINAL RESPECTS, BAD TIDINGS, FRINGE BENEFITS, SMELL OF DEATH, and NO SANCTUARY (which I reviewed on this site a year ago).

For those who might want the books, I should mention that FINAL RESPECTS is no longer available unless you can find a used copy. The next three are available only from the author’s website (, and the two most recent ones are available or can be ordered from anywhere you buy new books. All the books except for BAD TIDINGS are also available on Kindle.

When I first heard of the series, I thought it was about a private detective named Rocky Bluff, which struck me as a hackneyed-sounding name. I realized PD stands for ‘police department’ only when I started to read NO SANCTUARY. Rocky Bluff is a good name for a small fictional community on the California coas…

Adjusting to My New Computer

Almost everything is in its place after a mighty struggle yesterday. Some I was able to do myself. Amazingly I managed to set up Mozy--an off site back-up service. From Mozy I retrieved my data for Quicken. That made me feel like a computer guru for about 10 seconds.

Though both Word and WordPerfect had been transferred along with the documents, it took me forever to find documents as I needed them. I had a big list of things that I needed the computer tech to do. I'd tried several times to download Firefox but it would always time out. (No doubt I was doing something wrong.)

Now, the magical part. The computer tech has his own business where he does all kinds of work for big business and even the government at times. He put some gizmo on my computer where he could connect to my computer. He called and I gave him my list of woes and he told me what to do so we could be connected. How amazing that was. I was talking with him on the phone while he was doing things I could see on my co…

This and That

This are photos I planned to post with my blog about Simon Wood at the San Joaquin Sisters in Crime.

The darling young girl has been a part of the San Joaquin Chapter of Sisters in Crime since she was teenie. As soon as she was old enough, she took on the job of passing out the raffle tickets for the raffle that takes place at each meeting. She's always been a cutie and a sweet girl. I'm proud to have her as a friend.

Simon was given several awards by our chapter, meaningful but also funny and that's what's happening in the photo of him and Kate Anderson with the chapter president in the background, JoAnn Lucas.

That was the "this".

The "that" is I have a new computer and it's driving me crazy. I'm having a hard time finding things. I don't know how to put my information into my Quicken program. Neither of my word processing programs are working right. I lost Firefox and can't seem to get it to load right. The Outlook program is a new on…

Meet Author Jeffrey Leever

Marilyn: I first met Jeffrey this past May at Mayhem in the Midlands which is always in Omaha Nebraska. I have a grown grandson in Nebraska somewhere I haven't seen since he was three--whose name is Jeffrey. Jeffrey Deaver has the right coloring and build--and he's a writer like me--so I couldn't help but wonder. I knew I'd be sorry if I didn't ask, so I did. Well, he isn't my grandson, darn. But we had a lot of fun with it at the conference.

So, Jeffrey,I hope I didn't freak you out about the grandson thing, but I thought it did add a bit of a spark to things and people actually asked me if you were my grandson.

Before we go too much further with that, though, tell me about your background.

Jeffrey: No problem, Grandma Meredith. I took it as an honor. I would much rather be referred to as someone's grandson than other things that are less endearing. :) Besides, isn't that one of the reasons why we authors go to conferences -- to make new fans, friend…

Busy, Busy Month

Today is my eldest daughter's birthday! Besides being my first born, she's also turned into a best friend. We'll be spending time with her and her husband in a couple of weeks--in fact, we'll be with them on my birthday.

I'm in the throes of getting a new computer. It's sitting here, but my old one is still being used (maybe by the time this appears it'll be functioning) but not everything has been transferred over. A computer tech is doing that after his regular business hours and he couldn't finish the first night.

In the meantime I got the first edits for my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery. When the first edits come, that means that the book may actually come out close to the time it is supposed to. However, I've learned not to make too big of plans until I actually have books in hand.

I've also been working on my next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel which I struggled with at first, but now it's moving along nicely.

I've also been workin…

S. Connell Vondrak, author of No Evidence of a Crime

Today, S. Connell Vondrak, author of the new book, No Evidence of a Crime, is visiting.

Marilyn: Tell me about your background.

S. Connell Vondrak: My background is in forensics. In 1985, just out of college, I became a forensic scientist with the Illinois State Police. It was a time when so much of forensics was changing; our capabilities expanding. If you think about the advances we, as individuals, have lived through since 1985, computers, iPods, cell phones, it is minor compared to the growth in forensics.

I worked in the forensic toxicology section until I became the director of training. The director of training position is responsible for overseeing training in the various specialties of forensics. Unlike television, most forensic laboratories utilize forensic scientists as specialists. The instrumentation in each section is so sophisticated and takes time to learn. Someone who is testing the DNA in a blood sample one day would not examine it in toxicology the next day. …

Simon Wood Advises SJ SinC group

Simon Wood came all the way from the Bay Area to speak with the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime. He's a great guy, friendly, and I love his books!

He shared some of his wisdom and told the aspiring authors that if you want advances and to have your books in the bookstores you need to go the traditional way to be published:

1. Have the best possible book, already edited.
2. Find an agent so you can be picked up by a big publisher.

If you ever want to compete of the big prizes then you have to be with a big press. (Not always true but mostly.--my comment.)

Never, never pay an agent or a publisher or pay for a review. (I definitely agree.)
He added, there's plenty of other stuff you have to pay for yourself such as writers' conferences and mystery cons even if you're a big name writer.

Never disappoint your reader.

By the time the book hits the bookstore and has gone through the hands of the editor, the copy editor, etc. it is no longer your book. (Not so much with smalle…

People Who Suck the Life Out of a Conversation

Yes, there are those folks out there who can really such the life out of a conversation.

In fact, they really don't converse--they get your attention and talk non-stop. That isn't a conversation. A conversation is when more than one person speaks.

Because I am around a lot of authors and wanna-be authors, this seems to be where I run into these folks the most often.

Recently at an event, a woman came up to me and not only did she tell me everything about the wonderful book she'd recently published she also told me all about her personal life--more than I needed to know. She wasn't the least bit interested in me or my books and when she was through she moved onto the next author and repeated the same information.

Then there was the author who was going to have her book made into a movie--not the usual way, she'd never do it like that, but she was the one doing the investing, etc. etc. Once the story was out, she moved on to tell it again.

This happens at writers' con…

Lingering Spirit Press Release

Lingering Spirit by Marilyn Meredith Receives High Praise

After a month long Virtual Book Tour with Pump Up Your Promotions for Meredith’s latest book, Lingering Spirit, she is thrilled to announce that the book has received wonderful reviews from many sources. During the tour Lingering Spirit made the top 100 best sellers on Amazon.

Book blurb: After, Steve, her police officer husband is killed in the line of duty, Nicole Ainsworth struggles with the changes forced on her life. Her efforts to focus on her daughter an cope with her grief are kept off-balance by Steve’s ghostly visitations who seems to be trying to communicate with her. Eventually, Nicole finds that Steve isn’t the only one watching over her, and discovers a second chance for love.

Review Snippets:

“…Meredith is a master of characterization. She fully rounds out the facets of her protagonists’ personalities and richly develops the details of the supporting cast. She does not hit any false notes with her dialogue and builds…

Are You Really Going to Write That Book?

Often I have people come up to me and tell me that they are planning to write a book and continue on, telling me the whole plot.

What I've learned over the years that the person who does that will probably never write their book. The effort and time it took that person to tell me all the details about the book they want to write could have been better spent actually writing. No doubt this same person has told many others about the book he or she plans to write.

There is only one way to write a book: choose how you plan to write it, whether you're going to begin with pen and paper or on the computer, then plant your fanny in the chair and begin.

Once you've begun, write every day--or at least as many days during the week as you can even if it's only one hour a day. And keep on writing.

Like I've said before, don't keep going back and rewriting--keep on until you're finished. Once done, then you can do the rewriting.

The point is don't talk about it, do it.


Missing My Sis

When I was five and spoiled, and an only child and an only grandchild and niece on my mother's side, my baby sister came along and ruined everything. She was so cute and everyone was thrilled that she'd joined our family. I was too, though I really did have to take a back seat. I will say though, being the big sister made me feel really grown up. And nobody seemed to worry much about where I went or how long I was gone.

As a result, I visited the two old people who lived in a house that looked like it came out of a fairy tale at least once a day--and they always gave me cookies and milk.

I also hung out with the older kids who let me do all kinds of exciting and looking back, dangerous things with them.

I learned a secret way to get into one of my older friends' homes by crawling under the house and in through a crawl space to the kids' bedroom. If they weren't home, I often went in their to play. Once staying so long, my mom thought I'd been kidnapped. The grandf…

What Do I Do Next?

I had a great month on my blog tour letting people know about Lingering Spirit. The blog tour did make a difference in my Amazon rating--and for one day, my book was in the bestseller list for supernatural romances. None of my other books have ever been in the 100 best seller list.

Before my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree book comes out--it hasn't been through the editing process yet, so not sure it will meet the September pub date promised--I'd like to keep up interest in Lingering Spirit.

This month I have two in-person appearances, one at the Nipomo Library (near Santa Maria) on Saturday the 21st from 9 - 2 and then I'm headed back up to Oakhurst to the Willow Bridge Bookstore on August 28th to talk about working with small presses to interested writers at 2 p.m.

Anyone else have any ideas about what I can do to attract new readers to Lingering Spirit? May be ordered by your local bookstore, at Amazon as either an e-book or trade paperback. Or from my website for an autographe…

What Should An Author Do About a Poor Review?

Recently, on a list I'm on, authors were discussing what to do when a poor review was received for a book. In the case they were writing about, the reviewer had clearly gotten some facts wrong about the book, making the author wonder if the book had even been read.

Another author cited a really nasty review posted anonymously.

From there the discussion led to whether or not the author should try to defend the book to the reviewer or on the review cite.

The consensus was to leave it alone. That's what I've always done too. However, it's difficult, especially when you know the reviewer didn't bother to read the book, nor even glance through it, but only repeated what was in the blurb on the back of the book.

During my blog tour for Lingering Spirit, I received a review that criticized the book for something it wasn't and for not being the kind of book she wanted. Strange. I decided the best tact was to say I was sorry she didn't like the book while thanking her f…

Planning Your Mystery

Before you begin, read a lot of mysteries so you know what kind you want to write.

You can read all sorts of ways to write a mystery in both books and the Internet. Many will tell you to have a dead body within 50 pages. Having a dead body on the first page is what many authors do.

In any case, you need to decide on a sleuth--will he or she be a person in law enforcement, a private detective, a lawyer, or just an innocent by stander who has an interesting job or hobby that you know enough about to add details to the story? Your sleuth needs to be interesting enough with personality and maybe some oddball traits so that mystery readers are going to want to follow along with him or her on the adventure.

Who is going to be your murder victim? Is it going to be a really bad person who several people hated and had a motive for killing? An innocent killed someone no one would suspect--but you'll be able to plant enough clues for your sleuth to follow?
You'll need to know a lot about you…