Showing posts from February, 2017

My Article About My Small Town Cops in Mystery Readers Journal

Rocky Bluff P.D. Mystery Series by F. M. (Marilyn) Meredith
Rocky Bluff is a fictional small beach community located between Santa Barbara and Ventura, in Southern California. It is much like the beach community where I lived with my family years ago. My son-in-law began his police career in the real town and his tales about what went on during his shifts and other times are what inspired me to create this series.
Besides the mystery, the plots also include what is going on with the officers’ families and how that affects the job—and of course how what happens on the job affects the family.

The first in the series, Final Respects, introduces several characters who continue through the rest of the series. Officer Doug Milligan who is the main character in this mystery often plays the starring role in subsequent stories.
Officer Ryan Strickland, a publicity hound, has a pivotal role in this first book. As the series continues, he is the one who changes the most.
When I wrote this, I had no id…

My Interview with Lida

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
-I entered a McCall’s magazine poetry contest when I was about ten. I wrote a poem about horses and won an honorable mention. That started the ball of yarn rolling.
What writer has influenced you the most?
-There are too many to mention. But in recent times, Janet Evanovich has been an influence. She writes so simply and effectively while tossing in humor in all the right places. And she writes light-weight mysteries which are my favorite kind.
Do you have a writing schedule and if so what is it? You might include where you write and if you have a special routine.
-Yes, I have a writing schedule, or more accurately, I have a writing plan: to write in all my spare moments.  Do I adhere to it? No. Sometimes not even a good amount of superglue will keep me behind my desk. If you know of a special routine that works, please let me know.
Where did you grow up? And did the place and people around you influence your writing?
-I grew up in Southern …

The Lincolnville Mystery Series: Fun Book Facts

Kathryn J. Bain visits today and shares some fun facts about here series:

It’s hard for me to believe that I published the first book of my Lincolnville Mystery Series back in 2010. I now have four Lincolnville Mysteries and six other novels and novellas. Time has flown. I thought it’d be fun to share with you ten little tidbits most people don’t know about the series.

1.The series began with a song by Toby Keith titled “God Love Her.” I liked the idea of the Bible with the motorcycle and the whole series took off from there.

2.All my heroes are inspired by a country singer:

The book Breathlesshas character Matthew Winters who is a take on Toby Keith himself. Catch Your Breathstars Riley Owens who was inspired by Chris Young after seeing the video for his song “The Man I Want to Be.”

For the character of Ronald “Ransom” McNeely in One Last Breath, I needed a country singer who was in his sixties. It didn’t take much to figure out George Straight would be a handsome lead for the book.


VOICE AND STYLE by Susan Tuttle

Thank you, Marilyn, for hosting me today. It’s a pleasure to be here and I hope your readers will enjoy my thoughts, and feel free to comment and ask questions.

As writers we dream of developing a unique Voice, a Style that is easily identifiable by readers everywhere. One that is unmistakably our own, inimitable in its essence. Think of Shakespeare, Dickens, Agatha Christie, Rosamund Pilcher, Stephen King... A reader could open any of those writers’ books and, not even looking at the author’s name, know who wrote it simply by the way the story unfolds. By the words and phrases, the sentence structure, the characterizations, the themes and insights.
But Voice and Style are difficult to define, because they are not just the skills that create them. If they were we could simply take a class to learn them. But Voice and Style are greater than the sum of the elements that go into them. There is an amorphous quality, an indefinable element, that comes only through experience, self-knowledge,…

Wee Snippets from A WEE HOMICIDE by Fran Stewart

Sometimes it takes only a moment to set a scene, a few words to evoke a mood, a mere sentence or two to describe a relationship. One of the things I enjoy most about writing is being able to conjure up a mental picture for you, so you’ll see what I’m seeing in my head, smell what I’m smelling, understand how I feel about the characters as you turn the pages (or advance the screens) of the book (or e-reader) you’re holding in your hand. I’d like to share a couple of passages to demonstrate what I’m talking about. In A WEE HOMICIDE IN THE HOTEL, the small police force of the town of Hamelin is not only dealing with the yearly influx of tourists who descend for the annual Highland Games, but someone suspected of wanting to assassinate the president has been spotted at the Burlington airport, and may have made it to Hamelin before the Secret Service advance team. Marti Fairing was a very minor character in the first two ScotShop mysteries, but in WEE HOMICIDE, she blossoms:
========= Ser…

A Writer Finds Her Deepest Theme--Kay Kendall

According to most literary criticism I have read, an author usually has one underlying theme that she or he grapples with in fiction, returning to it time after time. In the first book or two, the theme may not be obvious. In fact, the author herself may not be conscious of it. Over the course of more books, however, an underlying thread can often be found.
What makes this concept intriguing to me is simple. I only recently discovered my own underlying theme. Moreover, it is not what I had thought it might be. Here it is—put most simply. The importance of friendship with—and support from—other women is key to a woman’s happiness. Or, to paraphrase the words the inimitable Ringo Starr sang way back in 1967, “She gets by with a little help from her friends.”
I am a relatively new author. My first mystery came out in 2013 and my second two years later. Now my third is nearing completion. I had thought I knew the themes in my murder mysteries, but I realize I was wrong. After three outing…

And the Struggle Continues

According to my calendar this week was pretty free and I thought I could concentrate on writing my next Tempe Crabtree mystery.

Someone I did a program plan for called hysterically--her admission agreement had problems. (I don't do that part but told her I'd see what I could do.)
Another person let me know that as yet I hadn't sent their Part B for licensing. Thought I had, but I didn't have it marked, so I had to do that. Not hard--just takes time.
I thought I'd finished my taxes--used Turbo Tax, sent them in and they were accepted--but then I received another 1099. This one for money I haven't received. Eeeek! Meant calling a bank in New York was told that the IRS requires the 1099 once the bond is due--(ancient thing I did in 1988)--and I'm sure they thought I'd be dead by now. So I had to do an amended form, Not sure I did it right, but when you amend the form you have to print and mail. It's going out today.
I received an email and then …

My Valentine

Of course my Valentine is my husband--the one I've had for nearly 66 years.
We met on a blind date--can't say I was smitten immediately though I definitely was impressed by his good looks. 

He had the most beautiful blue eyes and looked a bit like a young Frank Sinatra. He could really play the piano. I don't think he was so impressed with me at first, but he loved being around my family.
Later I knew that his childhood and upbringing had been much different than mine. I grew up with a mom and dad and sister in a loving family. His mother died when he was 5, and because she was sick from the time he was 3, he lived with his grandmother and two aunts. He grew up in teeny town in Maryland, and I grew up in Los Angeles. Lots of big differences.
Did we have an easy time in the early part of our marriage? No. And there were many rough and rocky places along the way. When asked what is the secret of our long marriage? This is the simple answer, "We never gave up."

Yes, I'm Writing

So far, I've finished Chapter 1.

With this one, Tempe will be in Bear Creek, but once again, way up in the mountains, even higher than in the last book. It's winter and too much snow is a big factor. Because of the snow, it will be a "locked room" mystery. In other words, no one can get out, so everyone is a suspect. 
The main setting is the lodge of a camp for girls. I've based it on a lodge for a church summer camp that our family went to a lot. 
I know who all the characters are, and I've introduced them. I know what they look like and their backgrounds and their relationships with one another.
At this point, I think I know who will be murdered--though that could change and I have some ideas about the murder weapon and the murderer.
Unlike some other authors, I don't outline, at this point I'm feeling my way along. If it works like every other book I've written the ideas will pop into my head as I move along. Sometimes the ideas are way ahead, …

Writing About Events that Happen in the Future

It has happened before. I wrote about a bear invasion in Bear Creek that Deputy Tempe Crabtree had to deal with and a couple of years later, we had bear marauding in Springville (where I live and Bear Creek bears a big resemblance to the area.) 

After about a five year drought, we've had some great rain storms which have swelled our usually calm Tule River to the point where boulders are moving and crashing into each other, and trees and some people's possessions are floating on down toward the dam.(Lake Success.)
At times they've blocked off the entrances to the bridges that cross the river. They do this because the river is flowing over the bridges and they take down the sides to prevent debris from piling up and damaging the bridge. 
There are some great similarities Raging Water as far as the flooding is concerned. The two murders are actually based on two deaths that occurred in our town, not treated as murders, though I, and others certainly thought they were suspic…