Friday, September 24, 2010

Flinging with the Bard and Other Life Experiences

This week's guest is Donna Fletcher Crow, the author of the Monastery Murders Mystery series. She is the author of 35 astounding books! She's stopped by today to tell us about how her three latests mysteries have come about.

“Write what you know” is the oldest chestnut in the arsenal of advice to writers. And probably the silliest. How many of us could write any sort of novel— let alone a murder mystery— based on what we know?

And yet, I’d have to say that all of my books have grown out of my real life experiences. Again, except for the murders, you understand. The fact that so many of those experiences grew out of research trips once I had set the course for my novel makes me think that the far better advice would be “Write what you’re willing to research.” And not just willing, but really, really passionate about.

So, I believe, the best advice is “write from your passion.”

But to get back to how all three of my current books have grown out of life experiences, let me start with my ecclesiastical thriller A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE, Book 1 The Monastery Murders, whose North American release I’m celebrating with this virtual tour. I was visiting Durham Cathedral more than 20 years ago (yes, as a side trip to another research project) when I first learned of St. Cuthbert. I knew immediately that I knew I wanted to tell his story. Over the years I proposed the story to three publishers— all of whom offered contracts. But the story didn’t get written. Other stories did, but not St. Cuthbert’s.
Then our daughter, a former ballerina and classics major who hated teaching school in London went off to a theological college in a monastery in Yorkshire. And my heroine Felicity was born. The setting for  A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE is a thinly fictionalized version of the community where Elizabeth studied. Many of the monks in my story are real life people, but fortunately, Fr. Dominic has not been brutally bludgeoned to death, but rather is still happily tending his roses in the monastery garden.
I try never to write about a place I haven’t visited, so all the wonderful, out-of-the-way sites Felicity and Antony visit whilst chasing and being chased by murderers and struggling to save a treasure for Fr. Dominic’s African Children’s Hospital are places I have had the great pleasure of visiting. But my visits were far more peaceful than Felicity’s. I was never shot at with a crossbow, fed ground glass or nearly drowned, for starters. I was, however side-railed as the only passenger on a tiny commuter train and walked up the track on foot by solicitous Britrail officials. All the while thinking, of course, “Oh, this is going to go in the novel!”

THE SHADOW OF REALITY Book 1, the Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries, now available in Ebook and soon to be in print, is based entirely on a mystery weekend my husband and I attended several years ago at Mohonk Mountain House, high above the Hudson River Valley. That is to say, the structure of the mystery week, and therefore the structure of the novel, is the format of that week. The plot line and the characters are my own invention. The Eyrie is a fairly faithful representation of Mohonk Mountain House, but I moved it to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Elizabeth’s 1930’s style wardrobe, however, is an exact description of what I wore— in the case of the novel, fictionally designed by my heroine’s sister who is a costume designer for a Shakespeare festival.

A MIDSUMMER EVE’S NIGHTMARE, Book 2, The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries, which will be out next spring, is the “fling with the bard” of the title of this piece. For more years that I can recall (I think Shakespeare was alive when we started) my husband and I have attended the Oregon Shakespearean Festival in Ashland, Oregon. So when the fictional Elizabeth’s sister Victoria begs her to come help her with strange goings-on backstage, I was able to use my years of festival-going including backstage tour, ventures out to the surrounding area and my life-long love of Shakespeare.
So, to get back to exploring the clichés of our craft, does art follow life; or does life follow art?

I’d have to answer, “Yes.”

About Donna Fletcher Crow

Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 35 books, mostly novels of British history. The award-winning epic GLASTONBURY, is her best-known work, an Arthurian grail search covering 15 centuries of English history. A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE, book 1 in the Monastery Murders series is her reentry into publishing after a 10 year hiatus. THE SHADOW OF REALITY,Book 1 The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries, is a romantic intrigue available on Ebook.

Donna and her husband have 4 adult children and 10 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener and tea-drinker. To see the book video, to order A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE, or to see pictures from Donna’s research trips, go to

Saturday, August 21, 2010

More Than A Book: A Commitment To Our Wounded Warriors

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. ~Dr. Seuss
These simple words from my child's story book convince me that I was the one that needed to make a difference, not wait for others around me to do it.

Hello to all Lauren's World of Mystery Writing readers, I'm Jon Renaud, the author of the newly release fiction novel, Dereliction of Duty. An exciting action novel that was published with the intent to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization dedicating to helping wounded heroes returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and help them return to a normal and productive life.

Your friend and mine, Lauren, has allowed me to use her wonderful platform, not to promote my book, but to share with you a cause that is dear to my heart and hopefully bring it a little closer to yours.

First, a little about myself, I'm a retired U.S. Army Warrant Officer who served our nation for twenty years including tours in Panama, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. By the grace of God, I returned from those conflicts unharmed and able to enjoy a productive life. But I was one of the lucky ones. I saw the horror and devastation the wars brought to some of my brothers and sisters in uniform.

Shortly before retiring, I began to write many of my memories from my time in the service, more for history's sake, than to actually write a novel. At the urging of friends, I took those notes and transformed them into a fictionalized representation of my career. The true stories quickly faded away and an exciting series materialized, blending real life with fiction. It was around that time that I discovered the Wounded Warrior Project and came up with the idea of using my writing as a way to raise money for this incredible charity. Being blessed with a new career to support my family, I did not need to depend on my writing for financial support. I decided that if I could actually publish and sell these books, I could donate the proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project, and maybe, just maybe, I could create something that could provide support to this organization for years to come.

So, what is the Wounded Warrior Project and why should you care?

Here is a little of their history taken right from their website at

Wounded Warrior Project began when several individuals took small, inspired actions to help others in need.

One night while watching the evening news, a group of veterans and brothers were moved by the difficult stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. They realized then and there that something needed to be done for these brave individuals beyond the brass bands and ticker tape parades

The resulting objective was to provide tangible support for the severely wounded and help them on the road to healing, both physically and mentally. What had been initially viewed as a small contribution (compared with what the warriors had sacrificed while serving our country) has become WWP's signature program:"WWP backpacks delivered bedside to wounded warriors."

What started as a few people sitting around watching television with great ideas grew into a nationwide movement to help our wounded soldiers. Just as Dr. Seuss said it should be.

The WWP doesn't just talk about helping, they role up their sleeves and get out there and make a difference. They sponsor sporting events, such as ski trips where they teach amputees that there is nothing they can't do. They work with national and international businesses and show them that these heroes, although wounded, still have incredible talents and would make great additions to their corporate teams. They don't just talk about what should be done, they do it!

I can't think of a more worthy cause than protecting those who protected us. And that was why my decision to help them was an easy one. If my book sells one copy or a million, I know it was worth it.

So I invite all of you to visit the WWP website and see if you can also find a way to help in your own special way. Make a donation, send a book to a recovering soldier, sponsor an event or just write an encouraging letter to soldier recovering in the hospital. There is nothing you can't do when you decide it is the right thing to do.

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way. ~Dr. Seuss

Many thanks to you, Lauren and all of your readers, for allowing me to share this wonderful organization.

My warmest regards,

Jon Renaud
Author of Dereliction of Duty
Colorado Springs, Colorado USA

Friday, August 13, 2010

Author Spotlight: Jack Everett and David Coles

Writing Team: David Coles (front) and Jack Everett

This week, we are being visited by Jack Everett, half of the writing team of David Coles and Jack Everett, the authors of a host of exciting thrillers and mysteries ranging from Roman times to present day international terrorism.

Hello, Jack! Can you tell our readers a little bit about you and David?

David's life has been mainly in computers and computer systems, programming and analyzing moving up into computer management. Now as well as writing he enjoys designing our covers and promotional banners.
I came via a much different route from apprentice plumber/heating engineer to Fireman, then to Royal Air Force Police Dog instructor and a member of the dog demonstration team. On leaving the forces I returned to construction and climbed the ladder from trade to supervision of workers to that of the work itself. I then left the hustle and bustle of the sites to become a Training Adviser within the construction industry. Finally when that began to bore me I bought a social club and ran that for some years.

You and David have a lot of books out right now. Tell us about them.

Last Mission was released last week. It tells the story of a survey ship discovering a 66 years old U-boat on the ocean floor in the Caribbean, what they discover inside frightens them. Based on the premise that Hitler orders an elite team of German soldiers to steal an atomic bomb from Los Alamos in the last month of the war the story is then played out.
1/1:Jihad-Britain is our take on what would happen if insurgents planted five bombs in the UK timed to explode at 12 o'clock midnight one New Years Eve which exploded killing tens of thousands and most of the ruling government party who were attending a carol service inside St. Paul's Cathedral. This book is due out next month.

The Last Free Men is a historical action thriller that suggests what might have happened to the Roman 9th Legion, which mysteriously vanished in the 2nd century AD.
Do you have any other titles in the works?
Our writing took a new turn two years ago when we started writing a crime thriller about an ex-special forces guy recruited by the CIA and sent on several clandestine ops only to be brain damaged then hospitalized. His treatment includes being given false memories as a rock-something for his damaged mind to cling to. One of these memories is that he once loved his brother’s wife. Escaping from the hospital, he determines to find her. What better place than with his brother one suggests? But, on reaching his brother’s home in Florida he finds the woman he dreams of has argued with his brother and returned to her former home in England. He falls out with his brother and they fight with only one possible outcome. Using his brothers passport he travels to the UK and .......

This novel, entitled The Tourist, has been acquired by Virtual Tales and we are told due out sometime this year.
Do you have any other projects that you two are working on now?
Our next book now that we have a feel for the genre involves MI5 and MI6, an Italian count that thinks he is like his ancestor Machiavelli, who rules an estate in Tuscany bigger than a small country and funds everything by buying and selling information. One of his deeds, which involves payment in diamonds, goes wrong and the shockwaves are long reaching in years as well as distance. This manuscript is at the copy editing stage. Would you believe we are now talking about werewolves?
1/1:Jihad-Britain is about present day terrorism. How did you and David research this thriller?

Our research into terrorism I am afraid was done the old fashioned way, reading everything we could on the subject in the papers, watching 24 hour news programs and searching the Internet. still, far easier than sitting for days in the public reference library like we have had to do in the past. We found events were happening at such a pace we were having difficulty in writing the ideas down before they risked being dated.

From Roman times to present day terrorism? Where do you and David get your inspiration for such diverse plotlines?
I can't tell you, if I could I would probably have written a book about it and it might have become a New York Times best seller. You see, David and I started off writing Sci-Fi in the days when some people thought of you as visionaries while others thought you to be plain cuckoo. In fact that is how I met David by reading a short story he had had published but that is a tale for another time.

Thank you for visiting Lauren's World of Mystery Writing. Where can our readers get more information about you or your books?
All of our books including our medieval mystery The Abbot & the Acolyte and our YA fantasy Merlin's Kin which we haven't had time to discuss are available from or from , from any good online store or, in the case of Last Mission and 1/1:Jihad-Britain, these may also be ordered from Acclaimed Books.

Readers may e-mail Jack Everett at for more information about any of his books.

Thank you, Jack, for stopping by. It's been a lot of fun. Be sure to stop by again when your next book comes out, which should be next week!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Kolodziej

This week, Elizabeth Kolodziej, author of Vampyre Kisses is stopping by for a visit.

Elizabeth J Kolodziej, a young fiction writer originally from Torrance, California, is a smart and original thinker who has researched the origins of vampires, werewolves, and witches for many years. She writes her books from the knowledge she has gained while trying to be as original and inspiring as possible. Her books encompass both true folklore facts along with innovative ideas motivated by the great writers around her. This is the first book in Elizabeth's Vampyre Kisses series.

Welcome, Elizabeth, please tell us a little bit about your book Vampyre Kisses.
Well, Vampyre Kisses is a story about a young woman, Faith, who meets a sexy Irish vampire, Trent. Soon after this, Faith is told that she is a witch. The last witch in the world. Then I introduce the werewolf royalty and the master vampire. Gems are stolen that are important to both races and therefore they must work together to get them back. While all of this happens Faith is trying to gain more power through learning about all of the elements and trying to keep the slayers from killing her and her friends.

This is a love story about Faith, the last witch on Earth; and Trent, a 400-year-old Irish Vampire. How did you come up with such interesting characters? What inspired you?
I have always loved witches. Ever since I was little I wanted to fly and have fireballs come out of my hands. Then there are vampires, whose immortality and romance-ism attracts lots of young girls. So, from a young age, I was constantly reading books that either had witches or vampires in them.

Then one day when I was around the age of 18 I started writing this story. Actually, what is a fun fact is that Faith’s name when I began the story was Alex. I always liked names for girls that could be mistaken for a guy’s name. Anyways, when I was younger and read those stories I used to put myself into the story and fantasize what it would be like and how the story would end up if I were in it.

When I began Vampyre Kisses I think I started Faith out as being me but what happens is that these characters become their own individuals and they start talking to you. When Faith started talking, I started listening. The same thing goes for Trent. He started out as what my dream guy would be like, but then he ended up as someone more. He became his own person too.

When it comes to what inspires me there are actually many different things. Certain books inspire me. I’ll think, "Well that sounds neat, but what if this happens," and I will make something new happen all together. Then there are movies that do the same thing for me.

For example, I was trying to write out the synopsis for Vampyre Kisses and I just couldn’t get it flowing. I let it go and started watching Push, with Dakota Fanning, and all of a sudden in the middle of the movie the idea for the synopsis came to me.

But what inspires me a lot more is the people around me. I am a big people watcher and I get ideas for what characters should look like or gestures they might make by watching others. Family, friends, strangers, it doesn’t matter. I even take some of their personality traits and try them out on some of my characters.

Mostly, though, I have one particular friend of mine that is into writing like I am. We have known each other for years now and there is some sort of connection between the two of us. No matter the problem I am having he will talk it out with me and offer ideas or act out a scene and I will get inspired all over again.

Reviews for Vampyre Kisses comment on how skillfully you blended fact and fiction. How did you research your book?
From a very young age my parents were always supportive about my brother and I reading. We would make trips to the bookstore all the time. Well, due to my mother I found my interest in the supernatural. So I would get books on folklore or books that taught you how to use magic. For example, Dancing With Dragons by DJ Conway. I have tons of her books.

So when I started writing my book I wanted to include what is real (or folklore) and what is my own. So I just read whatever books I could find about vampires, witches, and werewolves. It is even much easier with the Internet being as vast as it is now.

I will say this though; researching werewolf history and folklore stories is not easy. There is much more information out there about vampires.

Also, I was very lucky. I wanted my book to end with them being in Ireland but I had never been there. I had just finished college though and my parents offered to send me out there for a month. Being able to really be in the place you are writing about is important.

I think research is just about reading everything you can on your subject along with having real life experiences. What I find so funny, is that I didn’t think of blending fact and fiction as being my hook but everyone seems to like that best about my book!

There is also a whole other mystical universe in Vampyre Kisses. Where did that come from? How much of that was from your imagination?
The universe in my book comes from my imagination, sort of. You see; it goes back to those fantasies I use to have when I was younger. It was like I would pick and choose different things from books that I liked and I would fantasize about a world like that.

For instance, I was always interested in the Greek Gods, no matter what religion I would look into, like the Norse Gods, the Greek always seemed to be my favorite. So those were the Gods I wanted in my own story. Like this, I would pick and choose certain abilities for my vampires to have that I read about. I wanted to be traditional so I kept the fact that they couldn’t go out in the daytime. However, I added my own spin to it by making them able to walk under the sun for the first 10 years of their life after being changed. That was purely my idea.

What it comes down to is what I grew up knowing and liking and then adding my own twist or new things to the mix. That is how I came up with the universe in Vampyre Kisses.

Do you have any plans for a sequel with Faith and Trent?
Oh yes! What I have heard from my readers so far is that they want to find out more about the werewolves. Well, before people started telling me that I already had the sequel in mind that would revolve more about the werewolves than vampires. Mostly because I introduced a new kind of thing with werewolves in my book and a lot more explanation needs to be done.

The first book is just an introduction to the main characters. A little tease to say this is who they are and what they can do. The second book is going to take it further.

Hopefully it will be done by the end of this year and it will be out and published by the middle of next year just like the first one was. And don’t worry … I even have a third one in mind!

Is there anything else that you would like to tell our readers?
The reason that I wrote my book and wanted to publish it is because I wanted to inspire people. So many authors, friends, family, and movie stars have inspired me. I wanted to do the same thing for someone else. Even if it is only one other person. I really hope I can do that.

Also, if there is something wrong with my book or something you don’t understand tell me. It is possible that I can explain what it is in the next book. I love getting feedback about my book no matter if it is negative or positive. But I prefer the positive. :0)
Where to buy the book:


Friday, July 30, 2010

Author Spotlight: W.S. Gager

Today's post is spotlighting W.S. Gager, author of the Mitch Malone Mysteries. Her latest is A Case of Accidental Intersection. W.S. Gager has lived in West Michigan for most of her life except for stints early in her career as a newspaper reporter and editor. Now she enjoys creating villains instead of crossing police lines to get the story. She teaches English at a local college and is a soccer chauffeur for her children. During her driving time she spins webs of intrigue for Mitch Malone's next crime-solving adventure.

Take it away, W.S.! Wait a minute! You're not W.S.!

Mitch Malone here. I’m subbing for W.S. Gager. She has her hands full trying to promote my latest escapade in A Case of Accidental Intersection. She wanted to do something long and boring on creating great dialogue. I had to put a stop to that. I’m also the best one to talk about listening to what people say and how they say it. You’ve got to have good dialogue if you are trying to show character. Stilted exchanges will kill the pace and tempo of a book. I’m an expert at dialogue on account of the fact that I quote people in my newspapers stories and when you do that, you see how people have different nuances to their speech.

Take politicians. I don’t cover them unless I have to but when I do, their quotes or dialogue in a book is smooth with flowery language. Of course they never say anything but they use a lot of words to do it. Lot of that this election year.

In A Case of Accidental Intersection I ran into Elsie Dobson. Now this is one tough old lady but her language I quoted in my story was unique. Elsie was upset the first time after witnessing and she rambled, but it was great emotion for my story. She also called me dear a lot and patted my cheek. I hated it when she started talking about her sainted husband Elmer because then I would never get any information. The thing is, Elsie used a lot of words in proper grammar. No slang, no jargon. It just wouldn’t have been right.

Now in my first big story, A Case of Infatuation, there was a kid named Joey. He never spoke in complete sentences, never more than a couple of words at a time unless he was excited and then they were all strung together and you couldn’t make any sense out of them.

If I were to quote either one of them in a news story and I did Elsie because she was the witness to one horrific accident between a sports car and a cement truck, you have to get the words precisely as they said them or they can claim they are misquoted or worse yet, your reader gets pulled out of your story because it just doesn’t sound right.

So, you heard it here from Mitch Malone, get into the head of your character and make sure your dialogue fits their personality.

(Lauren here.) Purchase either of W.S. Gager's Mitch Malone Mysteries at:
Robbins’ Booklist, Greenville
Country Squire Pharmacy, Fremont

Barnes & Noble, Norton Shores & Grand Rapids area stores
Schuyler’s Books, Grand Rapids

If you would like to contact W.S. Gager, you can do so at:
Phone: 231-327-2072
Facebook keyword: wsgager
ISBN: 978-1-892343-70-3

Thank you, W.S. Gager, and Mitch, for stopping by today. We all look forward to reading about your big story in the The Case of Accidental Intersection!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Living for a Writing

Back when my hair was naturally blond and my idea of dieting was only three scoops of chocolate ice cream drowning in hot fudge sauce instead of four, I went through a stage where I wanted to be an actress.

 I was pretty, had been in quite a few plays, and thought I had some potential to go professional at some point. Toward the end of this period, I confided to my acting coach that I dreamed of playing Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, to which she responded with a hearty—and cruel—laugh. “You have a lot of living to do before you can ever play Blanche DuBois, dear.”

 My translation: “Don’t give up your day job, child. You ain’t got the talent.”

 So I went back to the school paper and never set foot on the stage again except when they called “Author! Author!” for a murder mystery I had written.

At that stage of my life I was a naïve teenager living at home with my mother. I didn’t drink and I didn’t smoke. The character I had dreamed of portraying on the stage was an aging alcoholic Southern belle who lived in a state of perpetual panic about her fading beauty. Her life was completely at the other end of the spectrum from mine. How could I even begin to comprehend the depths of this character in order to portray her convincingly?

 I came to realize the source of that coach’s laughter recently when the opportunity presented itself for me to take a gun class. I jumped at the chance for a couple of reasons:
  1. I thought it would be fun, and it was;
  2. As the author of murder mysteries in which my main characters regularly carry and shoot guns, I believed it would be good research to find out about these weapons.
On the last night, the instructor took the class to the range for us to shoot a variety of guns on the range. When he placed the loaded 32 caliber semi-automatic in my hand, I had a feeling that I didn’t expect: Fear.

 I looked down at this thing in my hand and thought: I could kill someone with this.

The weapon wasn’t as heavy as I had expected, but it sure looked scary to me. I went up to the range and when the instructor called out, “Threat!” (He didn’t call out “Fire” because we were to shoot at our leisure, not on command.) I pulled the trigger and emptied the gun of six rounds.

 No one was as surprised as I was when I hit the center of the target with almost every shot. I was good!

 As I examined the target and all the holes that I had put in it, I looked down at the gun in my hand and felt a sense of power: I could kill someone with this.

Since I write murder mysteries, it goes without saying that people get killed in my books. Detectives with guns go after the bad guys, and bad guys with guns go after the good guys. Even though most murder mystery authors don’t really carry badges and guns and shoot real bullets at real bad guys (but many have), it doesn’t hurt to get out there and take a short walk in their shoes, even if only for play, in order to bring something authentic to the page.

By the time the instructor upgraded me to a 9 millimeter semi-automatic, I was able to put myself in the mind of Archie Monday when a murder suspect attempts to intimidate her in It’s Murder, My Son. As I aimed at the target with the same weapon I had her use, I envisioned the suspect in my sites. I was now present in the scene in a way I hadn’t been before.

I don’t think my acting coach meant that I had to become a lush in order to play Blanche DuBois. She probably meant that I should stay out after midnight at least one night in order to have something to draw on. Even the most talented actor with the vastest imagination can’t put himself in the character of a cat if he’s never even seen one. How can you write about a broken heart if your heart has never been broken? You can’t just imagine how it feels.

Many writers, I’m included, are introverts. They are most content when they’re home alone writing away on an intoxicating wave of imagination. But eventually that wave will come in. Imagination can take a writer only so far. Without some basis of reality to stand on they’re going to sink to the bottom.

That reality comes from getting out of the writer’s studio and collecting a stockpile of life experiences to store away and feed the imagination, even if only to draw upon it at a later time in another project further down the road.

So, put away that laptop. Brush your teeth. Take a gun class! Go bungee jumping or sky diving (that’s another blog post for a later time!). Go out into the world and do some living—then write about it!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Visiting Author of the Week: Marilyn Meredith: A Writer of Many Talents

Marilyn Meredith is the author of nearly thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Dispel the Mist from Mundania Press. Under the name of F. M. Meredith she writes the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, An Axe to Grind is the latest from Oak Tree Press.
She is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America.

What inspired a mystery writer to pen a ghostly love story. Is there any mystery in it?
The inspiration for Lingering Spirit is the inspiration behind my Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novels. My son-in-law was a 15 year veteran of a police department and transferred to a mountain community to become a deputy sheriff. When he was a new officer he came to my house after his shift and would tell me all his adventures. He even took me on a ride-along once. His mother was not in his life and his father was gone. He treated us like his parents and my husband and I loved him like a son. Six months after his transfer, he was killed in the line of duty leaving our daughter a widow with three young sons. Though Lingering Spirit has its roots in the truth, the story and the characters are fiction. I think writing this book was part of my grieving process.

I wrote Lingering Spirit a long time ago. Oak Tree Press asked me if I had any old books I'd like on Kindle and she put Lingering Spirit on there quite some time ago. At the beginning of this year she told me that was her favorite of my books and could she publish it as a trade paperback. Of course I said yes--and that's why I now am promoting a romance with a touch of the supernatural.

As to whether there is any mystery in Lingering Spirit, the answer is no.

Speaking of ghosts, I would love to know more about your Christian horror books. How did you come about writing Christian horror? What is Christian horror?
I wrote three Christian horror. I've always loved really scary movies, especially those with the devil in them, and often thought if only the hero or heroine was Christian, they'd have a better chance. So I decided to write a horror novel with a Christian hero and then two with Christian heroines. My definition of Christian horror, is really scary but with Christian elements. I probably will never write another because when I sent them out to publishers, the main stream publishers said they were really good, but far too Christian for their audiences and the Christian publishers also liked my writing but said they were far too scary for their audience. I did find small publishers for all three but the market just wasn't there.

Did you start out writing Christian horror and move on to mysteries, or was it the other way around? Is there a dividing line between the two genres, or do you find yourself blending the two?
My first published works were two historical family sagas with lots of romance--they were based on the genealogy of both sides of my family.
When I was through with those, I thought about what I should write next. Since I loved mysteries, I decided to try my hand at one. The Astral Gift, a mystery with a touch of the supernatural, was the first and it has had three different publishers. Now, I'm the only one who has copies. From there I went on to use what my son-in-law inspired, the Rocky Bluff P.D. series about a small police department on the California coast between Ventura and Santa Barbara. The latest is An Axe to Grind from Oak Tree Press. There is no supernatural aspects in that series.
When we moved from the coast to the foothills of the Sierra, I began writing the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series about a Native American resident deputy who is often called upon to solve crimes that involve Indians or the nearby Indian reservation. The latest in that series is Dispel the Mist. Those books have a lot of Indian legends and mysticism. In Dispel the Mist, Tempe has an encounter with a Big Foot-like creature on the reservation, called The Hairy Man.

To find out more about Marilyn Meredith be sure to visit her at and her blog at