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


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

Thanks for hosting me today. This was a fun interview.


Kevin R. Tipple said...

And thank you, Marilyn, for writing good books.


BillieJohn said...

Marilyn, every time I read one of your posts I learn something new about you!

Thanks for allowing OTP to bring Lingering Spirit out in paper. It is indeed one of my favorites, so I doubly appreciate the bittersweet elements you experience in this process.

Billie Johnson
Oak Tree Press

Linda Lane said...

Great interview! It's nice to put a face with a name I've known for some time. Marilyn's "nearly thirty published novels" are an inspiration to the rest of us who write to keep our fingers on the keyboard to produce quality works for our audiences. Writing is a unique profession because we can reach and influence so many people with our words, people we will never meet but whose lives may be enriched by what we write (fiction or nonfiction). We can also share our experiences with other writers via blogs such as this. Thank you, Lauren, and thank you, Marilyn, for making my Saturday morning a little more special.

Jacqueline Vick said...

I second what Billie said. One day I hope to read one of your Christian horror. Maybe the market has changed enough that there is a place for them now. I know I think the concept is interesting. What would "The Excorcist" have been without the priest? His battle of faith was the core of the story to me.

Lauren Carr said...

Thank you, Marilyn--and friends--for visiting Marilyn's World of Mystery Writing. You're an inspiration to us all!

Johnny Russell said...

Lauren, I loved your interview with Marilyn. Her books are profound, interesting and very entertaining. The boundaries of her imagination is without end.

Anonymous said...

Marilyn I really enjoyed your interview and will be purchasing your books. I am working on my first mystery in a series. Juanita Houston

Patricia Harrington said...


You are a writing marvel! I didn't know about the Christian horror books. And, as always, I feel sadness at your loss of your son-in-law. We owe a deep debt to all who serve in law enforcement. And I'll look up some of your other books that I wasn't aware about.

All the best and I'll use you as my model of "keeping on, keeping on" with class and good works.

Pat H.

M.M. Gornell said...

Agree with Billie, Marilyn has lived a very interesting and rewarding life, so there's always something new to learn about her. Love reading about Marilyn's writing and what has, and continues to inspire her. I sure know she inspires me!

Good interview!


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

Thank you again, Lauren, this was fun.

Billie, are you kidding? I'm thrilled you published Lingering Spirit.

Thanks for the comments, Kevin and Linda.

Hi, Johnny and Pat, such kind words, thank you.

Holli said...

Marilyn, I didn't you wrote Christian horror- it sounds quite interesting.

Following you on Facebook, I don't know how you find time to do everything you do and write such good novels- you do more in a day than I sometimes do in a week, and I have little kids. When I'm writing, (like right now), I have to sit at the computer all day long to accomplish anything. I don't know how you manage to squeeze so much into each day.

Holli Castillo
Gumbo Justice

Lauren Carr said...

You are most certainly welcome, Marilyn! Stop by again anytime. Holli is right. How one writer can do so much--you are an inspiration to all us younglings.

Dorien/Roger said...

A most interesting interview, Marilyn...I found out things about you I hadn't known. And thanks to Lauren for her generosity in featuring other writers on her site. My best to you both.

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

And tank you Juanita and Dorien. Holli, I do a lot in the day but poop out at night. You . have to entertain kids. Mine are adults, they can entertain themselves.

This was fun,everyone, thanks again, and thanks to you, Lauren.


Mike Orenduff said...

As usual, Marilyn makes an interesting blog visitor. What is unusual about this one is the full-length photo that must have been photo-shopped in because there is no background. Those of us with no technical skills marvel at such things. But no as much as I marvel at all the books Marilyn has published. All good reads thus far, but of course I have many more to look forward to.

Mike Orenduff

WS Gager said...

I agree with Mike. I loved the photo and learning new things. Always a pleasure to visit when you are blogging Marilyn!
W.S. Gager

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

About the photo, it was taken at a California Writers Club meeting, Ridgewriters, on the desert in Ridgecrest. The gal who took the photo sent it to me that way. I have no idea how to do things like that.