Saturday, July 3, 2010
Visiting Author of the Week: Marilyn Meredith: A Writer of Many Talents
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.
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 http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com