Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime

Those are the two biggest mystery conventions and both will be fairly close to me this year, Sacramento and San Diego.

For years, my husband and I went to every Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime. We visited wonderful cities all over the U.S., places we would never have gone otherwise.  When these two conventions were held previous here, I went on my own–by train to one, and traveling in a car with a friend to another.

I loved the experience and meeting so many wonderful writers and readers. I made so many friends over the years that attending one of these cons was like going to a family reunion.

Sadly, despite the proximity of both cons, I’ve made the decision not to attend either one.

The reasons? Partly my age. It’s not as easy for me to get around these days, and the huge cons require lots of walking, Another reason is the cost, the biggest being the hotel stay and restaurant meals.  Yes, I will miss seeing old friends, meeting new ones, being on a panel, learning a lot about authors whose books I enjoy.

A mystery convention is different than a writer’s conference. I am planning to go to two of those. In March, I’ll attend Writers of Kern in Bakersfield. My daughter is going with me, it’s held in one big room and it’s only one day. In July, I’m signed up for the Public Safety Writers Association’s annual conference in Las Vegas. Again, my daughter is doing the driving duty, and the hotel is not expensive, and one huge lunch is provided each day. The conference is held in one room–and I’ll get to see many of my friends, writers and folks in law enforcement and other public safety fields. Public Safety Writers Association

For those who are able to attend the big cons, have a wonderful time. Be sure and talk to people you don’t know, they may end up being a new fan of your books. If you are a reader, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to your favorite writers.

And of course, in between all this excitement, I’ll continue working on my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree myster.

Spirit Wind cover

Resolutions for 2020

2020 Happy New Year

I just wanted to write 2020. I can’t believe that amazing year is almost upon us. Frankly, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, never have and not going to start now.

However, I do have some plan in place for the coming year—some are on my calendar already, others are what I’m hoping to do.

I am signed up for the PSWA conference in July, I haven’t missed one since I began as program chairman years ago—thankfully someone quite capable took my place a few years ago. If you’re interested, go to https://policewriter.com/ and check it out. It’s a great conference for mystery writers. You get to hear from and mingle with law enforcement and other public safety experts, and you can share your writing expertise by serving on a panel if you so desire. The early bird registration fee runs out at the end of December 31.

I have my regular writing meetings to attend: my weekly critique group, the Tulare Kings Writers and the San Joaquin Sisters in Crime monthly meetings. Hopefully I’ll make it over to the Central Coast Sisters in Crime meetings a couple of times.

I hope to finish and get my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery finished, edited and published, and have plans to write the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery. (Ideas are churning around in my head.) And of course, I’ll have to make plans for promoting both.

I’m planning a panel with two other writers to give at our local library, it’ll be called “Ask the Author.”

Hopefully, I’ll be participating in various book and craft fairs throughout the year.

That’s what comes to mind at the moment. I’m sure some of the more organized writers who participate on this blog have far more to report about their plans for the coming year.

No matter what comes up, whatever I do, I’ll enjoy every minute of it. Writing is my passion, meeting readers and writers is something I love.

And now, I’ll wish you all a wonderful New Year.

Marilyn

 

 

 

A Bit of This and That

person picking food on tray
Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Thanksgiving is upon us, the time to reflect on all we have to be thankful. I have so much: a wonderfully big family, a loving husband, and a long life full of memories. And a biggie for what is happening on Thursday—I do not have to cook. My grandson who lives in the mountains has invited all of us to his house for dinner. After years and years of being the main Thanksgiving feast cook, I am truly grateful!

Of course I’m thankful for my writing career—though I’ve never become famous or a best seller, I have loyal fans for both my series and have had a great time writing, The creation of two different worlds with interesting characters has keep me busy.

With my Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series, I’ve created a small beach town that seems very real to me, as well as the people who inhabit it—members of the police department, their loved ones, and the members of the community, and of course the villains and the victims.

Of course there’s the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series mainly set in a mountain community much like the one I’m living in now though I’ve made some major changes. I’ve grown to love Tempe and her husband, Hutch. I’m always eager to see what’s going to happen with them next.

However, as I’m writing the latest, which will be #18, I realize that Tempe is reaching retirement age, is it time to end the series? I’m going to have to make a decision about that. Maybe it’s time to move on, perhaps write a stand-alone. I don’t know.

Something else being a writer has done for me is being able to share what I know with other writers. I’ve been able to do that at writers’ conferences and conventions, in smaller groups and one-on-one. I’ve also enjoyed being a speaker at various venues, especially when I can make people laugh.

Over all, I have so much to be thankful for.

Marilyn Meredith who also writes as F.M. Meredith

Latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series:

Bones in the Attic

Buy link for Bones in the Attic: https://tinyurl.com/yxpd8mxy 

Latest in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series;

Spirit Wind cover

Buy link for Spirit Wind: https://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Wind-Tempe-Crabtree-Mysteries/dp/1092112081/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=Spirit+Wind+by+Marilyn+Meredith&qid=1556631664&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmrnull

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Free Kindle Book and Some Halloween Trivia

callingthedead-sm

 

For Halloween I’m offering a free kindle book, Calling the Dead, one of the early Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries. It is free now through Halloween.

https://www.amazon.com/Calling-Dead-Tempe-Crabtree-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07S3RFZ29/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Calling+the+dead+by+Marilyn+Meredith&qid=1570114084&s=digital-text&sr=1-3

In Calling the Dead, Deputy Tempe Crabtree is challenged by a death that looks like suicide and a suicide that looks like murder and putting her job on the line when she investigates both on her on time, and jeopardizes her marriage to her pastor husband when she uses Native American ways to call back the dead.

orange and white squash
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Now for some fun trivia about Halloween:

  1. Halloween originated in Ireland
  2. A pumpkin is a fruit.
  3. The round orange pumpkin is a native to North America
  4. The first individually wrapped candies were Tootsie Rolls.
  5. Alabama doesn’t allow Halloween celebrants to dress up like priests or nuns.
  6. In 2020, there will be a full moon on Halloween night.
  7. In 2017 the most popular Halloween candy was Kit Kats.
  8. Jack O Lanterns were first made out of turnips.
  9. To protect yourself on Halloween you should carry salt in your pocket.
  10. Male witches are called Warlocks.
  11. The word witch comes from the Old English meaning Wise Woman.
  12. Trick or treating evolved from the Celtic culture.
  13. If a person wears his or her clothes inside out and walks backward on Halloween, he or she will see a witch at midnight.

A bit more about my free Kindle book offer of Calling the Dead.

I did not use BookBub to promote—two reasons, it wouldn’t have been accepted because of not enough reviews, though what I do have are great, and I can’t afford a BookBub promotion.

What I did do is pay for some much less expensive advertising through places that promote free-e-books. And of course I’ll do my own promoting on Facebook, Twitter, and the various Facebook groups I belong to.

And you may ask, what is the motive for giving away copies of the Kindle version of the book? Hopefully, readers will like it and buy others in the series. Calling the Dead seemed like the perfect tale to offer for Halloween.

Marilyn

 

 

 

Boo! Just in Time for Halloween

Bones in the Attic

Though I’ve written several scary novels, some more horror than anything, Bones in the Attic, my latest Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery is the first that focuses on Halloween.

When I first started writing it, I wasn’t thinking about it being a Halloween book, but it definitely is, but not in the way you might think.

For those of you who have read any of the RBPD mysteries know that a lot of every book is about family issues, and this one is no different. It begins with Detective Milligan’s daughter Beth and her high school art club decorating an abandoned house for Halloween. They intend to make money for their club by selling tickets to their Haunted House.

When one of the members decides to explore the old house and finds a skeleton in a trunk in the attic, their plans are doomed. Or are they?

Of course the majority of the book focuses on the RBPD trying to find out who the bones belong to, and why were they in a trunk?

As always, there is more about what is happening with the various families of the police department:  There is an issue with Sergeant Abel Navarro’s widowed father, more about Sergeant Strickland’s daughter with Down syndrome, the romance between Police Chief Tucker and Mayor Devon Duvall, and a crisis with the mayor’s daughter.

And, to make it even more intriguing, there is a bit threat to all of the beach community of Rocky Bluff.

I hope some of you will try it out! Though it is a series, each book is complete when it comes to the mystery.

Buy link: https://tinyurl.com/yxpd8mxy

Marilyn who writes this series as F. M. Meredith

 

 

 

 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place or…

I could have written standing at a crossroad. “So what is the problem”, you ask?

I’ve sent my next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery off to the publisher, hoping for a before Halloween release. (I had it edited professionally.) Publisher sounded willing, but haven’t heard any more from him. I would like to set up some promotion, including a blog tour, but I really need more reassurance about when (and if) there actually will be a book.

Anyone who knows my history as a published writer, knows that I’ve had to climb over many stumbling blocks over the years. (I’m having fun with all these cliches.)

To understand why I said the title of this post could be standing at a crossroad is that I also need to be writing my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery. I have a title, the main setting, some of the new characters, and some great ideas about how this one should go.

The problem with this is for some reason, I can’t seem to get moving on it. I’ve jotted some notes, even written the first paragraph. However, I already want to change it.

My advice to self is open up the document and get started.  And yes, that’s what I should do but life keeps getting in the way. Because hubby and I are getting older, there are doc appointments. Shopping for food seems to be a biggie too. And I guess the real problem is I don’t have the energy and drive I once had.

Before you think I’m complaining too much, believe me, I know how blessed I am to still have my husband and my health. I’m also thankful that I still like to cook. And most of all, I’m grateful that I still have the ability to write.

Okay, that’s it. I’m going to get with it and see what Tempe is up to now.

Marilyn

spirit-wind-cover

 

 

 

 

Do You Ever Use Real People in Your Mysteries?

Do You Ever Use Real People in your Mysteries?

The reason I’m asking, I’m contemplating doing exactly that in my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

Oh, I’ve based characters on people I know or have known and made enough changes the person would never recognize him or herself.

I’ve used real crimes I’ve read about in the newspapers or someone has told me about, and changed the people and the situations enough that no one ever said they knew where my plot came from.

Once, at the request of a friend, I put her into one of my mysteries, described her as she is, and included her dogs and cat. The only thing I changed was her name. She loved it, and her friends all recognized her.  I even included her in another book because she asked.

As the result of contests, I’ve used the names of real people, but the descriptions and personalities came out of my imagination to fit the book I was writing.

In the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, (which I just sent off to the publisher) I used two real situations I knew about in the plot, but changed both radically.

Recently, I met the strangest group of people in an even stranger situation. I don’t want to say any more because I truly want to use them in the next book I’m planning. In order to make it not obvious what I’m doing, of course the names and descriptions will be much different than they are, as will be the setting.

I’m not sure I can pull this off—but the big thing I have going for me is I know none of them read my books.

I’m eager to hear what my fellow authors have to share. And readers,  have you ever recognized a real person or situation in a mystery you were reading?

Marilyn, whose latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery is Spirit Wind.

Spirit Wind cover

Blurb for Spirit Wind: A call from a ghost hunter changes Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s vacation plans. Instead of going to the coast, she and her husband are headed to Tehachapi to investigate a haunted house and are confronted by voices on the wind, a murder, and someone out to get them.

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Wind-Tempe-Crabtree-Mysteries/dp/1092112081/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=Spirit+Wind+by+Marilyn+Meredith&qid=1556631664&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmrnull