Note: I am pleased to introduce my esteemed writing colleague F.M. (Marilyn) Meredith, a prolific mystery author who hails from California’s Central Coast. She is on tour, and I’m delighted to give her this vaudeville stage so she can tell us what she thinks about writing in general, and she can tell us about her new book, No Bells. It sounds good, and I plan to read it.
Someone who writes might say they are a writer or an author; in my case, I think of myself as a story-teller.
When I read other people’s books—and I read lots—I’m always surprised about how different each one is. Some authors are able to write the most wonderful sentences with words I’d never use. Others have obviously spent months, maybe even years, doing the research to make their novel’s subject as authentic as possible. Some books have the most quirky characters who do and say things I’ve never seen or heard in real life.
I write reviews for other people’s books and if I think the author’s prose is lyrical or magical, I say so. Sometimes the writing surpasses the story idea, but that seldom matters in the enjoyment of the read. A character may be so enchanting or odd I want to keep reading about him or her.
I’m afraid I’m not one of those writers. Sure, I research what I need to for the plot. When I’m writing though, I’m concentrating on the story. Because I’m writing a series, one that has been around for a while, I’m telling the story about characters that I know well, because they live inside my head. The story-telling itself comes from the characters.
Because I know what’s been going on with these folks for a long time, I’m privy to their hopes and fears, their ongoing problems, their goals, and their personality quirks. Frankly, I know these people better than my own family or friends, because I know what they are thinking. (Even after being married to my hubby for 60 years, most of the time I have no clue about what he’s thinking.)
Before I begin writing, I plan what new dilemmas and mysteries the inhabitants of the fictional setting will be face. And sometimes all that planning is for nothing, because when I begin writing, the characters may decide to go in a whole new direction. That’s fun, and in my case, is the joy of story and the joy of writing the story.
No Bells is the latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series.
Officer Gordon Butler has finally found the love he’s been seeking for a long time, but there’s one big problem—she’s the major suspect in a murder case.
|F.M. Meredith (left) with Bonnie Hearn Hill|
F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels—and a few that will never see print. Her latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, from Oak Tree Press, is No Bells. Rocky Bluff is a fictional beach community between Ventura and Santa Barbara and F. M. once lived in a similar beach area.
F. M. (Marilyn) is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves as the program chair for the Public Safety Writers of America’s writing conference. She’s been an instructor at many writing conferences.
CONTEST: The person who comments on the most blogs on my tour will win three books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series: No Sanctuary, An Axe to Grind, and Angel Lost. Be sure and leave your email too, so I can contact you.