Tag Archive for: Murder in the Worst Degree

Busy Times, Last Day for a Freebie, and a Scare

Because I have a new book out, I’ve been busy promoting it–of course. As all the authors on this blog know, promoting takes lots of time. I’ve got a blog tour planned starting April 15, https://bookbrowsing.wordpress.com/ and I begin by answering the question, “Why with all  your experiences did you choose to write mysteries?” At the bottom of the page of each blog is a link to the next stop on the tour.

I’ve got several in-person events set up which I’m looking forward to beginning with a book launch at a local craft and second hand store in my home town for A Crushing Death.

And today is the last day of another of my Rocky Bluff P.D. mysteries being offered free on Kindle:


Of course the reason for doing this is to get readers interested in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

Yes, this is a police procedural, but it as much about the officers private lives and what is going on with their families as it is about whatever mystery needs to be solved.

This brings me to my scare. I just finished going over the next in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery when I did something, and the whole manuscript disappeared. Yikes! I tried to find restore–but it wasn’t there. Went to the Internet and asked what I should do. Advice was to close the file, then reopen. I did it and got the message do you want to save changes?

I’d been saving right along, so said “NO” because I didn’t want to save all I had left, which was two blank pages. Woo hoo, the whole manuscript returned just as it appeared before I did whatever made it disappear. I do have Mozy–an off-line place that saves everything on my computer once a day, but that doesn’t happen until afternoon and all the work I’d done with the editing that morning wouldn’t have been there.

Fortunately I had a happy ending.

Marilyn who is also known as F. M. Meredith

Cozy Police Procedurals?

Is there such a thing?

That seems to be the category given to both my series by reviewers. And in some ways I suppose they are right. The following is what fits and what doesn’t:

Both series are set in small towns. Deputy Tempe Crabtree solves crimes in the mountain community of Bear Creek, and on the Indian reservation as well.

Tempe is a female sleuth–though she is in law enforcement. She is also Native American.

Her sidekick is her preacher husband.

She doesn’t have any animals.

In the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, there are many characters–and the spotlight shifts from one to another. Two of the main characters are Detective Doug Milligan and his wife, Officer Stacey Milligan. One of the readers’ favorites is Officer Gordon Butler who has bumbled his way through several books and his love life has been dismal up until the latest books

Rocky Bluff is a small Southern California community. The police department doesn’t have much in the way of modern equipment. Most crimes are solved the old fashioned way, asking lots of questions and putting the clues together.

Pets do not play an important part in the series.

Neither series has any “bad language” and though there is romance, I always close the bedroom door.

Next Wednesday evening, September 10th at 7 p.m., I’m appearing on a panel with some cozy writers at the Buena Vista Branch of the library in Burbank, CA. I certainly hope I’m not a disappointment to any readers who come who are fans of the cozy genre.

The latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery is Spirit Shapes. Coming in October is River Spirits.

The latest Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery is Murder in the Worst Degree.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Why Do I Keep on Writing?

That’s a good question, one I must ask myself periodically.

I spend a good percentage of each day in front of my computer either working on a new book, editing, or promoting whichever book is out now.  And guess what? I don’t make much money. And what I do make is spent on promotion.

No, my publishers do not send me out on book tours, though they both do some promotion, the greater share is up to me. I’m the one who arranges my in-person events and does the majority of the on-line promotion.

So what do I get out of all this work?

1. I love to write. I enjoy visiting my characters and finding out what is going to happen to them next. The only way to do that is to write the next book. My writing is not confined to my novels, believe it or not, I get a kick out writing blog posts, like this one, and others where I guest.

2. I love meeting people and making new friends. Of course this happens at book events and at conferences and conventions. (Going to a mystery con is very much like attending a huge family reunion.) The Internet has given me the ability to make many new friends, many I’ve known now for a long time.

3. And of course my books have fans–fans that enjoy my books, have favorite characters, email me, read my newsletter and comment, fans that encourage me to write the next book.

4. Because of the conventions, conferences and places I’ve been invited to teach and speak, I’ve traveled many places I’d never have visited otherwise from the West Coast to the East Coast, many cities in-between, and Hawaii and Alaska.

5. I’ve learned how to do many things I might never have tried if it hadn’t been for my writing career from many computer skills to giving presentations and classes about books, writing and publishing. For ten years I taught writing for Writers Digest Schools, and I just recently retired from many years of being the program chair for the Public Safety Writers Association’s annual conference.

6. And most of all, I’ve met many challenges, grown as a writer and a person, and had a great time doing what I wanted to do.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Breathing a Sigh of Relief, April is Over

Most know that I just finished a month long blog tour for Murder in the Worst Degree, a most intensive and time consuming task. Was it worth it? Yes, I think so, but I’ve written about it on my own blog and on the Make Mine Mystery blog. http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/

While all that was going on, I did a few in-person events.

First was a trip to Morro Bay–one of hubby’s and my favorite places to visit. The reason was a gathering of the Central Coast chapter of Sisters in Crime (I belong to this chapter and they are kind enough to invite me to various events) at the Coalesce Book Store and Wedding Chapel. Each author spoke for five minutes and afterwards schmoozed and signed books. Lots of fun. We also shared meals with good friends.

For National Library week, I spoke at our local Porterville library about my Rocky Bluff P.D. series. The library has always been supportive of local authors.

Another event with the CC chapter of Sisters in Crime was held for National Library week at the Santa Maria Library (and another chance to go back to the coast, and this time did a bit of sight seeing along the way.)

Morro Rock through the window of the restaurant where we ate lunch.

Here’s the CC SinC group at the Santa Maria Library. We had a panel on plotting a mystery. It was interesting how many different ways we do it.

And another good reason to go Santa Maria is a chance to stay in the Santa Maria Inn.

On the right hand side is the historic part of the Inn where all the movie stars used to stay on their way to Hearst castle. You might run into a ghost or two if you choose to stay there. On the left hand side are the more modern rooms, though that part has been there since the ’80s.

Now that all that’s done, I’m buckling down to the writing of my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery–I hope.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Some Tidbits About My Ongoing Blog Tour

No one ever said doing a blog tour on your own would be easy. I’ve done it enough to know how much work it is.

Now that I’m in the middle of it, it should be easy, but it’s not.

When I sent the requested blog posts out, I asked for a reply that they’d received the material–everyone let me know they did. But, guess what? At least three people said I never sent them anything. I quickly resent.

Even though I sent reminders out to everyone the day before the tour began, a couple have forgotten.
What I don’t understand is why, when someone gets the material, they don’t set everything up with the proper date and time right then? If they did, they wouldn’t have to rush to do it on the day or forget about it all together.

I’m not thrilled the codes that people have to read and copy–like the ones we have on this blog–but it is a necessary evil for those who get a lot of spam. Some of them are not so bad, but when I have to write the code three times to get it right and post, I know that some people will not bother to comment when it’s so difficult.

Worse are the bloggers who insist on moderating every comment before it’s posted. Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad if the comments were moderated often, but when you are on a tour you need to reply to questions and at least acknowledge people who leave comments which is not easy to do when the comments don’t show up for hours.

I know that this discourages people from commenting. One of the moderated posts had way fewer comments that any of the rest of the blogs I’ve visited so far.

On the whole though, things have gone well. At this point in my tour I’ve had nearly 60 unique commenters. Many have commented multiple times–trying for my contest, I’m sure. (The person who comments on the most blogs has the opportunity to have a character named after him/her in my next book.)

Here are the rest of the stops on my tour for Murder in the Worst Degree:

How Rocky
Bluff P.D. Became a Series
How I Get
My Titles
Romance Plays a Part in the Book
Several Romances
Social Issues
How I Do My Research
Not a Hard-Boiled Police Procedure Nor a Cozy
Ways I’ve Murdered People
Choosing Names for Characters
How My Books Have Changed
My Experience with Killers
Hoping for the remainder to go smoothly.
Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Murder in the Worst Degree

Under my other name, F. M. Meredith, I write the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series.  Murder in the Worst Degree is number 10 in this series. Though the characters are ongoing, each mystery is complete so it isn’t necessary to read the whole series to know what is going on.

My goal with this series has always been to show the private lives of the officers as they go about their jobs. There have been romances, lost spouses, marriages, children born, a relative with Alzheimer’s–a true spectrum of real life.

Yesterday, I embarked on a month long blog tour beginning with Dru’s Book Musings  

http://wp.me/p3nHH-4Pb where I showcased a day in the life of Officer Stacey Milligan. And today, I wrote about how I researched cop culture for http://thoniehevron.wordpress.com/

At the bottom of each post is a link to the next stop.

I do hope some of you will follow along, and perhaps even enter my contest to have a character in my next book named after you.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith 

Day Light Savings Time, Love it or Hate It?

It is very weird getting up at my usual time of 4:15 a.m. or so. (I know, you question is why do I do that? I got in the habit when I had my care home for developmentally disabled women and never got out of it. This gives me plenty of time to do my Bible study, answer emails, check-in with Facebook, before I settle down to writing or whatever plan I have for the day.)

Why is it weird? When I sit down at my computer in my office and look out the window the sky is black. And it stays that way until around 6 or so when it begins to lighten to a pewter color. Right now, at 6:55 a.m., it’s a pale blue with a mass of gray-blue clouds over the mountains, and scattered gray clouds elsewhere.

Everyone I know is thrilled it stays so light in the evening, but for me it often means that it’s still light when I’m climbing into bed. Well, when you’re old like me and you’ve been up since 4:15, 7:30 often seems like a good time to crawl into the sack. I might read or watch some TV–but I never stay awake long.

So do I love it or hate it? Frankly, I’m neutral. What I really feel is that there is not enough time in the day to do all the things I want to get done. Changing the time makes no difference to my day, I just adjust–something I’m good at.

I am getting eager for my latest Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, Murder in the Worst Degree, to become available. I write that series under the name of F. M. Meredith.

And I’m scrambling to get a lot done because I’m off to Monterey and Left Coast Crime tomorrow. That’s one of the big perks, as far as I’m concerned, of being a mystery writer. Besides being in Monterey, I’ll get to see many of my writer and reader friends, attend some super panels and interviews, and my RBPD publisher is having a get-together of all her authors who are attending.

Any spare moments I’m devoting to my work-in-progress, the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

What about you, do you love or hate day light savings time, or are you neutral?

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Coming really, really soon!

Okay, Here’s What’s Happening

As usual, I’ve been busy.

My latest Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, Murder in the Worst Degree, is due out in March. I’ve been busy planning the promotion for it. I’m doing another blog tour in April and had fun writing all the different posts–though it was a lot of work and took a long time.

Also in April I’ll have the official launch at our local Art Gallery, and I’m scheduled to speak at the library during National Library Week.

During the week this post appears, I’ll actually be in Temecula visiting my daughter, two of my grandkids and a slew of great-grands. In face, I’ll be visiting one of the greats third grade class to talk about being a writer and how to write a story. (Love talking to kids about writing.)

The photo is some of the kids I’ll see-but missing the boy whose class I’m going to visit.

March is Left Coast Crime and it’s in Monterey this year–and yes, I’m going. Can’t pass up one that is so close. Years ago the first LCC I attended was in Monterey and it was wonderful. The same folks are organizing it again so I’m sure it’ll be great. Though LCC is big, it isn’t as big as Bouchercon. Most of all, I’m looking forward to seeing old friends.

(And yes, we did get more rain and snow in the mountains. Everyone says it’s not enough yet, but the rainy season isn’t over.)

Marilyn who writes the Rocky Bluff P.D. series as F. M. Meredith