Thursday, April 11, 2013

Guest Author Day with F.M. Meredith

Welcome to my Reading Nook, F. M. Meredith. Please make yourself at home and let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink.

Comfortable? Wonderful. Now let’s get started.

Tell us about your favorite character from your books.

I have many favorite characters. In each of the Rocky Bluff P.D. books, the spotlight focuses on different characters. In this book, Dangerous Impulses, I enjoyed writing about a newcomer, Lizette Gibbs. She is not only new to me, but she is also a new officer on the Rocky Bluff P.D. Because she’s single and good looking, Officer Gordon Butler is strongly attracted to her. She plays a key part in this tale.

Tell us about your current/upcoming release. What inspired this story?

Because I write about the men and women who serve on the small police department of Rocky Bluff, all of the stories focus on crimes on one kind or another—as well as what is going on in each officer’s personal life. Reading about “legal” synthetic drugs that are easily obtained over the Internet but have the potential to sicken and kill the users gave me the idea for one of the plot threads. Like many authors, I ask the question, “What if?” and move on from there.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I prefer to write early in the morning when I’m least likely to be interrupted. When the writing is flowing, I may write for three of four hours.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Nowadays, it’s finding the time. Because writers are now expected to do so much toward the promotion of their books that can take as long or longer than the actual writing. The days of having a publicist (unless the author wants to pay one) doing the work are long gone.

What does your family think of your writing career?

I’ve been writing for such a long time that it is a part of who I am. Often when I’m with my adult children, they will tell people that I’m an author.

What do you think makes a good story?

Any story that will capture the reader’s interest and keep them wanting to keep turning the pages to see what happens next.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?

I’m a bit of both. I always write down my ideas of what I want to happen though I don’t do a full length outline. Creating the characters is part of this process—coming up with the right names, their personalities and what they look like I always do before I begin writing. When I begin writing I’m continually jotting down notes about things I know need to happen, clues that need to be planted.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

Because I’m writing mysteries, I am going to have at least one murder, maybe more. So I need to figure out who is going to die, the murder method, everyone who might’ve wanted the person or persons dead and why, their opportunities and alibis. That’s as close to a formula as I get. I also move along what is happening in my main character’s personal and family life, building on what I wrote about them in the last book.

What book are you reading now? Any favorite authors/books you want to do a shout out for?

I always have at least three books going at once. One on my Kindle, one in the bedroom and another on the dining room table.  I have many favorite authors and some of them are good friends. William Kent Krueger is someone I always read and there are many, many more.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

My husband and I both love movies. We watch movies on DVDs and try to go to the theater to a movie a couple of times a month.

Morning Person or Night Person? 

I’m definitely a morning person. I get up around 4:30 every day.

Coffee, tea or other drink to get you moving in the morning? 

Chai latte is how I start my day.

What is coming up from you in 2013? Anything you want to tease us with?

Dangerous Impulses is number nine in the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series, published by Oak Tree Press.

An attractive new-hire captivates Officer Gordon Butler, Officer Felix Zachary’s wife is befuddled by her new baby, Ryan and Barbara Strickland receive unsettling news, while the bloody murder of a mother and her son and an unidentified drug that sickens teenaged partiers jolts the Rocky Bluff P.D.

Anything else you want to add? 

Buy link:

Dangerous Impulses by F.M. Meredith
Book Nine in Rocky P.D. Series
Oak Tree Press
Buy at Amazon

Dangerous Impulses, ninth in the series, finds Gordon Butler orienting a new officer, the drop-dead beautiful Lizette Gibbs, and fans of the series immediately know the loveable but somewhat hapless Butler is going to fall hard. But before he can even think about making a move, they find the bodies of a woman and her teenage son… Before the RBPD can sort out the double homicide, a number of teenagers are sickened by a “recreational” drug. No one will say what the drug is or who brought it to the party. 

Excerpt from Dangerous Impulses:

Officer Gordon Butler couldn’t believe his good luck. First, because he’d been assigned the new hire, even though he knew everyone else on the Rocky Bluff P.D. thought Chief McKenzie had lost his mind for making such a decision. Second, Officer Lizette Gibbs was gorgeous. Though still suffering from a broken heart, Gordon thought his chances for healing had finally improved. He stole a side glance at her. Shiny black, chin-length hair framed her golden-skinned profile. High cheekbones and full lips glowed with natural color. Her name gave no clue to her ethnic background, but she was some kind of mix. Gordon couldn’t tell how much might be Hispanic, Native American, Far-Eastern or Anglo. Whatever, she was flat-out gorgeous.

She must’ve felt his scrutiny because she glanced over from her place in the shot-gun seat. “Is it always this quiet during the day shift?”
“To be perfectly honest, ninety-percent of the time, yes.”
“How do you keep from getting bored?”
“I hand out lots of traffic tickets.” Gordon laughed. “Once in awhile something more interesting happens.”
“I wanted to work in a bigger city.” Lizette peered out the window at the rows of orange trees. “I applied to about twenty places, but when I got called for the interview here I thought being between two fairly large cities like Ventura and Santa Barbara, there could be the possibility for some action. Finding out Rocky Bluff is a beach town influenced me too. I love the ocean.”
While Gordon drove, he pointed out all the various neighborhoods. The mostly dilapidated rentals on the beachfront, the downtown area that ended on the north side at the undeveloped area by the creek near the bluff. They traveled to the south side with the upscale seafood restaurant at the far end. He showed her the older neighborhoods that climbed the hillsides, and the orange groves and ranches on the eastside of the101 that nearly covered the foothills.

He’d turned toward the more populated sections. “I’ll show you the ritziest part of town next, up on the bluff. He passed the freeway exit and entrance. “I manage to catch quite a few speeders here.”
“I hope to do more than hand out speeding tickets.”  Lizette sounded disappointed.

“I think Stacey Wil . . . I mean Milligan, has her eye on you.” Gordon still forgot to call Stacey by her married name, as did many of her other co-workers.

“Why? I couldn’t quite figure out what her job is. Sometimes she wears a uniform and sometimes she doesn’t.”

“She covers all the vice crimes. Being the only female officer we’ve had for awhile, she’s kept pretty busy.”

“That would be okay. I wouldn’t mind helping her out. Do you think I ought to talk to her?”

Before he could answer, the dispatcher’s voice came over the radio, “See the man concerning a missing teen.”


Jacqueline Seewald said...

I can't help noting how much we have in common. Like you, I think the best time of day to write is early in the morning. And I know I'm spending too much time on social networking! Yet it's important to let readers know who you are and something about your work.
Jacqueline Seewald;jsessionid=68CE13F9525505EBEA398F3DEDB06E82?authorid=2189

Jean Henry Mead said...

I agree with Jacqueline. Early morning is the best time to write and I'm weaning myself away from social networking as much as possible, which takes up entirely too much time. Interesting interview!

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