Smell of Death – Author Interview with Marilyn Meredith

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Paperback Writer is pleased to announce our interview today with award winning author Marilyn Meredith. She is the author of award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series as well as other novels. The latest is, Judgment Fire, from Mundania Press. Under the name of F. M. Meredith she writes the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, the latest, Smell of Death from Tigress Press. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, EPIC and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She was an instructor for Writer’s Digest School for ten years, served as an instructor at the Maui Writer’s Retreat and many other writer’s conferences. She makes her home in Springville, much like Bear Creek where Deputy Tempe Crabtree lives. For many years, she lived in a beach community much like Rocky Bluff.

  Hi Marilyn,  

Welcome to Paperback Writer   

Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?   Smell of Death is the fourth in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series. When writing a series I always want to know what is going to happen with my characters next. Unlike many crime or mystery stories, more than one crime is going on because that’s the way it really is for a police department. The ideas for the situations came from many places, real life, newspaper stories, and my imagination.  

Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it? I usually have an idea of where I want to go, but I don’t outline. I write down notes about what I think should happen and start the book. As more ideas come to me, my notes grow and so does the story. 

Do you know the end of the story at the beginning? I usually think I know how a book will end though it often changes before I get to the end. 

Do you have a process for developing your characters?  The characters come first in all my books. I do a character study about each one, though for minor characters, I may only write a paragraph. 

It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be? No, I can’t say that I write a part of me into any character. When writing from any character’s point-of-view, I try to get inside that person and look out through his or her eyes and experience what they are experiencing. I want to know why that person would act as they do given a certain set of circumstances. Of course I always draw on my own life experiences. And having lived as long as I have, I’ve had plenty of life experiences. (grin) 

What is your most favorite part about this book? Smell of Death deals with some very grim subject matter. My hero and heroine are faced with some of the horrors of life and try to make sense of what is going on. A romance develops between them which helps lighten things a bit. And of course, in all of my books, the bad guy or guys always get caught in the end. Good triumphs over evil. 

When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher? Because Tigress Press published the predecessor to this book, Fringe Benefits, they had the manuscript for this book at the same time. I received both contracts about the same time.  

What struggles have you had on the road to being published? I’ve had lots of struggles. First book was rejected nearly 30 times before I found a publisher. I had agents who did absolutely nothing for me, one who only sent out three proposals in four years. I finally felt like I was running out of time and needed to get busy on my own. I’ve had good publishers, some that weren’t so good, publishers who turned out to be crooks, publishers who died. 

What has been the best part about being published? It’s wonderful when a reader lets me know that he or she enjoyed my book. I’ve also enjoyed meeting other authors and readers in person and online, attending writers conferences and mystery conventions. 

What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel? Hopefully they’ll enjoy the book enough to want to read more about the members of the Rocky Bluff P.D. and their families. 

Do you have plans to write another book? I have two more books done in this series. Not sure if I’ll write another after they’ve been published or not. It will all depend upon whether or not my muse nudges me in that direction. 

Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?  This is my second virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion. The first time really helped with sales. And of course, as an author, I always enjoy talking about writing and my books. 

Where can readers find a copy of your book? If someone would like an autographed copy, buying a copy of  Smell of Death from my website either using PayPal or printing out the order form will work. Of course it is available at too. If someone prefers an e-book, you can go to the publisher’s website: 

Do you have a website for readers to go to?  My website is : Thank you, Marilyn for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour.  Thank you, it was loads of fun. 

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3 thoughts on “Smell of Death – Author Interview with Marilyn Meredith”

  1. Great interview! Marilyn’s not only a terrific author, she’s gives some great presentations on the craft of writing.

    I read Smell of Death a couple of weeks ago. Read it cover to cover in just about one sitting. Grabbed me from the first word and wouldn’t let go until I finished it. A highly enjoyable read from an excellent crime writer.

    Micqui Miller

  2. Great interview and thanks for the wonderful comments Micqui. I’m looking forward to having Marilyn at your blog this month too.

    I’ve also read this book and it is certainly a page turner. I’m actually blaming Marilyn for the lack of sleep I experienced last week because I couldn’t put the darn thing down.

    Best of luck with the tour.


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