I am very pleased today to introduce you to Marilyn Meredith, the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. As F.M. Meredith, she is on a blog tour to promote her newest book, DANGEROUS IMPULSES, the ninth in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series (http://tinyurl.com/byxomtk). Why the different names? Keep reading for her answer. And then keep reading to find out how you can win the chance to have a character named after you in a future book.
Why I Use a Pen Name
When I wrote the first book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series (about 20 years ago) many female authors who were writing mysteries with male protagonists were using their initials with their last name. I guessed and also heard a couple of these authors speak, and the reason was so that male readers would read their books.
A good enough reason for me to use F. M. Meredith, rather than Marilyn Meredith, right? All was fine until the first publisher decided to pluck my photo off my webpage and put it on the back cover. That totally blew my subterfuge. By this time, the publisher had picked up the second book also written by F.M.—and stuck the same photo on the back cover.
I figured, what the heck, I might as well continue to use F. M. Meredith for the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Besides, when I make an appearance anywhere, people don’t expect me to be a man.
Actually, it’s worked out fine. For my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, I’m Marilyn Meredith. Since that one is totally different, the story always told from a single female viewpoint, using Marilyn works.
The brand for the Rocky Bluff P.D. series is totally different. These crime novels are told from multiple points of view—some male, some female. The series has ongoing characters whose personal lives are featured as well as their efforts in solving whatever crimes are going on. And because my police officer son-in-law reminded me, there are always many crimes happening, not just one at a time.
In Dangerous Impulses, an attractive new-hire captivates Officer Gordon Butler, Officer Felix Zachary’s wife Wendy is befuddled by her new baby, Ryan and Barbara Strickland receive unsettling news about her pregnancy, while the bloody murder of a mother and her son and an unidentified drug that sickens teenaged partiers jolts the Rocky Bluff P.D.
How has using the name F. M. Meredith worked out for me? There are some drawbacks, such as when I’m promoting a book in the series, I have to make sure to point out that it is written by F. M. Meredith. Otherwise, after all this time, most of my followers know that I’m F. M. Meredith aka as Marilyn Meredith.
The person who comments on the most blog posts on this tour may have a character named after him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel or choose a book from the previous titles in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series in either paper or for Kindle.
Rocky Bluff P.D. Series:
Though each book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series is written as a stand-alone, I know there are people who like to read a series in order. From the beginning to the end:
Smell of Death
An Axe to Grind
F. M. Meredith’s Bio:
F.M. is also known as Marilyn Meredith, the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. She first became interested in writing about law enforcement when she lived in a neighborhood filled with police officers and their families. The interest was fanned when her daughter married a police officer and the tradition has continued with a grandson and grandson-in-law who are deputies. She’s also serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and has many friends in different law enforcement fields. For twenty plus years, she and her husband lived in a small beach community located in Southern California much like the fictional Rocky Bluff. She is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Epic, and Mystery Writers of America.
And I’m on Facebook and Twitter as MarilynMeredith
Tomorrow you can find me here: http://mysteriouswriters.blogspot.com/
Comments on: "MEET MARILYN (AKA F. M.) MEREDITH" (17)
Thank you for having me today! I am looking forward to some face-to-face time with you at PSWA.
Marilyn: One of the reasons I’m going to PSWA is to meet so many of my fellow Oak Tree Press authors! (Although I’m pretty sure we’ve met before – at Malice perhaps? – so I should say “re-meet.”)
Great interview Marilyn.
Thanks, Michele. And Ilene I think we met at Malice too. Since I’m usually on this coast, two times at Malice seen most likely.
Great interview. I can appreciate why you’d want to use a pen name. I use my real name for my books, but if I were to move to a different genre like young adult, for example, I might consider a pen name.
Barbara of the Balloons
I think “F.M.” is a great handle, though “Marilyn” isn’t half bad.
I’m glad to finally get to your blog. I’ll be emailing you.
Marilyn L.: Looking forward to hearing from you. I hope everything’s okay now.
Thanks, Marilyn, and using F. M. makes it easier when we’re both someplace on line together.
True. At least one person had us confused.
The use of pen names is interesting. People asked me if I was going to write under a different name and I said, no, I want people to know it’s me! I think nowadays readers don’t care about the author’s gender as long as the story’s good. But I like the idea of using two names for two different series–sets them apart. Good luck with your new book!
Thank you, Sally. It’s been interesting having two names.
My problem with pen names is I’m never sure who the “real” person is and what name to use when in casual (non-book-specific) conversation.
Looking forward to catching up at PSWA, Marilyn, online just isn’t enough “Marilyn Time”! Also looking forward to meeting you at PSWA, Ilene, it’s one of my favorite conferences. Madeline
I’m looking forward to it. And it helps that I enjoy traveling, especially if it means I might get to see some birds that don’t make it to the East Coast. Oh, and meeting virtual friends in person is even better!
Yes, it’s been far too long since we’ve had any real facetime, Madeline.
I would read your novels, no matter what name you used. BTW, that’s a really cute picture of you. Marilyn.
Evelyn, you are so kind. Pic was a few years back.