Welcome, Marilyn!

April 29, 2017

As always, I’m delighted to have  F. M. aka (Marilyn) Meredith visit! And it’s a double-delight when she has a new book coming out. Today Marilyn is talking about writers who’ve influenced her. Interesting, I think, in that she has influenced soooo many herself! Here’s Marilyn…

Me in Oakhurst

Marilyn in Oakhurst

F. M. Meredith lived for many years in a small beach community much like Rocky Bluff. She has many relatives and friends who are in law enforcement and share their experiences and expertise with her. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/

Like many other female mystery writers, I grew up on Nancy Drew mysteries. I’ve always loved the who-done-it’s of Agatha Christie.

But, first and foremost, I believe Ed McBain and his 87th Precinct Police Procedural had a big influence on my Rocky Bluff P.D. series, even though I didn’t realize it until recently.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve read that series, but I have every title. Frankly, I don’t remember much about any of them except the following:

His tales are much farther back in time than mine because the books are older; at the time they were written they were contemporary.

His imaginary city is really New York—much bigger area than my little beach town of Rocky Bluff.

He was definitely the champion for making each character’s dialogue distinctively different, I wish I could do as well.

He had many ongoing characters with different ones starring at times. I’ve done some of that too.

Of course other mystery writers have influenced me too. I’ve admired both James Lee Burke and William Kent Krueger for their great ability of description of settings. I wish I could do as well.

I haven’t mentioned any women mystery writers, but I admire many of them beginning with Mary Higgins Clark. Jan Burke has always been a favorite of mine. I have many female friends who write wonderful mysteries but haven’t attained best-selling author status—though their books are as good as or better than many of the most popular writers of today.

With influences of any kind, of some you aren’t even aware, others are but bits and pieces.

If you’re influenced by a certain author, tell me about him or her in the comment section.      F. M. aka Marilyn Meredith

#13 in her Rocky Bluff P.D. series

UnresolvedRocky Bluff P.D. is underpaid and understaffed and when two dead bodies turn up, the department is stretched to the limit. The mayor is the first body discovered, the second an older woman whose death is caused in a bizarre manner. Because no one liked the mayor, including his estranged wife and the members of the city council, the suspects are many, but each one has an alibi.

Copies may be purchased from Book and Table by emailing bookandtablevaldosta@gmail.com with a 10% discount and free shipping

Next on April 30, the topic is Challenges in Writing a Series/


Thank you, Marilyn, for visiting–a delight for sure. Can’t wait to read Unresolved.


13 Responses to “Welcome, Marilyn!”

  1. marilynm said

    Maggie, I’m glad you named a couple of authors who’ve influenced you.

  2. maggie8king said

    I name Gillian Roberts and Joan Smith as my top, but far from only, influencers.

  3. marilynm said

    Thanks for commenting, Nancy. And yes, for those of you who said that all of what we read influences one way or another, I agree.

  4. Like Evelyn, I want to say every writer we read influences our writing, either by showing us how we don’t want to write or by inspiring us to use their techniques we enjoy. Right now I’m inspired by John Sanford who writes a fast-moving pace spiced with humor and his knowledge of what the average reader doesn’t already know. Great entertainment 🙂 Marilyn’s writing also inspires me to develop characters readers keep wanting to follow.

  5. marilynm said

    Hi, Marja–I love reading mysteries too–any kind.

  6. Good post, Marilyn! I can’t say any writer has influenced me to a great degree. I just enjoy reading mysteries. Period.

  7. marilynm said

    Okay, I’ll reply to each one on this reply, GB, I appreciate your thoughtful comment.

    JR, I know we’re influenced somewhat, either a bit or a lot, by what we’ve read.

    And Evelyn, thanks for responding. Interesting that we’ve mentioned some of the same authors and many different ones.

  8. Great post, Marilyn. I think every writer is influenced by everything they’ve ever read. I was greatly influenced by author, Dorothy L. Sayers. I just love her Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. Of course, there was Agatha Christie, too. I even read her Mary Westmacott romances, but I don’t recommend them. They’re very heavy reading.

  9. mmgornell said

    Apologies, dear visitors. WordPress problems are keeping Marilyn from replying to your comments. She (and so do I) appreciate all your comments. Hopefully I can figure out what’s going on so you can hear directly from Marilyn! In the meantime, thank you all for commenting.

  10. It’s not always obvious, but I believe every writer we read influences us to a certain degree. There are many we admire whose influence may not be visible. Like Marilyn, I believe James Lee Burke to be among the most literate of today’s mystery writers. Some others who make me green with envy would include Ruth Rendell, Harlan Coben and Charles Willeford.

  11. gbpool said

    I can’t say that I have been influenced by any particular writer, at least as to style, but the fact that writers from a while back wrote their books and I enjoyed them let me know that I could entertain readers, too. That’s why I wanted to be a writer. So I started writing. And what I have found astounding is that writers from a hundred years ago like Anna Katharine Green and Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote such great books with an intricate and interesting storyline. They did it first. I like crafting my books with deeper plots so the reader can sink into the story. So I guess those older writers let me know there are lots of places to take stories. Reading broadened my horizons.

  12. mmgornell said

    My pleasure! The sun is shining and the weather is supposed to be beautiful here today. Enjoy.

  13. marilynm said

    Thank you so much for hosting me today, Madeline!

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