What have you learned from writing your novels?
When you’ve been writing as long as I have, you’ll learn all sorts of things because of the research that you need to do in order for your books to be/sound authentic. I’ve researched Indian folk lore and used a lot of stories in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. I’ve learned a lot about police procedure and different ways to do away with someone. To be more specific, one of the most interesting and perhaps a bit troubling, is where I live the sheriff’s deputies are also deputy coroners which means they can pronounce someone dead. This fact is part of what gave me the idea for Raging Water.
What mysteries or strange occurrences in your real life have inspired your writing life?
I’ve always been fascinated by ghosts and ghost stores. Everyone says our house is haunted, which it may be, however, I don’t believe ghosts can physically harm anyone. Hubby and I have stayed in several haunted hotels and rooms that are purported to be haunted. Sometimes you can truly feel the presence of something or someone unworldly. I’ve put a bit of that in several of my mysteries, too.
Because I write series, I already know who my characters are and where they are in life which helps considerably when it comes to plotting. Of course I have to come up with a mystery—usually a murder, of course—who the victim(s) will be and the motive(s). That often leads to who the suspects are, which doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve picked the right person to be the murderer. Sometimes I’m dead wrong and realize it half way through the book. Along the way, new ideas pop into my head and I keep a notebook nearby to keep track of these and loose ends that I need to remember. Of course, once I’m done that’s when the rewriting, the most important part, begins.
About Raging Water
Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s investigation of the murder of two close friends is complicated when relentless rain turns Bear Creek into a raging river. Homes are inundated and a mud slide blocks the only road out of Bear Creek stranding many—including the murderer.
Leave a comment to win a copy of Marilyn's previous book in the Tempe Crabtree series, Bears With Us. Be sure to check out WS Gager's blog where her hardboiled character Mitch Malone interviews Irène Laureux from my Venus Trilogy of novels.