Tuesday, August 4, 2009

From Conception to Birth

While trying to decide what kind of mystery I was going to entangle Native American Deputy Tempe Crabtree in next, I held a contest for plot ideas. I received a lot of good ideas and incorporated bits and pieces as I began writing.

I always like to find some Indian legends to include in each one of the series that will play a part in the story. While surfing the Internet, I came across a webpage about the Hairy Man pictograph located on a Painted Rock on the Tule River Indians Reservation. This is the reservation I more or less write about, though I've changed the name to the Bear Creek Indian Reservation.

Wanting to no more, I contacted the anthropolgy professor at Porterville College and asked him what it looked like around the Painted Rock. He invited me to go with his class on a field trip out to the Painted Rock on the rez. Of course I jumped on the chance. I might not have been so eager if I'd known how hard it was to get to the actual spot where the pictograph is.

With lot of help from the students, I climbed up and over the boulders into the shelter where the Hairy Man pictograph is located. All of the pictographs in this shelter created by gigantic boulders are thought to be between 500 and 1000 years old.

While there I knew that Tempe would have an encounter with the Hairy Man. The Indian explaining everything, informed me, "Don't come here at night." I asked why and his answer was, "There are too many spirits here at night." Of course I'd never go there at night, I had enough trouble managing in the daytime, but I knew Tempe would certainly go there at night.

While writing the book I was reading it chapter by chapter to my critique group. When I thought I was finished, I sent it off to be edited. Once I'd made the suggested changes, I sent it off to my publisher, Mundania Press.

It took awhile for the book to be assigned to an editor, but when it was I again had lots of changes and corrections to be made. The editor was wonderful, by the way; the first time I'd worked with her.

Now it's being set for the printing and I'll have a chance to go over the galley proofs looking for typos and other errors. Once that's done, it'll be off to the printer for the September release.

While I'm waiting, I've been setting up my physical promotion stops beginning in September, from library talks, bookfests and craft fairs, and even arranging a booksigning in the hotel where I'll be attending a family reunion. In October, I'll be doing a virtual book tour.

Oh yes, I've already finished the one that will come out in 2010 and I'm collecting notes for the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, not sure about the plot as yet, but I know it will have bears in it.

And I'm nearly finished with another Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel.

I suppose the point I'm making is, if you're a writer, you write.

Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith


Morgan Mandel said...

You are amazing, Marilyn!
Keep it up!

Morgan Mandel

F. M. Meredith, author said...

Thank you, though I certainly don't feel amazing.