Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Rocky Bluff P.D. Series Began Because of This Man

Officer Michael Cole was my son-in-law and felt like a son to me. Married to my daughter, he was the father of their three boys. Twenty-three years ago, only a couple of years after this photo was taken, he was killed in the line of duty.

I doubt seriously if I'd have written the Rocky Bluff P.D. series if it hadn't been for Mike. When he first became a police officer, he would always come over after his graveyard shift and tell me what all had happened on the job.

He took me on a ride-along once, after making me promise I wouldn't tell anyone I was his mother-in-law. I was impressed by how he could quietly calm a volatile situation--I was not impressed with his very fast driving. (This was in the days before seat belts.)

When I first stared writing, he let me see some of his police reports and I confess, some of what he wrote sneaked into my books.

I also used situations in told me about, ones that involved other police officers. Of course I never wrote anything exactly as it happened--but the incident would trigger an idea that I worked into a plot.

He never did see any of these books in print--he was gone before that happened.

What he told me had a great influence on my writing. His being a husband and father also influenced my writing greatly and part of the reason I've always put a lot of what is going on with the families of the police officers I write about into each Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery.

Some of the characters are similar to some of the fellow officers, male and female, that he told me about.

I also wrote the award winning book, Lingering Spirit, which is not a mystery but more of a romance with a bit of the supernatural, based on Mike's untimely death and what happened after, though highly fictionalized.

Available as a paperback and for Kindle:


Coming soon, the latest in the RBPD series: Murder in the Worst Degree.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith


Anonymous said...

Of great interest -- and heartbreaking! Also an excellent insight on one avenue to research, and how story ideas fall into our laps. Radine

M.M. Gornell said...

Marilyn, so nice hearing about Michael--how he inspired and helped you, and seeing his picture has made him very real in my mind now. I certainly believe he "knows," somehow, about all your wonderful books he inspired.


Mary Montague Sikes said...

As always, Marilyn, it's good to learn even more about your family and the inspiration behind your books.

Mary Montague Sikes

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

Radine, Mike was a great guy. He treated me like I was his mom, because he didn't have one in his life.

Thanks for stopping by, Monti.

And of course, Madeline, looking forward to seeing you in person--tomorrow!

Lorna Collins - Author said...

I'd heard the story before, but it was nice to see his face.

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

Of course that pic was taken back in the day when it seemed nearly all the police officers had mustaches.Now his boys are sporting mustaches and short bears. Only one is in law enforcement, the curly headed boy is an officer in Aspen CO.

Elaine L. Orr said...

A beautiful piece. Also interesting to know how you acquired some of your perspectives. I'm sorry you folks lost him.

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

Ha, I see I wrote his sons are sporting short bears--well the one in Aspen might, since he chases bears out of people's houses a lot.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Thank you for sharing the story behind the stories, Marilyn. What a special bond you shared with Michael. I'm so sorry for the tragic loss you and your family suffered when Michael was taken so young.

He'd be so proud of your writing accomplishments ~ and thrilled that he and his career had such an influence in creating your stories.

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

Thank you,Kathleen.