|F. M. Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith|
It's a pleasure to welcome Marilyn Meredith during the Mystery We Write Spring Blog Tour. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of
Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves as the program chair for the Public Safety Writers of America’s writing conference. She’s been an instructor at many writing conferences.
Marilyn, tell us about the importance of "Sense of Place."
While reading several books by new authors, I’ve discovered a few with an important element missing, the sense of place. Some of my favorite books are those that I feel like I know exactly what the area looks like where the characters are living, working, talking, and experiencing the things that are going on with and around them.
What I try to do when I’m writing a scene is to see it through the eyes of my point-of-view character. (In my Rocky Bluff P.D. series the POV character may change from scene to scene.) I want to be sure that the reader knows where that character is, what the place is like, perhaps the smells, and of course the weather.
Driving at night in the fog is particularly difficult, especially if you are trying to follow someone without being noticed—which is something Officer Gordon Butler must do. The salty scent of the ocean pervades everywhere.
Rocky Bluff is not a real town, but I can see what it looks like in my imagination. Situated on either side of the 101 highway in Southern California, it’s north of
On top of the bluff are expensive homes where the richest people in the town live. They have no beach access, but many have spectacular ocean views. It is also the location for the
In the older part of town, beach cottages, many in disrepair, are closest to the shore. The downtown areas with businesses, shops and restaurants are located on and near the main drag,
The police department is not only understaffed but hasn’t been upgraded with any of the new equipment the larger police departments have access to. Even the Chief’s Office is shabby, furnished with items the Chief has brought from his own home. (This whole situation makes it necessary for the RBPD to solve crimes the old fashioned way—investigating and asking lots of questions.
As things happen in the story, I hope that I’ve given enough of a description of the places that the reader can imagine much the same as what I envisioned in my mind as I wrote.
Even if an author is writing about a real place, not everyone has visited so it’s necessary to describe enough that the reader can visualize what the area looks like the characters inhabit. Sometimes, the setting can almost seem like another character. I hope that’s what I’ve done in No Bells.
No Bells is available at the usual places as a trade paperback and an e-book.
F.M. Meredith aka
No Bells Blurb: Officer Gordon Butler has finally found the love he’s been seeking for a long time, but there’s one big problem, she’s the major suspect in a murder case.
F.M. Meredith, also known as
Visit Marilyn at her blog, and if you would like to get in touch with her by email.
CONTEST: The person who comments on the most of my blogs on this MMW Spring Blog Tour will win a copy of No Bells so be sure to leave your email too, so I can contact you if you win.