Kat asked me to post this for her:
Today 2 Wild Women Authors are pleased to welcome author, F. M. Meredith, aka Marilyn Meredith, and Police Officer Lizette Gibbs, from Dangerous Impulses, a March release from Oak Tree Press.
Where are you from, Lizette? I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA, but now I’m living and working in Rocky Bluff, a small beach community located between Ventura and Santa Barbara.
Tell us a bit about Dangerous Impulses. #9 in the Rocky Bluff P.D. Series, it centers around an attractive new-hire (guess who that is) who captivates Officer Gordon Butler, Officer Felix Zachary’s wife Wendy is befuddled by her new baby, Ryan and Barbara Strickland receive unsettling news about her pregnancy. All this occurs while the bloody murder of a mother and her son, and an unidentified drug that sickens teenaged partiers, jolts the Rocky Bluff P.D.
What made you choose law enforcement as a profession? My dad is in the LAPD and I chose to follow his lead. Since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a “lady police officer” as I used to tell everyone.
Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with law enforcement or do something different? I am exactly where I want to be. Granted, I don’t have much time under my belt as a police officer, but from what I’ve seen and experienced so far, this is the life for me.
What is your biggest fear? Screwing up. I want to be the best I can possibly be, but I know there will be times I might make the wrong decision in a crisis situation. Because of what happens to me in Dangerous Impulses I plan to think twice before acting.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Frankly, I don’t have a whole lot of time to read, but when I do, I read any mystery with a strong female lead character (especially one who is in law enforcement) like Joanna Brady in the series by J.A. Jance or the Mercy Gunderson series by Lori Armstrong.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? To follow my instincts. As long as I couple that with thinking twice, I ought to do all right.
Now, it’s F. M. Meredith/Marilyn Meredith turn in the hotseat.
Which writer or character[s], from either books or movies, [or both] have had a major impact on your writing? I was privileged to meet Mary Higgins Clark years ago when I was first starting out and many years later at an Edgars party. She is a most charming person, and I try to be as nice to both fans and writers as she is. As for writing, William Kent Krueger, (who is also a great guy), he is a master at creating settings—something I try hard to do in both my series.
With regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? I read a newspaper article about synthetic drugs that were available via the Internet and about how many young people had been sickened and died from taking them. My intention was to incorporate into the story about the murder of a teen and his mother. That also came from a real murder—but like I and so many other authors do, I took that idea and asked, “What if?” and went off in a whole different direction.
Writing a series must be like going back to visit old friends with each new story. It doesn’t matter how long since the last visit, things pick up where you all left off the last time. We’ll have to think about that concept.
But we digress . . . let’s read an excerpt from Dangerous Impulses:
Officer Gordon Butler couldn’t believe his good luck. First, because he’d been assigned the new hire, even though he knew everyone else on the Rocky Bluff P.D. thought Chief McKenzie had lost his mind for making such a decision. Second, Officer Lizette Gibbs was gorgeous. Though still suffering from a broken heart, Gordon thought his chances for healing had finally improved. He stole a side glance at her. Shiny black, chin-length hair framed her golden-skinned profile. High cheekbones and full lips glowed with natural color. Her name gave no clue to her ethnic background, but she was some kind of mix. Gordon couldn’t tell how much might be Hispanic, Native American, Far-Eastern or Anglo. Whatever, she was flat-out gorgeous.
She must’ve felt his scrutiny because she glanced over from her place in the shot-gun seat. “Is it always this quiet during the day shift?”
“To be perfectly honest, ninety-percent of the time, yes.”
“How do you keep from getting bored?”
“I hand out lots of traffic tickets.”
Gordon laughed. “Once in awhile something more interesting happens.”
“I wanted to work in a bigger city.” Lizette peered out the window at the rows of orange trees. “I applied to about twenty places, but when I got called for the interview here I thought being between two fairly large cities like Ventura and Santa Barbara, there could be the possibility for some action. Finding out Rocky Bluff is a beach town influenced me too. I love the ocean.”
While Gordon drove, he pointed out all the various neighborhoods. The mostly dilapidated rentals on the beachfront, the downtown area that ended on the north side at the undeveloped area by the creek near the bluff. They traveled to the south side with the upscale seafood restaurant at the far end. He showed her the older neighborhoods that climbed the hillsides, and the orange groves and ranches on the eastside of the101 that nearly covered the foothills.
He’d turned toward the more populated sections. “I’ll show you the ritziest part of town next, up on the bluff. He passed the freeway exit and entrance. “I manage to catch quite a few speeders here.”
“I hope to do more than hand out speeding tickets.” Lizette sounded disappointed.
“I think Stacey Wil . . . I mean Milligan, has her eye on you.” Gordon still forgot to call Stacey by her married name, as did many of her other co-workers.
“Why? I couldn’t quite figure out what her job is. Sometimes she wears a uniform and sometimes she doesn’t.”
“She covers all the vice crimes. Being the only female officer we’ve had for awhile, she’s kept pretty busy.”
“That would be okay. I wouldn’t mind helping her out. Do you think I ought to talk to her?”
Before he could answer, the dispatcher’s voice came over the radio, “See the man concerning a missing teen.”
Super, Marilyn. Thanks for offering us that teaser for Dangerous Impulses.
Tell us a bit about your publisher and also about what influenced your decision to submit to them. Oak Tree Press is the publisher of the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series. I met the publisher, Billie Johnson at a Public Safety Writers Association about six or so years ago. When I lost the second publisher of the series—she decided to no longer be a publisher—I asked Billie about publishing the next book that I’d already written. She offered me a contract and I’ve been with Oak Tree ever since. She also republished the earlier books in the series too.
Tell us a bit about their submission process. The submission guidelines for Oak Tree are on the publisher’s webpage http://oaktreebooks.com/ but I know the acquisitions editor also looks to see if the author has a webpage or blog and if he or she is savvy about promotion—a big part of an author’s job these days.
thanks, Marilyn. As always, it’s been a blast.
Kat and Veronica