Tonight’s guest blog post is brought to you by mystery novelist FM Meredith.
What It’s Really Like Being an Author – at least this one
Oh, did I ever have big dreams when I first started writing. I was sure I’d get an agent immediately who would offer my manuscript to all the big New York publishing companies. One of them would recognize my talent and offer me a big advance. Once the book was published, I would be sent me on an all- expense paid book tour all over the country. I thought about being recognized when I was in literary circles and greeting long lines of people waiting for me to autograph copies of my book. Of course there are those few writers that this dream does happen to—but not me.
This is the reality. I received over 25 rejections for my first manuscript. Finally it was accepted, I received a small advance and nothing more. I knew nothing about promotion. There was no big push by the publishing company.
I kept on writing. I had several agents but none managed to sell my books. Through the years, I found publishers on my own. Unfortunately, a couple of them turned out to be crooks. One publisher died right when he was ready to publish my book. Another died after publishing four of a series.
Fortunately, I met other publishers at mystery conferences and I am with two of them still today. One is Oak Tree Press who is publishing my Rocky Bluff P.D. series which I write as F. M. Meredith.
OTP does help with promotion, but there’s a lot that I must do myself. I live in the sticks and the only nearby bookstore is a used book store. I arrange book signings there and am fortunate that the owner carries my books. I go to many book and craft fairs to sell books. I’ve attended book club meetings and would love to do more.
Over the years I’ve gone to many writers conferences, often appearing as a presenter. Not only do my books sell when I’m able to give a talk, but I always learn something new. I also attend mystery cons though not nearly as many as I once did. They are great for meeting readers but the big name authors will be the ones whose books are bought.
Once social media came into being, like most authors I use that to let people know about me and the books that I write. I use Facebook, Twitter and listserves to not only let people know about my latest book, but also what’s going on in my life. I don’t do as much as some others because there is only so much time in the day—I need to be able to write too.
Do I make a lot of money being a writer? Absolutely not. I spend more on promotion and traveling than I make.
I can hear you asking, “Then why do you do it?”
The answer is simple, I love writing. In the case of my Rocky Bluff P.D. series, I have come to feel like the men and women in the Rocky Bluff police department are real and I want to know what’s going to happen to them next. The only way to find that out, is to write the next book.
That’s exactly why I do it too. Thank you!
F.M. is also known as Marilyn Meredith, the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. She first became interested in writing about law enforcement when she lived in a neighborhood filled with police officers and their families. The interest was fanned when her daughter married a police officer and the tradition has continued with a grandson and grandson-in-law who are deputies. She’s also serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and has many friends in different law enforcement fields. For twenty plus years, she and her husband lived in a small beach community located in Southern California much like the fictional Rocky Bluff. She is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Epic, and Mystery Writers of America.
You can find Marilyn via…
- Her webpage: http://fictionforyou.com
- Blog: http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com
- And on Facebook and Twitter as MarilynMeredith
The latest in Marilyn’s Rocky Bluff P.D. series is Dangerous Impulses. An attractive new-hire 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, while the bloody murder of a mother and her son and an unidentified drug that sickens teenaged partiers jolts the Rocky Bluff P.D. Available from http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Impulses-F-M-Meredith/dp/1610090608 and http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dangerous-Impulses-F-M-Meredith/dp/1610090608.
Though each book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series is written as a stand-alone, (though the characters continue, each plot is completed) Marilyn knows there are people who like to read a series in order so from the beginning to the end, her books are:
- Final Respects
- Bad Tidings
- Fringe Benefits
- Smell of Death
- No Sanctuary
- An Axe to Grind
- Angel Lost
- No Bells
- Dangerous Impulses
If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.
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