A warm and hearty welcome to F.M. Meredith, aka Marilyn Meredith. This is her third, maybe fourth, visit here. I know that readers are always eager for her next title to come out and, luckily, we never have to wait for long. Today she introduces Unresolved, the latest in her Rocky Bluff P.D. series, and talks about setting as an actual character in her stories.
The Rocky Bluff P.D. is located in a small beach community somewhere between the Southern California towns of Ventura and Santa Barbara. Though it has some of the features of real towns along the coast, it is entirely fictional.
However, it is very real to me. I can see the way the streets are laid out on the hillside as they progress down toward the main part of town and the ocean. I know what stores are at what end of the main street. Where the restaurants are, including McDonald’s, the location of the police department, the churches, the grocery store, and the campground at the southernmost end of the city limits. At the northern end, the bluff that gave the town its name rises above. This is where the most expensive homes are located.
On the other side of the 101 highway, the sharply sloping hillsides are covered by ranches and orange groves. An interesting trailer park is tucked away in a wooded area.
Things are changing though, the low income housing that once fronted the beach has all been taken down with three story condos taking their place.
Where people live can tell you a lot about them, and their homes are an important part of the setting.
Of course, the fact that the town is beside the Pacific Ocean is a huge factor in all the stories about Rocky Bluff. Because the town is beside the sea, fog often complicates life for the police officers and the people they serve and protect.
Where the action takes place and conversations are held are also setting, the reader needs to know where these things are going on.
Though most people might not think of setting as character, to a writer setting is as important.
A little about Unresolved, #13 in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series:
The Rocky Bluff P.D. is underpaid and understaffed and when two dead bodies turn up, the department is stretched to the limit. The mayor is the first body discovered, the second an older woman whose death is caused in a bizarre manner. Because no one liked the mayor, including his estranged wife and the members of the city council, the suspects are many, but each one has an alibi.
F. M. Meredith lived for many years in a small beach community much like Rocky Bluff. She has many relatives and friends who are in law enforcement and share their experiences and expertise with her. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra.
Facebook: Marilyn Meredith
Buy link for Unresolved: http://amzn.to/2pVTUGw