Today my dear friend, Marilyn Meredith returns as my guest. She is one of the most prolific writers I know, publishing two mysteries each year—one in each of her series. Although I’ve known her for quite a few years, I didn’t know much about her early life. So I asked her about it.
My Early Life
Lorna, who is a good friend as well as a fellow author, asked me the following questions about my early life.
Where did you grow up?
My first five years were spent in my grandparents’ second house in South Pasadena. It was at the end of the depression, and my father didn’t have a job for a while. When the economy got better and my father went to work for Paramount Studios as a plumber, my parents were able to buy a house in Eagle Rock (a suburb of Los Angeles). I lived there until I was eighteen, graduated from high school, and left by train to travel to Cambridge, MD to be marry the cutest sailor I met on a blind date.
How large was your family?
Mom, Dad, and my younger sister. When we moved to Eagle Rock, my grandparents on my mom’s side moved into the house in South Pasadena. My grandparents on my dad’s side lived in Highland Park as did my dad’s sister, husband, and her four boys. Her eldest son had cerebral palsy, though no one knew what it was at the time. My dad’s youngest brother and family lived one block away from us and another brother and his family were close by. My mom’s only sister and family weren’t far either. We had many family dinners, picnics and celebrations with everyone.
What were your interests?
I love to read. I’m sure that is no surprise. I would get ten books every week from the library and wished they’d let me have more. Of course, I also wrote my own stories and plays for the neighborhood kids to act in. During junior high, I put out a magazine I wrote and illustrated.
As for sports, the only thing I was really good at as a kid was swimming. I loved to swim in the ocean. (Something I can’t even imagine doing anymore.)
Did you travel as a kid?
I grew up during World War II, and there was gas rationing. My dad rode his bike to work at Paramount Studies (at least 10 miles away) to save gas ration stamps so we could go on vacation. The first vacations I remember were camping at Yosemite National Park. We made many trips to the beach, and later, when my dad built two boats, one outboard and inboard for water skiing, we spent many summer vacations camping at Bass Lake. And yes, I loved to water ski too.
Were you a good student?
Yes, in everything but math, though I managed to pass. I wasn’t too great in chemistry either—blew up a test tube once. I loved my English classes.
Did you go to college? Where?
Marilyn with her first child
Marilyn, Hap, Dana, Lisa & Mark
I didn’t go to college until my youngest child (of five) was in kindergarten. Started at Ventura College with one class, then two, and kept adding them. I was working at the same time, plus raising the kids who were still at home. I graduated with an AA degree in Early Childhood Education, and took other college classes at Oxnard College, and later at Porterville College.
Did any of these impact your writing? How?
Reading, of course, had the greatest impact on my writing. My love of the beach and the ocean is reflected in the setting for the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series. Because of my cousin with cerebral palsy, I had a great interest in children and adults with developmental disabilities. I ended up working in many situations with persons with developmental disabilities and I’ve included them as characters in many of my books.
Thanks for asking these questions, Lorna, it was fun to answer them.
Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith
F. M. Meredith (also known as Marilyn Meredith) is nearing the number of forty published books. Besides being an author, she is a wife, mother, grandma, and great-grandmother. Though the Rocky Bluff she writes about is fictional, she lived for over twenty years in a similar small beach town. Besides having many law enforcement officers in her family, she is counts many as friends. She teaches writing, loves to give presentations to writing and other groups, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, and on the board of Public Safety Writers Association.
Facebook: Marilyn Meredith
Contest: Once again, the person who comments on the most blogs during this tour, can have a character named after them in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery. Tomorrow you can find me here: