Sometimes I Wonder Why I Didn’t Quit Long Ago

Billie Johnson and Marilyn Meredith

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. Visit her at and her blog at



From the beginning the Rocky Bluff P.D. series faced one problem after another.

The first publisher to accept Final Respects, #1 in the series, was an e-publisher. I found the publishing information in Writers Digest Marketplace, and there was no mention of it only publishing electronically, only that police procedurals were wanted. At that time not many people knew anything about e-books and there was no such thing as an e-reader. The idea was to download the book to read on one’s computer. The big problem was trying to figure out how to download it. Needless to say, that publishing attempt was soon over.

Later on, I found a publisher who published in paper and as e-books. The books looked great, and ultimately the first two in the series were published. The problem here was I never got a single royalty. I knew books were being sold, reviews appeared in various places. When I finally complained (yes, I know, I waited for much too long a time), I received a check for a really small amount of money. I asked for my rights back.

Butch Sound Asleep

Next publisher was recommended by an author friend. Two titles were published and the books looked great. Again no royalties, but before I could complain, the publisher went out of business.

I met the Oak Tree Publisher at several conferences, traveled back to her headquarters to  present a class at a conference she organized, and she offered me a contract for #5 in the series—plus promised to republish the earlier books which happened. We not only had a great business relationship but became friends. She continued to publish the next books in the series, and yes, I received royalties.

Tragedy struck. The OTP publisher suffered a debilitating illness and there was no one ready to take her place. She is recovering, but it may take a long time. At this point, I figured the end had finally come for the RBPD series.

Michael Orenduff offered to have his publishing house go ahead with any books that were in line to be published by OTP with the stipulation, that authors could return if and when OTP is back in business. I hadn’t even finished writing the next book in the series when he made his offer. But I finished the book, had it edited, then asked Mr. Orenduff if he’d be interested in publishing it.

He said “yes” and now it’s a reality–#13 in the series, Unresolved is now available in all the usual places.

F. M. aka Marilyn Meredith


#13 in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Unresolved

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.