Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kindred Spirits by Marilyn Meredith

Why did you pick the setting you used in your story? I'm not looking for -- "because I live there". I want you to dig deep and tell us...

There are three important settings in this mystery. First, Bear Creek, where Tempe Crabtree is the resident deputy. Yes, it is loosely based on where I live--but I've changed it some--including moving it 1,000 feet higher into the mountains. It's a small community town, almost a village, which is fairly close to the Bear Creek Indian reservation.

The second setting is Crescent City where Tempe goes to learn more about a murder victim and possibly the murderer.

The third setting is Santa Barbara where Tempe finally confronts the murderer--and nearly loses her life.

Why did you choose that particular setting?

This is book eight in the series and Tempe has always been the resident deputy of Bear Creek. I like the small town nuances and uniqueness of the mountain setting and the problems that arise, such as forest fires.

Four years ago I went to Crescent City to teach a workshop at a writers conference. While there I met a most interesting Tolowa woman and learned a lot about the Tolowa people, their history and some of their legends and knew that one day I wanted to put all of this in a book. Crescent City is a beautiful place on the Pacific Ocean and bordering on Oregon.

It was logical for Tempe to go onto Santa Barbara in pursuit of the murderer.

What does the setting add to the story?

I think all three settings add a lot to the story itself. I'm a firm believer that settings are as important as character in the telling of a story. I've often given workshops about setting.

Could you write the same story in a different setting?

I could, but it wouldn't be the same story since the settings definitely influence what happens in all three cases.

Why or why couldn't you use a different setting?

The story begins with a forest fire so the place has to be where there are forest fires.

The Tolowa Indians are important to the story in the Crescent City setting and that's where the majority of the Tolowa people live.

As Tempe follows the trail left by the killer, she ends up in Santa Barbara. I know Santa Barbara and the place fit what I wanted to happen.

Did you use a real place as a basis for your setting?

I usually use a real setting or base it on a real setting. For me, this helps me see the places in my mind as the story unfolds.

Or, did you create the setting from scratch?

In all the 20 plus books I've written, I've never totally created a setting from scratch. I've never felt the need to do so, though I've certainly moved things around in Bear Creek to suit what I was writing.

Is there anything else about your setting that we need to know? Feel free to share.

I love Crescent City. It's right on a rather rugged and rocky coast that has been the scene of many a shipwreck. In places, giant redwoods grow right down to the sea. It is one of the places where Big Foot has been sighted. The first people who lived and thrived in this wonderful place were the Tolowa people--until they were nearly wiped out by the newcomers who settled in the area. Not many people realize that the California Indians were nearly eliminated either by illness or at the hands of their neighbors. Though this is not what Kindred Spirits is about, it is a part of the characters in the book.

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?

Tell us some specific details about your setting. What would we see? What sort of people are there? If we were traveling to your setting, what should we bring with us? For visitors, what do they need to know to visit your setting?

Before arriving in Bear Creek you could make a side-trip to the Indian casino, or head up higher to visit the old growth Sequoias.

In Crescent City, on your way up you could drive through the trail of giant redwoods and perhaps catch a glimpse of Big Foot. When you arrive, there are all sorts of wonderful sea food restaurants with ocean views. It can be chilly in Crescent City because of the fog so bring a sweater.

In both places, you'll likely see many retirees. In Bear Creek, you might run into a Native American as well and the same for Crescent City though there are other ethnic people represented.

In Santa Barbara you'll see lots of tourists along with the many who live there all the time. Besides the ocean vistas, be sure to visit the Santa Barbara Mission.

Thank you for sharing details about your book setting. Now, what's the title of your book and where can we buy it?

Kindred Spirits is the title. If you'd like to purchase it from the publisher, go here: but it is also available from all the online bookstores and can be ordered from any bookstore. It is also available as an e-book.

Thank you for hosting me and allowing me to tell you a bit about the settings for Kindred Spirits.

Marilyn Meredith


Marilyn said...

Thank you so much for interviewing me for your website.

Nikki Leigh - Author and Publicist said...

Hi Marilyn

Its always a pleasure to host you :)

Nikki Leigh

Helen Ginger said...

Hi Marilyn. Thanks for sharing your decisions for using certain settings. Quite interesting.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for hosting Marilyn today. I enjoyed this book and I hope others will check it out.