Welcome!! I am so pleased for this opportunity to host you on my blog!! Thanks for taking time for this short Q&A. 😃Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
I’ve always like Peregrin (Pippin) Took from The Lord of the Rings. I first read the book when I was twelve years old and he’s still the character I relate to the best. I hope I’m like Pippin: a bit daft, a bit of a dreamer, but able to be strong when called upon. Most of my Tolkien based fan-fiction was based on Pippin and his cousin Merry.
In my own books, I would say Aine McAllister is one of my favorite characters. I think, in part, because she’s whimsical, and a touch magical, and rather mysterious. I my minds eye she is someone who dresses and wears her hair as she chooses; doing what makes her feel comfortable and yet never sloppy. She wears ethnic design clothes, or a plain shift dress with a shawl and a scarf, in natural earthy colors with touches of some thing bright. She is confident in who she is and what she looks like.
I wish I was more like Aine.
What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
My husband and my daughter and her family have been extremely supportive of my writing, and that’s saying a lot because sometimes I’m very stressed out because of either the writing itself or all the business stuff that goes with having a career as an author.
My hubby gives out more of my business cards than I do! And he has given me a mantra and reminds me of it often -
“You are a success!” (to be said with a smile on my face)
And he reminds me that having even one book published and for sale to the public is a success, and that I now have three books out.
One of my grandsons also said something that I now repeat to myself when I’m feeling defeated by the business side of my career.
“Not everyone can say that their Grandma has three books for sale on Amazon.”
Several other family members have been encouraging as well, buying my books, sending them as gifts, telling friends about them and even helping me out financially. I wouldn’t have come as far as I have without all of their belief in me. They have a confidence in me that I usually don’t have in myself.
How do you describe your writing style?
By that I don’t mean using simplistic vocabulary or written for young children. Easy as in you don’t have to analyze everything while you’re reading the story. I want my books to be entertaining, enjoyable and relaxing for my readers. A way to leave the everyday behind without having to take an expensive vacation.
There are tense moments. Things do get exciting (I hope). But you’re not going to be scared to death or feel exhausted like you often do when reading a suspense mystery or a thriller.
That’s all part of why I my tag line is “The Emory Crawford Mysteries: Murder Genteel”
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
I’m not an organized person by personality type or any other inclination. I’ve wanted to be my whole life, tried and tried and tired innumerable times but can’t maintain it.
“Plotting” is too organized for me.
Actually, we all “plot,” it’s just that some of us outline and pay tight attention to story structure and write it all out ahead of time. That’s what’s too organized for me. Others of us, myself and many others, plot as we go with, hopefully, a sound understanding of structure from having read a lot in our genre.
I tried it twice – the highly detailed outline, plot points, etc. – and both times the outline was all I had at the end. My brain refused to turn it into prose.
“There now.” My brain said. “We’re done with that story. What’s next?”
“No, Brain, we aren’t done. No one can read this. It has to get changed into sentences and paragraphs. You know, prose.”
“Oh. Oh well. The story is all there though and I’m done with it. What’s next?”
Fortunately those two stories were short stories, so I didn’t waste ideas for novels on the experiments.
Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?
Yes. I do use a pen name.
Early on I’d read in several blogs and articles for authors that you should Google the name you plan to write under and see the results you get. If a listing that is you doesn’t show up by the bottom of the second page, you need to pick a different name. Most people, unless what they are searching for is life and death, won’t go past the bottom of the second page.
I had planned to use my real name – and a listing that was me didn’t show up until just above the bottom of page two.
So – I used the first name from my fan-fiction writing pen name, which was Pearl Took. The middle initial is the same as my real last initial and Meaker, spelled with the “A”, was my maiden name.
When I Googled it, there were no listings for that name.
Pearl R. Meaker was born!
What is your favorite meal?
Surf and Turf = lobster and filet mignon.
That’s for when I’m going out to celebrate something. For something I get out more frequently it’s hard to pick a favorite. There are many meals I love, it all just depends on what I’m in the mood for. Chinese is often General Tso’s Chicken or something similar to that with egg-drop soup, an eggroll and crabmeat rangoon. Mexican will be enchiladas or a taco salad with tortilla chips and salsa for an appetizer. Italian, if I’m at a restaurant, would usually be shrimp Alfredo with a tossed salad with black olives and garlic breadsticks. Pizza – I love Domino’s Pacific Veggie or most any pizzeria’s supreme – no anchovies.
Something I make at home? Spam Goulash = Spam, onions, elbow macaroni and tomato soup. Betty Crocker Impossible Pies – either with hamburger, ham or as a type of chicken pot pie, meatloaf with potatoes or rice. All the above served with a nice big tossed salad.
What group did you hang out with in high school?
I actually hung out with a mixed bag of groups. I was in with the music people because I was in choir. I thought I was going to end up being an artist or art teacher and took a lot of art classes, so I was in with the artsy crowd. I was in school plays, so was in with the drama crowd. I also was friends with a lot of kids who didn’t seem to have a crowd and I was good friends with a lot of science geeks. The only crowds I didn’t mix with were the party kids who got drunk or stoned every weekend, the rough kids who got into trouble with the law, and the sports/jocks crowd.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
One of my primary ways to relax is to sit on our couch with my hubby while we watch all sorts of things on Netflix. Or I relax with him when we play bluegrass together – him on banjo or guitar and me on fiddle.
Other than that I read or go for walks with my camera in a local park, or out by the lake that partially inspired The Devil’s Flood, and take photos of birds.
I take a lot of photos. In fact all the photos on my website https://pearlrmeaker.com were taken by me – even the headshot that is on my bio page and books.
ABOUT THE BOOK
THE DEVIL'S FLOOD
by Pearl R. Meaker
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
Can a house vanish without a trace? What is the "super booze" that's available at clandestine drinking parties in Golden County? When mummified bodies show up at an archeological dig and a young man gets shot in a duel at a party, can Emory and Madison find the answers in the midst of a flood year?
“Okay.” Kate said, pulling her phone out of a pocket as Jairus and the crew gathered around me where I stood watching the rescue team go in after my husband. “Here’s a shot of Dr. Crawford.” She held the phone in front of me. “He’s still conscious and managed a little wave, but I’m glad the rescue team is heading in.”
I glanced at the photo. Jebbin lay in a pool of light on what looked like a pile of bedding heaped on a rough wooden floor. His glasses had fallen off. He never looks quite right without them, and
I could tell he was hurting. Probably feeling a bit nauseous as well. In spite of it all he wore a wan grin and had lifted a hand in greeting.
Kate swiped the screen.
In the sharp glare of her phone’s flash a mummified man sat on the floor, his back against a wall. There was a dark stain spilling down his chest from a hole near where his heart would be.
“There’s one part of the company Dr. Crawford mentioned he had.”
She swiped again. “Here’s the other.”
This mummy lay on its back. The flash showed a stain that flowed from his chest and down his side to form a hardened puddle on the floor.
“Which one’s my Grandpa?” Melva gasped.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Slightly quirky, always creative, Pearl R. Meaker has been an artist, singer and craftsperson her whole life. Although she's always had stories in her head, they didn't come out to play with others until the advent of home computers with their ease of making corrections and moving bits around.
After several years of writing fanfiction in the world of Tolkien's Middle-Earth, she took a couple of writing courses and dove into writing original works of fiction, and The Emory Crawford Mysteries were born.
When not playing with story ideas you can find Pearl playing with yarn either knitting or crocheting, doing other arts and crafts, bird watching and photographing nature, playing bluegrass fiddle (her husband plays banjo) or relaxing with her hubby on the sofa watching mystery shows on Netflix.
Oh - and reading all sorts of books, but especially cozy and other types of mysteries!
The books in The Emory Crawford Mysteries Series are reminiscent of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple mysteries, which is why Pearl has chosen to characterize her stories as "murder genteel."
Pearl R. Meaker will award a randomly drawn commenter a $25 Amazon/BN GC.
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