At the age of nine, Marilyn wrote her first play with a childhood neighbor, “The Ghost and Mr. Giltwallet”. It was a mystery. And she’s been writing in one form or another, hobby or livelihood, since. As well as teaching art, she’s had the opportunity to co-author several plays that have been performed on both church and secular stages, as well as two screenplays. Marilyn has had the good fortune of “discovering her roots” while visiting England where she developed lasting relationships with wonderful people there. It has greatly impacted her writing. A keen fan of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and David Cook’s Hetty Wainthropp series, Marilyn was inspired to write her Berdie Elliott Mystery series. It takes place in a small English village where the vicar’s wife, Berdie Elliott, is the divine sleuth. Marilyn lives lakeside in a cottage on the outskirts of Denver near the foothills.
Now it's question and answer time!
1. What was your inspiration for this story?
Since I can remember, I’ve enjoyed reading and writing mysteries. I use the liturgical church calendar as themes for exploits of the lively Berdie Elliott, a vicar’s wife and sleuth extraordinaire, that lives in a small English village, which is my current series with Pelican Books. Candle for a Corpse is an Advent mystery. Up from the Grave is a Lenten mystery. My current story, Into the Clouds, is an Ascension mystery where an energetic church procession down the village High Street is rocked when someone who starts with the parade never arrives at the end. My next release, which happens in March of next year? A Pentecost mystery of course: Enigma of Fire.
2. What is its take-away message?
I like to give my readers a good ‘brain tickle’, gentle humor, and encouragement. Today’s world can be so uncertain sometimes, and a fun read where God’s goodness triumph’s over evil gives a nice uplift. It can make our day a bit brighter.
3. Tell us a bit about your writing routine. Do you have set hours? Do you get dressed first? Do you travel for research? Where and when do you do your best work?
Juggling is the best word for my writing routine at the moment. Marketing eats up so very much time, but I love the moments and hours of fleshing out my stories in a comfy chair on my laptop. It’s true joy. My travels to England have also been inspirational. I incorporate the sights, smells, atmosphere, and culture of this beloved country in all my writing.
4. What's your next writing project?
My next Berdie Elliott mystery, Enigma of Fire, is set to release in March of next year. No gifts are going spare when the village of Aidan Kirkwood is shaken by an explosive event that flames Berdie into action to solve the crime. This story sizzles! The ebook is available for pre-order at Amazon.
And now, just for fun...
1. Coffee or tea?
I am an astute tea drinker. Some may call me a tea snob, but I just say I’m an aficionado of sorts. My dear friends in England introduced me to the joys of fine tea.
2. Snacks: sweet or salty?
My favorite snack is dark, dark chocolate covered almonds, in limited amounts, of course.
3. Dream vacation:
My dream vacation is a kind of working holiday: 6 months to a year in England where I’d live on a canal in a longboat, a kind of houseboat that’s popular in rural England. You’d all be invited to drop by for an afternoon cuppa.
4. #1 on your bucket list:
. I’m still working on what I want in my bucket. One thing, there’s a play I co-wrote that’s been optioned with a film producer. I would love to see the tale of women celebrating all the different seasons on the road to maturity come to life on film. I’d delight in seeing any of my books go to filming, as far as that goes!
Thanks, Marilyn. We've enjoyed getting to know you.
And here's a look at Into the Clouds:
Into the Clouds.
Red Ascension Sunday balloons are not the only things going missing from this small English village.
Ascension Sunday balloons are not the only things disappearing in the English village of Aidan Kirkwood. When the villagers celebrate the first Ascension Sunday Processional in fifty years, someone goes missing. A well off widow that was amongst the crowd has vanished into thin air. And, she’s not the only one who’s nowhere to be found.
Berdie Elliott, the local vicar’s wife, goes into sleuth mode as eccentric cat lovers, a secretive informant, Portuguese holidays, an enigmatic “tree” house, and tangled family dynamics all add to the perplexing affair. Don’t let this mystery slip from your sight.
I'll bet you're wondering where you can contact Marilyn and/or buy your own copy, and I'm happy to share with you:
Watch for it!