A FEW WORDS FROM THE AUTHOR
(Interview with Nancy Meddings, 5/14/21)
Q. You are retired from being a dean, and semi-retired from being a
librarian. Is that why you started writing now?
Actually, I started the first Matilyn Rose mystery back in 1984, when I was an English
student at Cal State. At that time, you could select literature or writing as the focus of your
degree, and I chose writing. We were required to submit fifty pages of a novel, and that’s when
Matilyn Rose and her first case came about.
Q. Is there a specific reason you waited over thirty-five years to finish your
(Laughs) No, but I started working full-time right after graduate school at UCLA. I also
got married, had kids, bought a house—the usual life stuff. So, it was mostly my desire to get at
least five or six hours of sleep each night that delayed my writing.
Q. How did you create Matilyn Rose? Is your character a lot like you?
Like all of my characters, I would call Matilyn a composite character. Years ago, I read a
short newspaper article about a private detective in the northwest part of the country who only
accepted missing persons cases. That was the starting point. Matilyn is like me in that she is
detail-oriented, tenacious, and likes to re-think and mull over her steps in a case. She is the
person I would like to be in her independence, her regular approach to fitness, and her ability to
read other people accurately.
Q. What about your story ideas, where do they come from?
All over the place. My books are all fiction, but some stories in the news catch my eye,
and some of my life experiences are woven in. For example, the Passetti family in the first book
is a composite based on some of the early pioneer families that came to the California Central
Coast. An upside to being a librarian is that I know where to dig for background information
when an idea comes to me.
Q. Is there significance to your titles?
Only to other English majors, I guess. They are all quotes, or partial quotes, from
Q. Are you a mystery reader? What authors do you like?
Yes, definitely a mystery reader from a young age! I grew up on Nero Wolf, Ellery
Queen, Miss Marple, and Lord Peter Wimsey. Later on, I discovered Ed McBain’s
87th precinct, Elmore Leonard’s books, and Dick Francis. Currently, I’m a huge Michael Connelly fan.
Q. What can we look forward to next for Matilyn and Will?
We’re on a roll! Books two and three should be out by the end of 2021, and then perhaps
two more in 2022. The next title is Spirits May Walk, and it should be on Amazon by August of
this year. It’s very different from the first book, and features not one but two cases that have
eccentric characters and strange plot twists.