Day 8 of the Murder We Write Blog Tour and I’m pleased to host an enigma. For those of you who are scratching your head, I’ll clarify. I’m crime-beat reporter Mitch Malone and I make my living using words. An enigma is something puzzling or contradictory. Nick Two John has been featured in Marilyn Meredith’s Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. He makes people nervous in RAGING WATERS, her latest book. He always seems to have the answers but seems to pull them out of the air. I’m on the case and plan to get the answers to this mysterious character for a great story. Nick, let’s start with your name. Is Two your middle name? Or is Two John your last name? How did you get your name and what does it mean?
Nick: Two John is all one name and it reflects the fact that both my grandfathers have the first name of John. At the naming ceremony, this was the solution to whether to name me after my mother’s father, John Flaming Arrow or my father’s father, John Swift Deer.
I’m a facts kind of guy. I don’t speculate or guess in the stories I write for the Grand River Journal. You mentioned a Native American heritage. My sources tell me you give them good advice and point them in directions they might not have otherwise pursued. How do you do that?
Nick: Probably what I do isn’t something you’d understand. I merely guide the person to the answers that are within themselves.
Now I understand that you live in a hotel or something and in fact are living in sin. If you are spiritual, when are you going to get hitched?
Nick: Have you been speaking with my friend, Pastor Hutch? Though he’s never mentioned the fact that I am not married to my partner in life as well as business, I know he has made the same judgment. Frankly, I believe in the heart and mind of the Great Spirit that Claudia and I are one, a ceremony sanctioned by the world isn’t necessary.
How did you get in the lodging business? Rumor has it you are quite the cook. What are some of your favorite recipes?
Nick: Claudia is the true owner of the Bear Creek Inn. I am her partner in all phases of our life together. I’ve been able to cook since I was a child on the reservation. I learned to make fry bread and Indian tacos first. My mother taught me how to gather wild herbs to flavor meats and vegetables. In my mind, I imagine how something will taste when I combine it with something else. I don’t share my recipes. You might try what my friend Pastor Hutch does. He comes to the Inn to eat quite often, then he goes home and tries to imitate my dishes. According to his wife, my friend Tempe, he does a good job of it. You might too.
Now that I’ve softened you up with some easy questions, I’m going in for the tough ones. Nick, you know Deputy Tempe Crabtree really well, some might say intimately. Doesn’t that make it a little awkward with her husband? How did your relationship get so close?
Nick: I don’t think intimate is the best choice of words. I’d say we have a deep and lasting friendship. At one time I was an alcoholic, a weakness suffered by many Indians. During that period, I was reckless and foolish. Working as deputy, Tempe arrested me when she caught me slashing the tires of logging trucks. I recognized the fact that she knew little or nothing about her Indian roots. When I was falsely accused of murder, Tempe took on the task of finding the true murderer and proving my innocence. From that time on, I’ve worked at teaching her about the spiritual side of her heritage.
I must admit that Tempe’s husband, Hutch, has had some problems with Tempe’s and my friendship over the year, but it was based in the difference in our spiritual beliefs which he now realizes have many similarities.
Thank you Nick for getting on the hot seat with an ace reporter like me. I hope to hear more about your “gift” in other books with Tempe. To get your hands on RAGING WATERS or other books in the series, please go here: Amazon
Marilyn's also offering you a chance to win free books. To enter my giveaway contest for a copy of the previous Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, BEARS WITH US. Leave a comment and you're automatically entered. Include your email addy so I can get in touch with you should your name be selected at random. The winner will be announced on my blog (http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com) on December 12, 2012. Good luck!
Raging Water Blurb: Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s investigation of the murder of two close friends is complicated when relentless rain turns Bear Creek into a raging river. Homes are inundated and a mud slide blocks the only road out of Bear Creek stranding many—including the murderer.
I know there are some people who like to read a series in order, but let me reassure you that every book is complete. Though the characters grow through each book, the crime is always solved. Here is the order of the books for anyone who wants to know: Deadly Trail, Deadly Omen, Unequally Yoked, Intervention, Wing Beat, Calling the Dead, Judgment Fire, Kindred Spirits, Dispel the Mist, Invisible Path, Bears With Us, Raging Water.
Bio: Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Raging Water from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel us No Bells, the forth from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and follow her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/
Marilyn borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area.