Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'm Marilyn Levinson and I'm Glad To Be Here

I’m new to the Oak Tree Press family, and I’m glad to be here. One of the reasons I submitted my latest mystery, Murder a la Christie, to OTP was because I knew Marja, Marilyn Meredith, and Ilene Schneider were happy here. Since then, I’ve also connected with Eileen Obser. We had dinner together a few months ago and plan to get together again once the Artic weather leaves Long Island, where we both live. I hope to meet many more of you, too, perhaps at Sleuthfest or Malice in the next few months.

I started out life in Brooklyn and moved to Long Island in the ninth grade. Except for my four years at Syracuse University, each move has brought me further east on Long Island. I’ve two great sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and the cutest granddaughter. I also have a gorgeous red cat named Sammy who’s as smart as they come.

I studied to become a Spanish teacher, and taught Spanish for several years in what feels like another lifetime. What remains is I still love conversing in Spanish when the opportunity arises.

I started writing fiction when my sons were young, and I haven’t stopped. My first published books were middle grade and YA novels for kids. More recently I’ve been writing mysteries and the occasional romantic suspense.

My Twin Lakes mysteries came out in e-book form a few years ago. The first, A Murderer Among Us, was awarded a Best Indie by Suspense Magazine. Recently, Untreed Reads has brought out a new e-edition of this book. They’re bringing out a new edition of the sequel, Murder in the Air, next month. My ghost mystery, Giving Up the Ghost, and my romantic suspense, Dangerous Relations, have been published by Uncial Press and are available in all e-formats.

In many ways, Murder a la Christie, a Malice Domestic finalist, is my tribute to Agatha Christie. My sleuth, Lexie Driscoll, is a smart and savvy lady, except when it comes to choosing the men in her life. Her first husband left her when she was pregnant with their son. Her deranged second husband burned down her house with himself inside. Lexie is leading a discussion of Agatha Christie’s novels at the first meeting of the Golden Age of Mystery book club, when an old friend is murdered. A free spirit, Lexie finds herself outside her element housesitting in the upscale village of Old Cadfield. As she unravels secret after secret, more members are murdered. Lexie employs Miss Marple’s knowledge of human nature and Hercule Poirot’s cunning to find the killer.

Stop by and say hello.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I loved this, Marilyn L. and I enjoyed learning more about you and your books. I studied Spanish too--but didn't use it enough until I was a pre-school teacher and all my students only spoke Spanish. Fortunately, my Spanish was at a 4-year-old's level just like theirs. Needless to say, by the end of the school year, all my kids spoke English.

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

It's always great fun to get to know more about our fellow authors via the OTP blog. I am presently rewriting a manuscript that I originally wrote in 2001 and the love of my protagonist is also named Lexi. I thought it was such an unusual name when I chose it, so was surprised to find that to be the name of your sleuth. My spell checker is constantly trying to get me to change it. Great job on the blog.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I want you to know that one of the comments you wrote in a blog post has left a lasting impression on me: the fact that you don't procrastinate. I'm trying hard to follow in your footsteps.

Marilyn Levinson said...

So nice to meet you.
My Lexie's real name is Alexa. I love nicknames, maybe because I don't have one. Most of my female protagonists have names ending in "a" -- could be the result of my having been a Spanish teacher.
Lexie was the name of the West Highland terrier who lived next door to me. Also, I felt in love with the name while watching "Grey's Anatomy." Alas, like the westie next door, that Lexie has died but the name lives on.

Eileen Obser said...

I'm glad to see you here, Marilyn. I'm not sure when the Arctic winter will pass on Long Island so I at least get to learn more about you right here. Soon, our books will be released, the crocuses will start to bud -- and you and I will meet up again. I start teaching UpIsland next week so maybe we'll meet sooner rather than later.

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Hi Marilyn, Nice to meet you. As an OTP author and illustrator of children's picture books, I'd like to hear more about your YA and Middle Grade books. Beryl

Marilyn Levinson said...

I look forward to getting together again soon. And I can't wait for this arctic winter to leave!

Marilyn Levinson said...

So nice to meet someone who writers for kids, too. My kids' books usually have a serious theme, though I love including humor. AND DON'T BRING JEREMY is about two brothers. The older one, Jeremy, has disabilities and often embarrasses Adam. NO BOYS ALLOWED is how Cassie reacts to her parents' divorce--she decides not to have anything to do with boys or men. And RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK is a funny book about what happens when Rufus discovers he's a witch like his mom, grandmother, and aunt. (I wrote this before Harry Potter.)

Joe Nowlan said...

Hi, Marilyn.

Nice to have you with us!

-- Joe Nowlan

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Thanks Marilyn for the information on your children's stories. I write picture books, most of which are fantasy but with a reality twist. Writing stories beyond 32 to 36 pages and with chapters is one of my future goals. I do my own illustrations; do you? Beryl