What a pleasure to welcome award-winning author and film/television producer Dete Meserve today!
When it comes to believing in the best in people and sharing stories of those who are doing powerful and uplifting things in our everyday world, Dete is a champion. Like Kate Bradley in Meserve’s novels ‘Good Sam’ and ‘Perfectly Good Crime,’ she searches for people who are doing extraordinary good for others.
While most mysteries focus on finding the killer or kidnapper, Meserve’s novels focus our attention on finding the helpers, the rescuers, and the people who bring light and hope into the world with their selfless acts of kindness.
When she’s not writing, she is a film and television producer in Los Angeles and partner of Wind Dancer Films. Meserve lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children—and a very good cat that rules them all.
Enjoy our chat:
PS ~ Congratulations on the recent release of your new novel, Perfectly Good Crime! The title is instantly intriguing and I’m looking forward to reading it. How does this story carry on with the “fast-paced mystery/romance” of your debut novel, Good Sam?
DM ~ In Good Sam, Los Angeles TV news reporter Kate Bradley is searching for an anonymous Good Samaritan who is leaving $100,000 cash on LA doorsteps. My latest novel, Perfectly Good Crime, picks up three months later when Kate reports on a series of sophisticated heists of some of the most opulent and extravagant estates in America.
As the heists escalate, Kate finds that the Los Angeles police detective she’s been working with mysteriously disappears, her senator father demands that she stop reporting on the heists, and the billionaire victims stop talking to the media. Kate uncovers clues that those behind the robberies have shocking, yet uplifting, intentions—it just may be a perfectly good crime that brings about powerful change.
PS ~ You give readers uplifting stories that focus on people who are doing extraordinarily good things for others. Are these stories based on true experiences?
DM ~ Both Good Sam and Perfectly Good Crime are 100% fiction but they come from my desire to tell stories where the focal point is people who are doing extraordinary good. We live in a time when we are bombarded with stories of violence, cruelty, and injustice. Yet that isn’t a true reflection of everything that’s going on in the world. There are millions of people around the globe who are doing quiet and extraordinary good for others. For proof of that, check out my Facebook page and you’ll see thousands of true stories of ordinary people helping others (www.Facebook.com/GoodSamBook).
But it’s hard for us to see that Good. Our daily doses of troubling news can leave us feeling exhausted and in despair and when we seek a respite in entertainment, we’re bombarded with stories of violence and tragedy there too. We start to believe that’s what the world is.
But that’s not true. And that’s what I want to focus my books on. Many mysteries focus on the dark side of crime, but in Perfectly Good Crime there’s a very big heists mystery but there isn’t a single dead body or any violence. Instead, Kate explores the real possibility that Good intentions may be behind the heists. I want readers to be turning pages trying to figure out who’s behind the heists and equally important, I hope the story gets readers thinking about ways we can all lift up others and made the world better.
PS ~ Did you always have a desire to be an author? Was this a natural progression of your career as a film and television producer and partner of Wind Dancer Films? Can you tell us a bit about that part of your busy life?
DM ~ What draws me to writing is that I love stories. As a kid, I read sci-fi, folktales, fairy tales, and mysteries and experienced firsthand the power of story to help us understand others, to make sense of our experiences, and to think about the big questions of life. And there are so many ways we can tell stories: radio, television, film, books and even games. I’ve been fortunate to write or produce stories in in all of these mediums.
I run a film and television company, Wind Dancer Films, and have three kids. After a day collaborating with other creators and overseeing business deals, I look forward to the creative, solitary moments of writing. And my busy work and family life actually helps my writing because I often draw inspiration from the characters, conflicts, experiences and emotions of my real life.
PS ~ Do you live right in Los Angeles? Has California always been ‘home’ to you?
DM ~ I grew up in Chicago and still love that city for its amazing food, music, and museums. During the cold winters when the roads were drifted high with snow, I’d often dream of living in sunny California. My husband and I moved to Los Angeles in 1990 so that I could take a position as an executive at KUSC, the public radio station at the University of Southern California. Our first six months here were bumpy as we transitioned into a new way of living but after that, we fell in love with Los Angeles and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
We live and work in Hollywood and while the city is known for its tourist attractions and entertainment business, we love it because there’s always great and interesting things to do whether you want fun, adventure, or a thoughtful, zen experience.
PS ~ How do you find balance between your professional and family life? Is there a particular way you like to relax in terms of hobbies, sports or something else?
DM ~ I wish I could nail the work/balance thing! Every time you think you’ve figured it out, something goes off the rails. The key is accepting that it’s never going to be perfectly in balance on any given day, but over time you know you’ve prioritized the things that are most important.
My family and I are omnivores when it comes to hobbies and interests. In any given month, we might find ourselves at a concert at Staples Center, trying out a new restaurant, taking in a Dodger game, horseback riding, heading to the beach or the mountains, watching our daughter perform in a rhythmic gymnastics competition, checking out a new movie, hanging out with friends, or heading to a museum or play.
PS ~ What’s next on your agenda? Is there something you can share with us?
DM ~ I’m working with award-winning journalist Rachel Greco on a non-fiction book which will feature 25 inspiring stories about real-life people who are transforming the lives of others through their good deeds. Rachel and I have been researching these emotionally powerful, uplifting stories together and we’re always amazed by the unique and creative ways people find to help others.
For the stories in the book, Rachel talks with those who are the “Good Sams” doing the good deeds as well as those the Good Sams have helped. The stories are poignant, funny, and sometimes heart wrenching and the one constant throughout is that the people helping others are always transformed by the experience and often say they received far more than they gave.
We think this will be an uplifting, inspiring book which readers will want to gift to others, that book clubs and church/synagogue groups will want to discuss, and that even kids and schools can use these stories as powerful real-life examples of compassion and making a difference in the lives of others.
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Dete. Like you, I’m a believer in the good in this world and the more each one of us can help share those stories, the better.
I would also like to share this news which we did not get around to including in our chat:
Good Sam is in development as a film for the Hallmark Channel to premiere in 2017. ) We will look forward to that so please keep us posted!
Dear readers ~ if you have a good story to share with Dete, please do by clicking right here. Take some time to read the inspiring posts already on the page and don’t forget to pay it forward!