Mystery We Write Tour: Marilyn Meredith

Marilyn Meredith is the author of more than 30 published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, included the latest, Raging Water, from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is No Bells 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. For more about Marilyn and her books, visit her blog at

What have you learned from writing your novels?
When you’ve been writing as long as I have, you’ll learn all sorts of things because of the research that you need to do in order for your books to be/sound authentic. I’ve researched Indian folk lore and used a lot of stories in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. I’ve learned a lot about police procedure and different ways to do away with someone. To be more specific, one of the most interesting and perhaps a bit troubling, is where I live the sheriff’s deputies are also deputy coroners which means they can pronounce someone dead. This fact is part of what gave me the idea for Raging Water.

What mysteries or strange occurrences in your real life have inspired your writing life? 
I’ve always been fascinated by ghosts and ghost stores. Everyone says our house is haunted, which it may be, however, I don’t believe ghosts can physically harm anyone. Hubby and I have stayed in several haunted hotels and rooms that are purported to be haunted. Sometimes you can truly feel the presence of something or someone unworldly. I’ve put a bit of that in several of my mysteries, too.

Do you use an outline or just begin with an idea and write toward a conclusion? 
Because I write series, I already know who my characters are and where they are in life which helps considerably when it comes to plotting. Of course I have to come up with a mystery—usually a murder, of course—who the victim(s) will be and the motive(s). That often leads to who the suspects are, which doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve picked the right person to be the murderer. Sometimes I’m dead wrong and realize it half way through the book. Along the way, new ideas pop into my head and I keep a notebook nearby to keep track of these and loose ends that I need to remember. Of course, once I’m done that’s when the rewriting, the most important part, begins.

About Raging Water 
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.

Leave a comment to win a copy of Marilyn's previous book in the Tempe Crabtree series, Bears With Us. Be sure to check out WS Gager's blog where her hardboiled character Mitch Malone interviews Irène Laureux from my Venus Trilogy of novels. 


Rionna Morgan said…

I love your "different ways to do away with someone!" So great and clever. I am having such a great time learning about everyone on this tour!

All the Best,
Thank you, Collin for hosting me today.

And Rionna, I have had fun meeting and learning more about everyone on the tour too.
M.M. Gornell said…
I love the Indian Folklore you intertwine in your stories, Marilyn. It makes your novels more interesting for me, a different element you know is out there with an impact on the plot and characters. Of course you know I'm a fan...(smile)

Jake said…
Ghosts are really cats sneaking about cloaked in their invisibility coats. Big fan of your writings & always enjoy blog posts.
I've tried commenting a couple of times, but kept being sent away.

Madeline, I love finding Indian legends that fit with the book I'm writing--and sometimes the legend supplies the title.

Jake, it's my cats who see the ghosts. We only hear them.
Jean Henry Mead said…

I've lived in several haunted houses and, because I have some psychic ability, can sense their presences. They at first terrified me but I soon grew to expect the spirits of my deceased loved ones to visit within two or three weeks of their deaths. It's comforting to know that they exist on another plane and are looking after me.
Evelyn Cullet said…
It interesting, Marilyn, how everyone's writing style is so different in some ways, and yet so similar in others.
marja said…
I really enjoyed your answers, Marilyn! I always learn something new about you and your books.
Marja McGraw
WS Gager said…
I too love research. I often find truth is stranger than what I could make up. Great post Marilyn.
W.S. Gager on Writing
Jsan, Evelyn, Marja and Wendy. I didn't mean to ignore you, but didn't get in until late last evening and didn't have the oomph to look at the post. Thank you for commenting!

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