Monday, September 25, 2017

Guest Post by Marilyn Meredith, Friend and Author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mysteries

Today, my friend and fellow mystery author, Marilyn Meredith, is taking over the Back Deck Blog to tell us about her latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, "A Cold Death", and her journey as an author! Grab a cup of coffee (or chai, Marilyn's choice) and enjoy your visit!

My Journey as an Author

Like many others, I’ve written since I was a kid, starting before I could actually write words, drawing a story and all the characters. Once I could read, I went on to write my own version of the Little House on the Prairie books. I also wrote and illustrated a book about fairies that my mother sent to a publisher and received a kind rejection. In grammar school, I also wrote plays for the neighborhood kids to perform and in junior high, I wrote and put out my own magazine.

Because of marrying soon after graduating, and raising a big family, my writing narrowed down to PTA newsletters, and plays for my Camp Fire Girls to perform. Though I did write a couple of novels that were rejected, I didn’t write any fiction again until my sister did our genealogy. It fascinated me and I decided to do some research to try and find out more about what happened. The research then led me to write a 500 plus page fictionalized novel of my mother’s side of the family. I was a grandmother by this time. After many rejections and rewrites, this became my first published book. I wrote about my father’s side of the family, and that one was published too.

During my writing life I’ve had several agents, learned from some, and not from others, but no one sold anything for me.

I switched to writing mysteries after I’d finished with the historical family sagas. My Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries were first published by a small press and I became friends with the publisher. She published the first four and unexpectedly, died. I’ve gone through publishers who turned out to be crooks, others who decided publishing was not for them, others who’ve gotten ill or had family tragedies that made them decide to close their businesses.

Fortunately, Mundania Press, the publisher for the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries is still going strong.

What I’ve told you is merely the highlights of what I’ve experienced on my journey. In reality, looking back I often wonder why I didn’t give up. Of course, I’m glad I didn’t. Because of being an author I’ve met so many wonderful people, other authors and readers, helpful folks in law enforcement who have become friends, have had many adventures, traveled to places I’d never gone to before, learned so much about writing and publishing, and for the most part, had a great writing life.


Blurb for A Cold Death:

Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her husband answer the call for help with unruly guests visiting a closed summer camp during a huge snow storm and are trapped there along with the others. One is a murderer—and another a ghost.

Anyone who orders any of my books from the publisher‘s website:
can get 10% off by entering MP20 coupon code in the shopping cart. This is good all the time for all my books, E-books and print books.

On Kindle:


Marilyn Meredith’s published book count is nearing 40. She is one of the founding members of the San Joaquin chapter of Sister in Crime. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra, a place with many similarities to Tempe Crabtree’s patrol area. Webpage: Blog: and you can follow her on Facebook.

Contest: Once again I’m going to use the name of the person who comments on the most blogs on my tour for the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery—which may be the last in the series.

Tomorrow I’ll be here:

What About Killing Off a Main Character?


  1. Thank you so much, Amy for hosting me today. Enjoy your gallivanting!

  2. How interesting to hear how you first grew interested in writing! Genealogy is part fiction, anyway, right? I didn't start writing fiction until 2001...wish I'd started sooner because it's a lot more fun than the writing I did as an educator. Good luck with your new book!

  3. Thanks for your comment, Rolynn. I did write much much earlier--as a kid--but didn't get really serious until the genealogy bit.

  4. I agree with Lorna! Yes, and also agree, writing is a wonderful way to experience life. Good for you, Marilyn. Enjoying all your posts on this blog tour.

    1. I have had wonderful experiences because of my writing life! Ones I would have never have had otherwise.

  5. I'm so glad you didn't give up writing after those first rejections. I find it interesting that it was the genealogy that got you writing again. It sometimes takes that ONE thing to spark our inspiration. I'm glad we've known each other since those early SJ SinC days. Good luck with your new book.

  6. Thanks Cora--we have had some history together. I'll have to tell you what's been happening with my books--maybe at the Christmas party, can't come to the next meeting and it sounds wonderful.

  7. It's always a joy and pleasure to have Marilyn take over the Back Deck, whether I'm taking a break or not! She's my inspiration and role model!

  8. Such a fascinating journey, Marilyn! You are a solid role model for newbie authors, like me. I'm wondering if you found it a challenge to switch to writing mysteries after writing your historical books?

  9. Marilyn, thank you for sharing your writer's path. You have certainly tread with success! I'd like to follow you up that trail, but I know I'll always be far behind, LOL. I started about 6 years ago, and I write at a snail's pace, but however one starts and however long it takes, it's worth every step - for one thing, authors make great friends!