This post is a visit with my friend, prolific mystery author Marilyn Meredith. Marilyn has a lot to say about writing in general (where plots come from, for example), and she has a lot to tell us about Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her mountain community of Bear Creek. Marilyn Meredith has a great sense of place! And as she well knows, the most intriguing feature of any place, factual or fictitious, is its people.
So take a moment and get to know Marilyn Meredith. And if you haven’t already read her books, get busy! She has a new one out now, set in Bear Creek and featuring Deputy Tempe Crabtree.
Marilyn, I’ll turn this over to you…
Revisiting Deputy Tempe Crabtree
People often ask, “How can you keep writing about the same characters?” They are referring to the characters who inhabit the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, and I have an easy answer.
Tempe, her husband, Pastor Hutch and all the people who live in the mountain community of Bear Creek are real to me. When I finish writing one book about them I begin wondering what is going to happen to them next. And the only way to find that out is to revisit them by writing the next book.
Before I begin, I often think about what was going on the last time I visited. What time of year it was and if there was anything happening that I need to find out more about. As I’m putting my mind back into Bear Creek I begin to see the town as it is with the Café, the Inn, the Fire Station, the trailer park and the cluster of low rent houses. Hutch’s church is located a bit farther up the highway.
Because life is a serious of dilemmas (at least mine seems to be) I wonder what crisis may hit Bear Creek and some of the people who live there.
Often my story telling is influenced by events that really happened to people I know. Because we had what I thought were two suspicious deaths a few years back—two friends who were found dead in their respective homes on the same morning that were determined to be from natural causes with no investigation at all—I decided Tempe should get involved in something similar.
Weather is often an important element in the mountains and since this story began to evolve a couple of weeks after Christmas, I knew an unrelenting rainstorm would not only complicate the murder investigation but also the lives of everyone living in and around Bear Creek as the river began to flood.
A non-writer may not be able to understand how exciting it is to have all the parts of a new story begin to fill your mind and then the pages of the manuscript. When I’m writing about Tempe and everyone in Bear Creek, I feel like I’m home and among friends—except for the bad guy, whoever that might be.
Want to know more about Marilyn's community of Bear Creek? Check this out!
A bit about the latest, 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.
Contest: The person who leaves comments on the most blogs will have his/her name used for a character in my next book—can choose if you want it in a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery or a Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel.
And now, meet the author!
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 is No Bells, the fourth 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/
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.