Seldom TraveledI’ve written several posts for Dru Ann about the day in the life of one of the characters in whatever book I was promoting. This time Dru Ann asked that I write about a day in the life of writing a Tempe Crabtree mystery.

When I first began writing Seldom Traveled, I only knew about the murder Tempe would be investigating and that I was going to put in something about a missing fugitive. I wanted to include that because a fugitive had managed to escape and came to the area where I lived and wasn’t caught, at least his capture was never reported.

What I didn’t know was how important a forest fire would become in my story.

My best writing time is early in the morning. I’m an early riser and get quite a bit done before I ever sit at the computer to write. The house is still quiet when I begin.

I always read over the last few pages I’ve written, and because I usually quit in the middle of a scene it’s easy to pick up where I left off.

On this particular day, I was writing about Tempe being caught in a forest fire. I’ve never been in one, but I’ve certainly been close to several: one on the hillside right across the road from our home that woke me in the night, another in the other direction on top of Black Mountain (Reservation land), and a scary one down in the river bottom too close to our house.

I knew I didn’t know enough to make it believable, so I emailed a friend who was a volunteer fireman for years and now is called to many big fires to use his truck to run errands and deliver goods and parts to the fire camp. He kindly answered many questions, and as I wrote, I sent him pages which he went over and made suggestions.

I never have a totally uninterrupted time at the computer. On this particular day, first my husband came into ask me some questions. In a short while, I was visited by my nearly four-year-old great granddaughter who asked me, “What are you doing?” I told her, and she said, “Oh.” Then she proceeded to tell me about her family’s plan for the day. Her nearly two-year-old sister came in to give me a hug.

Soon I was left alone again to write. Do these interruptions bother me? No, we’ve always had lots of people living with us and I’ve learned to go right back to whatever I was doing without a problem.

However, like always, on this particular day, I quit writing by noon. My brain was tired by then and I turned to other endeavors.

And that’s the way that particular writing day went.


Seldom Traveled is the 15th book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, published by Mundania Press, August 2016.

The tranquility of the mountain community of Bear Creek is disrupted by a runaway fugitive, a vicious murderer, and a raging forest fire. Deputy Tempe Crabtree is threatened by all three.

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About the author
Marilyn has had so many books published, she’s lost track of the count, but it’s getting near 40. She lives in a MM guestcommunity similar to the fictional mountain town of Bear Creek, the big difference being that Bear Creek is a thousand feet higher in the mountains. She is a member of Mystery Writers of American, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, and is a board member of Public Safety Writers of America. Connect with Marilyn at and

All comments are welcomed.

New Contest: Winners will be randomly picked from those leaving the most comments on the blog posts. Each winner can choose one of the earlier books in the series as either a print book or e-book.

Tomorrow you can read an excerpt from Seldom Traveled at

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