A Day in my Life Writing a Tempe Crabtree Mystery by Marilyn Meredith

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 fictionforyou.com and marilynmeredith.blogspot.com

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 celebratewithabook.com.

29 responses to “A Day in my Life Writing a Tempe Crabtree Mystery by Marilyn Meredith

  1. Tempe sounds like a great character! Thanks!

  2. As I read this post all I could think was how amazing Marilyn is. She strikes me as incredibly talented, hard working, and giving woman. I love hearing about her writing process and how she always makes time for her family. Congrats on the number of books you have published and I hope you have many more years of success and joy. Thanks for asking her to visit today Dru!

  3. First off, as usual, I’m thrilled to be on Dru Ann’s blog while i know she’s having a great time in Bouchercon. Donna, I love writing about Tempe, she embodies so many character traits that I admire. Bee, I think you for the kind words–I feel so very blessed. I’m doing what I love and I’m surrounded by loving family and friends.

  4. Great granddaughters–what a treat!

  5. Barbara Hackel

    Thanks Dru Ann for having Marilyn on today’s blog. Tempe is a new character for me, and she sounds like she must handle a lot of problems as a deputy! I will have to start reading this series. It was nice to hear about a working day for the author-especially the constant interruptions which happen especially when you work from home. Of course a big perk can be those interruptions when they are combined with hugs!

  6. It is a bit wild around here at times, Barbara. Right now I’m trying to promote this blog while doing the laundry and getting ready to head to town to have breakfast with my eldest daughter and son-in-law who’ve been visiting and are leaving in the a.m.

  7. Tempe sounds like someone extraordinary and strong. Thanks for your lovely post and introduction to a character and a book which I would enjoy learning about.

    • I based Ellie on three wonderful women–a Tule River Indian from a nearby tribe, a police officer I did a ride-along with, and a female deputy sheriff I interviewed for a newspaper article. All three shared some wonderful insights with me–and Tempe shares a part of all of them.

  8. Marilyn Meredith is a new author to me. Thanks Dru Ann for introducing Ms. Meredith and her character Tempe Crabtree to me. I love a strong woman character so I now Tempe will be one character I will enjoy.

  9. Thanks Dru for having Meredith on your blog. I enjoyed meeting her and look forward to reading about Tempe! Thank you Meredith for visiting.

  10. elainehroberson

    Another new-to-me author to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  11. This is a new author to me! Thanks for the chance to win a book and start a new series!

  12. You are far more disciplined than I am. (This may be the reason I don’t write as much as I should.) However, I do a LOT of editing. It’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!

  13. Susan Slovinsky

    Thanks for the intro to another new-to-me author. It was interesting to note that authors have the same interruptions as we mortal beings.

    • Susan, your comment made me laugh, I’m about as mortal as they come–same family loves and problems, bumps and hazards along life’s highway.

  14. Great post. A new author to me and I would like to read more about Tempe.

  15. Thanks for this opportunity to win a book! I hadn’t heard of this series before but plan on reading it because it sounds so interesting. Regarding the forest fire, a brush fire came about 3 blocks from our house in Simi Valley back in 1982. Talk about scary!

  16. Marilyn, great to hear about your typical day. Just finished the book. I really enjoyed it!

  17. Things have been rearranged a bit, but I have a post about believable villains here today Saturday, the 17th)

  18. Sounds like an interesting read.