Marilyn Meredith has so graciously agreed to post on my Wild About Fiction Blog today. Welcome Marilyn. I know your post will present my readers with great insights to writing a mystery. Thank you for sharing with us. (Check out the copy cover for Marilyn's new book below her post.)
Keeping a Mystery Series Fresh
The publisher and I count the number of books in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series differently—I say the latest, Not as it Seems, is number 15 because I’m counting the prequel and they don’t. (Well they do, but on their website it says it’s number 0.) Either way, it’s a lot of books. Some series end with three or four.
One big reason I keep writing about Tempe Crabtree is because I really care about my characters and want to see what’s going to happen to them next. They’ve become like family, and the only way I’ll know what’s going on in their lives is to write the next book.
Most of the series is set in the fictional town of Bear Creek and the whole mountain area above and below it, including the nearby Indian reservation. In this particular mystery, Tempe and her pastor husband Hutch are in Morro Bay (California) to celebrate son, Blair’s wedding. A new setting and many new places for Tempe and Hutch to visit while she attempts to solve a murder.
In a much earlier book, Tempe, using an Indian ritual, called back the dead to find out the truth about a murder and suicide. Since that time, she’s been visited by spirits of the dead including some from long ago. Of course, this happens to her again in a totally new way.
Tempe and Hutch have a good marriage, but sometimes Tempe’s persistence tries her husband’s patience. I like to write about the difficulties in even a great marriage and I believe it adds authenticity to their relationship. To Hutch, family is more important than anything else. But once Tempe is on the trail of a killer she won’t give up, no matter how many dead ends she encounters.
Like any series, I need to find someone to kill who has several people who might want the person dead or at least out of the way. And if possible, find a new means of murder.
Tempe will find herself in mortal danger, but being a strong female, she’ll save herself and solve the crime. That’s the kind of book I like to read, and I hope others do too.
Not as It Seems Blurb:
Tempe and Hutch travel to Morro Bay for son Blair’s wedding, but when the maid-of-honor disappears, Tempe tries to find her. The search is complicated by ghosts and Native spirits.
Character Naming Contest:
Once again, I’ll name a character after the person who leaves a comment on the most blogs.
Tomorrow I’ll be stopping by Libby McKinmer’s http://www.libbymckinmer.blogspot.com/ and answering the question How Important is it that Tempe Crabtree is an Indian?
How Important is it that Tempe Crabtree is an Indian?
Marilyn Meredith now lives in the foothills of the Southern Sierra, about 1000 feet lower than Tempe’s Bear Creek, but much resembles the fictional town and surroundings. She has nearly 40 books published, mostly mysteries. Besides writing, she loves to give presentations to writers’ groups. She’s on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and a member of Mystery Writers of America and three chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter.