John M. Wills

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Deputy Tempe Crabtree

New Release From Successful Author

What’s it Like Having Two Different Publishers? That’s the question I posed to talented author, Marilyn Meredith. She honored me by being the first to host her on a brand new blog tour. Enjoy her comments below.

Marilyn at CRSA ConfereinceOver the years I’ve had many different publishers for all sorts of reasons. For my Rocky Bluff P.D. series, the first publisher was a pioneer in e-publishing. The problem was no one had a clue what e-publishing meant. Because there were no e-readers at the time, the book had to be read on the computer and didn’t catch on. From there I went to another novice e-publisher, though by that time, print on demand had come along. I switched publishers and had two more books in the series published, but the publisher decided to move on to other pursuits. Of course I found another publisher.

My Deputy Tempe Crabtree series had a bit of a different history. The first publisher had four books in the series printed as mass-market paperback. Sadly, she passed away unexpectedly. The next publisher knew all about e-publishing and print-on-demand. Life became a problem, and she gave up her business. It was purchased by Mundania Press who has continued to publish the series.

Both my present publishers are savvy about the publishing business, but tackle things in totally different ways. Because I am friends with the publisher of the RBPD series, we discuss both publishing and other topics on a regular basis and even have lunch together now and then. I hire an editor to go over my manuscript before I send it on to the publisher, because she doesn’t have a big staff.

I’ve met the former and present owner of Mundania at different conferences. I’m Facebook friends with both. Mundania has a huge stable of authors and professional editors and cover artists on staff. I’m very fond of covers of my books done by one of their artists.

My feeling is the biggest difference between the two publishers is the size of the operations. I’m happy with both.

The latest in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series is Seldom Traveled.Seldom Traveled Front Cover

The tranquility 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.

Who is Marilyn Meredith?

Marilyn has had so many books published, she’s lost track of the count, but it’s getting near 40. She lives in a community 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 Mystery Writers of American, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, and is a board member of Public Safety Writers of America.

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’s stop is here:




A Visit With Author, Marilyn Meredith

Welcome, Marilyn, tell us a little bit more about yourself.

I wear many hats. Actually, I seldom wear any, but I have a lot of things that I am and do, namely wife and mom, grandmom and great-grandmom, Sunday School teacher, mentor to other writers—and of course a writer myself. I love to read and watch movies. Marilyn with books.

What are your immediate goals?

That’s a good question. I don’t often think in terms of goals except what I plan to accomplish each day. Anyone who is my friend on Facebook knows that I plan out what I’m going to do and then do it. I’ve always derived satisfaction from accomplishing things.

What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?

Whenever someone tells me they enjoyed my book—and even more when they tell me things that they loved about it.

Tell us about your new release, Spirit Shapes. Is it available in print and e-book?

In Spirit Shapes, ghost hunters stumble upon a murdered teen in a haunted house. Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s investigation pulls her into a whirlwind of restless spirits, good and evil, intertwined with the past and the present, and demons and angels at war.

And yes,  it is available in both formats.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

I was brought up in God-loving, church going family and of course this does have some influence on my writing—I shut bedroom doors (people can use their imaginations) and I don’t use “bad language” in my books. Yes, some of the characters curse—I just don’t quote them.

As far as environment, I use where I live as the basis for the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, the Southern Sierra (the mountain range at the eastern edge of California’s central valley). Tempe is the resident deputy in the town of Bear Creek which has a strong resemblance to the town closest to me. The actual Bear Creek is much like the Tule River which runs through town and in back of my house. Because we have an Indian reservation as a neighbor and Tempe is Native American as are some other characters in the series, and the reservation sometimes has a part in the books.

Where, when, and what is the perfect surrounding when you write?

I write best in my office on my computer in the early morning hours. However, when I’m planning a new book, I can write anywhere—in a notebook, scrap paper, whatever is handy, while I’m riding in a car, at a writing conference, wherever and idea pops into my head.Spirit Shapes Cover

After hours of writing, how do you unwind?

Usually by doing work that needs to be done in the house, folding laundry, preparing dinner. (Being a writer is such an exciting life.) At least once a week, hubby and I go to town and see a movie and go out to lunch. I don’t do any writing in the evening. Because I get up early, I usually go to bed early though I may watch a little TV, or a movie, or read.

Another way of unwinding is when we go to a conference or a book festival which we love to do, and we treat the trip like a mini-vacation.


The person who comments on the most blogs on this blog tour will have the opportunity to have a character named after him or her in the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

Tomorrow I’ll be visiting here:  and    

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