Thursday, November 13, 2014

Featuring Guest Blogger Marilyn Meredith

My Writing Process

by Marilyn Meredith
The author at a writer's conference

First I should say that I am not an outliner. However, that doesn't mean that I don't plan ahead.

Because I'm writing a series, I know my main characters. I begin by thinking what kind of crime Deputy Tempe Crabtree will have to solve--usually a murder. If a murder, who will be the victim, the motive, and who had a motive--usually more than one person.

At the same time, I want something to be happening in Tempe's private life. Sometimes it's a continuation of what was happening in the last book. 

I have a notebook where I start writing things such as character names and descriptions and plot threads. 

My goal is always to come up with a first sentence that will hook the reader. Once I have that I can usually start writing on the computer.

While I'm writing, I continue keeping notes, especially what happens on each day. I started doing this when an editor pointed  out that I'd left out a day in one of my manuscripts. 

I try to write five days a week and the best time for me is morning. 

I read each chapter to my critique group, and make changes and corrections the following day. I consider that as my first edit.

Once I've finished, I go through the whole book. I do the Word edit and spell-check. 

Next, I send it off to the publisher and it is assigned to an editor. The edits may come back to me a couple of times. 

And last of all is when the galley proof arrives--that one I print out and go over carefully. 

As most authors know, no matter how many times a book is checked,  a typo or two seem to slip into the printed book. I think there are gremlins afoot that attack a book right before it goes into print.

And for those who often ask, I don't play music when I'm writing. As for what I drink, I begin my day with Chai latte.


Blurb for River Spirits:
While filming a movie on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation, the film crew trespasses on sacred ground, threats are made against the female stars, a missing woman is found by the Hairy Man, an actor is murdered and Deputy Tempe Crabtree has no idea who is guilty. Once again, the elusive and legendary Hairy Man plays an important role in this newest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest River Spirits from Mundania Press. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at and her blog at 

The winner will be the person who comments on the most blog posts during my current tour.
He or she can either have a character in my next book named after them, or choose an earlier book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series—either a paper book or e-book.

Tomorrow you can find me hanging out with George Cramer and I’m talking about taking a break—or not.

From the publisher, all formats:

For Kindle:

Amazon paperback:
For Nook


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today.

Jackie King said...

Marilyn, it was my pleasure. I loved your article AND your books!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thank you, again, Jackie. You're a peach.

authorlindathorne said...

I like the part about the gremlins that attack right before books are published. I always see errors in every book. Some so minor most people won't find them, but even in books published by the giant publishers, there normally are a few. Either missing words or misspelled words. There might be grammar mistakes too, but grammar is not my big talent, so I don't catch those mistakes (unless big). Your tour looks like it's successful so far. Good going.

Jackie King said...

Thanks for stopping by, Linda. I, too, always find errors in my published books. My eyes just seem to bulge out of my head, and I wonder, "Why, or why, didn't I see that."