Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How Long to Continue a Series {+ Contest}

River Spirits coverIt’s always a delight to welcome award-winning author Marilyn Meredith back to Thoughts in Progress. When she stops by, it means she has another intriguing mystery to share with us.

Marilyn’s current release is RIVER SPIRITS, the latest installment in her Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mystery series. Here’s a brief synopsis of the book:

        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.

Please join me in giving Marilyn a warm welcome. Marilyn, welcome and thanks for answering this very important question, ‘How Long will I Continue Writing the Deputy Crabtree Series?’ 

Excellent question.

My answer? I have no clue. (Seems like that’s my answer to a lot of questions.)

When I began I had no idea I would end up writing a series, nor did I realize I would at this point be promoting #14. 

I have toyed with the idea of having Tempe retire from her job as a deputy and perhaps traveling with her preacher husband. She could solve crimes she runs into along the way.

At one time, my goal was to have her son, Blair, grow-up and doing the job he dreamed about--being a fireman. Since he's now a fireman, I'd like to see him married. So of course, I’ll have to write that book.

Interesting things may happen on the Indian Reservation that I borrow from for my books that I’ll want to fictionalize. Who knows, someone may spot the Hairy Man again.

The real inn that I base the Bear Creek Inn on has closed. Should I have the same thing happen in a book? If so, what would cause it? And where would Nick Two John and Claudia go? 

Events happen in real life that trigger ideas for what could happen in Tempe’s fictional world. Of course it is always possible that I'll run out of ideas, though I doubt it.

I guess the real answer is the series will continue as long as I'm able to come up with new ideas to write. – Marilyn.

Marilyn, thanks for stopping by and I, for one, hope you never run out of ideas for this delightful series. Deputy Crabtree is a protagonist that stays with you long after you finish one of her stories.

Now for those who aren’t familiar with Marilyn, let me share a bit of background.

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. 

For more on Marilyn and her writing, visit her at and her blog at


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

You can find Marilyn over at Jackie King’s Murderous Musings tomorrow where Jackie asked her about her writing habits.

Thanks so much for stopping by today during Marilyn’s visit. Have you ever wished a character in a book had your name? If a character was named after you, would you want them to be good or bad?

*This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Thank you so much for introducing me to yet another author. And mysteries are my 'comfort' reads.
    And good luck Marilyn - may your ideas well never run dry.

    1. My you folks must get up early--but I am so happy to see you here. I want to thank Mason for hosting me, and thank you Elephant's Child for your good wishes.

  2. That sounds like a good yardstick to go by...if we run out of ideas, time to close down the series! But it sounds like you've got a lot of good ideas ahead of you, Marilyn.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I must admit that sometimes I wonder what on earth shall I write about now.

  3. Indian reservation? Unique setting for a story.
    As long as you have ideas, keep writing. Mysteries do better in long series than other genres. I knew when to quit at three.

    1. Hi, Alex, since we live near a reservation, having Tempe involved with things that happen there was a no-brainer.

  4. I continued my series to five books and still might write a sixth one day. If it's up to you and not your publisher, you'll know when you to quit.

    1. I was late with this one to my publishers, and was asked where the book was--so I think I'm good with them.

  5. Mason - Thanks for hosting Marilyn.

    Marilyn - Thanks for sharing your thoughts on continuing a series. I like the connection you make between the author's inspiration and the series. If the author is no longer inspired, neither will readers be...

  6. You are exactly right, Margot, when I'm no longer inspired to write about Tempe, that will be the end.

  7. I love it that you take real incidents and work them into your stories. Maybe Claudia dies under mysterious circumstances. Since she owns the inn, Tempe would have to investigate. Yes?

  8. Marilyn, thanks again for joining us and talking about your series. Maybe one day Tempe could even become sheriff. Wishing you much success and many, many more ideas to come.

    Hi and waves to all. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  9. Good idea, Lorna. I'll have to file that one away. Being Sheriff would be interesting, but would never happen in Tulare County, and I do use the real country--there is too much of a good old boy network here.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.