Tempe Crabtree–What a Great Name!

September 13, 2012

I’m honored to feature Marilyn Meredith today. She’s on a blog tour, and Deputy Tempe Crabtree is a very interesting character. Here’s Marilyn…

Marilyn Meredith

Madeline asked me to write about this topic. I’ve been writing about Tempe for a long, long time. To be perfectly honest, she seems like a real person to me.

Her creation began a long time ago when I went on a ride-along with a female police officer in the small town of Porterville. From the hours of  3 a.m. until 6 she didn’t get a single call. During that time she told me what it was like to be the only female officer in the department and being a single mom with a son who worried about her dangerous job.  I also interviewed the female resident deputy of  the town I lived in and she truly bared her soul about her job. When I met a young Native American woman at a totally unrelated function, I knew I wanted to combine these women into one character and from them Tempe Crabtree emerged.

I’ve had people ask me if there’s anything of me in Tempe and the answer has to be “no.” The only exception might be Tempe’s strength and her sense of right from wrong. I’m not Indian—though I have a great-granddaughter and a granddaughter who are part Indians (different tribes)—but I’ve borrowed a lot from the Indians who live on the Tule River Indian Reservation.

I’ve never been in law enforcement though I have many relatives who have been or are now. My uncle was an LAPD motorcycle cop. My son-in-law was many years with Oxnard P.D. and 6 months as an El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy until he was killed in the line of duty. I learned a lot from him and he is the one who got me interested in writing about people in law enforcement. And today, my grandson-in-law is a deputy in Southern California and one of my grandsons is an Aspen police officer. And yes, I do get ideas from them and I know what’s important in their lives.

When Tempe faces a challenge of any kind, I know how she will react. I know how she’ll talk to people. I know she’ll always try to find out the truth. She’ll never take the easy way out no matter what it may cost her.

Raging Water

In Tempe latest adventure, Raging Water, she faces some challenges she’s never had before.

Raging Water Blurb: Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s  investigation of the murder of two close friends is complicated when relentless rain turns Bear Creek into a raging river. Homes are inundated and a mud slide blocks the only road out of Bear Creek stranding many—including the murderer.

Contest: The person who leaves comments on the most blogs will have his/her name used for a character in my next book—can choose if you want it in a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery or a Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel.

Bio: Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Raging Water from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel us No Bells, the forth from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and follow her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/

Marilyn borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area.

I know there are some people who like to read a series in order, but let me reassure you that every book is complete. Though the characters grow through each book, the crime is always solved. Here is the order of the books for anyone who wants to know: Deadly Trail, Deadly Omen, Unequally Yoked, Intervention, Wing Beat, Calling the Dead, Judgment Fire, Kindred Spirits, Dispel the Mist, Invisible Path, Bears With Us, Raging Water.

Thanks, Marilyn for visiting my blog today, and much success with all your wonderful titles. I love both your series!

Marilyn and I at a Conference


11 Responses to “Tempe Crabtree–What a Great Name!”

  1. marilynm said

    Hi, Jake, glad you found this!

  2. Jake said

    Almost missed this one. Enjoy both you and Gornell. Delighted to have you both in our local library. Have your latest on my TBR list to remind me there are some excellent books to read this winter.

  3. marilynm said

    CC so glad I surprised you a bit with this information about Tempe.

    Jackie, thanks for stopping by, always great to have you visit.

    Marja, Raging Water does have the component of a locked room mystery only with lots more people, since it’s a whole lot more people.

    Wow, Patricia, that would be exciting to have a book club read my book! If it doesn’t happen though, I’ll be pleased just to know you read it.

  4. Marilyn,
    I am so looking forward to reading “Raging Water.” I own it but I haven’t had a chance yet to read it. On the 24th, I’m going to suggest it to my book club as our October choice. We’ll see what they decide. Either way, I’m reading it!

  5. Talk about timing. Just as I was leaving a comment our Internet connection went out and now I can’t remember what I said. At any rate, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one whose characters feel real.

    When I book has a concept of everyone being trapped somewhere with a killer, it can be very exciting. I think your idea is pretty unique, and I can’t wait to read Raging Water.

  6. Loved hearing more about Tempe!

  7. I knew parts of this, but other things were new to me. Seems you learn new things about your favorite characters all the time.

    Wishing you the best,


  8. marilynm said

    Oh, Lorna, you think so much like me at time. She (and her husband) are also friends–met them at a conference. Madeline and I met at a book fair and a conference.

  9. mmgornell said

    Good morning, Marilyn! Yes, we always have fun! Our last “meeting” at PSWA was a wonderful conference, and so many wonderful writers, and talks about writing. (Marilyn coordinates all the panels and speakers–a realllly big job!)

    It’s always a pleasure when you stop by, and as you already know, I love both your series, and Tempe is one of my favorites! Thank you for your thoughtful comments on Tempe.

  10. When we were at our writing group one night we were discussing what our character would or wouldn’t do. One of the others said, “You talk as though it’s a real person.” Larry and I looked at each other then at her. I replied, “Of course, he’s a real person. If we don’t believe it, neither will our readers.”
    That’s what I love about Tempe. She’s real.

  11. marilynm said

    Thanks you for having me today. Because it’s been so long since I wrote this post, I was surprised by what I’d written, not because it wasn’t true, but how I put it. Folks, Madeline and I have been friends for awhile now, and we have so much fun when we’re together, which frankly isn’t often enough.

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