Welcome to Marilyn Meredith!

September 23, 2017

The most prolific, popular, and accomplished author Marilyn Meredith has a new Tempe Crabtree book–just released in August. And today she’s sharing with us the logistics of Tempe getting older. It’s an interesting topic, I think–balancing “moving on” and character’s getting older…Here’s Marilyn!

Marilyn Meredith

Marilyn Meredith’s published book count is nearing 40. She is one of the founding members of the San Joaquin chapter of Sister in Crime. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra, a place with many similarities to Tempe Crabtree’s patrol area.

Webpage:  http://fictionforyou.com Blog:  http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/ and you can follow her on Facebook.

Aging of Characters

In some series the characters never seem to grow older. In my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, Tempe and her family have aged, though probably not as much as if in real time. To be honest I never stopped to figure it out, nor really kept track as I should have.

In the first books, Tempe has a teenaged son, Blair. Through the series he’s gone away to college, graduated, become a fireman though it’s all happened “off screen.”  In Not as it Seems he gets married with the wedding becoming a major part of the plot.

Frankly, I’m not sure how old Tempe is, I only had a vague idea in the beginning of her age. Now, all I can say is she’s old enough to be the mother of Blair, and to have been a deputy for a long time. She may be getting close to retiring time. At this point, I’ve only thought about that and what I might have happen.

Tempe and Hutch met in Deadly Trail and were married in Deadly Omen, though I didn’t write about their wedding. If I were to do it all over again, I think I’d do a better job of planning. The reason I didn’t is because I never thought I’d write so many books in this series—it just happened. I kept wanting to know what happened to Tempe next and the only way to find out was write the next book.

One fact I can give you is that I’ve aged plenty since I started writing this series. (you certainly don’t look it, Marilyn!)

What do you think about your favorite fictional characters, should they age, or remain around the same age forever? (feel free to share your opinion in a comment!)

Here’s a tantalizing teaser from Marilyn for A Cold Death:

Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her husband answer the call for help with unruly guests visiting a closed summer camp during a huge snow storm and are trapped there along with the others. One is a murderer, another a ghost.

Anyone who orders any of my books from the publisher‘s website: http://mundania.com can get 10% off by entering MP20 coupon code in the shopping cart. This is good all the time for all my books, E-books and print books.

On Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074XNP87Z/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503149760&sr=1-1&keywords=a+cold+death+by+marilyn+meredith

And there’s more!

Contest: Once again I’m going to use the name of the person who comments on the most blogs on my tour for the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery—which may be the last in the series.

Tomorrow: I’ll be here: http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/  I’ll be talking about How Tempe Crabtree has Changed Through the Series.


I’ve read A Cold Death, and thoroughly enjoyed Marilyn’s latest Tempe adventure. Here’s my review (on Amazon),

I’m fond of British mysteries, especially Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh, so being stranded at a camp in a blizzard was a very enjoyable traditional kind of setting and plot for me. I’ve followed this series with delight because there are always interesting characters popping into Tempe and Hutch’s world, while they remain traditional and straightforward–even when there’s a touch of the ethereal! So in this Tempe adventure, there’s a great closed setting atmosphere, great character/suspects, and other-worldly happenings! This Tempe adventure easily took me away, I even shivered a couple times, and for me, that’s the mark of good writing. I certainly enjoyed, and highly recommend.

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12 Responses to “Welcome to Marilyn Meredith!”

  1. marilynm said

    Anne, Marja and Rolynn, thank your for your comments, was a fun question, I think. Loved all your answers.

  2. marilynm said

    Lorna, I do think they should age some–and Tempe certainly has.

  3. I like for characters to age in a series.

  4. annerallen said

    I remember reading that Sue Grafton has Kinsey Millhone age one year for every 2 1/2 books. So having your characters age, but more slowly than “real time” seems like a good way to do it.

  5. Yes, Marilyn, I believe the characters should age and change, but as you said, not in real time. Thank you for another wonderful post.

  6. We write fiction, so we get to play with issues of aging. I have enjoyed Gabaldon’s Outlander series, where the characters are older with each book, actually aging faster than the reader is. And now we have a plethora of prequels…so it’s okay to go back and write about Tempe and Hutch getting married, Marilyn. Your books deal with time just fine…you pick important events in Tempe’s life and enlarge upon those…makes sense to me!

  7. marilynm said

    I’ll be gone until late today, but promise I’ll respond to every comment left here when I get home.

  8. marilynm said

    Dee, thank you for the kind words, much appreciated.

  9. Dee Card said

    Tempe has matured both age wise and professionally over the course of the series. As a female cop, I think I have always identified with her. Getting to read the latest book is like catching up with a good friend you haven’t seen in a while

  10. marilynm said

    Thank you for hosting me once again, Madeline. Thank you for your comment, Patricia!

  11. Marilyn continues to be an inspiration to all of us!
    As to her question – I do think, if a series runs long enough, the characters need to age but how a writer handles that is a personal decision.
    Great post!

  12. mmgornell said

    Welcome, Marilyn! It’s a beautiful (but windy) morning here in the Mojave.

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