Thoughts About Writing a Continuing Series

The Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series is different in many ways from the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

Probably the biggest difference is that most of the Tempe books are in close third person, but mainly from her point of view. The few times I've put something in someone else's point of view it has only been for a prologue or first chapter when there was something I really wanted reader's to know that couldn't come from Tempe's POV.

In the new one, Spirit Shapes, the whole story unfolds through Tempe's eyes.

With every Tempe mystery there is a touch of Indian spiritualism or supernatural of some sort--and in Spirit Shapes there is lots, but in a different form than I've ever written about before. I don't want to say anymore as I sure don't want to spoil what's coming--and it's still a long ways off.

Tempe has been a part of my life for many years now. And of course her life isn't moving as fast as mine--a good hing, or she'd be getting too old to be a deputy.

Having her job be a resident deputy in a small mountain community has kept me from having to deal with gangs or too much of the drug culture--though I have put a bit of that in a couple of books.

The setting of the series is mainly in a mountain community near an Indian reservation--similar to where I live. There is a problem here with meth--though the real resident deputy who is male is really trying to get rid of all the dealers and addicts. Probably an impossible path. I've chosen a different way to go with Tempe because I think it's a lot more fun to write about unusual crimes--and read about them too.

Tempe is married to a minister--and I've tried to show him as a real minister, one who reads the Bible, preaches on Sunday, but also takes care of his flock. That was most evident in Raging Water where the church housed and fed those who had been displaced by the flooding of Bear Creek and the road from town being blocked by a mud slide.

Because it is a small town, he often helps Tempe when he can, supporting her in many different ways including spiritually.

And I must confess, there are far more murders in Bear Creek and around than there have been in the town I live in. In 30 years there have been only two--one that was difficult to solve and another that was quite obvious who the killer was. However there were two suspicious deaths of women I knew but never investigated which was the basis for the mystery in Raging Water.

As time goes on, I'll be telling you more about Deputy Tempe Crabtree and the series in general.


Available in many places online including the publisher's website


Jean Henry Mead said…
You've done a good job with both series, Marilyn. I enjoy writing my Logan & Cafferty series because by now I know my characters so well. I'm sure you feel the same about your own.
Fascinating post, Marilyn. I enjoy your point of view--whatever POV you use in your novels your faith and optimism shine through. The little mountain town where I live is sinking under the weight of drug addiction and production though we, too, have good deputies and pastors. Oh that life would reflect fiction in your case!
M.M. Gornell said…
Love, Tempe!

marja said…
I enjoyed learning the why and the how of this series. Tempe is a wonderful character!
Marja McGraw

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