The Bumpy Road of Publication

River SpiritsOnce the first Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery was written I began looking for an agent, because that’s what everyone said I must do in order to get the series published. The first one to accept the manuscript wanted me to change the name of my heroine. She said Tempe Crabtree was far too difficult to remember. We parted ways. While attending a writer’s conference I had an appointment with a famous agent and she agreed to take on the series. After more than three years and the submission of a new book each year, I asked to see my rejections. That’s when I learned she’d only sent the books to three publishers in all that time. Golden Eagle Press, a small independent publisher, published another book of mine and when I told her about my series, she said she’d like to publish it. By that time I’d written five books in the series. Golden Eagle Press wanted to begin with Deadly Omen which was #2 in the series. I wasn’t about to argue. My series was going to be published! This was long before print-on-demand. The books came out in mass-market paperback, but unfortunately didn’t have much distribution. I met another publisher, Hard Shell Word Factory, at a writer’s conference who wanted to publish the first one in the series, Deadly Trail, as an e-book. I agreed readily. She then published the next ones: Unequally Yoked, Intervention, and Wing Beat as e-books. Then something horrible happened, my Golden Eagle Press publisher passed away. I lost a friend as well as a publisher. Hard Shell picked up the first 4 books and republished them. The publisher had a horrible personal tragedy and decided to close her publishing company. Back to where I began, I once more went to a writers’ conference and met another publisher who agreed to pick up the series, and that’s where they all are now, All are in print, and various forms of e-book, and a few are audio books. And of course you also can find them on and 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. Bio: 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 Contest: The winner will be the person who comments on the most blog posts during the 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 I’ll be visiting My topic, where Deputy Tempe Crabtree came from. Marilyn in pensive mood_edited-1

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The Bumpy Road of Publication — 30 Comments

  1. Marilyn,
    You are truly an inspiration to all of us. Your road to publication was so rocky that many others would have given up. You didn’t. And I’m very glad because I love reading the books in both of your series!

  2. It’s a pleasure. This is an interesting post. I remember hearing you speak about some of these experiences at various functions I attended when I lived in California.

    • It seems the beginnings of these tours are often a bit hard to get going. But I’m tickled to be visiting with Linda today. Looking forward to my visit to your blog, Madeline.

  3. Perseverance definitely pays off in this profession. Your results are well deserved. Not only are you a great writer, you are also one of the most active and busy people I know, a great role model, especially for those just starting out.

  4. Thanks. I’ll look at tomorrow. This was a good experience for me. My blog has only been up since last July (maybe August). My publisher says to expect my first edit of my debut novel within a week or two. These are all experiences you’ve had over and over. I’m just beginning. Thank you, Marilyn, for the experience. This has been a fun day.

  5. Thank goodness you kept going to workshops and book conventions. Tempe is a great character and I love her stories

    • Hi, Paty, looking back I don’t really remember how difficult some of it was, I just knew I had to keep writing and maybe someday I’d have someone reading what I wrote!

    • Hi, Cindy, you have done so well–what a change since I first met you at that quite strange book festival. You live and write about one of my favorite places in California.

  6. It’s unfortunate that there are so many thoughtless – even unscrupulous – people eager to take advantage of aspiring authors. This just proves that even when dealing with known professionals, it pays to keep a hand on the rudder of your own career. Things do often have a way of working out as they’re meant to, though, in the end. I’m glad you found a good home for your series, Marilyn.