Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Guest Marilyn Meredith: My Bumpy Writers Journey

I'm so pleased to welcome Marilyn Meredith to my place today! She's been in this business for awhile and  has invaluable advice for writers. Check out her new book. And, hey, be sure to check out the end of the blog for an extraordinary offer. 

My Bumpy Writers Journey

Before I even begin I’m going to give any aspiring writers my best piece of advice—never give up. You’ll see why as you read about the hurdles I jumped over.

I’m not going into the nitty gritty of how difficult it was to even write and submit a book when I began before there were computers and no Internet, suffice it to say it wasn’t easy. Anyone who was easily discouraged did give up. I sent my typed and retyped manuscript off nearly 30 times before it was accepted. (There were plenty of rewrites along the way.)

At that time I didn’t have the benefit of writers conferences, most of my writing education came from reading books and seeing how other authors did it. (I’m horrified today by how many new writers I hear say they don’t have time to read.) My education grew as I subscribed to writer’s magazines and joined a critique group.

Despite being published the first time, my next move was a misstep. The next book was accepted by a publisher who despite glowing words everywhere turned out to be a crook. Yes, truly, he ended up in jail because he didn’t bother to pay royalties.

Even using Writers Digest’s big market book, I got tangled up with two more publishers who weren’t honest.

I’ve been with two small press publishers who died, and two who decided the publishing business was not for them.

While attending writers’ conferences I met the publishers I’m with now.

Oak Tree Press’s owner attended the Public Safety Writers Association’s writers conference regularly. When I pulled my contract from the publisher I was with I asked if she’d be interested in publishing my Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Not long after that I signed a contract wither her for the next book. Since that time she’s republished all the books in the series.

I belong to Epic which is an organization for e-publishers and authors, where I’d met Mundania Press’s publisher. At a cocktail party I approached him about picking up my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. He said yes and I’ve been with them ever since.

What every aspiring writer needs to do is check out the publishers you are thinking of approaching. Ask their writers about their experience. Make sure your book fits the house’s criteria. And lately, it’s been important to most publishers that you have a marketing plan for your books. Today, with so many people writing, first make sure you have the best book you can possibly write so you stand out.

Most of all, don’t get discouraged. Write, write, write and keep submitting. Most writers don’t have quite the bumpy journey I had. Giving up would have been easy, but I didn’t and I’m glad.

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 and follow her blog at

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, Wing Beat, Intervention, Calling the Dead, Judgment Fire, Kindred Spirits, Dispel the Mist, Invisible Path, Bears With Us, Raging Water.


  1. Thank you, Kaye, for hosting me today as I progress along the blog tour trail.


  2. Glad you were persistent and that your current publishers are still keeping your series going. It's not easy, but worth it when the books are published.

  3. There are lots of long, bumpy roads out there for writers, aren't there? Kudos, Marilyn, on making it!

    Thanks for stopping in, Lorna.

  4. You've learned a lot of lessons in your career. Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like you've found great publishers.

  5. Thanks for writing about your publishing struggles, Marilyn. It's encouraging to see that hard work pays off. I wish you much continued success!

  6. You've had a rocky road to some equally twisty books, Marilyn! Glad you stayed with it.

  7. Sounds like you progressed from one bad experience to another. Glad things finally smoothed out but you did gain useful knowledge which you share generously with other writers. As a reader we are not often aware of trials & tribulations of publishing. Thanks for hanging in there to keep your readers supplied.

  8. Thanks for stopping in, all of you. I hope one of you get picked for the name contest!

  9. Marilyn, you are an inspiration. Can't say too often.


  10. I had to go to the doc's, what a pleasure to come home to so many great comments. Thank you, Lorna, Kathy, Susan, Jenny, Jake and Madeline.

    My message always is perseverance pays off.

  11. I'm glad you kept at it all these years, Marilyn. I love your work and can't wait to see what you come up with next.

  12. Marilyn,
    Getting ahead in the writing world is hard enough, without having to deal with dishonest publishers. Good for you for staying the course and being a success.

  13. Thank you, Cheryl, you are always supportive and I appreciate that.

    And Marilyn, not so sure how successful I am, but I really love writing!