What Makes a Mystery Writer and When Does Writing Mysteries Become an Obsession

Author Marilyn Meredith

Author Marilyn Meredith

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 her website Fiction For You at her blog



Rebecca asked me to answer this question, what makes a mystery writer, along with a couple of others. All I can do is tell you what makes me a mystery writer.

The #1 answer is that I love and always have loved reading mysteries—all kinds. It seemed natural to me that I should try my hand at writing them.

Rebecca also wanted to know if I had a particular way of looking at things. Yes, one thing I do that I have realized not everyone does is I pay attention to details. I notice my surroundings. I pay attention to people, how they look, what they have on, and quirks they have.

I also take note of situations that might be dangerous. I keep my eyes open and I always make eye contact with people. One thing I’ve noticed is if I smile at someone who is scowling and perhaps has a scary demeanor, if I smile, most often I’ll get a smile in return.

River Spirits Book Tour

River Spirits Book Tour

Why would I do all that? First, it helps keep me safe, and second, the people I’m paying attention to along with the situations, might make it into one of my mysteries one day.

Listening in on conversations is also something I seem compelled to do. Used to be I mainly did this in restaurants, much to my husband’s dismay. Now it’s a cinch with people talking so loudly into their cellphones. I’ve heard some remarkable phone conversations that I’m sure weren’t meant to be overheard. All fodder for a mystery.

Her last question, Is mystery writing an obsession of mine? It’s great fun to think up scary situations to put my characters in and how they will manage to save themselves—if they can. When it comes to murder and Tempe trying to figure out “who dunnit,” I need to plan the clues for her to follow (and for the reader too), that won’t be too obvious for either one.

Even before I finish one book, ideas are popping in my head for the next one. In other words, it is an obsession I have no control over.




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.


River Spirits is available in all the following formats;



Amazon Kindle:

Amazon paperback:



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.

This is the last day to leave a comment—and the last day of my contest.

Keep an eye on my Facebook and my blog where I’ll post the winner of the contest.



Rebecca is a book coach, editor, and publicist. She coaches aspiring writers, entrepreneurs, and coaches from idea or manuscript to become self-published non-fiction authors. Let YOUR book show YOUR expertise, knowledge, and passion! Sign up for my newsletter to receive tips and tricks just for authors.

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5 comments on “What Makes a Mystery Writer and When Does Writing Mysteries Become an Obsession
  1. marilynm says:

    Thank you so much, Rebecca, for hosting me today–the very last day of my book tour.

  2. lindamthorne says:

    You do really well at planting the right clues. They don’t seem to hit me until it all comes together. I really liked where the murder weapon was found in River Spirits. It was necessary to the ending and found in a perfect spot. I didn’t know who was the killer until close to the end either, but when I did, I remembered a trickling of clues along the way. Thank you.

  3. JL Greger says:

    Marilyn, You made it through another 30-day blogging tour. This blog is a great finale to the run. Thanks

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I'm Rebecca Camarena

I'm a book coach, editor, author, ghostwriter. I coach aspiring writers, entrepreneurs and coaches from idea or manuscript to become self-published non-fiction authors. Let YOUR book show YOUR expertise, knowledge and passion. Sign up for my newsletter filled with author tips.

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