Ghosts, Spirits, and Things That Go Bump in the Night with Marilyn Meredith

 Marilyn Meredith, who is also known as F.M. Meredith, is the author of nearly forty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, published by Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, Oak Tree Press publishes her Rocky Bluff P.D. series. 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 on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra in a place similar to Bear Creek, the setting of most of her Tempe Crabtree series. For over 20 years, she lived in a Beach community with many similarities to Rocky Bluff.

Ghosts, Spirits, and Things That Go Bump in the Night

When I began writing the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, my plan was to incorporate a great deal of Native American legends and mysticism. Tempe, who is part Indian, is the resident deputy of a small mountain community. In early books, Tempe participates in several Indian rituals and ceremonies to help solve a crime. When Tempe calls back someone from the dead to find out the truth about a suicide and a murder in Calling the Dead, a door is opened to the spirit world.

From then on, she has unexpected visits from spirits of murder victims, sometimes offering confusing information that is at first not particularly helpful to solving the crimes. She’s also had many visions of Indians from the past.

In Spirit Shapes a body is found by ghost hunters in a haunted house. When Tempe is called to investigate, she faces an onslaught of spirits and ghosts. Some of the spirits are evil—and the ghosts are victims of crimes from the past.

In the book that follows, River Spirits, a movie company is filming on the nearby Indian reservation and one of the actors is found dead. While hoping to trap the murderer, Tempe is guided by unusual spirits that rise from the river called Bear Creek.

Not as it Seems is the latest in the series. Tempe and her husband go to Morro Bay to attend their son’s wedding and enjoy a much needed vacation. Her son asks her to try to find the missing maid-of-honor, and of course Tempe agrees. When the young woman turns up as a ghost, Tempe knows she’s been murdered and continues the investigation. She has no idea what all of her encounters with Indian spirits from the past could possibly mean.

My Rocky Bluff P.D. series is a police procedural and has had nothing to do with ghosts until the last one, Violent Departures. When Detective Doug Milligan and his family move into their new house, it isn’t long before they realize it has another occupant, a ghost. Even though the youngest member of the family has had conversations with the spirit, Doug is reluctant to believe in the phenomena. What happens is a side plot to the main story.

I’ve always been fascinated by ghost stories and haunted houses. Hubby and I have stayed in several haunted hotels, even once in the room that was purported to be haunted. However, I’ve never seen a ghost though my grandkids all think the old house that we live in is haunted.

Oh, I’ve had many eerie experiences over the years, but no ghost sightings. I have lots of fun writing about what I think it might be like.

If you visit my website,  you can read the first chapters of most of my books.

I also have a blog  where I too host authors and write about various subjects.

If you’ve ever had a ghostly encounter, tell us about it here in a comment.


17 thoughts on “Ghosts, Spirits, and Things That Go Bump in the Night with Marilyn Meredith”

  1. What a timely interview. Your Tempe Crabtree character always takes the reader on an interesting walk, if not run, through Indian lore and legends as she tracks down a killer, but the latest books go a step further. Always fun and interesting to learn new stuff. And what a great way to celebrate Halloween. Real spirits bring a certain immediacy to the story.

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  2. I keep trying to get the time to review Spirit Shapes! That ghostly stuff is great. I always wonder if the general reading public likes to hear about it or is turned off by it. We have had spirit/paranormal encounters. My mother often told (when she was herself) of the time that her bed caught on fire (from her smoking in bed!!) and I was a preteen. Smoke was starting to fill the room and she was totally asleep. Then she heard her mother (dead a year) calling to her from the end of the bed. “Jodie! Jodie, get up!”

    She sat up, somehow not overcome by the smoke, and threw her comforter and blanket over the smoldering area. Then she came to get me and my cat (in the next bedroom over) and ran us back to the kitchen, where she had a fire extinguisher. We opened all the windows. It was a cool summer night, about 2 AM. I now realize she should've called the firemen, but she got the smoldering under control with a couple of kettlefuls of water. We got lucky with that . . . or did we have lots of Heavenly help?

    Denise Weeks' LOVE IS THE BRIDGE explores what would happen if a confused spirit decided you were his long-lost love who had spurned him long ago, and he got into an AI in a nearby computer and began haunting and pursuing you. Of course you would think it was a hacker or stalker on this plane, and you would recruit your new computer-savvy boss/friend to help you . . . but you might not find a hacker. What, other than programs, might be on the 'net? It is intriguing to explore.

    The veil is thinning today. Tomorrow it is All Hallows' Eve. And a full moon, to boot. Are you ready to see what may happen right before you, readers? If not, you can always read our books for the vicarious experience! Peace, out.

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  3. As you know, Marilyn, I thoroughly enjoy both your series! As you also know, recently finished Not as it Seems, and wasn't disappointed! Read in one sitting, nice getting to know Tempe better and felt like I was really experiencing the events(no spoilers here!) she was experiencing. Great seeing you here, always love hearing from you. As I said someplace else recently, keep 'em coming!

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  4. Whenever there's a haunted house or ghost in one of your stories, I am totally captivated. Love both series and always wait for the next one to be released. Like Marilyn and Shalanna, I also was spoken to by my mother when I was alone and completely terrified…waiting for the results of a mammogram they'd just taken for the second time that day. Perfect article for the eve of Halloween.

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  5. I haven't read any of Tempe's stories yet, Marilyn, but if you write them as cleverly as your Rocky Bluff series they will be enjoyable. To date the scariest haunted house mystery IMO is The Haunting of Hill House by Jackson, although The Little Stranger by Waters is deeply creepy! Thanks for blogging with us – I love your regular “Musings” blog too.

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