Writer's Notes

Killing Your Darlings: or Whatever by Marilyn Meredith

By Marilyn Meredith

When asked if I’d like to join in on this discussion, my first thought was eliminating those pesky words and phrases that pop up almost unintentionally in everything I write—so, that, just, as, and any unnecessary adverbs and adjectives.

But instead of talking about them, I thought I’d like to bring up my darlings I don’t want to kill off.

I love writing about ghosts and spirits, and in nearly all of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries one or two make an appearance. (Oops, I guess I couldn’t really kill them off because they are already dead.)

In my latest offering, titled Spirit Wind, there is indeed a ghost, and something else that travels on the wind. Unfortunately, it isn’t available yet because I haven’t finished it.

AColdDeath-lgIn the most recent published tale, A Cold Death, the ghost of a young girl seeks Tempe’s help.

The one before that, Seldom Traveled doesn’t have a ghost, but there is definitely something supernatural watching over Tempe as her life is threatened by fire and a murderer.

I can’t imagine writing about Tempe and not including a ghost, spirit or something not quite of this world. Besides the fact that I like imagining what it might be like for Tempe to be confronted by these other worldly specters, it’s great fun to write about her encounters and weave them into the story plot.

To end this, I don’t want to write what everyone else is writing about. Keeping my darlings, in this case, ghosts and spirits, “alive” in Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s world is what I plan to do.


–Marilyn Meredith


Marilyn in Vegas 1
Marilyn Meredith


Bio: Marilyn Meredith is the author of over nearly forty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra with her husband, grands and great-grands, and numerous animals. Under the name F. M. Meredith, she writes the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series. She is a member of MWA, three chapters of Sisters in Crime and on the board for Public Safety Writers Association.


Visit her at and follow her blog at


Latest books:

AColdDeath-lgA Cold Death


Seldom Traveled Front Cover

Seldom Traveled