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Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Nearing forty published books, frequent guest mystery author Marilyn Meredith is the epitome of perseverance. Learn why today as she tells us about her frustrating publishing journey. Learn more about Marilyn and her books at her website and blog.


My whole publishing career has been fraught with frustrations.

After nearly thirty rejections, my first book was published by a major publisher way back in 1982. I thought I had it made. Surely my second book would be accepted by the same publisher. Nope, the editor who loved that first book moved on; her replacement wasn’t interested.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not exactly sure of the order of the next events unfolded, but I’ll just list them.

That second book was picked up by a publisher who turned out a beautiful book—the problem was that the publisher decided he could make more money by gambling away what should have been his authors’ royalties, and he landed in jail.

Way back in the early part of my career and before the Internet, I had a book accepted by a publisher, but he wanted it camera-ready. My computer wasn’t up to that, so a friend who owned a computer shop let me use one of his computers between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. when he opened. I slaved over that book and finally sent it in. I didn’t hear for ages, so called, and this is what his wife said, “Oh, my dear, my husband passed away, and I’ve no plans to continue his publishing business.”

I found the publisher for my Rocky Bluff P.D. series in the Writer’s Digest Market Place—signed the contract and found out that he was only going to publish e-books. This was long before anyone had a clue what an e-book was and if someone could figure out how to buy it, it had to be read on a computer. That didn’t work.

Then I found another publisher for the first two books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Unfortunately, he didn’t keep track of nor pay royalties. I took back my rights and went with a highly recommended publisher, who did the next two books, and then decided she didn’t want to be a publisher anymore.

Yes, I did find another publisher for that series and everything went well for many more books before disaster struck. The publisher had a series of strokes, and all operations ceased. (She was a good friend, and it’s been hard on many levels.) I am still dealing with the aftermath, though have found another publisher for the series.

With my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, the first four books were published as mass-market paperbacks—and this publisher, another good friend, passed away. The series was picked up by another great publisher, but several family tragedies made her close the publishing house. Now the series is being published by Mundania Press, and I’m happy.

Looking back, despite all that happened, I’m glad I never gave up.

A Cold Death

Deputy Tempe Crabtree is the resident deputy of the mountain community of Bear Creek and its nearby surroundings in the Southern Sierra.

A horrific snow storm traps Tempe and her husband in the lodge of a summer camp along with the caretakers and seven most unpleasant people--one becomes a murder victim.

And to complicate matters, the ghost of a former camper makes contact with Tempe.

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Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today. When I reread what I wrote, I couldn't help but wonder why I kept going. Really, really stubborn, I guess.

Lorna Collins - said...

So happy we were able to help you re-publish some of them. You will never lose the rights to these, and as long as Amazon is around, they will remain available. These are your intellectual property, and you need to remain vigilant to stay on top of them. Not an easy task with as many as you have!

Jenny Milchman said...

Marilyn, thanks for offering an inside peek at some of your journey. There was such a lot of death and loss in there. I guess the larger houses do offer some stability by contrast. However, it sounds as if you have made some lifetime friends along the way--and landed in great hands now.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm also glad you never gave up, Marilyn. You've overcome some big challenges with those publishers...even more than the normal changes we're getting accustomed to in this new age.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Lorna has been an angel with the resurrection of some of my titles. Something I had no idea how to tackled. And Jenny, I've had so much support and made some great friends despite all the problems. Patricia, it's been tough at times and sometimes I'm amazed that I didn't give up and try something new. Shows how stubborn I am.

Chester Campbell said...

You've done a great job, Marilyn, and I know how you felt. I tried going the agent route and had three agents die on me before they did any good. I've told my experiences in a book just coming out titled Everything But The Kitchen Sink - A Writer's Memoir. You don't seem to slow down, but at 92 I have.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks for commenting, Chester. I have definitely slowed down. I no longer fly to events or conferences. If we (meaning my daughter) can't drive, we don't go. I don't get nearly done in a day as I once did, this old lady needs a nap and I go to bed much earlier than I once did.

Angela Adams said...

Marilyn, for some reason reading your post reminded me of advice one of my college professors gave me -- "View life, with it's ups and downs, as a learning experience." Best wishes with your latest book release!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Great advice, Angela, and thank you.