Saturday, September 26, 2015
Please welcome guest blogger Marilyn Meredith today as she discusses the heritage of her wonderful heroine Tempe Crabtree. You can also learn a bit about the newest Tempe mystery -- Not As It Seems. Marilyn shares with us some info about Tempe and her heritage that plays such an important part in her series.
How Important is it that Tempe Crabtree is Indian?
I wrote three books that I thought were about Tempe before I realized that the fact she was an Indian had no importance at all to the story. (The books were changed to totally different books with new characters and settings.)
In the fourth book, which became the prequel, Tempe’s Native American heritage began to emerge. Because Tempe wasn’t raised as an Indian, the only reference she had besides her appearance, were the stories told to her by her grandmother. Her lack of knowledge about being an Indian is pointed out by Nick Two John. He becomes her mentor and introduces her to the legends and spiritual side of being a native person in many of the books.
Every mystery has something to do with Tempe being an Indian, whether it is about customs of the Bear Creek tribe, legends that have been passed down through the years, or spiritual rituals that Tempe uses to help solve a crime.
The fact that Tempe is married to a non-Indian who is also a Christian pastor has added some conflict to an otherwise loving marriage.
Tempe being an Indian has been an important fact in each book, and in most cases has created or added to the plot. I’ve been able to find quotes by different Indians that have given me titles for a few books. Some of the legends have added to the plots in the stories.
Though the tribe Tempe belongs to is fictional, I borrow a lot from the Tule River tribe which is nearby. The Bear Creek reservation is much like the Tule River Reservation, and the imaginary tribe Tempe belongs to is part of the Yokuts.
In the latest mystery, “Not as it Seems,” Tempe is affected by the appearance of spirits of Chumash and Salinan Indians of the past.
If Tempe weren’t Indian, the series would have ended long ago.
Not as It Seems Blurb:
Tempe and Hutch travel to Morro Bay for son Blair’s wedding, but when the maid-of-honor disappears, Tempe tries to find her. The search is complicated by ghosts and Native spirits.
Character Naming Contest:
Once again, I’ll name a character after the person who leaves a comment on the most blogs.
Tomorrow I’ll be stopping by Marja McGraw’s http://marjamcgraw.blogspot.com and talking about promotion—a necessary evil, or is it?
Marilyn Meredith now lives in the foothills of the Southern Sierra, about 1000 feet lower than Tempe’s Bear Creek, but much resembles the fictional town and surroundings. She has nearly 40 books published, mostly mysteries. Besides writing, she loves to give presentations to writers’ groups. She’s on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and a member of Mystery Writers of America and three chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter.