Saturday, October 19, 2013

Marilyn Meredith: The Importance of Weather in Writing

I am thrilled to welcome the talented, prolific mystery author, Marilyn Meredith, to discuss the importance of weather in writing. 

Marilyn is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. She borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area, including the nearby Tule River Indian Reservation. She does like to remind everyone that she is writing fiction. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at and follow her blog at        

In Marilyn's latest novel, Spirit Shapes, ghost hunters stumble upon a murdered teen in a haunted house. Deputy Tempe Crabtree's investigation pulls her into a whirlwind of restless spirits, good and evil, intertwined with the past and the present, and demons and angels at war. Spirit Shapes is available directly from the publisher in all formats, and also on Amazon

The Importance of Weather in Your Writing
by Marilyn Meredith

Weather can play a big part in any mystery. At times it can be as important as a character.

In my previous Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Raging Water, too much rain creates havoc in the small town of Bear Creek, eventually cutting them off from the rest of the world.

Fog is a major player in Spirit Shapes.

Fog swirls around the deserted Wilkinson House adding to its haunted mystic.

Fog adds to the gloomy atmosphere.

Fog cuts down on visibility making the reader and the characters what it might be hiding.

Fog gives everything a gray, colorless appearance.

Fog makes the air damp.

Fog causes the temperature to drop—as does the presence of ghosts and evil spirits.

That gives you a taste of what one kind of weather can do and does in Spirit Shapes.

For all you writers out there, think about how weather can enhance your stories. And readers, pay attention to how the author of the books and stories you read use weather to add to the atmosphere and suspense.

Marilyn is offering a terrific contest for a lucky commenter: The person who comments on the most blogs on her blog tour will have the opportunity to have a character named after him or her in the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

Tomorrow, Marilyn will be visiting author J.R. Lindermuth's blog:  

Thanks, Marilyn, for visiting From Cop to Mom & the Words in Between as part of your blog tour, and for sharing your words of wisdom on the importance of weather in writing.


  1. I have to be honest, I never gave weather that much thought but you are so right. Maybe I never gave it much thought because it was just that, another character almost, just like you said.

    1. Dear Kate Eileen Shannon, Thanks for visiting today. I'm so glad that Marilyn's insight has given you some inspiration when it comes to weather and the role it plays in writing.

  2. First, thank you, Kathleen for hosting me today. I hope I'll run into you in person one of these days soon. I miss your bubbling personality.

    And Kate, you are so good at finding where I'm visiting every day. And I'm impressed, you actually read what I've written. Tee hee!

    1. Why I like mysteries - I'd make a good PI, I can find anyone. Why I'd make a good PI, I pay attention. Of course I read! This started because I was interested in some topic you posted you were guest blogging on. It was only then I saw the contest and went back to hit all the posts up until that point.

    2. It's my pleasure to host you today on your blog tour. You are one of my idols! You are truly an inspiration to all writers, and I thank you for sharing your pearls of wisdom with my readers today.

  3. Marilyn,
    When I read "Raging Water," your use of the weather drew me into the story. I could see and hear the flooding waters.
    I too use weather in my books. In "Mixed Messages," fog adds an eerie atmosphere to a story that takes place the week of Halloween. And, in "Unfinished Business," a blizzard the week of Christmas adds to the suspense. In my third book, "Desperate Deeds," a tornado warning will be an omen of things to come.
    I totally agree. The use of weather can be extremely effective!

    1. I agree with you, Patricia, and Marilyn ~ weather can truly be a character in a story and add to the drama and suspense! Thanks for stopping by, Patricia!

  4. Hi, Pat, I love adding weather to my books, it adds so much to the plot and atmosphere. Thanks for commenting. A tornado warning--great, sounds ominous.

  5. You're right, Marilyn. Weather adds much to setting and as you observe creating atmosphere. Every writer should be aware of that.

    1. So glad to have you stop by, Jacqueline, and echo Marilyn's thoughts on this important subject!

  6. Hi Kathy and Marilyn,
    Thought I'd stop by and say hello. I think "bad" weather, like setting, adds tension and a dimension to a mystery.

    1. Hi Marilyn! Glad you dropped by to say hello! You're right ~ ominous weather is another enforcer of tension in a story.

    2. Hi, the other Marilyn, I love ominous weather in fiction--not so much in real life.

  7. Too many new writers leave their characters in space--no idea where the action or conversations are happening, or what is going on around them. I see this in many self-pubbed books.

    1. You've hit on a pet peeve of many readers, Marilyn ~ the characters must be grounded somehow, someway! They could be in a space shuttle, a drive-thru, in the middle of a riot ~ who they heck knows unless those clues get a mention!

  8. I definitely need to add more weather details in my writing. I have been overlooking it and didn't realize I was. Thank you Marilyn

    1. Hi Dee,
      Thanks for visiting From Cop2Mom today, and reading Marilyn's terrific post. It is a great reminder, isn't it? So much to think about in writing! It's like juggling! Best wishes :-)

  9. This has been fun, Kathleen, thanks so much for hosting me.

    1. It was my pleasure, Marilyn! I'd host you anytime :-) Best wishes with the remainder of your blog tour!

  10. I completely agree about the fog-- with our crazy weather we get a lot of foggy mornings in N.O., and just bringing the kids to school has me on edge because it is downright spooky and you never know what might be hiding out there.

    1. Fog can definitely be spooky ~ visibility is so limited that we can't see what might be coming :-)

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