What Does it Take to Write Nearly 40 Books?

That was the topic I was given by a new Sisters of Crime group when I was invited to come and speak. Here are some of the things I told them:

I didn’t get published until I was a grandmother, but I’d been writing since I was a kid. And I read everything I could get my hands on.

My first book to be published was an historical family saga based in my mother’s genealogy. That wasn’t so easy–it was rejected nearly 30 times, and rewritten over and over–before it was finally accepted. So that meant I had it made, right? Not so, the editor that took the first book moved on. When I sent in the book written about my father’s genealogy, the new editor wasn’t interested. Took a long time before I found another publisher–and many more rejections.

The point is I wasn’t easily discouraged–and  despite many set-backs (crooked publishers, publishers who died, agents who did nothing) I kept plugging away.

When I finished the two family sagas, I wondered what I should write next? What did I like to read? Mysteries–so writing one seemed what I should do next.

I started with a book I called The Astral Gift. It found a publisher right away–one of the crooks. It has been republished twice, once by the first publisher of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, and again by the publisher of my Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

The first book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Final Respects, was published as an e-book long before anyone had a clue what that meant, and there was no such thing as an e-reader. Another publisher picked up the first two books in the series, but wasn’t a good relationship. A new publisher published the next two books in the series, and then decided not to continue as a publisher. The fifth, No Sanctuary, was picked up by Oak Tree Press who also reprinted the earlier books, and is still the publisher of that series.

The publisher of the first four books in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series passed away. The series is now being published by Mundania Press.

In between all of this, I wrote other books, psychological horror, Christian horror, and my romance with a touch of the supernatural, and a few others that never got published for one reason or another.

I’ve left out many of the set-backs and problems I faced, but I’m sure you’ve gotten the idea and the reasons I’ve had nearly forty books published. It’s really quite simple:

  1. I learned from rejections and was willing to rewrite.
  2. Nothing that happened discouraged me.
  3. Most importantly, I kept on writing.

Marilyn Meredith, who also writes under the name F. M. Meredith



10 thoughts on “What Does it Take to Write Nearly 40 Books?

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your very upbeat attitude and prolific journey. I do believe you are somewhat remarkable and definitely self-assured. It was incredible to read about your past in writing. There is something admirable about someone who keeps on pushing ahead and is not thwarted by anything.


      1. You are so right. I need some of your inspiration. This group is filled with a real sense of confidence.


  2. “Never give up” are the words every writer should know. You certainly never gave up. Congratulations, Marilyn!


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