UM alums’ new book sparks interest in TV producers

Posted on Aug 27 2013 - 10:36am by Alex Gryder

With Merle Temple’s novel, “A Ghostly Shade of Pale” possibly being pitched for a television series by the producers of “Criminal Minds,” it seems only fair to say that the Tupelo native has a gift for transferring real-life action to a book.

Temple, an Ole Miss alumnus, graduated with a master’s in criminal justice. He was the first captain for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics in the 1970s and was even held hostage while working undercover. When asked if he missed the excitement of the job he replied, “I miss the people, not the life.”

Though fictional, “A Ghostly Shade of Pale” is based on the experiences in Temple’s early career.

“I have a duty to write about it,” Temple said when asked how he felt about writing being so personal. It is his way of honoring friends who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Some people might assume the prospect of Temple’s novel becoming a Hollywood series to be the most fascinating experience of his life so far. But Temple would not necessarily agree. He said the novel has allowed him to say “thank you” and “I’m sorry” to all those he has loved and lost. He wanted to write something that was genuine and allowed a wide range of people to enjoy it.

Having a passion for meeting new and diverse groups of people, he has many hopes for the readers of his new novel.

“I want to take people to a place they’ve never been, but when they arrive they are not strangers,” Temple said.

The producers of “Criminal Minds” have met Temple and believe his novel is something special. Temple recently returned from Hollywood where, he admitted, was almost like a dream. He was able to get a feel for what the business is like and imagine how his novel would be portrayed on television. He said he is not afraid of Hollywood changing his story, because he is good friends with Jim Clemente, who has written many episodes of “Criminal Minds.”

Overcoming many obstacles and having a passion to share his imagination, Temple has the ability to bring his readers into a very personal place, allowing them to resonate with him as an author and even with the characters in his novel.

Temple identified with Michael Parker, the main character of the novel, because Temple intended the novel to be genuine and true. In the book, Michael Parker says, “I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I would have hoped for among men. I am most blessed, and that’s my story.”

And what an amazing story Merle Temple has shared with his readers.