Sunday, January 5, 2014

Getting to know Sandi Webster

Welcome to the first post in my "Getting to know your character" series. We have with us today Sandi Webster, the main character in Marja McGraw's Sandi Webster Mystery series and one of my favorite "people." Let's get to know her.

Patricia: Sandi, where did you grow up and where do you live now?
Sandi: I grew up in southern California, and currently live and work in Los Angeles. There are a lot of people and lots of stories in a city this large. I’ve seen more than my share of crimes and heartbreak, but there’s always an up-side, too. A guy we called The Bogey Man comes to mind (a dead ringer for Humphrey Bogart who wanted to learn the biz from me).
Patricia: What’s your occupation and how did you come to choose it?
Sandi: I’m a private investigator, and I’m almost embarrassed to tell you how that came about. I grew up watching old mystery movies with my mother on TV. I loved the private eyes that always got their man. I’d been working in a government job, in the court system, and I knew I needed a change. I wanted more excitement in my life, and I sure got it. I apprenticed with an agency and eventually quit my job and started my own investigative firm.
Patricia: Tell us about one of your most memorable “adventures.” What drew you into the mystery?
Sandi: There’ve been so many, and they’re all memorable, but I had the most fun when my partner, Pete, and I became stranded in an old ghost town where we discovered records of murders that took place around 1880. Being on vacation and stranded in a ghost town with the old sheriff’s records, what else would a P.I. do but try and figure out what happened? Oh, and there was a mysterious cowboy there who really caused problems for us. I realized then that Old Murders Never Die – not really.
Patricia: What are your favorite things to do when you’re not working?
Sandi: It seems like I’m usually working, but in my free time I enjoy reading and old movies. Pete and I take trips from time to time, too, as evidenced by Wolf Creek, the ghost town. We’ve developed more than just a working relationship. Can you tell? We also have friends, Felicity and Stanley, whom we enjoy spending time with when we can. Stanley also works for me.
Patricia: What are your favorite TV shows and/or movies? What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
Sandi: I enjoy anything mysterious, and I particularly like mystery movies that include humor. Music? I enjoy oldies, big band, and easy listening. My menopausal mother tells me she sometimes thinks I was born into the wrong generation. But then, she says a lot of things, and they don’t always make sense.
Patricia: Are you married or involved in a serious relationship? Tell us about that.
Sandi: I mentioned my relationship with my partner, Pete, in an earlier question. We’ll be getting married one of these days. After the debacle in the ghost town, and circumstances we discovered there, he asked me to set a date. We realized that putting things off for too long can change your whole life. I’m thinking about it. I keep telling him I have some wild oats to sow. He just laughs. I’ve had to spend a long time making him realize I can take care of myself if I need to.
Patricia: How would you describe yourself, physically and personality wise? How do you think others see you?
Sandi: I asked my friend, Felicity, how she would describe me. I’m about five foot three with dark brown hair, and she says I’m as cute as a button. (Ha! Cute as a button doesn’t help my image.) I’m tenacious, according to her, and I have a strong sense of right and wrong. I love things that make me laugh, because I realize if you take life too seriously, it can drag you down. I frustrate easily, and I sigh a lot. I’m kind of a contradiction, if you really think about it.
Patricia: What’s your favorite color and why? 
Sandi: Yellow, definitely yellow. It’s so cheerful. I see crime and death more often than I’d like, and I need things around me to keep me upbeat. That includes my dog, Bubba, who’s kind of a yellow color, if you squint and don’t look too closely at him. He’s huge and hard to miss though. 
Patricia: Do you like to travel? If so, what are some of your favorite places to go and/or what was your favorite vacation? Have any of your travels involved solving a mystery?
Sandi: Most of my travels have included a mystery. Pete’s friend, homicide detective Rick Mason, calls me a dead body magnet. I can’t really deny his description. I love to travel, but work doesn’t allow me to do it very often. I’d love to see Australia one day, and of course, Hawaii and maybe Scotland. We’ll see how it goes. Pete and I haven’t made honeymoon plans yet.
Patricia: What are your plans for the future?
Sandi: My plans are to just keep on keepin’ on. I don’t have the kind of job which leaves room to make too many definite plans. I never know what’s going to happen next. Barring any problems, Pete and I will marry one day. Other than that, I’m keeping my options open.

Thank you so much for talking to me and letting me explain a little about myself. (My author thanks you, too. Now where did that come from? What author? Huh?)
Marja McGraw 

Coming soon: "Death Comes in Threes."