Interview with Author Marja McGraw

Marja and I have known each other for awhile, first through the Internet, then met at a mystery con and I did a book signing at a library in her hometown. Here I learn more about her and you will to.

Marilyn: Tell me about your background.

Marja: I have a background in both civil and criminal law, and in state transportation. I’ve worked for a city building department and owned my own store (Antique Store/Tea Room), and there were a few little jobs in between.

I was a divorced parent who raised a child alone and learned a lot of hard lessons over the years. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to try to keep a sense of humor through all things -- that will help keep you sane during the worst of times. Well, that and hormone pills (if you’re a woman). Consequently, my stories are generally lighter with a little humor.

Marilyn: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Marja: Writing and sharing ideas has always been a part of my life, but books weren’t a part of that until a friend suggested I try my hand at it. She said that when we lived in different states she found herself waiting by the mailbox for my letters because they made her laugh, and cry, and simply put, they entertained her. I was surprised, but then realized how much putting thoughts on paper meant to me. If I could entertain her, could I do the same for others? It was worth a try. Five books later, it’s become a reality.

Marilyn: What inspired your latest book?

Marja: Actually, the Bogey Man was a one-time character in The Bogey Man – A Sandi Webster Mystery. The readers liked him so much that I decided to write a spinoff series featuring Chris Cross, alias the Bogey Man. Chris is a dead ringer for Humphrey Bogart, and Mr. Bogart inspired me. A man who looks like the real Bogey, who becomes so engrossed in his look-alike that he wants to be a P.I.? Why not? Although the story takes place today, the 1940s take a prominent part in the story.

Marilyn: Give us a brief summary of the book.

Marja: Bogey Nights – A Bogey Man Mystery - Chris and Pamela Cross lose their 1940s-themed restaurant when a fire destroys the building. Deciding to change course, slightly, they buy a 1920s vintage brick house to convert into the new restaurant, Bogey Nights. Before work can begin on the remodeling, their two Labrador Retrievers discover a body buried in the cellar. The remains have rested there since 1942. The family of the victim asks Chris to try to solve the old murder. In the process, another body is discovered on the property. They try not to step on the toes of Janet Murphy, a homicide detective, who becomes a good friend, and it becomes a real challenge.

After discovering that the home was used as a boarding house in the 1940s, Chris and Pamela quickly have a substantial list of suspects. The fact that the suspects are “of an age” won’t slow this story for a moment.

Marilyn:Where can we purchase it?

Marja: This book will be issued sometime in August by Oak Tree Press. At that time it will be available through your favorite bookstore, on, and through other online booksellers. The Sandi Webster series is available on, at Wings ePress and at the GoDaddy Marketplace, Books Section.

Marilyn: Anything else you'd like to tell my readers?

Marja: If I can bring a smile to a reader’s face, or even better, if I can make them laugh, then I’ve done my job. My logo is “a little humor, a little romance, A Little Murder!”, and that’s what I try to bring to the reader. Please visit my website at Hope to see you there.


Judy Lang said…
Hi, First off, I'm Marja's older sister and I want everybody to know I'm proud of her. She worked hard and long to develop her craft. As they say, there are really no overnight successes! I'm pleased to read and reread her books, get frightened and entertained at the same time. She has a good sense of humor which is evident in her story development. What's my favorite? It's got to be "A Well-Kept Family Secret." In many ways it sounds so familiar and yet tantilizing.
Keep up the good work, Marja.
God bless you, Judy
Hi, Judy, it's always wonderful to have a supportive sister--I have one two except she's younger.

I'm really tickled for Marja too.

WS Gager said…
Great interview Marja! I love the tag “a little humor, a little romance, A Little Murder!” So very descriptive. I can't wait to read your books. August is just around the corner!
W.S. Gager
Marja said…
Thank you all for your kind words. August reall is just around the corner, and I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row. Not that easy, sometimes, but well worth it.

Wendy, I used that tag on a TV interview once and they cracked up, so I stuck with it. :)

Jean Henry Mead said…
It sounds like my kind of mystery novel, Marja. Wishing you much success!
Marja said…
Thank you, Jean! I hope it is something you like. It really is a lot of fun.
Margaret Tanner said…
Hi Marja,
Ooh sounds an interesting read. Best of luck with it.


Marja said…
Thank you, Margaret! And thank you to everyone who took the time to read the interview.

I hope you'll keep coming back to read Marilyn's blogs and interviews. She does such a wonderful job and she's so generous with her time.

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