Marja McGraw
  • Female
  • Bullhead City, AZ
  • United States
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Marja McGraw's Page

Latest Activity

Marja McGraw left a comment for Evelyn Cullet
"Thank you for friending me, Evelyn. I'm afraid I'm not nearly as active here as I should be."
Apr 3, 2015

Profile Information

Who I am:
I write mysteries that are lighter with a little humor. I have two series: the Sandi Webster Mysteries and the Bogey Man Mysteries. Every writer should enjoy writing as much as I do. Marketing and promoting? Not so much, but it comes with the territory. (blog is on website)
Books I've written, anthologies I've contributed to, and any scripts or plays I've authored:
A Well-Kept Family Secret
Bubba's Ghost
Prudy's Back!
The Bogey Man
Bogey Nights
Media outlets that I currently write for:
My writing is:
Outlets where I review books, TV, or film:
Occasionally, on a personal level
Services I offer to other writers:
I'm part of these writers' groups or salons:
My professional associations:
Sisters in Crime

Marja McGraw's Blog

Real Life vs. Fiction

Posted on November 16, 2010 at 12:55pm 4 Comments

Most of us have certain little habits that we display at times of frustration, anger, disbelief or any other emotion. Along these lines, in the Sandi Webster series I let her assume the annoying habit of sighing. As a matter of fact, she’s pretty much brought it to an art form. In the new Bogey Man series, Pamela Cross rolls her eyes, even while remembering that her mother once told her to quit it because they might get stuck that way. (Anyone else remember their mother telling them this scary… Continue

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At 8:45pm on December 21, 2012, Michelle Gwynn Jones said…


I seldom write short stories.  I wrote one for a friend about a woman who loves the circus so when the circus train goes by her by her backyard she wakes her family and drags them to see them set up..they meet the ringmaster and ride the elephants.  But like you, I can’t stop writing, so I wrote a companion story about a hitman at the circus taking out his target.  But that wasn’t enough, so I wrote a story about the target.   Somehow a simple sweet story turned into dark trilogy. 

I know most people consider it an alternate lifestyle. I  have had gay friends since junior high (shh – that was in the early 70s)  It wasn’t until I was in college did I realized people had “opinions” about it. 

When I started writing in my genre I had to remind myself the reader wants the characters to have a life outside the mystery.  I fought it at first, but once I conceded I had no choice, I began to enjoy it.  Now I am just as excited deciding what will happen in their personal lives in the next installment as I am what trouble they will be getting into and out of.

Not looking for an opinion on the query.  (And I know it is rough)  Just used it to answer your question. 

Do you write anything other than novels?

At 7:28pm on December 18, 2012, Michelle Gwynn Jones said…

Yeah, but how many times can a person not in the investigative field, or the law field in any way, run  across dead bodies – and still have friends (I know I would stay clear).  Granted I do have a short story that she is in.

And when did I start writing short stories…I don’t know.

I’m not gay, but I don’t consider gay an alternative lifestyle. 

I can’t just write by the seat of my pants with Rachel Shorte.  I need to know the law, the elements of each crime.  I need to build a foundation for the trial.  And most importantly, I need to make sure that the foundation and evidence and testimony, etc, is there not only for Rachel to argue and her client to endure but for the attorney arguing on the other side and the police to investigate.  It has to be balanced, it can’t be too slanted in either direction.

I will email you the query to my standalone.  


At 6:17pm on December 17, 2012, Michelle Gwynn Jones said…

I have a friend who is a food stylist so I get to hear the trials and tribulations that go with the career.  I also figure that should I want to take the series past the three stories I have in mind, I can always have her cater something…where bad things happen.

No Reese isn’t gay, she is the Dominate head of a household of four adults, BDSM.  I love researching but I have to admit that researching for that series has led me places I am not sure I wanted to go.  Balancing explicit sex, with an everyday life, with murder – embezzlement – kidnapping, isn’t that easy, and you would think it would be.

I also have a standalone that I am working on.

So how do you handle two series at once?  I find I go back and forth.  For a week or so I will do one and then I am typing away when something hits me for the other series and I switch gears.  What gets me is that I know the completed stories: have outlined to excess, researched to death – and in some cases have written the ending – it’s the middles that get me.

At 1:22pm on December 17, 2012, Michelle Gwynn Jones said…

I have a confession to make, so I might as well make it here to you.  I NEVER noticed the comment page before.  I see I have comments going back to 2011.  Yikes.


I enjoy writing legal mysteries.  My first series centers around RACHEL SHORTE, she’s an attorney.  I try hard to not make her me.  I like to play with the nuances in the law, it’s not as black and white as people often think.  In the first book I use the Safe Haven for Infant Laws to show its good intentions but how an individual can find themselves in a real mess when trying to do the right thing.  All the books in that series deal with some issue like that – how far is too far undercover,  what if one is the sole survivor of a suicide pact, can one be forced to become a citizen?   While she is practicing law she develops a relationship with the detective – who I never intended to survive the series, but hey – I like him.   And somehow for such a nice kind woman, she makes a lot of enemies. 


My Reese Millridge series came out of nowhere.  I have a friend who lives an “alternative lifestyle” for lack of a better word.  She was complaining that whenever she reads something regarding her lifestyle it is always front and center and the rest of the story is just filler.  I started with the intent of writing her a story.  Now, somehow I have three different novels going on in my head.  All involve crimes – a murder investigation,  a serial killer, etc.   Making her a food stylist might not have been the best choice at the time… J  She is becoming Jessica Fletcher – everywhere she goes people are dying.


I find writing two series to be both a challenge and a blessing. 



At 11:51am on October 25, 2012, Sunny Frazier said…

Marja, get over to the latest blog posted and make a comment about marketing.

At 6:00am on July 11, 2012, Patricia Gligor said…


I've been a member of She Writes for close to a year. I guess we've just never run into each other. :)

At 11:44am on October 29, 2010, Elizabeth Kolodziej said…
same here! when i write up the review i'll let you know. might be a couple months away though. but its something to look forward to!
At 3:17pm on August 15, 2010, Marilyn Fried said…
Don't worry about being lost here. Take your time and learn the site. Reach out to some people and talk to them. Join some groups that share your interests. With over 10K members, you were certainly find common interests.
At 5:25pm on August 3, 2010, Meg Waite Clayton said…
Marja, Adding my voice to the welcome. If you’re looking for a place to jump in, we’d love to have you join us in the Publishing Industry News group, or in Novelists – Struggling or Not group.

Hope you enjoy the site!

Meg Waite Clayton
Moderator, Novelist Group and Publishing Industry News
Author of the national bestseller, The Wednesday Sisters
At 6:22pm on August 1, 2010, Kamy Wicoff said…
Hi Marja! Welcome to She Writes. I hope you find it a supportive, productive place to be. Really glad you are here.

Warm best,
Kamy Wicoff
Founder, She Writes


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