About Author

Sandy McKee

Sandy McKee
BIOGRAPHY

Sandy C. McKee is a lifelong reader of mystery novels. After years of imagining quirky characters and whodunnit plots, she decided to share her ideas with like-minded mystery fans. Her first cozy mystery series begins with "Mrs. May Is Well and Truly Dead".

Sandy McKee's Books

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(1) $2.99 kindle Free with KUeBook, Paperback, Audio,
Mrs. May Is Well and Truly Dead: A Well and Truly Murder Mystery (Novella)by Sandy C. McKeePublish: Nov 28, 2021Series: Well and Truly Murder MysteryMystery

Sandy McKee's Series in Order

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  • Well and Truly Murder Mystery

    1 Mrs. May Is Well and Truly Dead: A Well and Truly Murder Mystery (Novella) - Published on Nov, 2021

Sandy McKee Interview On 30, Jan 2023

"A lifelong reader of mystery novels, Sandy McKee was born and raised in rural North Carolina. Her first original creative story was written when she was in the fifth grade. She has stacks of unpublished stories, screenplays, poems, articles, and journals. Her “big” writing dream is to publish a mystery trilogy set in her neighborhood in Hawaii."
Where did you grow up? What is your favorite childhood memory? I was born and raised in rural North Carolina. My favorite childhood memory is of time spent on my grandmother’s farm. Granny lived life with a calm, straightforward, sensible approach. I loved following her around and helping (probably hindering) with chores. She grew almost all of her food in her garden, but would order dairy products that were delivered by the milkman each week. She made sure to ask for chocolate fudge popsicles if she knew I would be staying with her. She was soft-spoken yet somehow kept us kids in line. She was a remarkable woman.

I later moved to Hawaii, but I visit my family in North Carolina whenever I can. It’s always a wonderful experience. I’m truly blessed.

Do you remember what your first piece of creative writing was? Tell us more about it.

My earliest memory of writing was a book report in the second grade about the story “Beauty and the Beast.” I had to read it aloud in front of the class and I distinctly remember my knees shaking. My first original creative story that I remember was written when I was in the fifth grade. It was a story about a boy who attempted to build a spaceship in his backyard to help a stranded alien return to his planet. Again, I had to read it aloud in class—knees still shaking—and I got an A+ for my grade. This was over a decade earlier than E.T. so I didn’t copy that concept, but the movie served to validate the story premise in my mind. I’m happy with that.

What was that one moment in your life when you realized that you wanted to write?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have stories swirling in my head and a sense of urgency to write them down. I have stacks of unpublished stories, screenplays, poems, articles, and journals. It wasn’t until recently that I made the decision to approach writing seriously as a profession. I’ve set up a proper office with scheduled writing sessions, got a new coffeemaker (coffee is crucial to the writing process), and connected with other authors at writing conferences. I’ve taken classes on craft, publishing, and marketing. I’ve published one book in the Well and Truly series so far and I’m currently in production mode for that series as well as the series set in Hawaii.

Who all are a part of your family? How critical are they of your writing?

My extended family includes siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins—most of whom live in North Carolina. They are an amazing, fun group of people who have warmly supported my writing efforts. Most of them are avid readers and enjoy a good story. I’m very grateful to all of them.

My immediate family (spouse and adult children) are not critical of my writing at all. That’s because none of them have read it! They’ll dutifully buy my book and promote it to their friends, but the mystery genre is not to their taste. They prefer fantasy or thriller. I’m fine with that.

However, they do strongly support me with story ideas and fleshing out details. These brainstorming sessions are extremely helpful. For example, my spouse took me to a shooting range so that I could experience what it felt like to shoot the specific gun that was used in Mrs. May Is Well and Truly Dead. Turns out I’m a very good shot, but I honestly could not relate to the killer’s perspective. It made me sad (and angry) that evil people feel entitled to take another’s life. I think that’s ultimately the moral of every murder mystery: killing is a grievous offense against not only the victim, but society. That’s why we insist on justice in our murder mystery books.

Being a lifelong reader of mystery novels, who is your favorite mystery author?

It’s difficult to pick only one favorite. If we take the classics (Christie, Sayers, Doyle, etc.) as given and focus instead on current authors, then I’d say that Karen Baugh Menuhin is my absolute favorite. Her historical mystery series featuring protagonist Heathcliff Lennox is masterfully and intelligently written. This series checks all the boxes for me. The books are funny, the characters are interesting, and the plots are intricate yet logical. Highly recommended!

What inspired you to start writing your first cozy mysteries series, "Mrs. May Is Well and Truly Dead"?

I was in the process of writing a different series (set in Hawaii) when the idea for Mrs. May popped into my head and would not be ignored. I set aside the first series temporarily and started developing the concept for the Well and Truly series. The idea for the first book originated from an image I had of the police dealing with a man who refused to believe that his wife had been murdered because “she wouldn’t be caught dead in that neighborhood on a Tuesday.” The wife had a very strict weekly schedule and was always across town from that area on Tuesdays. The police assured him that his wife was “well and truly dead” and it was no mistake. I liked the sound of the phrase “well and truly” and decided to give those names to the police officers involved. The main characters are Police Chief Arlen Well and his trusted Sergeant Cashel Truly. The setting of a small village in Appalachia was inspired by my rural upbringing and my travels to the mountains of North Carolina.

What would your dream vacation be like?

There are so many places on my bucket list to visit, but if you were to ask me to pick just one, I’d choose a luxury resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Give me a rocking chair on the veranda, a vanilla latte, and a good book—plus five-star service—and I’ll be fine. Sightseeing and shopping (preferably for local crafts) would be done at a leisurely pace.

Your novels serve as escapes for the readers. What inspires you to write these stories?

A good book is definitely an escape and I hope I can provide that to my readers. My inspiration springs from a wish to share ideas and values with others, as well as a desire to entertain by crafting a world or community that the readers will enjoy visiting—if only in their imaginations.

Do you plan to write strictly only in the mystery genre?

At this time, I plan to focus on the mystery genre. It is my favorite genre to read and one that I feel I understand best.

What are your tips for penning a catchy and intriguing book title?

Other than the Well and Truly series, I am actually TERRIBLE at coming up with book titles. It’s a slow, painful struggle for me. I confess I still don’t know how to title my series that is set in Hawaii. I just call them Books 1, 2, and 3 for now. I’m going to need a consultant or a focus group (or a miracle) to help me with that.

If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Not that my life is movie-worthy, but if it were, I’d love for Jennifer Garner to play me. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since she starred in Alias. She’s so versatile as an actress and would be able to easily transition through all of my life and career changes. She was raised in West Virginia and would understand my love of the mountains and rural life. She is also a strong supporter of children’s charities—a cause that is close to my heart as well. In addition to writing, I work part-time at Common Grace, a nonprofit organization that provides mentors to public school children in Hawaii. It’s a great program and a wonderful way to be involved in my community. Jennifer Garner would totally nail that role!

What is your writing dream? How close do you think you are to achieving it?

My “big” writing dream is to publish a mystery trilogy set in my neighborhood in Hawaii. It is a massive project in that the story is told from two points of view. The two main characters work together to solve the cases, but they never meet in person. Everything is done anonymously online. Each book has a “murder in the neighborhood” plus the trilogy has an overriding mystery that isn’t solved until Book 3. I’ve completed the manuscript for Book 1 as well as the outlines for Books 2 and 3. I plan to complete all three books first and then publish them a few months apart. If all goes well, the release dates should be in early 2025. The reason it will take so long is that like Hawaii, the characters are multi-cultural and I’m asking beta readers from each culture to assist me in producing a work that is as respectful and authentic as possible.

In the meantime, I will be releasing more books in the Well and Truly series. I have so many ideas for this series! The characters are a treat to write, and the setting is nostalgic for me. With careful scheduling, I hope to be able to balance the two series. Fingers crossed.

When playing a game with friends, how important is it for you to win?

I’m competitive when playing games and love to win. However, if I lose, then I’m gracious. To me, the point of a game is to have fun and enjoy time with my friends or family. Years later, we won’t remember who won or lost, but we will remember the laughter and quality time spent together.

Is there anything new that you're working on? When can we expect the next book to come out?

I’m working on the next Well and Truly mystery, Mr. Grey Is Well and Truly Dead, and expect it to be published in Summer 2023. In this book, a pop singer hides out in remote Hutton Village to escape a crazed fan turned stalker. When the stalker turns up in the village, a murder results. Chief Well and Sergeant Truly, along with their rag-tag team of part-time officers, investigate and work to bring the killer to justice.

What are your views on book promotions via social media? Are you satisfied with the AllAuthor services and would you recommend this platform to other authors?

Social media is great for connecting with readers to share a love of books. I’m an avid reader and I follow a lot of authors on various platforms. I enjoy their insights, humor, and viewpoints regarding writing, their books, and life in general. I often buy books as gifts and find that I can “introduce” the recipient to the author with fun facts gleaned from their social media posts.

I’m really happy with the services at AllAuthor and would highly recommend this platform to other authors. The weekly mockups alone are worth the membership! The Cover of the Month contest is fun, the Quotes are inspiring, and the Tools are fantastic and easy to use. As a reader, I often use AllAuthor to find my next binge-reading mystery series. The Book Directory is well-organized and informative (without unnecessary clutter). As a newly-published author, I feel welcomed and supported by the community and services at AllAuthor. I appreciate all you do.

Ask Sandy McKee a Question

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      • Sandy McKee Sandy McKee 11 months ago
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      • Yes, I read the reviews. The good ones make me do a little happy dance (which counts as exercise, so thank you for that!) I'm still new to publishing and I haven't received any written bad reviews (yet). However, I have been told personally that my book is not a particular reader's cup of tea. I listened carefully and realized that there was no criticism of my writing, but just a difference in reading styles and genre preferences. That's fine. Not every book is for every reader.
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    • AllAuthor AllAuthor 11 months ago
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    • Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
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      • Sandy McKee Sandy McKee 11 months ago
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      • For legal purposes, obviously the answer is: no, I never incorporate anything from my real life into my novels. Naturally, that's said with my fingers crossed behind my back. The truth is that my real life is absolutely the main source of my inspiration, ideas, and scenarios.
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