Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Mandy Stevenson, from Perfidy: A Circle City Mystery. Mandy is twenty-two years old and a recent graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She is the daughter of Captain Robert Stevenson (Commander of the Homicide & Robbery Division) and Cassandra Stevenson (real estate agent). Let’s get to know her.
Michele: Mandy, it’s so good to talk to you outside of my head.
Mandy: It’s good to be out and about.
Michele: Readers and future readers of the Circle City Mystery Series are anxious to get to know you better. I hope you’re up for a few personal questions.
Mandy: I don’t think there’s much I can hide from you M. E. You know me all too well.
Michele: Then let’s get started. We understand you recently graduated from Indiana University. What was your field of study?
Mandy: I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. IU has a wonderful Social Work program. Of course, to accomplish more in the field, I will be attending the campus in Indianapolis to work on my Master’s in Social Work soon.
Michele: Interesting choice of careers. Did your father’s occupation as a public servant have anything to do with your career choice?
Mandy: I hadn’t really thought of his job being an influence. It was actually my Aunt Karen who inspired me to look into Social Work. She’s told me stories about how satisfying it is to help others who are in dire circumstances. Of course, she also warned me that not all
cases come out positively.
Michele: I could see where that could be depressing.
Mandy: It could, but Aunt Karen always says to stay focused on the cases with good outcomes and it makes the job easier.
Michele: So by your tone of voice, I’m getting the impression that you and your aunt are very
Mandy: Oh, yes. Aunt Karen is always there for me no matter what’s going on. She’s a rock. I don’t know how I would have made it through my brother’s death without her.
Michele: Aw, yes. How old were you when Charlie died?
Mandy: I was seventeen. It happened in August, just before I started my senior year in high
Michele: I know it’s difficult, Mandy, but would you be willing to tell our readers what happened to Charlie?
Mandy: I guess. It’s still hard to talk about sometimes. He wasn’t just my brother; he was my best friend and protector.
Michele: A protector in what way?
Mandy: He did all of the normal brotherly stuff, like keeping other kids from picking on me and making sure I got home after school okay. Then there was mother. She always seemed to be angry with me about something. Charlie was obviously her favorite, so if he thought she was going to come down on me, he’d step in and diffuse the situation.
Michele: I’m so sorry.
Mandy: Oh, it’s okay. I hardly noticed until after Charlie was gone.
Michele: Tell us what happened the day Charlie died.
Mandy: I’d had a good day that day. I’d gone shopping with some friends and was showing Mom and Dad my purchases when the doorbell rang. My dad answered it. It was a police officer I’d never seen before. My brother had gone on a domestic violence call and was shot in the face. He never stood a chance. That was the worst day of my life.
Michele: How did things change?
Mandy: Mom became more distant and she totally blamed Dad for Charlie’s death. She claimed it was his fault Charlie decided to join the police force instead of going to
Michele: Was it?
Mandy: No! My dad tried to talk him out of it. Charlie was determined to carry on the family
Michele: So there were others in your family who were police officers.
Mandy: Yes, my paternal grandfather was a lieutenant in the sex crimes unit when he retired. He passed away of a heart attack just before Charlie graduated from the academy. My
great-grandfather was a patrol officer most of his career. He was struck and killed by a car while he was trying to help a stranded motorist.
Michele: Back to your mother…did she every work through her grief?
Mandy: To be honest, I don’t think she ever will. It’s been five years since Charlie died and she still blames my father for it. It’s as though she’s hanging onto the pain so she can continue to be angry with him.
Michele: Sometimes that happens.
Mandy: I would think she’d be tired of being so angry. Again, if it weren’t for Aunt Karen, my last year of high school would have been a disaster and I might not have completed all the
paperwork to get into IU.
Michele: Then it must be pretty rough being home with your parents at such odds.
Mandy: Yes, it is. I was hoping my return would make things better, but I haven’t seen any sign of it. I don’t know why they don’t get a divorce instead of making one another so
Michele: How are things between you and your father?
Mandy: Okay. We have our moments, like the way he held me close at Charlie’s funeral. I just wish he’d been around more afterwards. I’m hoping to get closer to him again now that I’m
Michele: Do you have anyone you can talk to about these damaged relationships?
Mandy: Oh, yes. I met a guy at college, Alex, who has been wonderful. Don’t get the wrong idea, he and I are just friends. He lost his mother when he was six-years-old, so he knows what
it’s like to lose someone you love. His father remarried someone a lot younger and that’s been a bit of a sore spot for Alex.
Michele:Do you have any childhood friends with whom you keep in touch?
Mandy: Nobody but Marie. She and I have been best friends since third grade. She went off to college in Illinois, but we kept in touch and I know she’d do anything for me. Marie’s working in a quaint dress shop on the northwest side of town. She wants to design clothes
Michele: We’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for her fashions. Is there anyone else you’d like to tell us who’s had an influence on your life?
Mandy: I can’t forget Uncle Mel. He’s not really my uncle, that’s what Charlie and I called him. His real name is Thomas Melrose. He was assigned to work with my father when he was a rookie. Dad saved Uncle Mel’s life during a bank robbery once and they’ve been like brothers
ever since. Dad even asked him to be my godfather.
Michele: What does your Uncle Mel do now?
Mandy: He’s the head of the Missing Person Department for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police. Dad says he’s done wonders with that department and could be police chief some
Michele: You must be very proud.
Mandy: I am. Uncle Mel is kind and generous. I’ll never understand why his wife divorced
Michele: Are you dating anyone?
Mandy: I haven’t given that much thought. With my parents’ marriage such a mess, I wanted to concentrate on graduating college before I get serious about anyone.
Michele: That’s too bad. I’m sure there are men lined up around the block waiting for the
Mandy: You’re making me blush. It’s just that it takes so much work and I don’t have the energy to do it right now.
Michele: Fair enough. Well, I’m afraid that’s all the time we have today. I want to thank our guest character, Mandy Stevenson, for being with us today.
Mandy: It was my pleasure.
To find out more about Mandy and the perfidy she will face in Perfidy: A Circle City Mystery, go to www.amazon.com to purchase your print or eBook copy. For signed copies, go to my website www.memay-mysteries.com and click on Order Books. You can still purchase the old printed version of Perfidy from my website for only $8.00
Until next time when we will be interviewing Homicide Detective Brent Freeman.