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Beyond the Story - A Character Interview

Welcome to Beyond the Story, where readers can learn a little more about their favourite (or not so favourite) characters.

I introduced you to Author Brian L. Porter just a few weeks ago and this week he would like for you to meet one of his characters from the Mersey Mystery Series.

SJJ: Hi Andy, and welcome to Beyond the Story. Thank you for taking some time away from capturing criminals to answer a few questions for your fans. And who know, maybe you’ll get some new ones too. 😊

Now, let’s get started so you can get back to the Merseyside Police Headquarters.

Can you please tell us your full name and where you live?

Andy: My name is Andrew (Andy) Ross and I live in Prescot on the outskirts of Liverpool on Merseyside in the United Kingdom.

SJJ: How would you describe your personality?

Andy: I’m definitely something of terrier when it comes to my personality. Although I consider myself to be a loving, soft-hearted, loyal and faithful husband to my wife, Maria, a local GP to whom I’ve been married for over twenty years, when it comes to my work, I have a never say die attitude and that’s a trait that I try to instill on all the detectives who are part of my team, the Merseyside Police Special Murder Investigation Team. Once I embark on an investigation, I can become obsessed with solving the crime and apprehending the murderer(s). So far, it’s a trait that has stood me in good stead, as the team has so far never failed to bring the perpetrators of the cases we’ve been assigned to justice.

SJJ: What do you do for a living? What is your dream job?

Andy: I’m a Detective Inspector in the Merseyside Police and lead the Merseyside Police, Special Murder Investigation Team, based at Merseyside Police Headquarters in Liverpool. I run the day-to-day front-line investigations of the cases we’re assigned to, working under Detective Chief Inspector Oscar Agostini, who was once my partner when the two of us were beginning our careers as police detectives. The team was set up to handle the more unusual and sometimes complex crimes that occur within the Merseyside area, often with international connections. My dream job is exactly the one I’m now doing. When the former head of the unit, DCI Harry Porteous, retired, I was offered promotion and the opportunity to head up the unit, but turned it down as I didn’t want to spend most of my time behind a desk, and far prefer the cut and thrust of the hands-on task of the murder investigations my team is involved in.

SJJ: Tell us something about you that not everyone knows.

Andy: Not everyone knows that I have both Portuguese and Indian ancestry. Back in the 19th century, I had a great-great grandfather of Portuguese origin who married an Indian lady and established himself as a merchant ship owner, with a fleet of three ships, operating out of Macau, which carried cargo around the world. I’ve only learned of this part of my family history recently and I am involved (in my spare time), with investigating my family tree, in an attempt to trace any potential relatives still living in that part of the world, so far without much success.

SJJ: Are there any defining moments in your life that made you who you are today?

Andy: It came late in life, just after I’d been appointed as the DI to head up the Special Murder Investigation Team. It was when my new assistant and second-in-command, Detective Sergeant Clarissa (Izzie) Drake was appointed to the team. Almost from the start, we hit it off as partners, and before long we developed a special relationship and the ability to virtually read one another’s thoughts. That ability has helped us to solve more than one case and makes it so easy for us to work together. Working with Izzie has helped me to become a better investigator, and I certainly miss her at present, as she and her husband Peter recently had a baby girl and Izzie is now away on maternity leave. I definitely miss her input on the team, though I have a new Detective Sergeant in the form of DS Fenella Church who is a real go-getter type of police officer. I still look forward to Izzie’s return though and us being able to continue our unique mind reading investigative technique.

SJJ: Do you have any regrets?

Andy: My biggest regret is that I never got to know my maternal grandmother as well as I might have done. Sarah Jones died when I was quite young and was the one person who knew the most about my family’s Indian and Portuguese roots. I’d have loved to have been able to learn more from her about my family history, but I was only in my teens when she passed away and hadn’t thought about such things until I was more mature, by which time it was too late.

SJJ: Is there anyone you look up to, consider to be a mentor, either in the past or right now?

Andy: When I was a young police constable in uniform, I worked under a Sergeant Alfie Bailey. Alfie instilled in me the need to view every case as important, not to discriminate between victims and to treat people with respect at all times, not always easy, as he readily admitted. I’ve always tried to live up to his simple mantra, and hope it shows in my dealings with everyone, from my team to the victims of crime, and even, surprisingly, to the perpetrators we apprehend.

SJJ: When you think of all your accomplishments, what is your proudest moment?

Andy: Without a doubt that would be my wedding day, when the beautiful Maria Kendall walked down the aisle of the church and became my wife.

SJJ: What’s your idea of the perfect day?

Andy: Wrapping up a complex case, criminals in custody, followed by going home to Maria, and enjoying a romantic meal together before having an early night, and…I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

SJJ: What do you do for fun?

Andy: I’m a great fan of Everton Football Club and when time permits, I love going and watching my team in action. Sadly, that doesn’t happen too often nowadays.

SJJ: What do you do to relax?

Andy: I like to relax by listening to classical music or watching one of my favourite thriller/adventure DVDs in the company of my wife, Maria, accompanied by an excellent bottle of red wine and a Chinese Takeaway.

SJJ: What are your plans for the future?

Andy: I plan to go on doing what I’m doing at present, fighting crime and protecting the public from the worst elements of our society by bringing them to justice and ensuring they’re locked away where they can do no harm. Maybe, in a few years, I might contemplate early retirement so Maria and I can take time to enjoy our lives together, but for now, we’re both happy with what we’re doing, each of us serving the community in our own way.

SJJ: If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you?

Andy: I’d love Liam Neeson to play me, (OK, he’s a lot taller than me, but it’s just a movie, right? If he was unavailable then I’d go for Tom Hardy, another great actor, who I think even looks a bit like me.

SJJ: Are you happy with the way your story was told?

Andy: Definitely, as no one knows me better than the author, who has presented the stories of my most important cases perfectly.

Bio - Brian L. Porter

Writing under three different names, Brian L Porter is an Amazon best selling author, with numerous bestsellers to his name.

All Brian's novels plus his short story collection, After Armageddon have been signed for movie adaptation in a franchise deal with ThunderBall Films, including his most recent release, the highly successful A Mersey Killing.

Brian has also become thoroughly integrated into the movie business since his first involvement with Thunderball Films LLC and is now also an Associate Producer and Co-Producer on a number of developing movies, as well as being a screenwriter for many of the movies soon to be released by Thunderball.

You can find information on the works of Harry Porter and Juan Pablo Jalisco on their individual book pages.

He is a dedicated dog lover and rescuer and he and his wife share their home with a number of rescued dogs.


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