From the Booking Desk:

Over the years, I have seen Brenda Buchanan on a number of panels at various crime fiction conventions. She always presents intelligent and informed opinions on the various topics being discussed.

Recently, I attended an LGBTQ+ crime fiction event here in the MD/DC/VA area (details about that here) and followed that up by having dinner with the panelists afterwards. That was a fun evening and it gave me the opportunity to invite Brenda here for the Composite Sketch series.

I think that her answers to our weekly questions will please you as much as they did me.

Name:  Brenda Buchanan
Location:  Portland, Maine

This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:

My father, William Buchanan. Despite growing up in rural Appalachia during the depression and having only an eighth-grade education, he was a much-decorated soldier in WWII, came home and (with my mom) built a successful small business, and was a wise, wonderful dad. He was a big reader, so I became a big reader, which was my first step toward becoming a writer.

One of the people I admire most in the crime fiction community is:

Maine is blessed with wonderful crime writing community, and I’m grateful for all its members, but Anthony-award winning thriller writer Chris Holm is especially admirable for his sincere support and promotion of other writers.  If you don’t follow Chris on Twitter (@chrisfholm) you really should—he’s consistently funny, politically courageous and tireless in his praise of other writers and their work. He and his wife Katrina Niidas Holm—who is one heck of a talented writer/editor/reviewer—are a magnificent tag-team, fighting for crime writers everywhere.

STALKER ALERT! If this fictional character were real, they would likely need to get a restraining order against me:

Vera Stanhope, the cerebral, acerbic, hard-drinking, eccentric and altogether wonderful Detective Chief Inspector created by the brilliant British crime writer Ann Cleeves.  I want nothing more than to be Vera’s sidekick, and would move to Northumberland in a heartbeat to take that job.

People are always surprised that I am a fan of this individual (singer, actor, or artist):

Dolly Parton, primarily for her commitment to childhood literacy. Her Imagination Library mails over a million books a month—a month!—to children in the U.S. and around the world. Dolly has used her fame to really make a difference in the world.  She also starred in the wonderfully subversive movie 9 to 5 with another of my heroes, Lily Tomlin, and a terrific remix of her classic song Here You Come Again was featured in the recent movie Dumplin’, which takes on the culture surrounding beauty pageants. Dolly is cool all around.

My personal catch phase is (or should be):

“It’s all good.”

I’m a tremendous optimist, determined to live on the sunny side of the street, which is not always easy these days. But I persist.

Find out more about Brenda on Twitter and Facebook