From the Booking Desk:
What does one say about Katherine Hall Page? She is one of those icons of the traditional cozy mystery world. I can pinpoint moments in my crime fiction journey with books from the Faith Fairchild Mystery Series— twenty-five books and counting from 1990 through to next month. She was the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at Malice Domestic a few years back and she was as gracious as ever in meeting her fans, both new and old. On a whim, I asked her if she would be interested in participating in the Composite Sketch series and she jumped right on board. I am beyond thrilled to have her here on BOLO Books and I know you all are going to enjoy this one. It is very special, indeed.
Name: Katherine Hall Page
Location: Massachusetts and Maine
This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:
My late father, William Page.
I have been fortunate to have many others over my life who have also been an inspiration—including my mother!— but Dad was my immediate choice. His mother died when he was two and, although his father was part of a wealthy family, at a very young age Dad was passed around until a series of year-round boarding schools became his homes. This was in 1916 on. He never talked much about his childhood and adolescence—we sensed Dickensian would have been a major upgrade. Yet, all his life he never felt sorry for himself or held it against anyone and had a rare gift for friendship and love.
He became the first executive director of a nonprofit rehabilitation hospital in New Jersey and it was a calling as well as a job. He worked tirelessly to pass the ADA and founded organizations to help the physically handicapped. Dad had a strong moral compass, but was not rigid. He and my mother were liberal thinkers and took me to hear people like Eleanor Roosevelt and MLK in person. Our house was filled with books and one of my earliest memories is of his reading aloud to us. He also passed on his love of the Maine coast and Pogo!
He died at 66 very suddenly only a year after retirement. I miss him every day. He embodied that wonderful phrase from Henri Amiel “Life is short. We don’t have much time to gladden the hearts of those who walk this way with us. So, be swift to love and make haste to be kind.”
One of the people I admire most in the crime fiction community is:
Sans doute; Mary Higgins Clark! I met Mary at an early Malice Domestic, I think it was 1990. Although I was in complete awe, someone motioned me over to join the group with Mary at the bar and it wasn’t long before that awe turned to love. Someone once said that we all would like to be Mary when we grew up and somehow we’ve gotten older, but Mary hasn’t. So beautiful, so funny, that brilliant smile, and above all an innate kindness that goes along with what I wrote about my father. Mary’s life was a true roller coaster, but she never gave up or pitied her lot in life. Her ability as a writer is a given. What may not be as widely known is her unique generosity of spirit —and the fact that she never forgets a face! The Japanese have a designation, “National Treasure” for certain individuals. Mary is our National Treasure.
STALKER ALERT! If this fictional character were real, they would likely need to get a restraining order against me:
Very hard to choose. I have always been drawn to Bad Boys—in life and literature. Think Heathcliff and bikers.
However, I do have a major crush on Peter Robinson’s DCI Alan Banks (on Peter too?). Banks and I share the same tastes in music, wine, landscape, politics, and he is a total hunk. His strong sense of right and wrong is tempered by his sense of humor—and mellowness as he ages. I want to be that woman who finally lands him and we spend the rest of our days sitting in his conservatory sipping merlot, listening to music from a vast number of genres and watching the Yorkshire sky grow dark until the stars come out.
People are always surprised that I am a fan of this individual (singer, actor, or artist):
Again, very tough choice. Edward Gorey? Hayao Miyazaki? Kit Harington? Dolly Parton? But then, wouldn’t these be predictable—at least if you know me a bit? Less known is my passion for Dr. Who, specifically David Tennant (a Bad Boy too). Being a Whovian is a great comfort during these days of national and international chaos. Time for the Tardis to land on the White House lawn.
My personal catch phase is (or should be):
“What if?” springs to mind, but that is true for most writers. Also tempted by friend Harlan Coben’s, “You can’t make this stuff up”. But then thought of one of my favorite epitaphs. It’s on a 19th century headstone in a cemetery in Deer Isle, Maine. A woman’s name, dates and one line: “She Tried Her Best”. Island lore gives a number of interpretations (surviving spouse voicing disappointment?), but I like to think it sums up a life well spent. So, here it is (I hope): “She Tried Her Best”.