From the Booking Desk:
I am beyond thrilled to welcome Alexia Gordon to the BOLO Books Composite Sketch series. Alexia is an award-winning author, extremely smart, and always on the move – and yet, she remains one of the nicest and most unassuming authors you will meet at any crime fiction convention. Her work spans widely across sub-genres: blending cozy elements with a traditional mystery, spiced up with a clever paranormal angle. Clearly she is a woman who refuses to be boxed in, so it will be no surprise that Alexia’s wonderful answers to our weekly questions are just about as diverse and well-articulated as possible. Enjoy!
Name: Alexia Gordon
Location: Lake Forest, IL
This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:
My parents. They grew up poor in the rural South and experienced the Depression, WWII, and Jim Crow but worked hard to rise above their circumstances and create opportunity where there was none. They never looked at the odds against them and said, it’s too hard, I give up. They sacrificed to provide me with an easier life than they had. They passed on their work ethic and taught me never to quit and to always have a fallback plan.
One of the people I admire most in the crime fiction community is:
A tough choice. The crime fiction community is an unbelievably supportive community filled with brilliant creatives who encourage each other, celebrate others’ success, and work to advance the craft. I could choose Kellye Garrett for her advocacy, Gabriel Valjean, Dru Ann Love, or Kristopher Zgorski for their promotion of authors, Gabino Iglesias for his passion, Paula Munier for her sound career advice, L.A. Chandler, D.A. Bartley, and Aimee Hix for their kindness, so many more…
But Catriona McPherson rises to the top of my list. She was the first Big Name Author to say hello to me. She saw me standing in line for coffee at my first mystery conference, looking bewildered and overwhelmed and way-the-hell out of my league. My first book hadn’t come out yet and all I could think, when I looked around at all of the Famous People, was “I don’t belong here.” Catriona swept in, coffee in hand, and rescued me. She shepherded me to Charlaine Harris’s table, sat next to me, and kept the conversation going while I tried to untie my tongue. Despite writing two series and standalones and blogging, Catriona is generous with her time and support. She’s cheerful and funny and not afraid to standup for what she believes in. And she’s humble. All a part of her charm.
STALKER ALERT! If this fictional character were real, they would likely need to get a restraining order against me:
It’s a tie between Archie Goodwin and Jame Retief, my two literary crushes. Granted, some of their behavior (especially Archie’s) isn’t as socially acceptable now as it was when Rex Stout and Keith Laumer created them but I like to think their behavior would change, without altering their essential character traits, if Stout and Laumer were alive to write them today.
They’re handsome tough guys with a sense of humor, a golden heart, and brains behind the pretty faces. I started drinking milk and eating cherry pie and planted tarragon because Archie Goodwin likes milk, cherry pie, and tarragon, I push drawers shut all the way because he doesn’t like women who don’t, and I wanted an Underwood typewriter because that was the brand he used. When the red tape and office politics at my day job start to wear me down, I think about how Jame Retief would handle the situation. (Okay, he’d probably shoot some aliens, but besides that.) I try to channel his diplomatic finesse when dealing with bureaucracy.
I also must add Han Solo to this list. (Wow, that’s a lot of restraining orders.) He’s another smart, handsome, golden hearted, tough guy. Come to think of it, Archie, Jame, and Han are really the same character in different worlds, so it’s actually only one restraining order. I feel better now.
People are always surprised that I am a fan of this individual (singer, actor, or artist):
Lyle Lovett. People don’t usually look at me and figure I’m a country music fan. In general, I’m not. But Lyle Lovett released two albums, “It’s Not Big It’s Large” and “Joshua Judges Ruth,” that blended jazz and country and I loved the result. I can name a few more country/folk/bluegrass songs and artists I like, if pressed to admit it: “Crazy” and “Walking After Midnight” by Patsy Cline, “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, “The Git Up” by Blanco Brown, “Everybody Walkin’ This Land” by Paul Cauthen, “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash, Blues Saraceno, Dorothy, The War and Treaty, The Avett Brothers, Rhiannon Giddens, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club… The blues-to-twang ratio is the deciding factor. More blues and less twang lands it on my Spotify playlist.
My personal catch phrase is (or should be):
–Blessed are the cynical for they shall not be disappointed.
–Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
–Your failure to plan does not make this my emergency.
(Can you tell I work for the government?)