From the Booking Desk:

Can you believe it, this is the 50th Composite Sketch! When I started this feature on BOLO Books, I had no idea it would become so incredibly popular. To the point where I have people pinging me throughout the week, trying to get hints as to who this week’s Sketch focus will be. For the 50th one, I wanted it to be someone who was both important to me personally, as well as, important to the crime community as a whole.

Catriona McPherson was the first person that jumped to mind and she so graciously agreed. (Boy are you going to be glad she did!)

When I started BOLO Books, Catriona was one of the first authors to enthusiastically embrace my new endeavor. Many times we have discussed the blogging world and how it connects with the writing world. We share advice and most importantly, we share laughter. Catriona is so damn funny – it’s practically impossible to be in a bad mood when around her. But beyond that, she cares so deeply about our crime fiction tribe. She will do anything she can to help others – veterans or newbies, readers or authors, friends or strangers. Catriona wows us all with her extensive writing output, never once sacrificing quality despite the quantity. Catriona regularly attends our genre’s conventions so that she can meet readers of all sorts – she is most definitely a fangirl herself. And she does it all with an ease that so many of us envy. (Notice, I didn’t say ease and grace, because well, there is that one Malice with the broken arm and all the folks who had to help her with the dress, the sling, her bags, etc. etc.)

Catriona McPerson is first-class all the way. I love her and am so honored that she agreed to be BOLO Books’ 50th Composite Sketch profile. Enough gushing, let’s see how she addresses our weekly questions. (Warning: put down your coffee now, before you end up wearing it.)

Name: Catriona McPherson
Location: northern California with a Brigadoon-ish whiff of southern Scotland

This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:

What’s that? Which five people from my personal life are an inspiration? Okay. Well, my three sisters are up there. They taught me to read and were massive cheerleaders when I started to write. And then there’s my mum, who took me to the library from when I was tiny, worked in the library once we were off her hands a bit, and read voraciously, like that’s what you do. Because that’s what you do. My dad always read at least three books at a time – one at work, one upstairs and one downstairs – and I don’t think we’ve ever read the same book as one another. He taught me early never to assume anything about other people’s reading habits and choices.

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

This is even harder than the last question! Such a lot of pals. Oof. I thought it would get easier if I stuck to non-writers. But it didn’t. There’s Kris Zgorski topically enough, Dru Ann Love, Jon and Ruth Jordan, Janet Rudolph, Judy Bobalik, and I am still reeling from the recent news that Doris Ann Norris, the 2000 yr old librarian, has gone . . .

Wait! I’ve got it. Erin Mitchell. Erin loves books and readers (and writers), never carps or sneers, and is unfailingly upbeat despite life lobbing considerable stinkies at her. Erin Mitchell is my final answer.

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

Jackson Brodie (she typed without a second’s thought). The detective from Kate Atkinson’s sometime series of sort of crime novels is just dreamy! He’s shambolic and flawed but goodness shines out of him and he’s funny. Funny’s always good if there’s kindness too. I read a thread on Twitter recently about how women wouldn’t date men who slept on mattresses on the floor and I remember thinking (out of the blue) I bet Jackson doesn’t own a box spring and bedhead.

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

Ummmmm. Not a writer? Okay. I don’t think any of my enthusiasms are surprising but maybe in combination. I remember one time giving someone a lift in my car. I had a Doris Day disc on. The liftee had to move another disc off the passenger seat to sit down and asked why there was a copy of I am Kurious Oranj in my car. “Because I was listening to it”. Why else? I like The Clash and Dolly Parton and Puccini and NWA.

My personal catch phrase is (or should be):

“Gah. Autocorrect. Sorry.” My typos are my best feature, I sometimes think. I recently described date-night lingerie as consisting of satin and caribou.

But here’s a thing. I just did a quick word frequency check on my emails – once a linguist, eh? – and the thing I say more than anything is “thank you”. That can’t be bad.

And because she was such a good sport, here’s a much more flattering picture of the Catriona we know and love. (notice how it also includes a mirror angle to show off the hairdo.)