From the Booking Desk:

I have been a fan of Susanna Calkins from the moment I first read and reviewed her debut historical mystery, A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate. She is always delightful when you encounter her at the various crime fiction conventions, and like so many in our tribe, Susanna is more than willing to lend a hand and offer advice when it is needed and loves to celebrate the successes of all our crime fiction family members. Next year will see the launch of a new mystery series from her, but in the meantime, let’s see how Susanna addresses our weekly questionnaire.

Name: Susanna Calkins
Location: Chicagoland

This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:

That’s easy. My husband Matt Kelley. I’m always amazed at his ability to handle all kinds of crazy tasks—often at once, and always with incredible patience, skill and good cheer. Forgot that we’re supposed to bring a side dish to the potluck? He’s already chopping potatoes. Staring dismally at two mismatched sets of data? He’s already got the spreadsheet going. Can’t remember where my murders occurred? He’s already printing out color coordinated maps with identified locations. Need someone to coach soccer, baseball, and basketball and handle all lineups, schedules and bad tempers? Matt will take care of it all and remember the snacks. Need to try out 1920s-era cocktails? He’s got the glassware ready. What a great inspiring guy!

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

Another easy one. Lori Rader-Day. I met Lori a few years ago at Printer’s Row Literary Fest in Chicago, before either of us was published although we both had contracts in hand. Something I said and something she said floated over the din of the crowd, and suddenly we realized we had a lot in common and became good friends. At the time Lori was on the board of Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter (secretary and then VP), before becoming chapter president. One thing I always appreciated was how Lori would always put forward and support other authors (both published and not-yet-published), and worked hard to promote community in both MWA and Sisters in Crime. She didn’t just shut the door behind her after she became a successful award-winning novelist. I’ve also been impressed with her leadership and great ideas, which I’ve seen first-hand in MWA, and our local Sisters in Crime Chicagoland chapter. Of course she also co-launched Murder and Mayhem Chicago with Dana Kaye, which has been terrific for reinforcing Chicago as a strong and vibrant crime fiction community. I’m excited that she will be serving on the national board of Sisters in Crime, as the incoming Vice President.

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

I’d stalk both Veronica Mars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, although I feel like I’d get taken down pretty quick by both of them if they caught me. I think once they got to know me, they’d want to hang out with me ALL THE TIME. And we’d get matching tattoos, and do each other’s hair. And talk about horses.

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

I doubt anyone knows this, but I’m a total fan of Justin Timberlake. Less because of his ‘real’ music, and more because of his comedic bent. He doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously, and he seems like a lot of fun to be around.

My personal catch phrase is (or should be):

I don’t have one, I have three. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” These may be the only lyrics from Kelly Clarkson I ever sing, but they kind of ring true for me. Sometimes, when I’m careening under the weight of the 2, 3, 4 careers I have going at once, this is what gets me through the day. The other two go hand-in-hand: “Don’t shut the door behind you,” and “There’s room in the pond for all of us,” meaning I believe that if we can give other people opportunities and chances we should, which includes recommending other authors to readers. You didn’t like my book, that’s fine, so perhaps you’d love a book by Anna Lee Huber, Deanna Raybourne, Jamie Freveletti, Nadine Nettman, Jess Lourey, Julie Hyzy or Clare O’Donohue instead.