From the Booking Desk:

Few writers burst onto the scene as triumphantly as Kristen Lepionka did. Even before her debut novel was out, it was generating some serious buzz and the release of it and subsequent novels in the series did nothing to quiet things down. Kristen is a superstar. Now a regular attendee at mystery conventions, you can always count on Kristen to provide an entertaining panel discussion filled with laughter and intellect. Kristen is also a huge supporter of her fellow crime fiction writers – especially those in the LGBTQ+ category, as well as those in other under-represented classifications – so it is with pure pleasure that I welcome her to the Composite Sketch series.

Name: Kristen Lepionka
Location: Columbus, Ohio

This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:

My mom, Eileen, is an inspiration to me (and not just because she’s my biggest fan). Several years ago she was diagnosed with a serious lung condition, Pulmonary-Arterial Hypertension, and I know nothing has been easy since then, but she keeps an upbeat attitude and is amazingly supportive. You can read about her in her own words here.

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

Kellye Garrett! She does so much for other writers and the issue of inclusivity in the genre. I met Kellye when she was my Pitch Wars mentor in 2015, and now I am proud to call her a friend. Her award-winning debut, Hollywood Homicide, is so smart and funny, and it’s so great that it has garnered widespread recognition and praise (I love it when good things happen to good people!).

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

Claire DeWitt! I am beyond obsessed with Sara Gran’s brilliant series, which weaves the classic hardboiled PI set-up in with intriguing threads such as a Nancy Drew-esque “teen detective” comic book series from Claire’s youth; the disappearance of her best friend from the 1980s Brooklyn punk scene; and the investigative philosophy of a French detective and writer whom Claire’s mentor trained under. The series is so inventive, and Claire’s voice is sharp, witty, empathetic, and very troubled. I adore her.

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

Jennifer Lopez! I will watch absolutely anything she is in, which means I have seen many episodes of that dance show, plus all the late-nineties/early-aughts rom-coms, and I will still stop on a cable channel that is showing Monster-in-Law to this day. J-Lo recently starred in a crime show, Shades of Blue, that was really right up my alley. And I look forward to seeing Hustlers in September.

My personal catch phrase is (or should be):

Like 7 years ago I saw this random cat meme that showed a freaked-out feline and the caption EVERYTHING HAPPENS SO MUCH. I think about it a lot. I wish I had a cool personal catch phrase, but I’m not cool at all. I’m totally the EVERYTHING HAPPENS SO MUCH cat.