Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Q&A with Catriona McPherson

Tammy Kaehler
 is here today to interview author Catriona McPherson, Toastmaster of the Left Coast Crime convention. Left Coast is an annual mystery fiction convention for fans. This year it will be held in Phoenix, February 25-28. I have the honor of interviewing Catriona on stage at the convention, so you'll be hearing more about this in the coming months. 

Left Coast Crime 2016, The Great Cactus Caper, is fortunate to honor four wonderful Guests of Honor (officially, three plus a Toastmaster). We thought we'd sit down over virtual cups of tea or coffee and get to know each one a little bit. Our second guest is our Toastmaster (GoH), Catriona McPherson.

LCC: What do you especially like about Left Coast Crime?
Catriona: Phoenix is number five for me following Sacramento, Colorado, Monterey, and Portland and from the off it felt like home. LCC is big enough to feel buzzy, but small enough so you can grab the chance to speak to everyone you most want to speak to. Other larger (unnamed) cons? You pass a pal on the escalator on Thursday night and glimpse them stepping into an airport shuttle on Sunday. Also, the Lefty! No one else has a category just to honour books that make you laugh.

How do you feel about being a Guest of Honor?Like I want to look over my shoulder to see who you're *really* talking to. I sometimes have trouble generating book titles and rely heavily on my genius editors to pick a goodun. But I can always recognise when a title is right. And this one is spot-on: I feel squarely hon(u)red.

What are you looking forward to at LCC Phoenix?
Oh man. All of it. We sit alone in a room typing and weeping for fifty weeks a year and then it all bursts into Wizard of Oz Techni-color. I'm looking forward to the bookroom, getting new books signed, going to panels, the hug-erama that kicks off the hug-athon, sitting talking about crime fiction with some of my favourite people in the world and calling it work. And as Toastmaster, I get to demand that a roomful of people obeys me and toasts Chantelle, Ann, and Gregg. I'm going to feel like The Boss. For a minute. If Ingrid says it's okay.

What should fans, readers, fellow writers know about you?
I'm a hugger. I come from an extraordinarily huggy family, even though we're British, and moving to California cut my guy ropes for keeps. You get one handshake when we first meet and then it's hugs forever unless you've got mace. And Facebook friends? Forget it—hugs from the off.

What would you say to new attendees to LCC?

Go to panels, ask questions, buy books from the dealers, thank the volunteers, bid on auction items, don't get too refreshed on Thursday night (it's a long haul till Sunday). Most importantly, it's always fine to go up and talk to groups of people you don't know—they're talking about books we all love, and the more the merrier.


  1. Left Coast Crime is a great conference, and I will have to miss it this year. Even more bummed because I love Catriona's books and know she's gonna kill it! Stayed up until midnight last night finishing The Day She Died. Not a funny one, but oh so creepy! I think I need to read a Dandy Gilver to wash it from my head.

  2. I had the honor of meeting Catriona last year. She is an absolute delight, very funny, and will make a terrific Toastmaster!! Sorry I make it to Left Crime.