I love Kristopher Zgorski’s new feature on his wonderful Bolo Books blog, The Bolo Books Composite Sketch. He features someone from the writing industry every Friday and asks a mere five questions. I’ve know some of the people who have been featured, but each time found out something new about them. It got me thinking — how would Kristopher answer his own questions. I was delighted when Kristopher agreed to let the Wickeds turn the tables on him!
But first here is a little more about Kristopher and his amazing crime fiction blog:
My crime fiction review blog, BOLO Books (www.bolobooks.com), will be celebrating five years of existence in just a few weeks – while most of the crime fiction community is at Bouchercon in Toronto, in fact. With that auspicious occasion approaching, earlier this year I began to think about a new feature I could include on the blog that would be both interesting and more importantly not add to my workload tremendously. I already spend countless hours a week reading, researching, and writing reviews after all.
Because the name BOLO Books is police inspired, I wanted a feature that would harken back to that concept. I quickly stumbled upon the idea of composite sketch – drawings police artists do when interviewing witnesses to a crime. THAT’S IT!, I thought. I will start with a black and white sketch type image of a person, ask a few questions, and then end with the full color version of that same image.
With that in place, I needed to craft the questions. I wanted something that was both generic and incisive, which proved to be as difficult and dichotomous as it sounds. Since I wanted this feature to be free of the “sales pitchy” feel of some promotion, I decided to focus on questions that would get to the heart of the person – what makes them tick, who inspires them. I also wanted this feature to highlight everyone in the crime fiction tribe, not just authors, so it made sense to avoid any writing-related queries. But I also wanted to keep it short, so I decided five questions was enough. And with that the BOLO Books Composite Sketch feature was born.
I had the sense that these sketches would be interesting to people – after all, as they were coming in, I myself was finding out fascinating things about people I have known for years – but I had no idea how quickly it would become a go-to stop for people every Friday morning. People from all walks of life have told me that they simply love this feature – even when they don’t know the person at all, they find the idea of getting this insight into them to be very enjoyable. Needless to say, I am glad I had that little brainstorm at the 5th anniversary of BOLO Books. And I was thrilled when Sherry Harris asked me if I would consider doing a composite sketch of myself for the Wicked Cozy Author Blog.
So with that, here is a bit more about me:
The BOLO Books Composite Sketch
Name: Kristopher Zgorski Location: Columbia, Maryland
This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:
Without a doubt, I am going with my mother here. My mom and her siblings had a rough start, ending up in an orphanage and various foster homes, but they never lost contact with each other and maintained the bonds that only family can forge. Later in life, she would struggle as a single mother to instill in my brother and I a level of compassion and hopefulness that I will forever thank her for.
One of the people I admire most in the crime fiction community is:
This is a tough call, so I am going to go with three folks who I think are always willing to lend a hand, pass along information and advice, and shower enthusiastic support – not just as it relates to me, but upon everyone in our tribe. Those folks are: Judy Bobalik, Erin Mitchell, and Hank Phillippi Ryan. The crime fiction community – and the world – is better because they are a part of it.
STALKER ALERT! If this fictional character were real, they would likely need to get a restraining order against me:
Although I know I will be fighting over him with countless people – including some of my closest friends – I’m going with James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser – aka Jamie, from the Outlander series. Hopefully you don’t need to ask why, as I do embarrass easily.
People are always surprised that I am a fan of this individual (singer, actor, or artist):
I’m not sure that any of my fandom will surprise people. It’s about as eclectic as it is possible for an individual to be. I shall answer with two responses however: Georgia O’Keefe because I admire what she was able to do in a time when female artists were fighting an uphill battle – a struggle which continues today – and also because Santa Fe is a bit of a mecca for my husband and I. And in stark contrast to O’Keefe, Frank Lloyd Wright, who by most accounts was probably not a very nice man, but whose architectural design I simply can’t get enough of – there’s a reason we ultimately settled in the craftsman-style home section of Columbia, MD.
My personal catch phase is (or should be):
“Lord have mercy on my soul” (This sounds way more religious than it really is. But sometimes the things I see, hear, and experience in this world defy any other possible response.)
Thanks so much for allowing me to stop by the blog, Sherry. I hope that people enjoyed learning a bit more about me. All the previous Composite Sketches can be found over at BOLO Books at the following link:
BOLO BOOKS COMPOSITE SKETCHES (http://bolobooks.com/?s=composite+sketch)
There have been sixteen previous Sketches at this point and new ones every Friday morning. Please do stop by, I think you will have a good time!
Readers: How would you answer this question: STALKER ALERT! If this fictional character were real, they would likely need to get a restraining order against me.
Love this. Another thing we have in common is I love Georgia O’Keefe.
Of course the person I would be stalking is Roarke from the “In Death” series.
Thanks for turning the table around on Kristopher.
Thanks Dru. Her artwork is so very moving. As for Roarke – believe me, he was certainly on the short list. 😉
Thanks for visiting us, Kristopher, and Sherry for inviting him! I love the new feature, too, and how fun that you got to answer your own questions. Let’s see. I’m going to say Armand Gamache. I would love to be one of his friends and neighbors in Three Pines!
Thanks Edith. So happy that you are enjoying the Composite Sketch feature. Wouldn’t living in Three Pines be the dream? Well, expect for the chance that we might get killed off.
I’m pretty much of a live-and-let-live person, so I wouldn’t be stalking anyone!
But you will bail the rest of us out, right? 😉
Sigh. If I had any cash, would I be limited to reviewing only the books I can get for free?
Thanks for letting the Wickeds turn the table on you, Kristopher! I love the Composite Sketches!
Thank you Annette. I have to say, it was fun to look at my interview questions from the other angle.
I would hopefully become friends (stalking) Mrs. Polifax by Dorothy Gilman..or Tommy Hambledon by Manning Coles.
Very sensible choice, Gram.
Thanks for inviting Kristopher! I’ll go all the way up to Moose County, (400 miles north of everywhere) to stalk Jim Qwilleran. I want to hang around in the apple barn with JIm and Koko and Yum-Yum–the cats who. . ..
Carol, you would certainly have plenty of previous cases to discuss with Jim. But let’s admit it, the cats are the most adorable part.
I love the Composite Sketches and I’m so glad you let the Wickeds turn the tables, Kristopher.
Stalker alert? Oh…let’s go with James Hathaway from “Lewis.” Not a book, but really – I can’t resist a man who dislikes misplaced apostrophes. 🙂
Mary/Liz, this answer doesn’t surprise me in the least. A perfect choice for you!
Thank you so much for inviting me Sherry and for the other Wicked Cozy Authors for allowing me to visit your wonderful blog. I am so gratified that the Composite Sketch feature has resonated with so many people, it’s a nice way to wrap up the week at the blog.
Thank you for taking the time and congratulations on five years of the fabulous Bolo Books blog!
This is great! I’m so glad you turned the tables on Kristopher! I’m not sure who I’d stalk. I’ll have to give that one some thought.
Thank Joyce. You don’t have to have someone to stalk. Don’t let us lead you down the road to criminality.
Thank you for joining us today, Kristopher! I love reading everyone’s answers to your great stalking question. But I especially enjoyed your answers to your own questions! When you were coming up with them did you think about how you’d answer them or did it start when we discussed you being a guest?
When I first crafted the questions, I didn’t really think too much about my answers as much as about how the answers in general would reveal the “soul” behind a person. That said, as I started to send out invites and received responses back, I would also agree with someone’s answers (especially to the stalking question) and think “would that be my real answer?” Once you invited me here, I really sat down and thought about my own answers and it was tons of fun.
Very interesting! I love that you thought about the soul behind the person.
Kristopher, what fun! Both to learn more about you, and to read why/how you came up with the brilliant idea of the Composite Sketches!
I can choose who to stalk: Adam Dalgliesh or Hamish MacBeth. Seems to be a Scottish theme here!
Thanks Karen. Hamish, indeed, wonderful answer.
BOLO Books is one of my longtime favorite sites, and the new Composite Sketch feature is creative and wonderful. I love the questions you ask, Kristopher! Thanks so much, Sherry, for helping us get to know this excellent writer and reviewer better. And happy fifth anniversary, Kristopher and BOLO Books!
Thank you so much Susan – for this and for all your years of support. Always happy to know that folks are enjoying what I am doing over at BOLO Books.
Welcome to the Wicked Cozies, Kristopher. I love BOLO Books and the new Composite Sketches.
I would like to have a long conversation in a pub about life, politics, crime and detection with Reg Wexford.
Thanks Barbara. That would indeed be a very interesting – and likely long – conversation. I might just eavesdrop.
I love your approach with BOLO Books’ Composite Sketch. It’s such a treat. My fictional out-of-control crush is Poirot.
Thanks Keenan. Poirot would be great to go on a culinary tour with, huh?
Oh, yeah, he eats really well!
I love this! I learned such wonderful new facts about Kristopher. I am totally with you on that Stalker choice! And I love your passion and respect for Georgia O’Keefe. I became obsessed with her as a teenager, and actually referenced her in a play – how she’d take something like a flower and distill it to its essence. I’ve always wanted to visit Santa Fe, but haven’t made it there yet. Bucket list.
The Georgia O’Keefe museum is a must visit – the largest museum dedicated to the works of one woman. And visiting her Ranch is also awesome. We took tour where we traveled out into the desert and saw the location that inspired a painting and then looked at the painting itself. It was magical. The sky in Santa Fe is unlike anywhere else I have ever been.
Ellen, I’ll go pay homage to O’Keefe with you! I was in Santa Fe in 1980 but didn’t really know about her back then.
If you are ever in the Indianapolis area, be sure to take time to visit the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. There are some wonderful O’Keefes in their collection.
Oh, I didn’t really answer the Stalker question, I just glommed on to Kristopher’s answer. If there was one person I’d stalk, it would be Agatha Christie. Or Emily Bronte, but only if I could quickly return to modern times because I have zero desire to die from cholera.
LOL. That is indeed a bit of a problem, Ellen. Thanks for taking the time to read the Sketch.
Add me to those enjoying Kristopher’s series. And I’m going to save my answer to that question for my own response to the questions. (I will get them to you, I promise. Really, I will!)
Oooohhh! You heard it hear first folks! I’ll look forward to it!
You have a fan base waiting!
What a wonderful post, Kristopher! Thanks so much for visiting with us and asking such a great question! I am afraid I have two: Poirot and Jeeves of P.G. Wodehouse fame. Okay, maybe three: I also love Richard Jury from Martha Grimes. Perhaps four because Mr. Darcy. Actually, there are five. I would absolutely stalk Amelia Peabody. Does that make me a potential serial stalker?
Thank you Jessie. I think many of us who read so extensively can claim to be serial stalkers, so at least we are all in good company!
Love this! Thanks for visiting the Wickeds, Kristopher!
Thanks for having me, Liz. Glad that you enjoyed the sketch.
Running in TOTALLY late. And I am –in tears. Kristopher, you are a rock star from moment one. Thank you! Aw. Thank you. xoxoo Sherry, you are brilliant to have thought of this–and Composite sSketch is genius. Aw.
And who would I stalk? Morse. No question, Morse Morse Morse. And then Inspector Rutledge. (Am I no fun whatsoever?) But I would certainly want to chat with Claire (Randall) Frasier about clothes. I love everything she wears.
Aw. Thank you.
Sorry to make you cry, Hank, but I mean every word of it. The crime fiction community is filled with wonderful people, but even amongst them, the three women I mentioned stand out a complete heroes.
Mrs. Peel from the Avengers. My first major crush. Though of course she could take care of me by herself with a couple of karate chops.
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