Upon the release of her new book The Last Place You Look, Kristen Lepionka tells us a little more about herself. 

Kristen Lepionka

Kristen Lepionka

When I get stuck on something I’m writing, I switch to music.

Playing the guitar or piano is a surefire way to bust through writer’s block. I’ve been playing for years, and I find that doing something creative-but-different lets my brain see things in a different way.

But even though I’m a musician, I can’t whistle.

It drives me nuts.

I am obsessed with getting the details right in my writing.

I can easily lose hours and hours in a Google search rabbithole about the exact phrasing of property deeds, for example. In the name of research, I’ve also taken classes on firearms and lockpicking, gone on multiple police ridealongs, and hiked inside an Icelandic volcano (an inactive one, of course).

I’m really good at finding things.

If you misplace your wallet near me, chances are I noticed where it went. I like to think that this means I would make a good detective, like the ones I write about, but it probably just means I am nosy.

I have a cat named Spenser, after the iconic Robert B. Parker private eye.

He’s pretty cool (both the character and my cat).

Like Roxane Weary, the main character in my mystery novel The Last Place You Look, I’m a whiskey drinker.

She favors Crown Royal, but I’m more into bourbon. I like checking out distilleries when I travel and have visited them in Scotland, Ireland, and the US.

Also like Roxane, I’m bi.

My girlfriend and I have been together for six years. We both love reading LGBTQ mysteries and hope to see more representation in the future.

I always sit in the front row when I go to the movies.

It’s the best place to sit! I know it might not work for everyone, but I have a theory that many people who claim to hate the front row have never actually watched a movie from there. If you have and you still hate it, fair enough. Otherwise—give it a try.

I’ve been known to take personality tests on behalf of my characters.

It’s just an exercise to make sure I know them well enough to write them—and to make sure they act consistently. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is my preferred method (INFJ here!).

I write mysteries because I love exploring the darker bits of human nature.

I think there are many fascinating truths to be revealed about characters when you place them in these intense situations.

THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK by Kristen Lepionka is published by Faber & Faber in July (£7.99).