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Our guest on this month’s "Inside the Writer’s Head" podcast is fellow Ohioan Kristen Lepionka. Kristen is the author of the award-winning Roxane Weary mystery series, which has been widely hailed as rebooting and expanding the hardboiled genre thanks to, in the words of True Crime Addict’s James Renner, its “private eye with little concern for her own safety (or the gender of her shifting sexual partners).”

Her 2017 debut, The Last Place You Look, won the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. novel and was also nominated for Anthony and Macavity Awards. Her follow-up, What You Want to See, hit shelves last summer and is also beginning to rack up nominations as we go into mystery awards season. New this July is the page-turning third installment, called The Stories You Tell (all from Minotaur Books). Kristen's writing has been selected for Shotgun Honey, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Grift, and Black Elephant. She lives in Columbus with her partner and two cats.

In this episode, Kristen talks with our Writer-in-Residence, fellow Ohio suspense novelist Jessica Strawser, about creating a character strong enough to carry a series, setting stories in underappreciated places, redefining “likeable” (and marketable) characters, and the importance of writing communities such as the one surrounding Pitch Wars.  



Jessica Strawser
2019 Writer-in-Residence: Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County
Editor-at-Large: Writer's Digest 
Novelist: Almost Missed YouNot That I Could TellForget You Know Me • St. Martin's Press
jessicastrawser.com / t @jessicastrawser / f @jessicastrawserauthor