Welcome to the #NoContact Book Tour! While we all stay inside and stay safe, books have become even more important. But book events and conferences, alas, are canceled. So let’s “meet” some authors here, shall we? To launch this series, I give you the great (and very, very funny) Catriona McPherson, whose got THREE books “on tour” right now.

Tell us about your book!

I’m assuming the “or books” is silent? Great. 

Well, STRANGERS AT THE GATE is my latest modern standalone psychological thriller domestic noir woman in peril novel (I use all the words so I know I’ve used the right ones (seriously what is this sub-genre actually called?)). It’s about a young married couple who witness a murder and find out that they’re not who they thought they were . . . they’re strangers. And they live in a gate lodge. 

Also, there’s the second in a series about a Scottish fish out of water in California – SCOT AND SODA. All the characters I fell in love with in the first book are back, even largerer than life and just as potty-mouthed.

Finally, A STEP SO GRAVE is out in the US. It’s the . . . fourteenth, I think . . .  in my historical series. I’m up to 1937 now. I enjoyed this one tremendously: it’s set in the lead up to a family wedding, so there are plenty other tensions besides the murder.

What would you have been doing now to promote it? Where would you have been speaking? What bookstores would you have visited? (Feel free to add links!)

Ach. This was going to be a huge travel and appearance season. Left Coast Crime was shut down. As it turned out Scot and Soda won the Lefty award for best humorous mystery. They delivered it by courier and I did a photo-shoot in the garden wearing the dress I had been planning to wear to the awards dinner. 

Right now, I was to have been in Florida at Sleuthfest, where Oline Cogdill was going to be doing my Guest of Honour interview. 

And then there were the Edgars and Malice coming up at the end of April. Strangers at the Gate is up for the Mary Higgins Clark award. It is sad to think none of us are going to be there in poor New York and then getting the train down to Bethesda the next day. 

May was full of bookshops and bookclubs and assorted fun.

But actually, I don’t have a new book out until later this year: THE TURNING TIDE. I hope that all will be settled into the new normal by then and I’ll be at the Avid, Reader, Davis. With cakes. 

Are you working on anything now? Is your process or routine different?

I am working pretty much as usual, yes. Except for my handy household scientist being right here, working too. Mostly on Zoom. He’s on Zoom now. I’m going to tune in to what he’s saying . . . “probably lined, but if you change it to a scattered plot that’ll fix it” . . . it’s like spa music. I don’t understand anything he says at a deep enough level for it to be intrusive.

Do you think your writing will be changed by this crisis?

Eek. It had better be a lot richer in theme, with cleaner prose, and delivered quicker, right? Because we’ve got nothing to distract us from it. Seriously, I am writing about an earlier time period right now and every passing mention of scarlet fever, diphtheria, TB, and smallpox is much more prominent than usual.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when we’re free to be social again?

I’m going to hug someone. (I mean, someone I know, not just randomly run out and hug a stranger and get arrested for assault.) And then I’m going to get a latte. And go to the pictures. And eat a burrito. And sushi. Yep, I’m going to eat a sushi burrito in the cinema, one-handed, while hugging a friend and trying not spill my latte.

This too shall pass.

Thanks, Catriona. It shall!