Book: Written Off (Forensic Handwriting Mystery Book 7) by Sheila Lowecategories: Book, Forensics, Suspense, Serial Killers, Women Sleuths, Crime, Mystery Fiction
Sheila Loweabout this book: Handwriting Expert Claudia Rose travels to Maine in the dead of winter to interview a female serial killer in prison and locate a manuscript written by Madeleine Maynard, a wealthy professor who was recently murdered. The professor's special group of grad students, known as "Maynard's Maniacs," and some of her fellow faculty members all have reason to resent her, but when a stranger shows up with a new, handwritten will, and claims to be an heir to the professor's fortune, all bets are off.
My series features a forensic handwriting expert, so the titles are plays on words having to do with handwriting: Poison Pen, Written in Blood, Dead Write, Last Writes, Inslingers Ball, Outline the Lines, Written Off.
Written Off takes place in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve in snowy Maine, where the professor's body was found in a cabin in the woods. I didn't want the cover to look like a Christmas story, which it kind-of did with its green and red colors, so the cover designer darkened it around the edges to give it a more sinister look. I think she did a fabulous job!
Oh yes. I've never been to Maine, so I contacted several people who lived there and asked them questions. I also viewed a lot of youtube videos of snowstorms in the area, plus one of a guy walking in the woods in the snow—perfect! Another important piece of research was my discussion with the director of the women's prison. She was so helpful, she not only described the facility, she sent photos of the interior and some of the women posing in their uniforms. Afterwards, I sent her book for fact-checking and apparently, I got it right.
Writing the book. Seriously. I have friends who are a fountain of ideas. That's not me. I have to dig deep and pull hard. Outlining the plot and figuring out where it's going is definitely the hardest part.
Writing a book is really hard work, and you are what makes it all worthwhile.
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what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
• Book Review: Dead Write - A Forensic Handwriting Mystery by Sheila Lowe|
• Book Review: Last Writes - A Forensic Handwriting Mystery by Sheila Lowe|
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