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Lowe, Sheila

Lowe, Sheila

PERSONAL:

Education: Earned B.S. degree.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Ventura, CA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Handwriting analysis expert.

MEMBER:

National Association of Document Examiners.

WRITINGS:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Handwriting Analysis, Alpha, 1999.

Handwriting of the Famous and Infamous, Metro Books, 2000.

Poison Pen (novel), Capital Crime Press (Fort Collins, CO), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including Time, Teen People, and Mademoiselle, as well as several legal magazines.

SIDELIGHTS:

Sheila Lowe is a court-certified handwriting expert who has written two books on the art of graphology. Lowe, who began working in the field in the 1970s and has been certified in the California court system since 1985, has a large base of clients who make use of her handwriting analysis, including corporate clients, mental health professionals, attorneys, private investigators, and staffing agencies. In a BookPleasures.com interview, Lowe addressed critics of the field: "If anyone expresses skepticism, I offer them an annotated bibliography that I compiled a few years ago of published research in the field. Handwriting analysis is based on common sense and has a lot of documented research behind it. Unfortunately, there's no licensing in the field, so it's easy for a charlatan to damage the profession and their clients that way."

In 2007 Lowe published her first novel, Poison Pen, the first in the proposed "Claudia Rose" series. Handwriting expert Claudia is hired by Ivan to analyze a suicide note left by his partner, Lindsey Alexander. Claudia, an old friend of Lindsey, believes the note was written by the murderer and assists detective Joel Jovanic in solving the case. Booklist contributor Sue O'Brien noted that Lowe's "well-developed heroine and the wealth of fascinating detail on handwriting analysis" would be most appealing for readers. Shirley Roe, writing in Reviewer's Bookwatch, found: "Sheila Lowe has a talent for suspense, intrigue, and character development. Lowe's writing style feels like a conversation with a companion, easy and flowing."

Lowe's advice to fellow writers, as told in a Front Street Reviews interview, would be to "learn the craft before beginning to send that manuscript out. Read the authors you enjoy with a critical eye to see what works—how they plot, their dialogue, the characterization. Get into a good critique group specific to your genre and, if possible, take a class or two."

Lowe told CA: "I began writing poetry when I was around nine and stories at fourteen. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I started reading from an early age (four years old). As handwriting analysis developed as a career for me, writing about the psychology of handwriting was a natural progression. I've always loved mysteries and have wanted to write one for as long as I can remember. I finally realized that dream.

"My mystery fiction is probably influenced most by the authors I especially enjoy reading: Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen, John Sandford, Michael Connelly. Also, my work as a forensic handwriting analyst gives me insight into personality, and that undoubtedly has been a strong influence, both on the way I write and what I write about.

"I've learned that I work best with an outline, which I then follow rather loosely.

"Probably the most surprising thing (and not in a good way) was that the publisher relies on the author to do most of their own promotion. I'd always thought that every author automatically gets a book tour and a publicist, paid for by the publisher. Not so. At least, not unless the author already has a big name. Kind of ironic, isn't it?

"I love The Complete Idiot's Guide to Handwriting Analysis because it was my very first published book. I love Handwriting of the Famous and Infamous because the publisher approached me about it rather than the other way around. I love Poison Pen because it was my very first mystery published. So I guess I don't have a favorite. Maybe after I've written a few more books I will.

"I'd like the nonfiction books to teach more people about the gestalt method of analysis, which isn't very available in the United States. And I'd like the mystery fiction to make more people aware of handwriting analysis as a serious forensic tool."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2007, Sue O'Brien, review of Poison Pen, p. 41.

Publishers Weekly, January 29, 2007, review of Poison Pen, p. 45.

Reviewer's Bookwatch, February 1, 2007, Shirley Roe, review of Poison Pen.

ONLINE

BookPleasures.com,http://www.bookpleasures.com/ (August 8, 2007), Norm Goldman, author interview and review of Poison Pen.

Claudia Rose Series Web site,http://www.claudiaroseseries.com (August 8, 2007), author profile.

Front Street Reviews,http://www.frontstreetreviews.com/ (August 8, 2007), author interview.

Mystery Morgue,http://www.breakthroughpromotions.com/mysterymorgue/ (August 8, 2007), author interview.

ReviewingTheEvidence.com,http://www.reviewingtheevidence.com/ (August 8, 2007), review of Poison Pen.

Sheila Lowe Home Page,http://www.sheilalowe.com (August 8, 2007), author biography.

Sheila Lowe Joint Web log,http://mystery-writers.blogspot.com/ (August 8, 2007), author profile.

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