What is your path to publication — how did you become an author?
I was a nonfiction author before my mystery series saw the light of day. After many years of writing technical papers in my career as a handwriting expert, in 1999 I had the opportunity to write The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis,then a year later, Handwriting of the Famous & Infamous. But my first love was always mystery. Around the same time as the Idiot’s Guide was published I started writing Poison Pen, the first in what became the forensic handwriting mystery series.
I thought that because I already had two books in print that it would be easy to get Poison Pen published. I could not have been more wrong. When I entered PP in a competition it took 3rd place out of 97 entries. The prize included dinner with two editors at major houses. Again, I was sure I would be immediately published. Not! The editors were lovely people, but it was another seven years and many submissions before I finally gave up on getting the right agent or a major publisher. They’d all said, “It’s good, it’s just not strong enough.” I couldn’t find anyone who could tell me what that meant until Capital Crime, a small new mystery press, took me on as one of their first authors. Their editor showed me how to strengthen the book and make it publishable.
Capital Crime sent PP out to all the big magazines and I was happily stunned to get a Starred Review in Publisher’s Weekly, which brought the book to the notice of a senior editor at Penguin’s Obsidian imprint. She bought the first two books from Capital Crime, and then the next two from me. Voila! I was published.
Fast forward through some unpleasantness when my editor left Penguin and her successor wasn’t interested in continuing my series. It all worked out, though, as now I’m with Suspense Publishing, another small house who treats me well. They published the next two books, then I got my rights back for the first four and handed them over to Suspense. The books now have fabulous new covers (the saga of the covers is a story in itself) and book number seven is well on its way.
Blurb for Outside the Lines
In the sixth book of the Forensic Handwriting mysteries, what should have been a routine afternoon on the witness stand for handwriting expert Claudia Rose turns into a shocking assault that leaves her traumatized. Then her getaway trip to the UK instead lands her in trouble with the FBI and New Scotland Yard. Detective Joel Jovanic’s homicide case has followed Claudia to London where she finds herself unexpectedly allied with the chief suspect.
The mother of a tattoo artist and a rock star, Sheila Lowe lives in Southern California with Lexie the Very Bad (sometimes Evil) Cat, where she writes nonfiction books about handwriting and the award-winning Forensic Handwriting series. Like her fictional character Claudia Rose, she’s a real-life forensic handwriting expert who testifies in court cases. Sheila writes “medium boiled,” books of psychological suspense (definitely not cozies). In other words, she puts ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances and makes them squirm.
Social Media links:
|Amazon Author page:||https://www.amazon.com/author/sheilalowe|
|Goodreads Author page:||https://www.goodreads.com/SheilaLowe|