Episode 17: Sheila Lowe

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Claudia Rose, the protagonist of Sheila Lowe's Forensic Handwriting Mystery series, is a handwriting analyst -- as is Sheila herself. The stories are the best of both the mystery and thriller worlds: high stakes and plenty of adrenaline, but solid mysteries, plenty of clues, and a lot of heart. Let's lead with the important stuff: if you are reading or listening to this before August 16, 2016, Sheila is having a book launch party and you are invited! Click on the link to learn more. Plus, here is the pre-order link for the new book, Outside the Lines. In addition to having written The Complete Idiot's Guide to Handwriting Analysis and Handwriting of the Famous and Infamous, Sheila is the president of the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation, which has resources for those interested in learning more about handwriting analysis. AHAF is also has resources for an important, and at the moment, often overlooked skill: cursive writing. They recently released a paper on the importance of cursive writing in the digital age. Want to help your kids learn cursive? You can learn more about New American Cursive here, and there's yet more information at CursiveIsCool.com. She gives a shout out to the Enid Blyton children's books, particularly The Rocking Down Mystery, which appears to be out of print, although used copies can still be found (thank you, Internet!). I recommend Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear, a brilliant book on how to read people and situations. And here is the link for Women Against Gun Violence. Finally, Sheila has also written the stand-alone psychological thriller, What She Saw. Here are the Claudia Rose Forensic Handwriting Mysteries in order. Enjoy! 1 - Poison Pen 2 - Written in Blood 3 - Dead Write 4 - Last Writes 5 - Inkslingers Ball 6 - Outside the Lines Transcript of Interview with Sheila Lowe Laura Brennan: I am so excited today to be talking to my guest, Sheila Lowe. Sheila’s wonderful novels of suspense feature Claudia Rose, a forensic handwriting expert -- territory Sheila knows well, because she herself is one. She hasn’t merely written the book on handwriting analysis -- although she has done that -- she’s also developed Handwriting Analyzer software that has been used around the world for over twenty years and she is the current president of the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation. Her Forensic Handwriting Mystery series blends the art and science of handwriting analysis with complex characters and intricate plotting. Sheila, thank you for joining me. Sheila Lowe: Thank you so much for having me. LB: I have to ask, how did you get into the field? I wasn’t even sure there was a field of handwriting analysis. When did that start, and how did you get into it? SL: Well, for that we have to go back in time a long way, back to 1967. I was a senior in high school and my boyfriend’s mother read a book about handwriting analysis, and she analyzed my handwriting. And I was, from then on, I was totally hooked. For about ten years, I read books, everything I could find at the library or the bookstore. And then to my great delight, I found that there were courses I could take. So I did, and I ended up getting certified in 1981. By 1985, I became a court-qualified handwriting expert. LB: That’s fascinating. Now, does this have a long history, or is this a fairly recent area? SL: No, it’s been around for hundreds of years. It was researched quite thoroughly in Europe, but Hitler outlawed it. Well, it’s kind of a long story, but he had a friend who practiced it and he outlawed all of the other methods except for this friend. He outlawed it under the fortune-telling laws. Which, it has nothing to do with fortune-telling. But it kind of went underground for about 50 years and has had a big resurgence in the last number of years. LB: You’ve actually testified in court, this is something that is used to help convict or just to help cle...

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