Posts

What’s better than an author signing at Barnes & Noble? A group signing with six authors! That’s what happened on October 20, 2018, when fiction and nonfiction authors were hosted by the Ventura store.

Along with James F. GrayMaryann Ridini SpencerMike Kennedy and I signed together at several events this year. We’ve also created a Facebook page called the WritersTable. Watch for notice of our first Facebook Live event, scheduled for January 24, 2019. Time TBA

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We were joined at Barnes & Noble by Crystal Marshall, a young author who wrote a wonderful children’s book about a hairless cat. Holly K. Thrasher’s book deals photographically with her journey through breast cancer, and Spencer Labbe, a young artist and author who has self-published his first fantasy novel.

My books are back at Barnes & Noble

Seeing my books back on the shelves of a major bookstore was a thrill. They are in the catalog, and with this signing, they are back, at least for a while. If readers go in and ask for them, they are likely to be around longer (hint, hint).

Mike’s wife, Andrea, memorialized the event with her mad photography skills as we answered audience questions and described our writing process. Afterwards, we signed books. After all, that’s what we were there for, right?

Book signings used to be more popular when meeting authors was unusual and exciting. Now, it’s easy to download a book and read it anywhere, and visit authors online. Besides, everyone is so busy, it’s not always easy to wedge another event into the schedule. And that’s why Mike, Jim, Maryann and I are doing the aforementioned Facebook Live.

Check back often for details. And if you have a question you would like answered by four experienced authors, we would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or send an email: sheila@sheilalowe.com

Where have I been since my last blog post a month ago? There’s a good reason for my absence. I’ve been working my butt off to finish my new book, PROOF OF LIFE. Last Sunday night around midnight, I sent the manuscript Suspense, my publisher. Monday, I was brain dead and could barely move. By evening I looked like someone strangled me–stress rash. On Tuesday, I rewrote the last two pages. The big challenge now is to keep my hands off Proof of Life until my editor at Suspense sends comments a few weeks from now.

Today, I’m beginning to feel halfway human. I’ve been answering 70+ emails that piled up while I was elbows-down. Remember the Tribbles on the original Star Trek? Little balls of fur that proliferated astonishingly fast? That’s how emails are. The minute you send one off, ten more arrive. When I’m on a deadline and need to get something done, I have to discipline myself to power down Outlook and pretend it doesn’t exist for a while. That’s so hard to do!!!

Freddy Mercury

Again…where have I been? In the middle of it all, I took an afternoon off to go to the movies. Busy raising 3 kids on my own, I was never aware of Freddie Mercury or Queen. That is, unless they were one of the bands I used to yell at my daughter to “turn that noise down.” Bohemian Rhapsody, whether or not it accurately portrayed the goings on, was really good. It roused my interested in Freddie and I looked for his handwriting.

You probably want to know what it says about him, right? Freddie was 43 at the time of writing. Take into account that it’s lyrics and may be written faster than normal. The writing is highly simplified. Most extra strokes that are taught in school are stripped away, a sign of someone who cuts to the chase, gets right down to basics. He could be extremely impatient.

The extra-wide spaces between words point to his feeling isolated. However, the capital I in the 10th line down makes me smile, as it reminded me of Freddie’s strut. English is the only language (besides Cyrillic) where a single letter represents the personal pronoun I, so that letter is quite significant. It reveals much about how one sees themselves.

One other aspect I’ll point out is in the second line from the bottom. The letter “g” at the end of “living” pulls strongly to the right, symbolic of Freddie’s difficulty with male authority figures (his father, a boss, etc.). He pushed against anyone who tried to tell him what to do.

If handwriting isn’t proof of life, I don’t know what is :-).

There’s lots more, of course, but that’s enough for now.

I thought it would be fun to make a little video to show off all of my books, so here it is. And if you would like to visit my Author page on Amazon Central, click here.

Dozens of friends gathered at Mimi’s Cafe in Ventura on November 14, 2017 to help me celebrate the release of my latest book, Written Off. Food, prizes and lots of fun. As she has for all my other releases, Debbie Mitsch of Mystery Ink drove all the way up from Huntington Beach to sell books at the Written Off launch party.

We had such a great time, I plan on doing it again when my next book, Proof of Life, comes out early in 2019.

Local author and buddy James Francis Gray also had a table with his books.

Sheila Lowe & author James F. Gray

Bookseller, Debbie Mitsch


James is the best-known author in Ventura. He belongs to every networking group there is and he’s the best person to know if you need the word spread about something you are doing. He touts the Latino Expo and has made Tatiana’s Coffee & Tea the most popular independent coffee house in Ventura. Tatiana and Diego display local vendors’ wares there, several of which are authors, including yours truly.

Everyone seemed to be having a great time. I gave anyone who brought a prize a 30-second commercial to talk about anything they wanted to. There were all kinds of prizes. My good friend Tracey Bolton, a phenomenal psychic medium, donated a reading. The person who won really lucked out. Everyone who buys books gets a free ticket for each one they purchase. Then I do a drawing free handwriting analysis.

Since moving to Ventura in 2004 I’ve made some great friends, many of whom became my readers. When I got published, they all came out and supported me. It’s warm feeling to know you belong to a community.

hillside book club halloween

Amy and Jim Herron as Claudia and her FBI contact

Hillside Bookclub Halloween

Hillside Bookclub at Halloween

At the end of October, 2017, the zany ladies of the Hillside, Ventura, Book Club read What She Saw (a young woman with amnesia. For the second time, my friend Amy Herron invited me to attend their meeting as guest author. They met the night before Halloween and they dressed up as characters from the book. What a thrill to see my characters come to life that way! Almost as good as having it made into a movie (almost).

Irene Mefford (in mermaid green) hosted the event at her home in Ondulondo, a neighborhood in the hills high above Ventura. Imagine the view of the lights at night, the Pacific Ocean during the day. Irene went all-out with fabulous Halloween-themed food. She created claw-shaped meatloaf, witches head apples in cider, Jello shots in huge syringes. As you can imagine, by the time we got around to judging the costumes, everyone was in a great mood.

hillside book club halloween

Winner Teri Casey

Teri Casey dressed as Jessica Mack’s backpack! How’s that for creativity? She won a prize for that great costume.

Tragedy strikes the book club

Tragically, few short weeks later, Irene’s beautiful home became one of a thousand casualties of the Thomas fire, a heartbreaking loss. Other club members in the neighborhood were also evacuated. These terrifying experiences teach us a lot about what is really of greatest value in our lives.

The good news is, the book club continues to meet and I hope to be invited back again some time. How would they dress up for my upcoming book, Proof of Life, which is the sequel to What She Saw.

What She Saw, a young woman with amnesia. Imagine waking up on a train and realizing that you don’t know who you are, where you are going. or where you came from. Furthermore, something tells you that you can’t call the cops.

Book Clubs

If you have a book club and would like a visit, contact me  If your club is too far for me to drive, I’m happy to show up via Zoom or Skype.

Famous mystery authors at Bouchercon and me. When Bouchercon, the largest mystery fan convention in the world came to Long Beach, CA, I got a pic with a couple two famous mystery authors. Plus, I’m honored to say, both fellow Brit Simon Wood and Jeffery Deaver provided wonderful cover blurbs for my 2016 book, Outside the Lines.

And that’s not all. Mr. Deaver told me he used my book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis as a reference for The Devil’s Teardrop. Why? The book features a forensic document examiner like Claudia Rose and me. Pretty cool, no?

Several of his books have been made it popular movies, including The Bone Collector with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. I just hope some of that talent, hard work and good luck rubs off on me!

Here’s what these two famous mystery authors said about my book:

“Utterly compelling! “Outside the Lines” joins the ranks of those rare thrillers that expertly blend nonstop plotting with keen perceptions of the characters—good and bad—who populate this wonderful tale.” Jeffery Deaver

Simon Wood, author of “The One That Got Away” wrote,

“An expert witness makes for expert storytelling in “Outside the Lines.” 

Going to mystery writer conferences and appearing on panels is one good way for a mystery author to get visibility. Especially at Boucheron, where there are usually over 1000 attending, it’s great exposure. I’m a little more comfortable at Left Coast Crime, where there are about half that number. Besides, I’m more of a house cat, more likely to attend when it’s on this side of the country.